Sandpaper Prints

by Shelley Port
Grades K - 2
Montgomery Elementary School

Focus:Students will create crayon-sandpaper monoprints. A monoprint is a one of a kind impression of an image created on another surface. Both texture and color can be transferred in a monoprint. Tactual texture can transfer as visual texture.


sandpaper print

Part I: Preparing the Materials

Set up an iron in a safe space. Test with iron at medium setting to be sure all crayon colors will melt and transfer color to determine how much time is needed for this process. It should take only a few seconds. Then distribute materials.

Part II: Background for Students

Pass around sandpaper and ask students to notice the texture. Ask students to find several different textures near where they are sitting; for example, hair, clothing, and desk tops. This is tactual texture. Now pass around magazine photographs of hair and cloth and ask students to touch those. This is visual texture. We can see that the objects are textured but the photograph itself is smooth. If available, show slides 11 and 12. One shows a student in the process and the second shows the finished product. A paper is placed against the surface of the sandpaper crayon design, and heat is applied with an iron. The heat melts the crayon, which then transfers to the paper, making a print. Explain that this is a monoprint because only one print is taken of the original. Students can observe the fused quality of the crayon on the original and the granular visual texture of the print.

Part III: Creating the Designs

Students can either prepare a preliminary sketch or begin to work directly on the sandpaper. They are to press hard while applying wax crayon colors to the sandpaper to make a picture or design that completely covers the sandpaper. For best printing results, designs should be bold, shapes simple and colors bright. When finished, cover the original with white paper. Enclose the original and the white paper in newspaper or newsprint. An adult needs to apply an iron for a few seconds, pressing but not sliding the iron. Peel the paper off. Prints may be mounted for visual emphasis.

sandpaper print
sandpaper print


©   Deborah Padrick   2001