Block printing with Stryrofoam

Okay we all know Stryrofoam is bad…super bad. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research ( found 57 chemical by-products released during the creation of Styrofoam.

Yet Stryrofoam is everywhere, so if we get it in the form of packaging, we might as well reuse it, and keep it out of the trash. So we decided to turn this bad boy into some art! We saved everything Stryofoam for a couple of months to get ready for Creative Reuse Craft Night at the Salem Public Library.

We started by first cutting out the curved parts from the Styrofoam tray so we had a flat piece to work with. Then we traced the outline of the tray onto paper. On the paper we created our design and then added the paper on top of the try so we could trace (using hard pressure) the outline of our design. The pencil (or pen) indents the stryofoam to leave an impression. Then we inked up our brayer, added paint onto the tray and made a print. We worked with tempera paint since it was washable and non-toxic (and was donated), however you might have better luck with printing ink for paper or textiles. The fun part is experimenting and getting a bit messy!

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