Get Creative with Kerry Molina

Printing with Recyclables

As an art teacher, I’m always saving things that might otherwise be tossed right into the garbage.  I figure that if I get even one more use out of something, it’s better for the environment. Styrofoam trays are a perfect example.  I’ve read that this material doesn’t decompose for 500 years. Eek! So, let’s at least teach children about reducing, recycling, and in this case, reusing.

For this activity, wash and set aside some items that would otherwise be tossed or recycled.  We are going to be printing with these odds and ends. Look for things that will make a variety of interesting shapes.  Anything you can dip into paint and press onto a surface is printmaking!

Now, the thicker the paper you use, the less wrinkling you will get after the projects are dry.  That being said, this craft can be done on any type of paper. So, if all you have is basic printer paper, use that.  For some added fun, you can purchase a set of blank cards and envelopes and print on those. You will need craft paint and a paper plate or Styrofoam tray for a palette.  

Put some small amounts of paint on your palette and you are on your way.  All you have to do is press the found objects into the paint and then press onto the paper.  My best tip here is to use a thin layer of paint! Too much paint on your object will result in unwanted blobs.  Practice on scrap paper to get the feel of it. Then you’ll feel ready to go to your nicer paper.

Be creative with color and pattern.  Experiment with putting more than one color on your object.  If you are decorating blank cards, try printing stripes and borders.  Set your creations out to dry. I love the idea of making stationery because it enhances the notion of spreading joy as you send of some snail-mail to friends and family.  I’d love to see what you and your family make. If you’d like to share, email me at

Things to save:
Bubble Wrap
Soda Bottles
Sponge Curler
Shelf Liner
Hair Pick or Comb
Gift Card
Makeup Sponge
Building Block
Corrugated Cardboard
Tops of all sorts: markers, glue sticks, hair spray bottles, etc.

Kerry Molina
About Kerry Molina 10 Articles
An artist, writer, teacher, and tutor, as well as the owner of Yellow Brick Road Studio and Enrichment Workshops, Kerry Molina was voted Lifestyle’s 2018 Best Local Artist. She holds a BA in Art History from Ithaca College and an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.  She resides in Gainesville with her husband, two children, and two cats.

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