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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