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Psychedelic Foam Print Backgrounds

packing foam + brayer + ink = snowflakes!

Here are the ingredients for this project: Two 2"  Speedball Soft Rubber Brayers, a few tubes of Speedball Block Printing Ink, watercolor paper or heavy white cardstock and thin packing foam. One of the brayers is for painting, the other should remain dry just for rolling.

Start with a piece of thin foam packing sheet a little larger than your paper. Fold up 4x and cut out little bits as if making a paper snowflake. Fold again in another direction and cut out more bits. The foam is a little bulky to fold, but simple to cut. I use Fiskars scissors.

Load up a soft rubber brayer with block printing ink.

Place your foam flat on a protected surface.

Roll the brayer around the foam to cover with ink.

Flip the inked foam sheet upside down on your paper.

Roll a clean, dry brayer on the back, imprinting the design on your paper.

Peel the foam sheet off of the paper. Let the ink dry for a few minutes.

Here's a finished imprint on watercolor paper.

Add more ink to the foam with brayer.

Add some new colors if you wish.

Here's the foam loaded with lots of messy color. I made 4 imprinted pages to use as art journal backgrounds! After that, the foam weakened, your mileage may vary.

A new imprint on watercolor paper.


Here's a quick 37 sec video of the process. It's on 8x speed, I'm not really that fast!

You can click over to the original at Vimeo.

Experiments drive a lot of my art journal pages. Yesterday, my younger daughter's (9) first blurb book arrived. {cue the cheers and my daughters running about the house shouting with insane joy}... 

A thin layer of foam padding protected the book. Am I the only one that looks at anything new, wondering how to use it in my art or art journal? Am I the only one that keeps everything from ribbons to bubble wrap, just in case? So that's where this project started... foam packaging for a hardback book with my daughter's cute little "About the Author" photo on the jacket!

Love, love, love the abstract look of these backgrounds! The papers can be cut up to make bookmarks, gift tags, artist trading cards (ATCs), little bits for a collage. So many possibilities.


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Reader Comments (9)

VERY cool effect - thanks for sharing!! And congrats to your daughter - how much fun is that?!

03.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

this is so neat.. love it!

03.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbonitarose

Great technique... thank you for sharing!
The things we can do this foam, amazing :]

03.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril Cole

That is so cool. Thanks for sharing the technique. I never thought about using those foam sheets. I always throw them away. Well, not anymore.

03.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarnita

Wow, that is such a neat effect,I love it! Thanks so much for sharing the how-to, I'll be linking.

03.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

That looks like a lot of fun! What a great idea. I need a roller now :)

I'd love to have you stop by my For the Kids Fridays Link Party and share! Stop by and check it out!

03.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

you are so, so not the only one infected with the 'keep just in case' bug :-)
since beginning to art journal and be more creative in all sorts of ways, I recycle and throw out way less things! There's so much cool 'stuff' that can be used in so many ways.
thank you for sharing this one :-)

03.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLibby

I love that you think this way.

03.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterZom

This is so cool!!! Thanks or sharing.

03.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

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