Scratch-Foam Printmaking

P1160272Scratch-foam boards are an amazing, safe way for younger children to experience printmaking. No special tools are required, and the results are soooo cool.


  • scratch-foam board
  • tools eg. wooden skewer, ends of paintbrushes, bone folder
  • sticky tack or tape
  • soft rubber brayer
  • ink for print making
  • hard acrylic brayer
  • surface for ink eg. piece of glass, plexiglass, or small tray
  • paper for printing on
  • tool for applying pressure eg. wooden or metal spoon, baren, acrylic brayer



1. Scratch-foam boards are found in art supply stores, and are very easy to work with. Pressing the foam with tools compresses it, enabling you to create a design. It is the uncompressed/raised parts which the ink will adhere to, and print onto paper. To make a design, you can work directly on the foam sheet, or sketch out a few ideas on paper first. Keep in mind the design will print in reverse.

2. Many household items can be used as tools. Anything that compresses the foam without damaging it will work well, like wooden skewers, chopsticks, and the ends of paintbrushes.  Bone folders are also great. Trimming a small piece of foam from the board will allow you to do some experimenting.


3. Once the design is completed, you can add the ink. Put a small amount on a piece of glass or plexiglass.


Use a soft rubber brayer and roll over the paint, being sure to go in all directions. Continue until the paint is spread out evenly, and the brayer is also evenly covered with ink.


Secure the foam board to a surface using sticky tack or tape, to prevent it from moving around when applying the ink. Apply the ink evenly with the brayer.


Place a piece of paper on top, and apply pressure using an acrylic brayer, a baren or a metal spoon. Cover the entire surface.


You can lift up a corner of the paper to verify if enough ink has been transferred.


Carefully remove the paper. Results will vary based on the amount of paint applied, the amount of pressure, and the type of paper. Experiment with different kinds of paper. Smooth absorbent ones, like printer paper, will work better than textured ones.





Filed under printmaking, scratch-foam art

28 responses to “Scratch-Foam Printmaking


    This is a great tute… My granddaughter will love it… so will I! Little Bit from


    p.s. I’m pinning.

  3. easycraftsforchildren

    I’ m pinning too, I love it 🙂

  4. I love to create prints – great idea! Not just for children!

  5. What a great idea! I’m totally gonna do this with my kids! Pinning it now. Thanks for linking up to An Oldie but a Goodie party!

  6. This is so great! I HAVE to try this with my kids!

    hugs x

  7. marijkemill


  8. My daughter enjoyed this project when she did it in the hospital with several different aged kids.

  9. This is so cool! I’m not really much of an artist, but I’m going to keep this in mind for when my daughter gets a little older. It’s so different than most art projects!

  10. Pingback: Sweet Sharing Monday | Sweet Anne Handcrafted DesignsSweet Anne Handcrafted Designs

  11. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] Brilliant!

  12. I remember doing this in school…I LOVED it!!

    Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  13. navywifeypeters

    Really cool prints!! Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!!! 🙂

    Navy Wifey Peters

  14. What a great project! Thank you for sharing them with us in our Crafty Showcase. We love seeing what you link up each week!

    New linky:

    Have a super week! Susie @Bowdabra

  15. Anonymous

    I am a new art teacher and would love to do this with my students. Just curious, what size scratch-foam board did you use?

  16. Pingback: 5 Unique Handmade Holiday Gifts You Can Help Children Make for Their Parents - Westside Nannies

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