Hello friends! Today I am sharing a super simple tutorial on making your own primitive foam stamps for ink or acrylic paint. If you would like to carve detailed stamps for more realistic imagery, you can purchase stamp making rubber and tools. However, if you like the look of larger organic or geometric shapes that are great for filling in background layers and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is for you!
This requires only a few supplies, most of which I’m sure you already have.
Stamp-Making Material List:
- Cardboard – sturdy is easier to handle, such as an old shipping box, but anything to adhere the foam to is fine
- Kid’s craft foam – to make this extra easy, get the self adhesive kind! A while ago I purchased a bundle of small sheets and used a 40% off coupon, so a pack that will last forever only cost about $5. You can also find larger single adhesive sheets for $1-2.
- Optional: A tool to draw simple texture and patterns into the craft foam. I used clay sculpting ball tools because I have them handy, though a pen or end of a thin paintbrush would probably work just fine!
And to use your stamps, you will need ink or paint, and a brayer or paint brush.
Step 1 – Cut your foam into shapes
Use your scissors to cut out shapes and designs. You don’t need to get this perfect – these are primitive mark making stamps, so it is allowed to be asymmetrical or random here. Don’t forget, you can also use the “negative” space, the leftover from the bits you cut out!
Step 2 – Peel back the adhesive and arrange your shapes on the cardboard
You can also use glue if you do not have the adhesive type of foam. Just like with the cutting, don’t fret too much about this! It will look better if it is less perfect. Remember that your image will stamp in reverse.
Step 3 – Optional – Draw designs into the foam
Use your tool of choice to draw lines in the foam. These designs will not catch as much paint when you stamp, leaving those areas blank. This is not going to be exact, though you can press deeper for a better chance at the line showing in your image.
And that’s all you need to do to make your stamp! The next steps show you how you can make an impression with acrylic paint.
Step 4 – Load up a brayer with acrylic paint and roll onto stamp
I am using DecoArt Media fluid acrylic here with a small touch of glazing medium. You can use a paint brush and paint directly over your stamp – this will use less paint, but the paint may get in the lines you drew in step 3. If you did not draw lines, then there will be no problem!
Step 5 – Press the stamp to your surface with even pressure
I like using a clean brayer for this step to help with even coverage. Try not to move the stamp once you press it down, or your image will be blurred.
Carefully peel up the stamp, and admire your work! Go ahead and press the image again – you may still have enough paint on the stamp to get another impression, though each subsequent image will be lighter and more distressed looking until you load up with paint again.
If you wish, you can clean up your stamp with a baby wipe, though be careful to not get the cardboard wet or it will deteriorate. You can let the paint dry on the stamp, but know that eventually this will wind up filling in the lines you drew.
Below are some very quick (and very basic!) stamps I made for this tutorial that will come in handy filling in background layers on future art pieces. I hope this lesson has inspired you to make your own stamps! Have fun and I will see you all soon! 🙂