If you are stuck at home in need of some interesting creative activity, yoga mat printing could be just the thing. It is an absorbing activity for kids of all ages.

Yoga mat printing part 1; the basic idea

This post introduces you to the basic idea of printing from a yoga mat and you will discover the surprising effects you can get with no printing press and simple materials. 

Yoga Mat Printing Part 2 gives you more ideas for things you can do once you have the basic idea.

This video shows you how, and the written instructions should also help if you forget what to do…

You will need these things to get started

All the materials needed for yoga mat printing
All the materials needed for yoga mat printing
A thick squashy yoga mat
A thick squashy yoga mat
  1. A thick smooth yoga mat. Cut a piece from the yoga mat, or keep it whole and use a section of it.
cartoon of children cutting a yoga mat
“she’ll never notice!”
cartoon of yoga mat taped to table
tape the whole yoga mat to a table

2. Newspaper; tear some A4 size pieces

3. Plain paper – thin and smooth; Computer paper, plain newsprint and cheap paper pads all work well.

4. Acrylic paint. (Don’t forget that once acrylic paint has dried it is harder to get it off so try to clean up as you go.)

5. Plastic takeaway box.

6. Kitchen sponges.

7. Pot of water for cleaning up.

8. Things to print; you could start with soft string as in the video, then experiment with different things.

Lets print from the yoga mat!

Spread paint on the mat

Paint on the yoga mat
Paint on the yoga mat

Squeeze some acrylic paint in to the plastic box.

Using a sponge, spread an even layer on the smooth side of the yoga mat. Take care not to get it too thick.

Arrange string on the paint

String arranged on the paint
string arranged on the paint

Blot it with newspaper

Lay a piece of newspaper over it, and smooth it down with your hands. This will help to press the string into the paint and also ‘blot’ the mat, soaking up some of the paint to create lighter areas in your print.

String pressed onto the painted yoga mat
the string pressed onto the paint

Throw the newspaper in the bin unless you think it looks good and want to keep it. Sometimes you get surprising images when your print combines with words and images in the newspaper.

Print on newspaper
a print on newspaper

Remove the string

Carefully lift the string off the paint. You will see an almost photographic image left by the string in the paint on the mat.

The impression left in the paint before printing
The impression left in the paint before printing

Print on clean paper

Lay a clean sheet of paper over the painted yoga mat and press down all over. Peel it off to see your print.
You may be able to do this again and get a paler image.

Clean the paint off

Clean the leftover paint off the yoga mat with water so you are ready for another print.

Do it all again!

String print using the yoga mat printing technique
A string print from a yoga mat

See yoga mat printing part 2 for more ideas

Look out for yoga mat printing part 2 for some more ideas for things to print, and different combinations of things. Once you get going you will have all sorts of ideas of your own.

Other printmaking activities for kids of all ages

There are some other printmaking activities on the blog that are good for kids and need minimal equipment. Have a look at:
String printing and community string printing
Postcards from Bridlington; making printing blocks from funky foam
Cushions; printing on fabric using masking tape.