Scratch Foam Printing


scratch foam (can buy at art store/online, or use styrofoam trays/plates- here, I cut round paper plates into squares because of a shipping mistake- created a lot of trash but I was in a pinch!), speedball water soluble printing ink, brayers, plexi-glass or another smooth plastic surface to roll ink on (messy-mat, plastic cutting board/placemat), smooth papers to print on, wooden stylus (or dull pencil is fine too)

  1. with pencil and paper, practice the drawing/design that will become the print
  2. with the wooden stylus, make the drawing again on the styrofoam (make sure students know that any mark they make/scratch/poke on accident will show up in their prints)
  3. roll out desired ink color onto plexi-glass with the brayer
  4. add ink to the plate (make sure it is coated well or the print will be splotchy)- in the photo above, I had placed a piece of construction paper on the table to catch the extra ink as kids rolled
  5. place the paper on top of the inked styrofoam, and press hard with a clean brayer to print the ink onto the paper (you can also do this by flipping the styrofoam over onto the paper, adding a cover sheet to keep the final piece clean, and rolling the brayer over the cover sheet- that might help with centering the print on the paper, but it also may be tricky for younger children to pick up the inked styrofoam at the edges without smudging the ink…)
  6. peel the styrofoam and paper apart and voila! a relief print!
  7. the ink is super easy to wash, so you can rinse brayers, plates (the styrofoam), and plexi for fresh colors!


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