Monday, December 12, 2011

NEWS FLASH! Acrylic Paint +Crayola Glue = Block Printing Ink

I have been frustrated with the cost of block printing ink, and the way that it seems to get wasted whenever I use it with my students.  So I tried making my own.  I was shocked that it actually worked.  :)

Using CRAYOLA school glue (not the runny Elmer's kind) and regular old cheap-y acrylic paint, I mixed an almost 1:1 ratio.  I put a little bit more paint than glue.  Then I used the roller to mix it all.  I suppose you could do this ahead of time and keep it in air-tight jars.  maybe the glue would settle to the bottom of the jar though.  I don't know.  Anyhow, the thickness of the glue made the paint less runny, and it also added a bit of tackyness to the ink, so that it had that orange peel texture as I rolled it on the plate.  Only problem I noticed was that it dries faster than block printing ink.  Maybe that's not a problem to you, but I'm very fastidious about my prints, and I clean as I go, so I work slowly. 

Anyhow, it worked!  I thought this was worth sharing with all 88 of you ;)


  1. Thank you, I will be trying this! I also pinned and tweeted it! :)

  2. This is great! I'll definitely be trying it =D

  3. have you tried storing it? This is something I would love to do, I work with K-8 so I will mess with more washable mixtures for my little ones but now that I know I will enjoy experimenting.

    1. No, I haven't been able to store it. I had been making it fresh for each class.

  4. I'll have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. i am not quite sure but i think that, acrylics work very well as an alternative ink, even without using any glue, also another you can try is using temperas with corn starch, in anyway if you ever decide to store the color, you can just try to thin it afterwords with some drops of water, after all a little experimentation would make the students excited.

  6. Jackie O'NeillOctober 16, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    I tried just acrylic paint to do printing with lino, but it's just too slippery. I did hear of a tip though - you add washing up liquid to the paint and this gives it a bit more tack, and the effect wasn't too bad. Keep the quantity small, though, otherwise you will end up with something very slimy, as well as wasting your paint! Just a little squirt and a small amount of paint to start with, and just add more if you feel you need to as you roller it out onto your glass plate/tray whatever. The effect isn't as good as the real thing, but it's not a BAD substitute. I did also wonder if adding writing ink to acrylic paint might work, so I'm going to try that next! (In for a penny, in for a...err...penny?!)

  7. I wonder if you also add glycerine would it dry slower for you? I'm going to try both. Thank you. I've been searching for an hour.