today i learned to my great suprise (and almost embarrassment) that i’d won two of the sms giveaways that i’d entered earlier this week! i don’t think that i entered more than maybe a dozen or so (and, of course, i only put my name in the drawing for things i really wanted). so imagine my surprise when my name was one drawn from 396 names at soduel and from 299 entries at the princess and the monkey! can you guess which thing i chose from lisa’s shop for my prize? (it was difficult to choose just one thing!) i can’t wait to see what sonja puts together in her surprise package — i love surprises! i’m overflowing with joy from the generosity of these two crafty bloggers and my unexpected luck and i’d like to pay it forward, so here is a little tutorial for all of you from little old me.
Last week at the library I hosted the annual Nifty Thrifty Gifty program where I come up with a bunch of different kid-friendly-yet-cool craft projects that the participants could (theoretically) give as gifts. My personal favorite project of the day was the styrofoam block printing that we’d done last summer*, but this time with a slightly different twist.
To make the cards featured above, you will need:
styrofoam dinner plate
block printing ink
Step 1: (this part is for grown-ups only. the rest can be done by a kid.) cut off the curved edges of the plate so that you’re left with a flat styrofoam circle. the shape of your circle will be the shape of your final ornament. Trim the circle to make it more round if need be. Make sure that the circle will fit onto your cardstock card.
Step 2: draw your ornament design onto the styrofoam with the pencil (or whatever not-too-sharp instrument you have lying around). Make sure that you press hard enough to make an indentation, but not so hard that you poke through the other side (although a few holes aren’t really a big deal).
Step 3: put some ink on another paper plate. use a little more ink than shown here.
Step 4: spread the ink over the plate with the brayer, rolling it over and over in different directions until the ink is evenly spread and there’s a nice even coat of ink on the brayer (that’s the part you’ll actually be using).
Step 5: roll the inked brayer over your carved styrofoam ornament surface.
the reason that block printing inks work better than paint is because they’re thicker and don’t seep down into the cracks you so carefully carved a moment ago.
Step 6: place your image, ink-side-down, on top of your card (i just folded a piece of standard cardstock in half) and press evenly, all over the backside. it helps to do this on a solid flat surface (i.e. not carpet) if you want a smooth print.
step 7: slowly, carefully peel the “block” away from the card to reveal your design!
this print looks like i could have maybe used a bit more ink. but i sort of like the rustic look.
step 8: repeat to create as many cards as you want! allow the images to dry, then add a cap and string using a marker and your cards are finished!
*this idea was originally inspired by a project posted on glittergoods, but since i was planning the craft for about 150 kids (not all at one location) i couldn’t afford fancy styrofoam art sheets, so i came up with styrofoam plates and they worked just fine. (except if they’re too glossy, sometimes the ink acts a little funny when transferring to the paper, but … that just adds to the handmade look, right?)