Invite children to make citrus fruit art prints with this fun process art activity.
Citrus printing is an easy process art project for children. Making art prints with orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit is a fun way to practice stamping and printmaking to create art.
Stamp citrus prints onto a white cotton towel for a great gift idea that kids can make! For more easy process art ideas for kids, hop over to look at wet-on-wet watercolor painting and kraft paper sensory process art.
Citrus Printing Process Art Supplies
Most households have the art supplies needed for this printmaking art activity at home.
- Citrus fruits (Grapefruit, orange, lemon, and/or lime)
- Tempera paint
- Painting paper or white cotton dishtowel
- Paintbrushes (optional)
- Paper plates or muffin tin
- Art apron
- Grapefruit spoon and/or paring knife (optional)
How to Prepare Citrus Fruit to Use as Stamps for Printmaking Art
Prepare one or more citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime) to create citrus prints or stamps to make art.
There are a few different ways to prepare citrus fruits to make stamps for citrus art prints.
First, cut citrus fruit in half. Next, use one of the options described below to prepare oranges, lemons, and limes to stamp, and paint with them.
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Option 1 – Leave Citrus Fruit As-Is
The first option is to leave the citrus fruit as-is and use them to stamp paint onto paper just as they are. This is the messiest option because the fruit juice mixes with the paint and makes the art prints nice and sloppy.
This option works best as a sensory process art activity. When printed, the citrus fruit paint will first appear in giant blobs, and more of the citrus details begin to show once the juice runs dry.
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Option 2 – Gently Squeeze Citrus Fruit
The second option is to gently squeeze the juice out of each half of orange, lemon, or lime before using it to make art prints.
This citrus printing technique is a bit less messy and shows some fun details of the citrus fruits if the paint is used sparingly.
Option 3 – Cut Citrus Sections Out
The third option is to cut the juice sac out of each segment using a grapefruit spoon or a paring knife. This leaves the pattern of the citrus membranes intact for the printing process.
We made our favorite citrus stamps or prints using this option, but it took more time and effort to prepare to paint.
Removing the juice sacs out of each half of orange, lemon, and lime can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on skill level. If you have an older child, invite them to try this precise food preparation skill as an advanced handwork activity.
Dip or Paint Citrus Fruits to Use as Stamps
There are two primary ways to load paint onto the citrus fruit to use it as a stamp to make art prints with.
Place each tempura paint on a paper plate and dip the fruit into it to make prints, or pour tempera paint in a muffin tray and use a paintbrush to paint the citrus fruits before making prints with them. My daughter chose to paint the citrus fruits before stamping them because she loves to paint things.
No matter which method you use, it is best to stamp the citrus fruits several times before re-applying paint. The citrus prints of grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes begin to look much clearer after being stamped a few times.
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Citrus Printmaking Art Instructions
If this is the first time your children have ever tried art printing or stamping, demonstrate how to make art prints with citrus fruit before inviting them to give it a try. Young children learn best by watching and imitating others.
- First, set out the prepared citrus fruits, tempera paints, paintbrushes, and paper or white cotton towel.
- Next, invite children to use an orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime to make citrus stamps or prints onto paper or white cotton dishcloth. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
- Allow the child to stamp the citrus fruit into the tempera paints and use the materials in whatever way works for them. Emphasize process over product.
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Printmaking with Citrus Fruit
Citrus printing process art is an easy art project and painting idea for children.
Make citrus art prints onto a white cotton towel for a great homemade gift idea from the kids.
Learning how to make art prints with citrus fruit is a fun art technique that can help children learn how to use paints and art materials, explore their creativity, and practice stamping to make art.
Invite children to make art prints with citrus fruit for a simple homeschool art lesson for toddlers, preschoolers, and kids of all ages.