Monday, 25 April 2011

styrofoam printmaking tutorial

It's easy to make a print from a styrofoam plate or meat tray.
Start by drawing a simple design on the styrofoam with a ball
point pen. Impress the design just hard enough to make an indentation 
without going through the styrofoam.

Next roll out some printing ink (or acrylic paint) on a tray. If you don't 
have a breyer you can roll the ink or paint with a small sponge paint roller. 

Roll out a thin layer of ink (or paint) over the styrofoam.  Notice the ink
lays just on top and doesn't flow into the grooves of the drawing.

Lay down your roller or breyer (on its back not resting on the roller) and
carefully lay a piece of paper over your inked design. Use the back of a spoon
or your fingertips to rub in circles over the whole design. (This ensures that
all inked areas of the design are transferred cleanly to the paper)

Carefully peel the design off of the styrofoam plate and voila! you have made your
first print.  Repeat the process as many times as you wish.  Be sure to clean off
your plate so that later prints will not be clogged with dried ink or paint.

Good luck and happy printing!
I love comments and sharing.  I have lots of different ideas if you have questions about
other printmaking projects!


  1. I love this idea Kathy. I teach informally as a missionary in Ukraine and I use styrofoam for all sorts of things. I've drawn my own stamps, cutting out circles and squares, but hadn't thought about breyering the ink directly on the styrofoam like a print covering the whole area. I've just stamped my shapes. Thanks for sharing this idea.
    I"m following here. Come see my blog. And since you teach, I have a "Like" page on Facebook full of neat ideas I find around the web. Enter vintageterrace2 into FB search box.

  2. Great idea! I tried out one and it looks real rustic. Am a volunteer teacher this year at the Adelaide Lithuanian school for kids from 2 - 12 years of age. We'll be looking to make Mother's Day cards and presents.