[Foam Printing] Scratch Foam Block Printing
Foam painting can be made from scratch foam that special designed for printing.
What you need for making printing on foam:
* scratch foam or clean flat pieces cut from styrofoam food trays.
* a not-too-sharp pencil or a ballpoint pen
* block-printing ink
* a brayer
* an ink tray or piece of glass or some other smooth rolling surface
* a baren or a spoon or your fingers
How to make foam printing:
Cut the foam according to the wanted size using paper cutter. Draw you design using pencil or ballpoint. Dont make a lot of detail here. Letter and number needs to be written backward to print correctly.
If you want your image to print clearly, you need to make your lines quite deep. You can press fairly hard without poking through the back of the foam.
Roll out a small amount of ink until your brayer roller is coated. Start with less than you think you’ll need & add if necessary — it’s easier to add more ink than to deal with an over-inked brayer. When I’m inking my brayer, I listen for a “sticky” sound. If I’m not hearing anything & the brayer is sliding around on the plate (instead of rolling through the ink), I have too much ink.
Roll your brayer over your foam piece to ink it. You are aiming for a smooth, thin, velvety-looking coat of ink. I listen for the “sticky” sound here too.
This is what your inked plate should look like. The image lines are clearly visible & white, meaning that 1. I drew them deep enough, & 2. I did not over-ink the foam. If your lines are deep enough & you get some ink down in the grooves, you should be ok; just watch out for filling the grooves up with ink. (If you over-ink, just pull a print on scrap paper & then take another look — you may be just right, you may need to add a little more ink to hit the right amount.)
I like to make a test print at this point. This lets me see if I need to go back over any of the lines to deepen them, & whether or not I need more or less ink on the foam. With the kids this year, the test print was also a chance for them to feel how hard they needed to press/rub in order to pull a good print.
Turn the foam ink-side down onto your paper, & rub firmly with a baren, the back of a spoon, or your fingers. Be sure not to let the foam slide around as you’re rubbing.
Starting at one corner, peel back. If you’re careful with the foam, it can be rinsed & reused, so peel gently!