How To: Foam Stamps

I vaguely remember making foam stamps years ago and I was not happy with the results. However, after more experimenting I think I may have a new love.

Working on fabric is a bit different than stamping on paper. Also, if you have a electronic cutter, you can also cut some of these stamps out with it. I’ll give the Brother ScanNCut settings later in the post.

If you’d like to see me demo these foam stamps, I appeared on WEHT Local Lifestyles this morning. Here is a link to the video.

I think of these stamps as giving an “organic” print. If you are looking for perfect, these may not be what you want. However, some of my suggestions will help to get a good print.

Here is what you will need:

If you want to print on fabric I suggest the following:

Let’s get started. Gather thick foam, adhesive-backed foam, and cardboard.

Cut the thick foam and cardboard to size and glue together.

Now you’re ready to cut your design and add to the stamp base. This foam is real easy to cut. Since the adhesive-backed foam has paper on it, you can draw your design on the backing and cut it. Or like I do, just cut and add to your base. For these stamps, they do best with simple designs.

If you have a ScanNCut you can scan your drawings into the cutter, and use thin foam (without adhesive). Because there is no adhesive to the back of your design, you need to glue the design to the cardboard. Here are my settings: Deep Cut Blade 8, Speed 1, Pressure 7. Please do a test cut before you cut out the design. You might even start with less pressure and less blade so you don’t end up cutting up your mat. I could not get the adhesive-backed foam to work in my cutter.

When I made these stamps, I added the thick foam last. It’s really easier to make the stamp bases first, but either works.

For stamping on paper it is important to work on a foam stamp pad. Even an old mouse pad will work. This one is great with all of the lines on it (link above).

Once the glue dried, the stamps were ready to take on a test drive on paper. Add ink and stamp.

Here are the first images for these stamps.

A couple cards

Now let’s talk about printing on fabric. First you need a good printing surface. I cover mine with fabric that I can take off and wash when done.

I’ve tried using a brayer or a foam brush to spread a light film of fabric paint on the stamps. It really didn’t work well for me. I found this great stuff called Cut and Dry stamp pad foam (link above)¬† where you add your own paint. It works much like a stamp pad. Add some fabric paint with either a brayer or a foam brush and you’re ready to stamp.

Here is one of the fabric pieces.

I also tried a different substrate. Instead of the foam and cardboard, I used Grafix clear craft plastic .007 thickness. I bought these for stencils, but they are too rigid. What is nice about using this plastic is you can see where you place the stamps on the paper or fabric. What is not nice about them is they are hard to handle.

I think I’d like a thicker plastic so it would be easier to hold on to. Adding a handle would help. Also, it might be good to use a thicker foam to prevent smudging.

Here are my tips for getting a clean image:

  1. Use a light touch when using the stamp pads.
  2. Smaller stamps seem to work better and are easier to control.
  3. Simpler designs work best.
  4. A thicker foam might even work better than what I used. I’ll try that in the future.
  5. Accept that you won’t have “perfect” images every time.

If you’ve made foam stamps, I’d love to hear your suggestions.