Foam Prints

March 22, 2017

You can make museum worthy artwork for your home with this tutorial from our #DAMCreative Educators! This is a great lesson in pattern or shape for little ones if you want to get them in on the fun. At the Museum we like to look at the beautiful patterns in our Pre Raphaelite galleries for inspiration or the shapes in some of our contemporary works like Robert Indiana’s Decade Autoportrait.

Here’s what it takes:

  • Large sheet of butcher paper, kraft paper, or even solid color wrapping paper
  • Foam sheets
  • Ball point pen
  • Scissors
  • Block printing ink
  • Brayer
  • Plexi or plastic mat


  1. Decide what size you want your foam stamp to be. We made ours mostly 5×7 and chose to print them in the center of a 9×12 piece of paper to add some drama. You can also cut yours small (like our strips of hearts) and repeat it several times to make a pattern.
  2. Draw your design on the foam sheet with the ball point pen. Press hard enough to create a relief but be sure not to poke through the foam. REMEMBER: anything you draw will be reversed when you print, so if you are writing letters or numbers you will have to write them backwards.
  3. Once you have your design drawn cut around it so there is not a lot of blank space on the outside. Cut around the outer perimeter of your stamp.
  4. On a flat, water-resistant surface (we used a plexiglass sheet), dab about a quarter-size amount of ink. Take your brayer and roll over it horizontally and vertically until you have a paper thin layer of ink. The brayer should make a squidging sound and the ink should have the texture of an orange peel.
  5. Roll the inked brayer evenly over the design on your foam sheet. You might need to reload the brayer with ink and roll over it more than once to create an even coating of ink on the foam sheet.
  6. Flip the foam sheet over onto your printing paper and press firmly—make sure you get all the edges!
  7. Slowly peel back your foam sheet and reveal your design. The ink dries quite quickly but you will still want to set it off to the side for 20 minutes to make sure it is very dry before framing.

Our #DAMCreative team always has something brewing—visit the Museum to see what other fun ideas might be waiting for you within our walls!

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