It’s almost Mother’s Day. What are you doing for your mum this year? It’s a tricky year, how can we get creative with what we have at home to show our loved ones gratitude? Well, we are still grocery shopping. If you have some paint and paper around the house, try making some veggie prints for a card. This is a 5-star kid-approved activity. The flower pictured above is made from dipping a bok choy stem in paint and then pressing it into paper with a little twist (just like a stamp).
We added purple ink to these onion prints to form a flower stalk. Try drawing stems to turn your prints into a bouquet. Cut out your favorite prints and then turn them into flower arrangements to paste on coloured cards.
- Paint (tempera, acrylic, or watercolor)
- Paint brushes
- Water in a cup for paint brushes
- Mat or plastic sheet (to cover your workspace)
- Apron or old shirt to wear
- Wet rag or paper towel for wiping up
- White Paper (scrap paper or printer paper)
- Card stock or Coloured paper for your Mother’s Day Card (optional) OR Plain paper
- Glue stick
- A vegetable or fruit to print. We tried onion, bok choi, serrano pepper, napa cabbage, corn sprouts, and star fruit. If there is something about to go bad in your fridge, and it inspires you with an intriguing texture, try it out.
Step #1: Set up for success.
Tape some clear mats onto the table to avoid getting it dirty. Plastic cutting boards, cardboard, paper, or a plastic tablecloth would also work. Choose some paint colours to put into containers with brushes. Get your paper and a rag ready for testing. It is a good idea to wear an apron or painting shirt.
Step #2: Cut your veggies to expose the part you want to print.
Only cut what you can use. Food is too precious to waste, so we made bok choy for dinner with the leftover vegetable.
Step #3: Paint the surface of the veggie or fruit you are using.
Experiment with the paint consistency. What happens when the paint is thick, compared to when it is thinly applied? What happens when you mix colors?
Step #4: Press the painted veggie onto paper evenly.
Step #5: Press it again
Pressing it a few more times before adding more paint allows you to notice the difference in detail of the fruit or veggie between your first and last print.
Step #6: Let it dry
Step #7: Bringing it all together
Step #8: Write a message
Finally, write a thoughtful message about what you are grateful for or what you think makes your mom a superstar.
Looking for something more?
Try putting your different experiments together into a composition. Here we started with the leafy parts (popcorn sprouts and napa cabbage) and let that dry before adding the flower shapes (onion and bok choy). Try making a few different compositions on card stock and choosing your favorite to give to your mum as a print to frame or as a card.
This project was inspired by an artist: ABCDEFruits by Jackson Lam, 2011 Apple as butterfly.