Monday, November 30, 2015

Block Printing with Craft Foam #1

As I was putting things away in the studio after my day of playtime thread sketching, my hand fell upon some sticky back craft foam.  Instead of continuing to straighten up, I started cutting circles and strips from the foam.

From this seemingly mindless activity emerged four 6" x 9" printing blocks which are being used to create a 40" x 40" themed challenge.  I won't be able to show the completed work until it has gone through a jurying process, hopefully making the cut, and finally being exhibited.  However, here is the beginning of this particular block making technique.

Tools Used for Cutting Sticky Backed Foam
Foam, Ruller, Compass, Craft Knife

Use Compass to Mark Circles and Cut with Scissors
(Block #1)
Circles Ready for Mounting to a Board
Note:  The school of experience has taught me that one layer of the forms is not high enough.  When drawing a paint roller across one layer, or even two layers, often paint will get onto the mounting block and print onto the fabric.  This is definitely not something one wants. So I always make three layers of foam shapes.  See profile below.
Three Lays of Foam Shapes

Block #2
Three Layers of Thick Stripes
Block #3
Three Layers of Thin Stripes
(Ultimately I needed a fourth block, but that will be addressed later in this series of blog posts about creating printing blocks with craft foam.)

In order to make somewhat permanent, rigid blocks to make printing easy, I cut 3 6" x 9" plywood blocks onto which I affixed the foam shapes.  I attached he first layer of each foam shape to the plywood with Weldbond glue so that the block would withstand multiple washings without coming loose.  The sticky substance on the back of the foam works well for affixing the foam layers together but it is not strong enough to permanently stay on a wood block.
Plywood Block
 Tomorrow I'll show how I used these blocks to audition the colors to use when printing.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2015.  All rights reserved


  1. Great post, Linda! I love forward to reading more...and hopefully, seeing the finish piece that was made with these stamps.

  2. Thanks for sharing this process, Linda! Great tutorial!