This was an incredibly simple and fun activity to introduce my girls to print making!
Bubble Wrap Print Making
- To set up the activity, trace out several 9″ x 12″ rectangles on the smooth side of your bubble wrap using a permanent marker. Then cut them out with a pair of scissors.
- Set out washable tempera or other kids paint and brushes.
- Allow your child to paint shapes and patterns onto the bubble side of the bubble wrap.
- Once finished painting, place a sheet of 9″ x 12″ paper on top of the painted bubble wrap and press and rub firmly with your hands.
- Peel paper away from the bubble wrap to reveal your print.
For more tips and other variations of this activity check out our experience below.
We purchased a new quick-set pool for our backyard this summer along with a solar pool cover that is supposed to help heat the water. The pool cover is essentially a giant circle of bubble wrap and unfortunately the size we needed for our pool was out of stock. So… I purchased a slightly larger size and then cut it fit. It worked great! Except I had a huge chunk of bubble wrap left over and no idea what to do with it. I didn’t feel comfortable just throwing away that much plastic so I went on a hunt for ideas of what to do with bubble wrap. I found so many links and images for bubble wrap printing that I thought I would give it a try with my kids!
Setup was Super Easy
I cut rectangles of bubble wrap the same size as our sheets of water colour paper. I also tried cutting out some other fun shapes to kind of use as bubble wrap stamps. Once my bubble wrap was ready I set out some paints, brushes and paper.
Paint the Bubble Wrap
Once everything was set up, I invited the girls to come and paint the bubble wrap. Painting on different textures like bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard or nature items is a great way to include some sensory elements into your painting activities.
Time to Print
When the girls were finished painting their bubble wrap we placed a sheet of paper on top of the painted surface, pressing down gently and rubbing to make sure the whole paper came into solid contact with the painted surface.
The Big Reveal!
The best part was carefully peeling away the paper to reveal our print. They turned out so well and the girls had so much fun. I could hardly keep up with my two-year-old, she just couldn’t wait to do another one.
Try some Bubble Wrap Stamps
After we finished using up all our sheets of bubble wrap the girls moved on to painting the shapes I had cut out and tried stamping them on a sheet of paper. It was fun too but you have to make sure to paint right to the edge for the shape to show up. This might be easier for older kids.
We were able to easily rinse the washable paint off the bubble wrap and will definitely be saving it to do this project again. I would recommend though to have several sheets of bubble wrap cut for each child as they are hard to dry and the excess water after cleaning would make it hard to make a good print the second time. My girls were also having so much fun and eager to make another one I don’t think I could have kept up if I had to wash them in between each print.
Once the glue outline was completely dry I set out a sheet of hearts for each of my girls along with some paint brushes and liquid watercolours. You could also use watercolour paint pods that you buy in trays to create the same effect. This time I used the liquid watercolours because I wanted to specifically set out pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. I gave them 3 colours to paint with mixing our watercolours with a bit of water to give them a softer feel. Once they were dry we cut out our hearts which we will add to our valentine cards in the next few weeks!