Make An Engraving

  • Wed 16 Mar
  • Ages
    All Ages

    Make An Engraving

    The challenge

    Make your own engraving!

    An engraving is a print that is made by scratching a design into a hard surface, usually metal. But, for this activity we’re going to use a plastic milk carton instead.

    Watch the video and then try it out yourself. You'll find all the materials and instructions listed below.

    This activity is for children (most suitable for ages 5 and up).

    • You Wil Need

      Some interesting objects: try finding a natural object (like a flower or seaweed) and a man-made object (like a plastic onion net), Two sheets of paper, A pencil, Plastic milk carton (empty and clean!), Scissors, Needle, A cork from a bottle, Tape, A big spoon, Paint or lino ink, Cotton buds or a paint brush to apply ink, A cloth or a piece of tissue.

    • Instructions

      1. Arrange your objects and draw a quick sketch of them.

      2. Ask an adult for some help with the next bit!

      3. Cut open a plastic milk carton, and cut out a big rectangle of plastic.

      4. Place the plastic rectangle over your sketch and tape both to the table.

      5. Ask an adult for help again to make an engraving tool by sticking a big sewing needle into a cork.

      6. Use this tool to scratch into the plastic, tracing over the lines of your drawing.

      7. Apply ink or paint to the scratched lines, making sure they are all filled with colour.

      8. Clean the ink off the smooth areas, so it's just left in the scratched lines.

      9. Place a sheet of paper on top of the inked plastic, and use the back of a spoon to rub the page in circular motions.

      10. Lift the paper to reveal your print! If you like, you can draw some extra lines or make rubbings from a textured material to add patterns.


    • Share Your Artwork!

      Take a photo of your engraving and using the hashtags #SPF22 and #StPatricksFestival tag us on

      Instagram @stpatricksfestival

      TikTok @stpatricksfestival

      Twitter @stpatricksfest

      And our friends at the National Gallery of Ireland

      Instagram @nationalgalleryofireland

      Twitter @NGIreland