Let’s learn how to make DIY stamps out of a surprising material: styrofoam trays!
Design for Kids: DIY Stamps
Styrofoam meat trays make a great DIY stamp material! They can be etched and then cut into squares to make personalized and simple stamps for kids.
- Styrofoam Tray
- Pencil A slightly dull pencil works best
- Toy wood blocks You can also use a recycled item with a flat bottom like small tin can or small plastic cap/cup
- Tape/Velcro Double sided tape is best
- Ink Pads OR make homemade stamp pad (see below)
- Step One Cut styrofoam tray into squares.
- Step Two Using a pencil, etch designs or letters into squares to create a stamp.
- Step Three Tape or velcro your styrofoam stamp to a wood block or other item to make it easier to hold.
- Step Four Start stamping! If you are using velcro you can replace the stamps as desired with other foam letters. This way you don’t need a separate block for each stamp.
DIY Stamp Pad
If you don’t have ink pads, make your own!
- Mix tempera paint and glue with the following ratio: 3 parts paint, 1 part glue.
- Cut sponges to fit small plastic containers, and mix the paint/glue right in the container to make mini ink pads.
- Cover tightly with a lid to prevent drying out. If they become gooey add a little water to dilute.
- To make a word stamp, place two or more loop stickers on a rectangular wood block. ( if you don’t have rectangles tape two square blocks together).
- Always remember to place the letters of the word you wish to spell on the stamp BACKWARDS!
Johannes Gutenberg. Johannes Gutenberg perfected the printing press in 1450. The printing press is a printing system that uses interchangeable letters AKA movable type to mass produce printed materials like books. In a printing press each letter is set in place to forms words in a frame also known as a chase. Paper is then pressed onto the inked letters. What you have done by making a stamp with interchangeable letters is the same concept. Prior to the invention of the printing press, books were copied by hand and not available to most people. Fast forward to today and the printing press seems antiquated since most printing is done with the help of computers. However the printing press is one of those historic inventions that changed the world, literally, giving everyday people access to books and information.
So now that you’ve made a “mini printing press” what can you do with your DIY stamps?
- Make art prints to frame.
- Personalize a T-shirt. Instead of printing these with ink, use fabric paint.
- Print custom greeting cards
So what did you think? Interested in exploring more design for and with kids? For more design projects for kids try these on for size: