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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Making Art Together

Printing with Found Materials 2

This is my second post about printing with found materials.  To see my first post in this series, click here.  This post is all about making printing rolls made with PVC pipes.  This is the project for you if you are interested in printing in repeat on a large surface like paper or fabric.  (Directions below)


I started by spraying Scotch Super77 on the outside of the pipe so I could position the fruit netting and yarn on the surface without it sliding off.  Also try any other relatively flat textured found or natural materials to stick to the pipe.  Not everything will stick but experimenting is all part of the fun!

I sealed the yarn and plastic netting with two coats of water-based Minwax Polycrylic Gloss (available at hardware stores).  The gloss needs to dry completely between coats.  Cleanup is easy with soap and water and brushes can be safely rinsed in the sink.  An alternative to the Polycrylic is to use any brand acrylic gloss medium available at art supply stores.  I prefer to use the Polycrylic gloss from the hardware store because you get more for your money.

Once the second coat is completely dry, the pipe is ready to ink up and roll!  Try tempera paints or any water-based printing ink and use a brayer to get the paint into all the nooks in the yarn and plastic netting.  See my previous post for printing surface suggestions.

An easy alternative to the process above is to cut out shapes from sheets of adhesive-back foam (available at craft stores) and stick them to the PVC pipe.   Try printing multiple colors at once by rolling sections of the pipe in different colors.  Mix the handmade printing roll with stamps or drawings or print directly onto a tee shirt or make your own wrapping paper.

The great thing about these printing rolls is they can be rinsed off in the sink and used again and again.  PVC pipe is available in different diameters, so you could create an assortment of large rolls and mini rolls.  The third and final post on printing with found materials will appear next week, so stay tuned!




We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



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Monday, April 4, 2012 - 9:51 am
Hi Michele, I'm sorry to hear you couldn't access one of our web activities. Email me at and I will email you the PDF. Thanks for following us!
Monday, April 4, 2012 - 3:59 am
Hi, I was trying to open the PDF on printing with found objects would couldn't access the file. Would it be possible to email it to me? Thank you for your help. I love your blog! Michele
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