DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

I was in a used book store one day and I saw a book on art rubbings. Of course, I was familiar with the idea of putting a penny or leaf under a paper and running a pencil over the top to transfer the image, but this book was taking it to a whole new level. So we grabbed our art supplies and went outside to make some new art pieces from rubbings!

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

You could do a variety of themes out of rubbings, such as a nature theme where you make rubbings of tree bark and feathers and other natural objects.

But I wanted to do a more urban and industrial theme. Of course, this works best if you live in a fairly urban area. However, even in a small town we were able to find some interesting subjects for rubbings.

Try man hole covers, engraved signs, and plaques for more definite rubbings, or try brick walls, metal plates and concrete for more textural subjects. Be aware, though, that you need to know what you are allowed to make rubbings of; it is illegal some places to make rubbings of gravestones, and, of course, you shouldn’t wander onto private property to make rubbings.

Still, it is a unique way to wander around a town, looking for interesting spots to make into rubbings – you notice all sorts of things you would not have seen before.

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

DIY Industrial Art Pieces Made from Rubbings

A few tips on making rubbings:

  1. Look for a subject for the rubbing that has texture or relief to it, and tape the paper over the area you want to transfer to the paper. Choose which art medium you want to use for the particular rubbing.
  2. Don’t use a sharp point of whatever art medium you are using, but rather use a blunt point or use it on an extreme angle as you begin to make the rubbing.
  3. Move your pencil, or other rubbing tool, smoothly and evenly over the surface of the paper. Start out marking lightly. If you press too hard, you’ll just be drawing on top of the surface, not really picking up the texture. But if you start lightly and gradually get to darker/harder strokes, you’ll get a better feel for what works well.
  4. While making the rubbing, try to keep your hand moving in the same plane. In other words, if you’re rubbing right to left, do not suddenly switch to up and down, or you will probably end up with some unattractive competing lines.
  5. When you are finished, gently remove the paper from the surface and trim away the masking tape. Place the rubbing your folder for safe keeping.

So try exploring your local area and think outside the box of what you can turn into rubbings!

April Starr

This tutorial is brought to you by April Starr.

She likes to say that her motto is "living the amazement" She never wants to lose her sense of wonder and adventure.

April Starr is a designer, writer, creative entrepreneur of FlourishCafe, lover of spicy food, amateur explorer and worth very little in the early mornings. Her husband and four year old daughter are always up for trying a new dish she has created, or working on a project together. She is learning, laughing, and living the amazement every day!

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