Ink Art For Kids Who Don't Want to Color in the Lines

Your art project arsenal is filled with a variety of paints, some crayons or colored pencils and probably some sort of modeling medium, but how about ink? Sure, your kiddos can try their hands at some black and white drawings with ink pens; homemade greeting cards using stamps and ink pads; or perhaps some fancy lettering with calligraphy pens, but there is so much more to this often-overlooked medium.

Hundreds of years ago, people began using ink in creative ways. In China, artists drew beautiful ink depictions onto silk scrolls. In Japan, they made marbled paper with a process they called suminagashi, which is literally "spilled ink." In more recent history, masters such as Picasso, Raphael and Rembrandt paired ink with other art mediums to produce unique results that left lasting impressions.

As you and your child begin to discover the versatility of ink together, you will surely look for even more ways to incorporate it into your DIY designs. Following are five creative ink projects for kids of all ages:

Easy Fired Ink Art

This is definitely a project for parents and kids to do together, because there will be some fire involved. But with a few simple precautions, you won’t have anything to worry about and seriously, the wow factor is real with this project. Plus, you’ll be thrilled with the stunning results, which are frame-worthy.

Autumn Baldwin shares not only the basic instructions but also a DIY video on her blog, It’s Always Autumn, showing how to apply ink and alcohol to glass (she uses picture frames from the dollar store; you can also use the technique on tiles for cool coasters). The final touch is to set the alcohol aflame, after which you can add paper backing to your cool creation.

Ink Creatures

If you have ever taken a Rorschach-type test, whether officially or just for fun, you know that any blob of ink can look like something far more interesting. An elementary school art teacher who blogs under the name of Miss at A Faithful Attempt shares how her students make inkblots and turn them into creative creatures.

All you need to do this project at home is some ink to slosh onto paper, straws to blow the ink into attention-grabbing designs, and other basics such as markers, paint brushes and toothpicks. Some glue-on googly eyes could add another element of fun as well.

Alcohol Ink Calendars

Graphic designer Alyson Brown shared shots of some gorgeous calendars on her blog, Unruly Things, which you could help your kiddo recreate (wouldn’t they make amazing holiday gifts for the grandparents?). You can also use it as a quasi-science lesson, discovering how water affects ink.

Have kids make simple designs on the top half of a sheet of watercolor paper using drops of ink or even markers. Carefully wet the design with a spray bottle to turn the designs into beautiful, swirling works of art. Write out a one-month calendar on the bottom section of each page and then bind a year’s worth together.

City Prints

One of the earliest uses of ink was to make prints using stamps and presses. You can incorporate this method to help your kiddo create a striking city skyline at sunset with a reflecting mirror image, as if the buildings were overlooking a body of water or a rain-soaked street.

Erin of Laugh, Paint, Create! teaches kids how to make these amazing cityscapes, starting with a simple watercolor background –warm colors painted on the top half of the page for the sky, cool shades painted on the bottom half to denote water. Children will then draw skylines onto foam using pencils, to make a sort of stamp. After cutting out the homemade stamps, roll on some ink and press the design onto the dried painting with spectacular results.

Watercolor and Ink-Blown Shadow Trees

The final entry in our list of awesome ink art projects combines watercolor painting, ink blowing and drawing. Melissa at Bless This Mess shares a roundup of fall crafts for kids, which includes a perfectly spooky ink-and-paint project.

To begin, paint a sky-inspired background on watercolor paper and allow it to dry. Next, dab some drops of ink onto the paper and hand your kiddo a straw. Once they have blown some ghostly tree shapes, they can embellish the page with shadowy ink drawings of houses, pumpkins or anything else they please.

Ink can be loads of fun, but it can also be messy! Make sure to protect the work area properly before beginning to avoid any unfortunate stains. Of course, you will probably want to supervise these awesome ink projects as well, especially with younger kiddos. Above all, have fun and make some wonderful, creative memories together.

What are some of your favorite ink projects for kids? Share your ideas with us!

Cover image by It's Always Autumn

Tags : arts and crafts   

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