The Best Way to Apply Printing Ink

If your school mailbox is anything like mine, it’s often filled with art catalogs. I love perusing these for items for my classroom, but eventually, they start to eat up my storage space. Instead of tossing them into the recycling bin, I’ve stumbled across a great way to repurpose them during my printmaking units.

Check out the video to see how leftover magazines can streamline your printmaking process and keep student workspaces neater!

A Note from Jennifer: It is with bittersweet feelings that I tell you this will be my last regular contribution to the AOE magazine. It has been a privilege to share and connect with you all over the last two years. My hope is that you’ve grown as an educator from something I’ve shared. I know I have learned so much from our readers and the comments that have been shared on my articles and social media posts.

I will always treasure these past few years as an AOE writer. I am happy to report that you can still find me teaching AOE’s graduate courses, interacting with our readers through social media, and pushing my love of glitter on anyone I’m lucky to meet at conferences. You make AOE so special, and I can’t wait to see how we all continue to learn from each other. Thank you again for letting me speak into your professional life, it has been one of the highlights of my career.

What tricks do you use to make printmaking go smoothly?

Do you use art catalog books in other useful ways? Share with us in the comments!

2 years ago

Jennifer Borel

Jennifer is an middle school art teacher in Kansas who is passionate about creating an organized, well-managed environment where students feel comfortable to learn and explore.


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  • Abby Schukei

    I love this idea of putting all those magazines to use, I’ll quit throwing mine away! Thanks for all of your contributions!

  • We’ll miss you! You’ve been such an amazing addition to the writing team!

  • Dawn M

    I use old art catalogs for paint palettes with my kindergarten and 1st graders. I tear them apart into sections, then staple them. At the end of class or when they need a clean spot, I just tear the top off and throw away.

  • KJackson

    I use old phone books to roll the extra ink off the brayers at the end of class, but love this idea as well!

  • Karen Bloch

    I have loads of old catalogs too! I use them for:
    1. weights for flattening out dry paintings that have curled and rippled.
    2. Giveaways to students & parents who are interested in ordering “real art supplies”

    • Those are also great ways to use the books! Thanks for sharing!

  • Laura Jackson

    I have used old phone books for this purpose. Kids tear the page off when done, next page for next inking surface.

  • Lynn Beck

    This is GENIUS!!!!! Thanks for the tip.