Post by MJ of Pars Caeli
Hi friends! This is MJ from Pars Caeli back with a fun activity inspired by the unique creations of Charley Harper. Check out all of The Land of Nod products with Charley’s stamp on them! My kids and I love looking through his illustrations, especially his animals in this rhyming alphabet book. The way that he reduced the complicated lines of fur, wrinkles, and folds down to geometric shapes makes creating our own animal images less intimidating!
Building on his inspiration, we decided to use another simplified way of capturing animals – their tracks! We looked up the prints of our favorite animals. Some had hooves, others had paws, some were webbed and others showed their claws. Depending on the animal, the prints they create can look very similar to our own footprints!! We picked out four unique prints based on Charley Harper’s work to make our own tracks with some homemade stamps.
To create your own you’ll need:
- glue/hot glue
You’ll also want to decide what animal prints you want to make! We’ve created a template if you’d like to paint the same ones that we did. You can print the template and trace the outlines on your sponges – easy peasy. Create prints that a giraffe, elephant, duck and dog or rabbit would make!
- First step, trace the template (or free-hand) the print for the animal you’d like to paint on the sponge then trim the sponge to that shape. When your sponge is more than a half an inch thick, it might be difficult to cut the shape the same on both the top and bottom of the sponge. No worries, remember you’re only using one side of the sponge to create the image. The reverse side of the sponge will be attached to a piece of cardboard and be the piece that you hold to stamp.
- Once you have your image cut out, trim your cardboard to be slightly larger than your sponge shape so that you have enough room to hold onto the stamp without getting paint on your fingers. Glue your sponge to the cardboard, making sure that you retain the shape of the print that you want.
- Squeeze your paint onto a palette or usable surface and place your stamp in the paint. Consider using a paintbrush to help spread the paint evenly across the stamp surface.
- Stamp away! Get the creative juices flowing and have the kids think about questions like, how does an elephant walk? A rabbit pounce?
We had a ton of fun imagining how these animals might walk across our papers. It sure wouldn’t be the way we’d do it! As we painted and stamped, we decided these papers would make cute wrapping paper, too–bunny prints for spring and Easter packages and giraffe prints for a friend who is all about everything giraffe.
Give animal print stamping a try! It’s a great activity for kids of any age and size.
MJ is a graphic and product designer, wife, and proud momma to three. She founded Pars Caeli (meaning a piece of heaven), a delightful blog and shop, to add more creative to the everyday. MJ worked with our team to bring her lunchbox jokes to life in our product Lunchtime LOL Notes, now available at The Land of Nod to bring on a case of the giggles!