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Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto

Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto


Sgrafitto is an etching technique that uses a pointed tool to scratch through a covered surface to show the art work beneath it.


Wax crayons (Do not use black)

India ink or back poster paint

Pointed tool for etching such as a knitting needle or a toothpick

Cardboard or mat board



  1. Draw and color various abstract shapes on the cardboard or mat board. Make sure to use a heavy hand and leave a thick layer of wax crayon.
  2. Paint the cardboard or mat board with India ink or black poster paint. Allow the surface to dry completely. If the wax crayons show through, you need a second coat of paint or ink. Allow this coat to dry.
  3. Select the pointed tool you will use. You can experiment with different tools on a scrap of cardboard and then decide which one is best for your work of art.
  4. Have an image or design in mind or draw one on sketch paper first. Etch the design directly on the painted cardboard or mat board using various strokes: long, short, or circular going in various directions: horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Etch deeply enough to penetrate the first layer of ink or poster paint.
  5. Frame the Sgrafitto and don’t forget to etch your name in the lower right-hand corner.



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