Gelli Arts® Printing with DIY Foam Printing Plate Stamps- With Joan Bess Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able TO (SWBAT) design their own foam stamps
  • SWBAT demonstrate the ability to create prints using foam stamps


  • How can students use foam to create their own stamps to print with?


  • Gelli Arts® printing plate
  • Brayer
  • Paper (cardstock, white)
  • Invoart presto foam
  • acrylic paint
  • mark making tool (pencil, pen)


There’s a variety of materials that you can use to make a texture stamp. Here we’re using thin sheets of foam—available at art stores for use as printmaking plates. It cuts easily with scissors or a craft knife—and drawing into it with a pen, pencil, stylus or other pointed tool gives you endless design opportunities! 

Decorative-edge scissors cut smoothly through the thin foam material—and hand punches work well too! If you have a die-cutting machine (like a Cuttlebug, etc.)—you can run it through with an embossing folder and create a very cool embossed surface on the foam. Then cut your own shapes from the embossed printing foam! 

Instead of the foam sheets for printmaking, you can also use styrofoam plates or repurposed clean food trays. 

Incise lines into the pieces with a pencil, ballpoint pen or stylus. Cut or punch out some small areas. The design can be simple shapes, or as intricate as you want. You can plan your design beforehand, or just wing it! 

As you make your marks in the foam, keep in mind that what you see is what you get. So that means you can write words in the foam too! No need to figure out reversals—how perfect for adding a sentiment to your cards! 

The prints in the video are made on the 5″x7″ Gelli® plate  —using Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic paints and Pebeo Studio Acrylics

(You can use the 5″ x 5″ Gelli® plate and our new Gelli Arts® premium acrylic paints in your kit).

Strathmore has a new line of printmaking paper and they’ve made it into beautiful card and envelope sets. The cards and envelopes shown here are all printed on Strathmore Printmaking Cards.

Making the Foam Plate Stamps

  • Incise lines into the pieces with your pointed tool
  • Cut or punch some small areas
  • The design can be simple shapes or as intricate as you want
  • What you see is what you get, no reversals! You can write words, too!

The following steps describe the process shown in the video for creating the gel printed card: 

  1. Roll a thin layer of acrylic paint onto the Gelli® plate with a brayer 
  2. Press a texture tool (like bubble wrap) into the paint 
  3. Cover with your card and pull a print 
  4. Wipe the plate clean (not essential—but makes a nice clean print) 
  5. Roll a layer of a contrasting color onto the plate with a brayer 
  6. Place your foam stamps on the painted plate 
  7. Cover with thin paper (such as deli paper)—to press the stamps into the paint and remove the paint from the plate around the stamps 
  8. Remove the cover paper and remove the foam stamps 
  9. Place your printed card on the Gelli® plate to print a second layer 
  10. Rub to transfer the paint and pull your print—the second layer on your card

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