How to Make Foam Stamps Cheaply

Stamping doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to create beautiful images.
Stamping doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to create beautiful images.


Stamping is an easy way to add color and decoration to scrap booking and craft projects. Using stamps to make art and prints is done with applying ink or paint to a carved surface, that is then applied to paper or fabric. Of course, multiple methods for stamping exist like block printing, linocuts, screen printing, or even pre-made rubber stamps.

Unfortunately, some methods of custom printing and stamping can have a steep learning curve and be expensive to start. Rubber stamps have the advantage of being very easy to use and get. Using foam stamps takes soft craft foam, applied with ink or paint, to create a stamped print.

Foam stamping can be an excellent way to create custom stamps that is both easy to access materials and affordable. Great for scrap booking, wedding invites, stationary, even kids crafts.

Anyone who is looking to try out a printing method, without spending a lot on start up, can use foam stamps to try their hand at an easy stamping technique. Someone who is just looking to try a fun and simple craft for themselves, or to try with their children can do this as well.


  • Paper. Also scrap paper. (Experiment here. Watercolor, construction paper, rice paper all may have different and fun results.)
  • Cardboard. (Used to mount foam onto, to keep paint off hands.)
  • Ink or acrylic paint.
  • Paint brush.
  • Paper plate or cup. (For paint and ink.)
  • Soft graphite pencil.
  • Tracing paper, or wax paper can be used.
  • Scissors and X-acto knife.
Idea I used for my bookplate print.
Idea I used for my bookplate print.

Drawing Your Idea

  • Consider the size of the foam you have and work your design around the size of your foam sheet.
  • Begin by drawing the outline and details of your image. (The foam is soft and can be lightly carved)
  • Once you have your image trace with tracing paper or wax paper. Use a soft pencil that will transfer graphite well.

Consider that the image will look reversed on the stamp. Just plan your original sketch the way you want your prints to look.

Stamp Buddy Poll

Who would you stamp with?

  • Myself
  • A Friend
  • Kids
  • A Classroom

See results without voting

I traced directly over the original sketch, then rubbed the tracing face down over the foam.
I traced directly over the original sketch, then rubbed the tracing face down over the foam.

Transfer Image and Cut

  • Lay the tracing face down over your foam. Gently rub with the pencil or fingernails. The foam is soft and rubbing too hard can scratch the surface.
  • You may have to go back over some of the lines with pencil. It is a good idea to tape one edge of the paper, in order to hinge back and forth.
  • Cut out the surrounding outline with scissors. Fine corners and inner details can be cut with an X-acto knife.
Finished stamp for my bookplate.
Finished stamp for my bookplate.

Finishing Details

Here is where you can get really creative. Adding texture or lines to your stamp can be a really nice way to add interest to your stamp.

Your stamp doesn’t need to be very elaborate. Adding lines can be as easy as running an X-acto knife over the stamp, or a fork. Anything with odd or rough edges can add interesting patterns to your image.

  • Once finished mount the stamp to a scrap piece of cardboard. This give you a layer to grab that’s not covered in paint.

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About Aude Shattuck : Author of this Article

Aude Shattuck is an illustrator and designer working out of West Michigan.
All images that are used in her items painted or drawn personally. A variety of methods are used to create finished products. A number of items are prints and stylizations based off her original paintings and drawings, such as stickers. Other items involving textiles, as well as note cards, are all created through screen printing processes.