Make & Do

Learning to Print at Milton Keynes Library

We are one week into the summer holidays – a very expensive time of year as a parent! Last weekend we popped to Milton Keynes Library to sign up for their summer reading challenge. (We also took some photos wearing our fab new ethical Strong Girls Club T-shirts). We saw that they have a variety of affordable activities for kids. This leaflet just shows the activities at Central Library, but there are lots more, go to Milton Keynes’ Library’s website to see them all and book in advance. So I booked the girls onto a printing workshop, which only cost £2 each.

Our Print Workshop at Milton Keynes Library

Our session was led by an artist (I didn’t catch his name, sorry!) and he demonstrated how to print.

The artist demonstrating printing at MK Library

The artist explained how if the kids wanted to print words, they would need to do them backwards. I don’t think the kids really understood, but the parents helped their kids, so it was fine!

Learning to Print

The kids started off by sketching their design. Next they placed a piece of thin polystyrene beneath the paper and went over it to make an indentation.

They needed to then draw the design again, to make sure the indentation was deep enough. Next they used a roller to apply the ink to the polystyrene. Then they pressed the paper bookmark over the print and rolled over it with a clean roller firmly, before revealing their print.

Thea’s print worked really well first time and she was delighted.

Ava’s wasn’t so successful sadly.

Her first attempt wasn’t deep enough, which she was a bit disappointed about. We wiped it off and she made the indentation deeper and tried again. It was better but still not what she was expecting.

Ava was quite sad by this time and wanted to give up. So we turned over the polystyrene and made a simpler design as one last ditch attempt to salvage her session.

Thea also wanted to do another version and inexplicably wanted the words “Time to Party” despite it being for a bookmark. I wrote it for her and she held it to a window to trace it through so it was backwards. This one was the most successful print of all, and she chose a lovely colour combination.

Find Other Events at Milton Keynes’s Libraries

Overall the printing session was a success despite Ava being disappointed that her print didn’t work. I think it’s a good lesson that things don’t always go right first time! The printing session we picked was at the Central Library in Milton Keynes, but they are holding printing workshops at other libraries around MK too. There are all sorts of other events too, so check them out here.

While we were there, we admired Milton Keynes Library’s iconic 1982 mural ‘Fiction, Non-Fiction and Reference” by Boyd & Evans.

If you’re not from Milton Keynes, why not check out your local library to see what events they are putting on?

Wearing Strong Girls Club ethical t-shirts in a library

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