Activity: Stamping as a form of printmaking. A quick, cheap, and easy way for all ages to create personal stamps out of wood and foam.
Materials: Variety of sizes, colors, and kinds of paper to stamp on, stamp pads, ¼ to ½ inch foam cut into squares, printing ink or paint, wood bases, foam sheets, glue sticks (may not be needed, if foam has adhesive back), scissors, fancy scissors, hole punches & pencils
Cut wood stamp bases no bigger than 4” no smaller than 2 ½”. (Any type of wood will do, even balsa wood.)
Cut foam into pieces no bigger than 3” no smaller than 1 ½”. Scraps work well too!
Apply printing ink/paint to foam squares and spread into foam to act as stamp pad.
To make a stamp: Choose a wood base and trace the base onto a piece of foam. This shows how big your stamp can be. Keep in mind a printed stamp is a mirror image of your design. (Letters would need to be put on backwards on the stamp to make a correct print.) Cut design out of foam. You can draw a design on the foam, but small details will be hard to cut and may not show up when you use your stamp. Alternately, students can trace over their drawing, pressing hard enough to make indentations in the foam. These indentations will not pick up ink, making their drawn lines the negative part of the stamped image. Glue foam pieces onto level side of wood base, unless they have a foam backing, in which case you can simply remove the backing and adhere the pieces to the wood base.
Note: If students would like to change to a different color of ink, they should dab their stamp face with a wet paper towel/cloth. Immersing in water will cause the foam to come off of its base.
Possible One-Day Lesson Plan:
Lesson Plan based on having students create a stamp that is a personal symbol. Discussing symbols, and how one might characterize or represent themselves in the creation of a small symbol stamp. Using muslin fabric to create personal banners. Each student would get a narrow strip (about 3 inches across) of muslin. This banner would offer the opportunity to interact with their fellow students and collect a print of each student’s symbol. A class banner of symbols may also be created and hung in the classroom or school on a larger piece of fabric.