This is an easy (with beautiful results) introduction to print making!  It is a great process for making many cards in one session and teaching children about positive and negative space.

Materials

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Styrofoam sheets
  • Ink (We use the Speedball brand)
  • Brayer (We have the Speedball brand one)
  • Large tile (you can get these at hardware stores.  Often single, discontinued ones can be quite inexpensive)
  • Blank card sets (you can make these out of cardstock)
  • Spoon
  • Pencil
  • Smock
  • Craft tray and/or plastic craft tablecloth
  • Ruler

Directions

  • Trim your styrofoam to the shape of your cards but about 1-2.5 centimetres or 1/2 inch-1 inch smaller on each of the edges to create a border.

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Draw out a design or picture on your styrofoam with your pencil.  Remember that if you include any print it will appear backwards (so you will need to write backwards!) as the print is a mirror image.

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Don your smock.
  • Put a small blob of ink on your tile and roll your brayer through the ink in many directions until the brayer is evenly coated and the ink has sticky/tacky consistency.

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Roll the paint over your styrofoam design evenly, going to all the edges.

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Lay your styrofoam plate on your your tray.  Carefully place your card onto the styrofoam and rub it with your hand to assure contact.  Be carefully not to shift it.  Carefully pull it off of the styrofoam.  (You could also do the reverse method where you place the styrofoam onto the card.)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

Printmaking with Styrofoam with make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & Activities for kids)

  • Depending on the amount of ink left on the styrofoam, you can make another print with the same method or you could re-apply the ink and make several more cards until you have reached the desired amount.
  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • One year we also cut a small styrofoam square and wrote backwards “Love, ______ (child’s name)” and made a small print on the back of the cards.  You could add the child’s name, the year and their age underneath the print if you like.
  • Once the cards are dry, tie a ribbon around them and give them to someone special.

Purpose

  • Learning how to make prints with various materials.
  • Exploring positive and negative space.

Safety Notes

  • Be sure to wear a smock and use a craft tray and table cloth to prevent damaging surfaces or clothing.
  • Follow product directions/ cautions.
  • Use scissors with care and direct adult supervision.
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