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Do-it-Yourself Foam Stamps

 

What can you do when your title isn’t quite big enough to make the statement you had in mind?  Or maybe a flower would be the perfect accent in the white space under your photo but nothing in your stash seems like the right fit?  You don’t need to make a run to your local store…you can quickly and easily make your own foam stamps instead!

click to enlarge

SUPPLIES:

• Craft foam by the sheet (color does not matter)
• Die cuts
• Adhesive dots or Terrifically Tacky Tape
• Paint or ink

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES FOR CREATING TEXTURE:

• Felt
• Cork board
• Aluminum foil
• Fabric

   

INSTRUCTIONS

   

    

Select your favorite die cut and simply cut your shape or letters out of craft foam.  Check out ScrapVillage's wide selection of shapes and alphabets from QuicKutz.  Don't have die cuts?  Sketch and cut out your own design or try using pre-cut foamies.  If you're handy with a craft knife, try printing out and carving your favorite dingbats.  Most printers will struggle if you send a sheet of foam through it so print on regular paper first, then trace or transfer it to your foam.  For simple silhouettes, trace common household objects or a child's favorite toy directly onto the foam and trim with a sharp pair of scissors.

   
If you prefer a textured look, cut letters and shapes out of felt or cork board.  Using aluminum foil adds a funky, crinkly texture to your design.  Be sure to follow the instructions when using a die cut tool with specialty fabric.  I use a roller-style die cut machine on heavier materials.

   

Mount your foam shape onto a "block" of larger craft foam.  Mounting your die cut makes it easier to position your stamp.  Cut a rectangle or square shape from your craft foam scraps.  Use adhesive dots or Tacky Tape to attach your shape to the block.  Also feel free to experiment with different mounting materials.  I have found that you can mount foam to acrylic blocks with a thin layer of glue.  (Wait until the glue dries tacky.)  IMPORTANT TIP: Remember to mount shapes backwards -- especially when stamping letters!  This way, your image will be oriented correctly when you stamp.

   

To stamp, brush on a thin (or goopy!) layer of paint and press gently to your surface.  Pressing too hard will cause your stamp to slide.  A foam or large bristle brush will cover smaller stamps in a single swipe.  Use a small brush to add details or spots of contrasting color to your image.  For a subtle watermarked look, dab stamping ink all over the stamp.  Just remember to press the stamp firmly onto the paper because ink tends to soak further into the foam than paint.

You can wash off your homemade foam stamps and re-use them.  Don't want to bother with cleaning?  Toss them into the garbage and start fresh on your next project.

To create unique and personalized projects, you can use homemade foam stamps on surfaces such as textured cardstock, patterned paper, metal and plastic.  Involve your kids and create custom-stamped wrapping paper with a matching homemade tag.  Stamp a funky flower border around a corkboard to hang in a dorm room.  Or, stamp stars onto a lampshade to cast magical shadows in a child's room. 

Make your own accents, experiment with shapes and textures -- and, most importantly, have fun.

-- Rachael Emmertson (a.k.a. Rachael)

 

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