Japan Woodblock Printing Art Project


Pictures are etched into wood, ink is rolled over the image then the wood block is pressed onto the canvas. With young hands children might find it difficult to etch into the wood. You can try using balsa wood (craft store) or scroll down for our Styrofoam technique. Try layering multiple colors with older children. Results are always stunning with this project


  • Styrafoam Meat Tray (ask butcher for clean ones)
  • Paint
  • Paint Roller or Brush
  • Pen
  • Scissors

Art Project Tutorial:

Step 1

Ask your local butcher for a clean Styrofoam tray.

Step 2

Cut off the sides of your tray and discard. Cut the remaining rectangle into a variety of pieces

Step 3

Use the tip of a pen to etch in your design.

Step 4

Try to fill up your entire shape. Use different lines and even poke a few holes if you have the space.

Step 5

When your design is finished, you want to paint over it with your color of acrylic paint, and a soft foam brush. A roller brush would work well too!

Step 6

Be sure not to push the paint into the crevices you’ve just made. You want those lines to show up white when you stamp it.

Step 7

After you’ve covered the entire block with ink, turn your stamp over and press firmly to your paper. Gently smooth over the entire shape.

Step 8

Very carefully pick the stamp off of the paper. You’ll see your print underneath!

Step 9

You’ll have to do a few trial and error prints until you find the right amount of paint to put on your stamp. The image on the left had less paint, and shows up a bit more grainy. Decide which you like better and paint accordingly!

All Done!

You can reuse your stamp over and over to make a collection of cards and art prints for your friends and family.

Suggested Resources for a Unit Study:



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