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Today I decided to use Ewan’s nap time to get crafty. Life has been a little hectic around here recently and few things help me feel more like myself than crafting and taking photos so that’s exactly what I did.  This is probably one of the more exciting DIY projects I have done in a while because it’s cheap, easy and the possibilities are endless.

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The supplies for this are very inexpensive coming to a total of less than €10! I bought a scalpol, roller, block printing ink, safeprint foam and coloured card. I used a piece of glass I had from a second hand frame but you could use a glossy magazine or a shiny surface.

I came across this video my local craft shop, Vibes and Scribes, had done a few years ago about printing using foam sheets and it looked like it would be worth a go (and importantly simple enough to get done in a nap time!). As another little side note the person who served me when I went to get the bits and pieces was the same guy from the video!

The only printing I had done in the past was lino printing at school. I wasn’t keen on the process and I took a few chunks out of my finger trying to dig into the lino. Their video tells you all about printing with foam in full but I’ll try and give you a flavour of it and let you know where I went wrong!

I decided to make a stamp of an opened orange so I cut around the shape of the glass with the scalpol. Instead of dragging the knife around it I made a series of little dots and this helped make the circle much more accurately.

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Once I had my lovely circle I drew the orange segments on the foam with a pen. This made indents in the foam. The indents mean that  those parts won’t get ink on them and so when you lift the stamp the indented parts stay the same colour as the page. (I forgot to photograph this but you’ll see what I mean in a minute. For the moment the power of words will have to do:)

Next up rolled the ink. The instruction was you roll it until it looks like corduroy pants.

I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for but after a less than a minute rolling this happened which I presume is the desired effect because it worked a treat. You roll up and down over and back and hey presto corduroy pants style ink…

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Next you roll the ink onto the foam so that it’s nice and even. This is where I made a few mistakes. I was a bit heavy handed with the ink and so some turned out a bit blobby. Plus I didn’t wipe the foam before using it again so with ink on top of ink the blobbiness continued! . I also was a bit afraid of putting it down and peeling it up again.  You can see squashed bits below from when I pulled it off at an angle. My tip would be to do it confidently. Place the foam down firmly then turn the paper over and rub the paper with your finger to make sure the ink sticks. When your taking the stamp off just go for it, don’t over think it or go to edge it off like I did!

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Once I got the hang of it it really is easy and fast!

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I got a bit over adventurous and  printed on to some spare tiles. In case your wondering I didn’t use tile paint and used the same ink and it probably won’t stick but I’ll let you know tomorrow if it dried or not! (UPDATE: Using block ink on tiles doesn’t work at all. You need tile paint. Ah well, it looked good for 24 hours:)

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In true Blue Peter style here is one I made earlier.  I made the flamingo before the orange but I didn’t photograph the steps. I used the same process as the orange except to make the foam shape I traced a printed image using baking paper.  Tracing with baking paper  made me feel 10 again but my drawing isn’t that good to attempt drawing a flamingo free hand and expecting people to recognise it! Again I used pen to make the indents to allow the colour of the paper to come through in parts.

 

The foam is reusable too if you clean them very gently with a wet cloth. As you can see the foam flamingo has suffered an injury during cleaning and is held together with tape! But he ‘s still good and is ready to hobble into action again if needed!

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What do you think? Any more ideas of things that need to be made into prints?

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