Recycled Collagraph Prints

You don’t need to own fancy tools to test your hand at printmaking. Follow along as we show you how to make abstract prints using common household items and recycled materials.


  • Cardboard or wood
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ink or paint
  • Paint brush
  • Recycled materials (rope, string, buttons, bubble wrap, etc.)


Gather recycled materials. Look for objects that have interesting textures and linework. Don’t grab anything that is too bulky or that can’t be glued down. You will use these materials to create your abstract pattern.


Glue your objects to cardboard or wood backings to create your abstract image. Think about what shapes and textures are complimentary of one another. Let these fully dry.


Using a paintbrush, apply an even coat of ink or paint atop your abstract image. Don’t worry about painting the entire surface of your template, you only need to cover the objects you glued on.


Place your paper on top of the template. Then, with a wooden spoon, apply pressure, and rub the paper in a circular motion. This will help the ink/paint transfer from your template to the sheet of paper.


Carefully lift the paper off your template and set it down face up to dry. Repeat this process to create as many prints as you’d like!

A2AC Digital Learning

Music Credit:

Music from https://freemusicarchive.org/ ⁠⠀⁠⠀

“Comedie” by Jahzzar ⁠⠀⁠⠀

License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)⁠

This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.