I’m using this image taken from ‘Derbyshire Black Marble’ here are 3 monoprints that have been produced from the same styrofoam stencil.

These are my first attempts. It’s a fun and easy way to print with your kids.

What you will need:

  1. a ballpoint pen
  2. a sheet of styrofoam ( pizza packaging tray or a takeaway carton will work too)
  3. a bowl of water and a sponge
  4. washable markers
  5. paper or lightweight card


Step 1

First of all you will need your image that you want to print. I have drawn mine onto a piece of paper but you can transfer from a photocopy. I have used an A5 size. A good tip when choosing your image and making your drawing is to keep it simple. If the image is too detailed it can get lost in the print and the colours can also get muddied.

Once you have your drawing completed you are now ready to transfer it onto the styrofoam. The styrofoam needs to be the same size as the paper so you may have to cut it to the right size. Next you can fix the drawing to the foam using masking tape. Just fix it at the top so it flips up. This is enough to hold it in place because once you start drawing you dont want it to move.

Step 2

Now you are ready to start transfering your drawing onto the foam. Press firmly but not too hard or you will make holes on the paper. You can flip the paper up as you go so you can check it is showing on the foam. Once you have finished your outline you now need to draw over the impression that has been made on the foam with a ballpoint pen, this time pressing a little more firmly so you are going into the foam but not all the way through. I found this takes a little bit of practice and doing this slowly with small movements works best.

Step 3

Once you have drawn over your image completely you are now ready to apply the colour to the foam plate with the markers. It is good to experiment with this. First i tried putting a wash of a lighter colour over the whole sheet of styrofoam using an orange marker. Next you need another piece of paper, again the same size as the foam. Use a wet sponge to completely cover the paper. The paper should be damp but not soaking, again you may need to try this a few times to acheive the result you want.

Then place the foam sheet onto the damp paper and gently rub (or use a roller) to transfer the image. Because the pens are water soluble they will tranfer the colours onto the paper. Then peal off to reveal the print! I then coloured in areas of the image on the foam with different bright colours and repeated the process. Remember you will need to carefully line up the paper to the edges of the foam. You could however do this in 1 step rather than putting on a wash first its up to you!

Repeating the colour transfer process with more detail and colour!

Finished print

I hope you like this fun printing method! Maybe you could make a nice card for a neighbour who is self isolating