New favorite tool: DIY Foam Daubers

In the past, for stenciling I have really loved to use stencil brushes. I’ve also tried a variety of sponges, but was never happy with the delivery of paint on the fabric until I met the DIY foam daubers. I have been so excited with these that I had to share them with you.

foamdaubersLet me show you first how to make them. You will need 1/2 inch soft foam. I found this roll at the local Walmart.

foamdabber1Cut a piece of the foam about 4 inches x 6 inches.

foamdabber2Now fold up the long sides. One side first.

foamdabber3Now the other side.

foamdabber4Then fold in half.

foamdabber5Then add a rubber band to keep it closed.

foamdabber6Now you will hold on to the open ends.

foamdabber7I’ve tried a variety of sponges, but never seem to feel I get enough control over the paint. I apply the paint to a palette which can be as simple as a foam plate. As with any stenciling, less is more. Dip the dauber in the paint and then tap off most of the paint onto the palette. You can always add more paint but you can’t take it away!

daubingpaintHere is the result. I love how the dauber makes it easier to blend the paints. Since I’m working on fabric, I’m using textile paints. In the following piece I used four colors from Jacquard Textile paints earth colors: Neutral Gray, Terre Verte, Raw Sienna and Mars Red.

finishedstencilsampleThanks to Julie B. Booth who introduced me to these daubers in her book, Fabric Printing At Home.

I’ll also be using these foam daubers in another project I’ll post about soon. Do you have a preferred tool you like to use with stenciling?