pie pan printmaking

we haven’t done a whole lot of printmaking and stamping lately, but when i saw this post on make. believe., i was re-inspired!

N and i collected hard, round surfaces from the kitchen on which to paint with acrylic paints. we came up with a few options. this is one of those activities for which i’m sure you already have all of the materials laying around your house. if not, improvise! (you can use pie pans, shoebox lids, paper plates for surfaces, and fingers or pencil erasers instead of q-tips.)

then we had fun mixing colors and covering the bottom of pie pans with a thick layer of acrylic paint using 1″ wide, flat paintbrushes. (sure, a brayer would have been nice, but somehow we don’t have one.)

"mommy, did you know that when you mix purple and magenta, you get beautifulness?"

next, we drew our designs onto the bottom of the pans, carving away the paint with cotton swabs (yes, q-tips. how well-marketed is that brand that their brand name is the common name we most often use? wow.)

"i'm making paint pie!" N said, as she drew a fish with bubbles in the paint

then we pressed the bottoms onto different sizes of white paper.

(yep, she's writing her name with the paint-soaked q-tip on the print)

next we tried using a paper plate (leftover from her january birthday party) to do the same.


we got similar results with the paper plate as the ones we got with pie pans. (my tip any of these surfaces is just to spread the paint on very thick, and make sure the q-tip really carves away the paint when drawing your design.)

"this one is a person with a bird flying above"

lastly, we got out a cupcake tin that we only use for art, and decided to paint each one a different color.


then N drew designs on each cupcake bottom. she picked simple things to draw like hearts, suns, moons, flowers, leaves, waves, spirals, etc.

we pressed the cupcake pan twice onto a large sheet of paper, and voila!

the designs came out looking abstract and charmingly weathered. i love how these prints turned out as beautiful mandalas!

hanging outside in the playhouse to dry


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  • Annette Standrod

    Love this! I think we will try it. our paint supply is low but I can make do with what we’ve got.

  • The cupcake paper would make adorable wrapping paper!!! Thanks for the great idea!

  • This is lovely Jen. We’ve done print making using our glass cutting board but the use of
    round containers adds a nice border to the print. It looks like a great way to make
    wrapping paper with a matching gift card.

  • I LOVE this idea! Love, love, love it. And I can’t wait to give it a try sometime in the next few weeks! Thanks for sharing, friend! (And my totally unsolicited advice? Send some companies a pitch email telling them how good you are at reviewing art supplies and products, and I bet they’ll end up sending you some!)

    Good luck!

  • They look so pretty. We just did this at preschool the other day, only using a big square white tiles as the base. I love the look of the circles, and the smaller muffin tin prints – will have to give these a go next 🙂

  • Love the cupcake pan print, gorgeous!

  • This is the best description with photos I’ve ever seen. Well done!! I particularly love the muffin tin!
    ~ MaryAnn

  • Awesome idea! Really fun!

  • I’m just in love with the cupcake pan print. What a great idea! So creative & I just love how your daughter said that purple and magenta make beautifulness. 🙂

  • wow! looks like you had a ball! i love, love, LOVE the muffin tin idea…it makes such a nice composition! thanks for the link…it’s so fun to be connected with such enthusiastic, creative folks!

  • KathleenWilliams

    This is an awsome art project. I will definately try it wit my kids.

  • Kathleen Williams

    This looks like a awsome art project. I will definately try it with my kids.

  • Heather Prangnell

    I love the muffin tin idea- I will try that at school one day! I have some giant (Texas sized) muffin tins that would work well.

    Another idea is to draw deeply (etch) into the back of a polystyrene tray or plate, then paint over the top (a brayer would work well, if you had one) then make prints with it.

  • this is totally up our alley – my daughter is going to love this, especially the muffin tin mini prints.

    i’ve added this to my weekly roundup of inspiring ideas, blogged here:

  • elizabeth


  • So excited to share this with my 50 + mentors in a few weeks! The youth they work each week with will love it! Thanks!

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  • partycraftsecrets

    Love this idea; shared it with my readers over on facebook:

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  • oh how cool! love the possibilities using hte muffin pan. for children AND us grown-ups!

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  • Siayla
  • thank you, siayla~