It never rains in Southern California but it pours. So says the song. Well, it rarely rains in SoCal and this weekend it is pouring. We need the rain but maybe not all at once next time?
I happen to love rain, and I really love rainy day crafts. This is a craft I made up for a kids’ workshop at Party Arty!, the art studio my sister & I had for a while. It’s super easy & kid friendly because it doesn’t require any cutting. The hardest part is remembering that everything you do to the stamp must be in reverse so it prints properly.  It helps to pre-sketch or print your design in reverse and then copy or trace it onto the stamp. Then your brain doesn’t need to try to reverse the image, just copy what’s on your sketch.

All you need is “fun foam” or craft foam (preferably the self stick kind. That saves you the step of gluing the foam to the base and the time it takes for the glue to dry), and a rigid base. We happened to have some nice wood squares about 3″x3″ and one inch thick. Anything about that size that is smooth and rigid will do.

Ok, so attach the foam to the block. If gluing, allow to dry. Then with a pencil or a dried up ballpoint pen, draw your design into the foam. Wherever you draw, the foam will compress leaving a permanent groove. You can see in the example that I traced along the design for a sort of negative effect. Notice how it printed red where I didn’t draw and the design is the area that didn’t receive paint. It’s much easier than drawing on all of the negative space and looks pretty cool. Be very careful drawing the design because once the foam is mashed down by the pencil, it will not bounce back. There’s no erasing with this project.

Day of the Dead Faux Linocut home made stamp

Day of the Dead Faux Linocut stamp

When you are happy with your design, apply a light layer of craft paint to the entire surface with a wide brush then carefully lay your paper or card onto the stamp. Gotta get it right the first time because once it’s on there is no adjustment. Smooth it out all over with the back of a spoon, a popsicle stick or perhaps one of those fake credit cards they are always mailing out. Gently, because you are not trying to squeeze out the excess paint, you’re just making sure the entire surface of the paper gets printed. Now lift the paper and be amazed with the awesomeness of your print. This is an example of my favorite kind of craft; one that is so simple and yet you could get very creative and make it super complex and elaborate. And they are reusable, just wipe clean after stamping!

Day of the Dead Faux Linocut Print

Day of the Dead Faux Linocut Print

With these stamps, you can easily make someone a very special birthday card, one that they will treasure forever. I used this stamp to make an anniversary card for my dear husband, Greg and he keeps it on his shelf.