Paint & play with stamps

Painting with stamps is one of the most expressive techniques that will allow kids to print a shape multiple times. However, it is almost impossible for a toilet paper stamp to produce exactly the same print twice. Try for yourself to find out why.

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Materials and tools:

  • One or more toilet paper rolls. From each roll you can make several stamps.
  • Watercolor paints that come in tubes. 
  • Paintbrush.
  • Scissors.
  • A pot to clean the brush.
  • A plastic or paper plate.
  • Several pieces of blank paper.


1. Pour some paint into the plastic or paper plate.
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2. Mix the paint with a few drops of water to make the paint more fluid. Mix the solution well with the brush. 

3. Dip the end of the paper roll into the paint. Let if for a few seconds to absorb some paint. 
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4. Remove the roll from the paint. Now, the edge must be full of paint. While the paint is fresh, try to stamp the roll onto the blank paper. 
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5. Lift the stamp to see the print on the paper. Your first print is ready. 

Experiment with several shapes 
1. Cut the paper roll into three or four shorter rolls. By this, you'll have more rolls to experiment. Moreover, shorter cardboard rolls can be shaped easier. 
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2. Try to transform with your hands the paper roll into several shapes. 
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3. Try the stamps using several colors. Don't hesitate to fold, crease, crush the cardboard roll to achieve original and interesting stamps.  
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Experiment with the arrangement of the stamps
Stamp is a useful tool, that allows the printing of multiple copies. However, there are several ways to arrange the copied shapes and each results in a different composition.
  • Linear arragmenent: Stamp in horizontal or vertical lines, overlapping shapes or arranging them one adjacent to the other. 

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  • Polar arrangement: Stamp around a center, rotating the stamp.

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  • Mirror arrangement: Create symmetrical compositions, by rotating the stamp 180 degrees. 

  • Random arrangement: Stamp randomly around the blank paper. 

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Design your own textile 
Most textile designs are based on repeated patterns. You can use your toilet paper stamps to make your own patterned fabric. To get some ideas look around you, for rugs, wallpapers, books and fabrics.
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Make a rosette or a flower
Stamp around a center, rotating the stamp. You can paint the areas inside the stamps to make your rosette look more interesting. 
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Paint with random stamps
Stamp a blank piece of paper without thinking to much about the arrangement. Then pick 3 colors and paint the closed areas.
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Learn the letters of the alphabet
Try to shape the letters of the alphabet by using your toilet paper stamps.

Quiz !!!
The following prints were made by using toilet paper rolls? Can you think how these prints were made? Try to make similar prints.
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