Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Laminate Scrap Monoprints

I love the laminator. It comes in so handy when preserving sample artwork, bulletin board elements, etc. for future use. But every time I laminated something, I found myself wishing there was a way to save those scraps of laminate from the trash can. I started stashing the bigger pieces until I could find a way to use them. It turns out that laminate scraps make a great matrix for monoprints!

My older students (4th grade) made monoprints in one class period. I explained that usually printmaking can yield several identical prints, a MONOprint means "one" print and. We rolled a piece of tape to hold the laminate down on the table to make painting and printing easier. We used tempera paint and it does dry rather quickly so painting fast enough was the biggest challenge for the students. To print, we flipped drawing paper over on top of the wet paint and rubbed gently with our fingers. I didn't have a template for making prints even since the laminate scraps were not all the same size, so we just chopped the dry prints on the paper cutter to even up the borders.

I gave my first class of 2nd grade students the chance to draw a plan on paper first, slide the paper underneath the laminate scrap for a guide, then paint. Problem: this confused the students and several painted on the paper instead of the laminate or printed on the ancient copy paper instead of the nicer drawing paper. After the first class, the students painted directly on the laminate scrap instead of drawing first. If the students messed up, they could wipe it off and start again. 

When I saw the dried monoprints made by 2nd grade students, some were, well, hard to define. To remedy this, students trimmed and mounted their monoprints on black construction paper, used color sticks to create lines, shapes, and patterns in the border, and then touched up their prints by filling in gaps with color.

When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher taught a lesson where students created pictures by fusing tissue paper pieces on top of laminate scraps with modpodge. The tissue paper peeled right off when finished and looked awesome hanging on windows. Do you have a clever way to reuse laminate scraps?


  1. I LOVE these and, as one who also saves laminating scraps, not knowing exactly how I might one day use them, I appreciate the inspiration. Thanks!!

  2. I have never used my scraps but I have laminated pieces of heavy weight paper to use as momoprinting plates and mini white boards. I also run off LARGE pieces of laminating film and use it to cover my bulletin board displays so that little fingers are not curiously touching the art work. It works great and I can re-use it a couple of times before I have to replace it. :)

  3. Nice! I've saved laminate scraps myself, not really sure what I was going to do with them, but knowing they had a purpose. The only thing I'd found was using them in a texture collage along with other materials - they make the perfect"smooth". The glue underneath disappears when dry, although it doesn't stick long term. Anyway, love your idea. I will put a collection box by the laminator for all the teachers to use.

  4. I had a lesson where we used those clear sheets that you can use to protect a piece of paper (office supply thing); I can see that laminate scraps would work as well. I had bowls of thinned glue, and the children cut varied sizes and colors of rectangles out of tissue paper, painted some glue mixture on the sheet, then stuck down the tissue paper to make some really neat stained glass-like pieces (they were supposed to completely cover the sheet with tissue paper). Then we used paint stirrer sticks to make a frame around each piece, and glued a piece of yarn on the top back to hang it with. They all looked beautiful in a window, and it required no special artistic abilities, so all the children seemed to enjoy the project. One of my favorites!
    PS: Thanks for all the great ideas, Katie!

  5. I, too, look at the scraps and wonder. You can writeon them with sharpies so we made cuff bracelets and drew olympic rings on them and scotch taped the ends together to make a cuff. Also, we stapled fake leaves on longer strips and stapled together to make leaf crowns for olympics. You can also use sharpies to write on it and have tthe yoinger kids trace over their name or shapes, etc. Also, you can use sharpies to color and make bookmarks.

  6. I fold the larger scraps and sew up the sides so I have a large, clear envelope-like thing that I can store stuff in. I trim the 'flap' so its curved. You can add velcro so it stays closed. You can stick a worksheet into it and then wipe off. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can have the kids use that japanese tape sold at arts and crafts stores that is very pretty. They can make pouches, wallets, envelopes, etc.