Styrofoam Prints

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This is a form of relief printing which makes use of readily available styrofoam meat and vegetable trays.

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

What You Need:

  • Paint or ink.
  • Styrofoam meat trays.
  • Scissors.
  • Pencils.
  • Paper.
  • Soft rubber brayers (printing rollers that can be found at art supply stores). You can substitute small paint rollers, or a spoon if rollers aren’t readily available.
  • An old cookie tray or a piece of plexiglass to roll the ink out on.

What You Do:

First cut the edges off of the trays so that you have a flat surface to work on.

Next, draw an image onto the tray using a pencil.

Remember, your printed image will appear in reverse!

Follow the printing with a brayer directions. (Click for instructions).

You could instead use a paintbrush to cover over the styrofoam with paint or ink, lay the paper over top, press lightly and voila.

Repeat until you have an edition of prints.

Styrofoam printmakingstyrofoam printmaking

Styrofoam printmaking

Styrofoam printmaking styrofoam printmaking

One step further:

  • Instead of drawing into the styrofoam, you could press down areas you don’t want printed.
  • You could also cut out sections of the styrofoam, ink them up separately, pop the pieces back together and print.
  • Substitute corrugated cardboard for styrofoam.
  • Use a carpenter’s nail to scratch out designs on the cardboard.