Monday, February 27, 2012

Styrofoam Rainbow Prints

We've been busy creating with rainbows lately! C loves drawing rainbows and knows the color order of them well too.  Over this past week we decided to create Styrofoam Rainbow Prints.  Pretty Fun and colorful. Keep reading to find out how we made them.

To create Styrofoam Rainbow Prints you'll need:

styrofoam trays
a dull pencil
tempera or acrylic paint in rainbow colors
paint brushes (foam brushes would work great for this!)

First,  cut the edges of your styrofoam tray off to form a flat piece of foam.  Then, you can either pre-plan your drawing and transfer to the foam or draw directly on the styrofoam with a dull pencil.  Press into the foam with the pencil to make an impression, but not so hard that you create a hole in the foam.  My daughter created these drawings pretty quickly....your child may spend more time.  (Remember words will be backwards.)

Then, I put out red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet tempera paint with a brush for each color. You could use acrylic paint too.  C then brushed a strip of each rainbow color across her foam drawing.
Try to use a thinner layer of paint or the print will not come out very well. ***A foam paint brush would work really well for this!

Here is how the paint should look.  C's first print did not come out because she had too much paint, but the great thing about printmaking is that you can create multiple pictures if you mess up.

After you have the paint on the styrofoam tray,  take a piece of paper and put it over the painted tray.  Then take your hands and rub over the paper with some pressure so the paint will transfer to create a print.

As you can see, we created many many styrofoam Rainbow Prints. This is the beauty of printmaking and  it is very addicting. I think they are just LOVELY!

What Rainbow projects have you been working on with children?

***Check out our Shamrock Apple Prints and Glue Prints for some more Printmaking Fun.


  1. I love print making with my girls, we haven't tried it with the styrofoam trays yet. Do you reuse yours from groceries or do you buy new ones?
    Love the rainbow colors :)

    1. Thanks Aleacia! We reuse our styrofoam trays...usually from veggies. Don't want to take chances with the bacteria from meat.

  2. These turned out beautiful!! Love them:)

  3. I have a couple of styrofoam trays and I was wondering what I could do with them...I think I will try this with my daughter, they look fantastic.

    1. Styrofoam trays are always great to have on hand. Hope you have fun with your daughter.

  4. You come up with the most creative ideas!

  5. A great idea!I love it!Thanks!I´ll do it with my children.
    Teresa Rebelo

  6. we have done a lot of print making with styrofoam trays - I love your rainbow colours - will be offering that opportunity soon - Thanks

  7. These are awsome. I am wondering if my son is too young to make these. He is almost 3. Maybe I could help him draw on the stryofoam something he chooses and then let him do the printing. A collaborative effort. : ) thanks for the idea and sharing your creativity. KACI

  8. Love these too!! OK, I will stop my commenting frenzy now :) I love to do these kinds of projects with my daughter (only child, age 3) at home. I recently had the idea to host "art in the park" playdates at local parks where I can lead my daughter and her friends in activities like these--this is why I'm "stalking" your blog tonight!!

    Keep up the good work, Mama :)

  9. Back again to share that we tried this with acrylic paint to make a print on a t-shirt. Took some trial and error (our paint dried too quickly for some reason) but the end result was very cool. Acrylic paint will be permanent on fabric if you heat set it with an iron (use another piece of fabric in between so paint doesn't melt onto the iron).


  10. I did this today! However, the craft foam was a much easier medium for use. Here is our attempt at this wonderful print making.