Printing with DIY Cardboard Texture Plates with Joan Bess Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) make their own unique reusable texture plates for printmaking.
  • SWBAT create monoprints using a textured cardboard plates.


What is texture?

Why is it important to recycle items?


Gelli Arts® plate, brayer, paint, paper, cardboard, craft knife, pointy tool (knitting needle, awl, or tweezers), scissors, and glue


  • Recycle – convert waste into reusable material.
  • Texture – The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface. The way something feels or the way it looks like it feels.


There are countless ways to create textures on a cardboard substrate for printing. Plus, corrugated cardboard’s unique layered and laminated structure means you can carve interesting designs in it, then pull back the top layer to reveal striped areas!

You can work freehand, or draw your design on the cardboard first and cut along the drawn lines. Don’t cut all the way through the bottom layer — just the top. It also helps to mark the sections you want to remove. Cut your design through the top layer of the cardboard with a craft knife. Then remove sections of the top layer of paper — revealing the stripes below.

Add layers and shapes to your cardboard substrate using card stock, chipboard, or manila folders. You want to be sure to glue any papers securely to the cardboard so they don’t come off while printing. You can create interesting printed images by gluing torn paper, hand-cut shapes, die-cuts and punched pieces to your cardboard plate.



Printing with cardboard plates:

  • Apply acrylic paint to your Gelli Arts® plate and roll into thin layer with a brayer.
  • Press your cardboard plate firmly into the wet paint — and remove.
  • Place your printing paper on the Gelli Arts® plate, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print!

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