Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Faux Wood Carved Stamping Blocks

I'm not sure if you're familiar with wood carved stamping blocks or not but they are one of the earliest forms of printing or stamping and have been around for thousands of years. These block images range from highly intricate, detailed designs to others more folk art in nature.

Well, today we're going to be making our own Faux Wood Stamping Blocks out of a material that most of us come in contact with virtually every day and don't often recycle...

Styrofoam Trays!

Yes, theses handy dandy little trays transport everything from meat, veggies even sweet treats like doughnuts!

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 005

Now most people just give these puppies a toss without giving them a second thought. I'm guilty of that myself at times...I mean you can only keep so much stuff around. So I have been trying to come up with different ways to use them.

Here are just a few uses I've come up with....

*The main reason I like to keep them is they make WONDERFUL paint/medium trays.... You can pour out all sorts of things in them and since they have those nice little lips that keeps everything in place and it all stays neat and tidy where it belongs.

*They can also be used for light weight collage foundations.

*Cut the centers out and use them for a dimensional frame.

*Adhere a mosaic design to the inside.

*Use them as a light weight clock base.

*Instead of Foam Core Board use the styrofoam trays. If needed glue paper to one or both sides for a similar effect.

*I have also started cutting them up and using them in place of double stick foam tape! Just use your favorite adhesive and you're set to go!


I think the best use of these trays is today's project...

**Faux Wood Carved Stamping Blocks**

NOTE: Before we begin...remember when stamped these images will reveal a negative image. The lines you carve in the foam with be white areas when the image is stamped. Also, if you are carving a word remember to carve it backwards so it will come out correctly once stamped. One more point I wanted to bring up is since these are negative image stamps you may or may not want to decorate the edges around the main image. You will see what I'm talking about below.
**Elaine asked a good question... Do you really carve the foam or is it being compressed into the tray. It is in fact being compressed into the tray ~ you simply "draw" on the foam to create lines and if you need a larger area "carved away" you can either scoop away the excess foam or compress it as well. I have done both with great success. The drawing part works the best and no mess!


Foam Trays

Carving Instrument...pen, pencil, stylus, popsicle stick, etc.




Couldn't be easier...just carve image. You can do so by carving your image free hand as I did with the following two stamps... Notice how I cut closely around the first image to give it an outlined look. While the second image I trimmed for a geometric shape without adding further details.

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 002

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 003


If you don't think you're up for any free-hand carving, you could stamp an image onto the foam tray...

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 007

And begin can see here where I have started adding the first set of petals on the sunflower....

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 008

and here is what it looks like after it was carved... Notice the extra texture I added on the entire piece of foam. This will highlight the main image and add interested to the rest of the block.

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 009

Now ink it up and stamp till you drop!

It works with all sorts of inks and even acrylic paint if used sparingly.

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 011

Faux Wood Carved Stamps 013

And there you go...

You've made your first

"Faux" Wood Carved Stamping Blocks!

Fun huh?

And not nearly as hard as you thought it would be I'll bet!


  1. Absolutely amazing!!!

    I love this so much and your images are beautiful!!!



  2. What a wonderful technique-thank you so much for sharing this. I am going to try this. I have been wanting to carve my own stamps but just didn't want the expense involved-now I can do it, thanks to you!!!
    Love your blog!

  3. Yet another fantastic technique. You are great, thanks.

  4. OMG!!!!! Roni--you have totally opened my eyes!!! I've always wondered about stamp carving, but figured I'd have to invest in all sorts of carving tools--THIS IS AMAZING!!!!! I wanna do it NOW!!!! Too bad work's in the way. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this with us!!!

  5. Hi Roni -

    This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Its nice to know I can do it with styrofoam trays. I have a question though, are you really carving (cutting away) or is the foam actually being depressed when you press on it?


  6. AWESOME!! Since we are in the recycling mode..this is such a wonderful idea. I do re-use stryofoam comtainers..but not like this! I just hope I can make it "some-what" look like yours do! Thanks so much for a great idea.

  7. Love your blog, Roni. You have great stuff. Thanks for sharing :)

    Love this use for foam trays. I also use them for stamp cleaning. I take an old facecloth and fold it into the tray and add enough stamp cleaner to make it juicy. Then I just stamp onto the cloth to clean great and when the rag is "full" I rinse it out and re-use it. No waste that way.

  8. Wow Roni, I've seen this kind of stamp before but I've never seen anyone use a rubber stamp as a start for the design. That is very clever! The sunflower turned out fantastic!

  9. Beautiful -- I must give this one a try! I really must say that I like your negative image more than the original stamp.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!