Shape Rubbings

Place shape cut-outs underneath a sheet of paper and rub across the paper with crayons or chalk pastels. Watch as the colorful shape outlines appear as you rub!
Shape Rubbings craft


  • Thin sheet of paper
  • Styrofoam board or place mat
  • Sand paper or corrugated paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Crayons or chalk pastels


Step 1 Shape Rubbings 1. Find paper with interesting textures such as sand paper or corrugated paper.

Draw shapes at the back of the paper. Make circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, ovals, hearts, stars, diamonds or other shapes you can think of. You can also print out any of these basic shapes sets or choose from our printable shapes and stencils.
Step 2 Shape Rubbings 2. Cut out the shapes.
Step 3 Shape Rubbings 3. Put masking tape at the back of each shape.
Step 4 Shape Rubbings 4. Stick the shapes onto a piece of Styrofoam board or on a plastic placemat. Arrange the shapes so that they cover an area approximately the same as the paper size you plan to use for the rubbings.
Step 5 Shape Rubbings 5. Any thin piece of paper can be used. Lay your paper on top of the shapes.
Step 6 Shape Rubbings 6. Use the side of a crayon or chalk pastel to rub across the paper. Watch each shape magically appear as you rub.

Notice how the texture of the shape cut outs add an interesting effect on your rubbings.

More Ideas

Overlapping Shape Rubbings Try moving your paper around for each shape rubbing to obtain overlapping shapes.
Number Rubbings This activity can be very versatile. You can make number rubbings for a numbers theme lesson. Take note that you can use more than one color for each shape rubbing.
Alphabet Rubbings Make letter rubbings as an alphabet learning activity.

Arrange the letters randomly or spell words with them.