Mandala Pizza Prints – An Easy Printmaking Idea for Kids

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Mandala pizza prints can be made with craft foam toppings on a cardboard base. Easy printmaking ideas like this collograph printing technique are lots of fun for kids and allow them to make print after print! Written by Danielle Falk of Little Ginger Studio.

Printing mandala pizza prints - a fun and easy printmaking idea for kids. This image shows the print being lifted off of the handmade printing plate.

Receiving Jean’s invite to write a post for The Artful Parent was such a lovely surprise! I am super excited to share this fun activity suitable for ages 5 and up.

I have always enjoyed making prints with children and it’s an urge that returns every couple of months.

Yes, printmaking with kids can sometimes be messy, time-consuming, and a bit unpredictable, but the immediacy, energy and sheer fun of churning out multiple images keeps me returning. It’s a much-loved activity by my students, and it’s worth the mess!

Mandala Pizza Prints (An Easy Printmaking Idea for Kids ) This image shows the printing plate before and after it's inked, plus the finished pizza print on paper.

Although I have used craft foam for printmaking before, I was inspired by Small Hands Big Art Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina and their mandala collograph prints

I thought they would make excellent pizzas–and who doesn’t love pizza? Yum!

A Fun Printmaking Idea for Kids - Mandala Pizza Prints Made with Craft Foam and a Cardboard Base

How to Make Mandala Pizza Prints – An Easy Printmaking Idea with Craft Foam

Supplies for pizza prints – mandala printmaking ideas

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  • Thin craft foam (alternatively you could use sticky-back foam and save yourself the hassle of gluing!)
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge (or any clear-drying craft glue)
  • Cardboard circles –any size you fancy but plate-sized is ideal (you can often get these for free from a local pizzeria)
  • Cheap bristle brushes
  • Block printing ink in several colors, preferably water-soluble & non-toxic
  • Palette knives for spreading ink
  • Brayersone for each colour
  • Smooth surface for rolling out ink – I like using an old bathroom tile (but a plastic photo frame, plexiglass, or even old X-rays work too)
  • Bamboo barens (optional) – tool for applying pressure
  • A variety of papers – we used heavy cardstock & brown packing paper
  • Some cheap paper (newsprint, brown paper) to lay on the table to keep things clean

INSTRUCTIONS

The printing plate (collograph)

Cutting out craft foam for an easy printmaking idea - mandala pizza prints

1. Cut out pizza toppings from foam

Discuss kids’ favorite pizza toppings and cut out lots of tasty food-shaped pieces from foam.

Think: mushrooms, sliced peppers, grated cheese, pepperoni, pineapple and tomato slices and tiny little fish-shaped anchovies! Tip: it’s easier to start with bigger shapes and fill in with smaller shapes.

Gluing together a mandala pizza collograph plate.

For easier cleanup, soak the glue brushes in jars filled with water.

 Gluing craft foam toppings to a cardboard base for easy collograph printmaking.

Note: Before you start, check to see that the foam isn’t too thick to cut for young children.

Making mandala pizza designs on cardboard circles for an easy printmaking idea kids can do themselves

2. Create a mandala design

Arrange into a pleasing mandala (radial) design. Carefully glue each piece into place and let dry. Be sure to securely glue down all foam pieces or else they will come off during printing!

Colorful mandala pizza printing plates (an easy printmaking idea for kids)

Printing your pizza

Danielle of Little Ginger Studio inking a mandala pizza collography printing plate

1. Coat plate with ink

Evenly roll one ink color onto the foam parts of your collograph and then add a second color onto other parts (e.g. on the outer shapes).  Spread ink evenly and thinly across the roller surface

Printing mandala pizza prints in action (an easy printmaking idea)

2. Place paper on plate and create a print!

Now, place your inked plate on a clean surface and carefully centre your printing paper on top.Keep the surface under your plate tidy so that you get a clean print. Use a clean brayer or baren (or just your hands) to apply pressure in small circles, working your way over every part of the plate.

Slowly lift your first print and “oooooooh” and “aaah”! Do it again and again. Warning – printmaking is addictive! (Printing ink takes quite a while to dry and you can ink up over the top of like colors).

Note: Don’t try to wash your cardboard plate in between prints.

Finished mandala pizza prints made by kids using collograph printing plates

Printmaking lends itself to wild experimentation – repeat prints on a big piece of paper to make a mural. Or layer different colors & designs. Try printing on interesting papers or create an ombre effect with your colors. The sky’s the limit!

More Easy Printmaking Ideas for Kids

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Make these mandala pizza prints today using craft foam on a cardboard base! A fun and easy printmaking idea for kids! #artsandcrafts #printmaking #mandalas #kidsactivities

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda Cross
    April 2, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I love this idea!
    I’ve been working with Mandalas in various formats these last two years as a stress relief activity for family caregivers. We started out coloring simple, pre-printed designs, then graduated to creating our own Mandala designs. We’ve worked on paper and cardboard, created designs using stickers, painted on rocks and crocheted with acrylic yarn. We haven’t tried print making yet though- that’s next on my list. Thanks for a great idea!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      April 8, 2018 at 5:13 am

      So glad you like the idea, Linda!

      And I like that you’re what you’re doing with using mandalas as a stress relief activity for family caregivers!

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