Ink block printing is ridiculously fun and easy, specifically foam board printing. It's great for play-dates, classroom art, or one-on-one projects for your children. The results are stunning. I use them for homemade cards, gift tags and framed 'Grandma gifts' with a personal touch from children.
This project is appropriate for children ages 5 and up and is something you won't be able to resist trying yourself!
These are available at Dick Blick for about $40 without a coupon. It will provide you with several printings for home use or will cover a class of ~20 students for one group project. Your local arts & crafts store will have these materials as well.
- Canvas paper: ~$6 for a set of ten 9x12" sheets, about 2-4 'pulls' (prints) per sheet
- Basic red, blue, yellow and white water-based ink (2.5oz each) or the Speedball starter kit for ~$17
- Brayer (Roller): ~$9 or if using for a class, check to see if the school already has several functional brayers in their art closet
- Scratch Foam board: ~$6 for a set of twelve 9x12" boards (cut down to smaller pieces).
- From your home: several non-textured & non-porous flat surfaces (cutting boards or plates), paper towels, scissors, dull pencils (or a mechanical pencil with the graphite pushed in), surface protection, and aprons.
- Cut your foam board in to smaller pieces, large enough for a child to draw a picture on, but small enough to fit in to a future frame of your choice.
- Put your foam board on a flat surface. With the dull pencils, draw your image on the piece of foam board. Note: Letters needs to be engraved backwards to print forwards - a fun challenge for older children (including you.) You want a deep groove - it's hard to punch through these foam boards.
- On the flat, non-porous surface, squirt out a good smidge of ink (1/2 teaspoon). If you want to mix colors - put them all on at the same time. Roll it out with your brayer: right, left, up, and down. It should have that sticky sound and make sure the brayer rolls. For swirly color interest (see above), finish by squirting a tiny amount of another color and roll the brayer a couple more times before inking your piece.
- Roll the inked brayer over your art - full coverage; corner to corner, edge to edge.
- Pick up your foam board from the edges and lay your inked foam board, ink side down, on your canvas paper. Place a paper towel over it. With your fingers, rub and apply a medium press all over; corner to corner, edge to edge. Give it a good press, but don't press so hard you dent the foam.
- With your fingernail, grab a corner and peel it up!
- Set aside to dry. Trim your prints down. I prefer a 1/4" margin.
- Mount on museum-grade mat board then frame your work or mount on cards.
There you have it!
Have a lovely...