Several years ago when we were cleaning out my parents house and dividing up some of the Christmas decorations, I came across a tea towel on a dowel rod project that I had made in 4th grade art class to give to Mom for Christmas. (I know it was 4th grade because that was the year I was obsessed with Koala bears, or in this case, Koala bears wearing clothes and decorating Christmas trees.) I made the tea towel into a sachet by making it into a little pillow stuffed with needles from that year's Christmas tree. Looking at it again this year I admired it as a really cheap and easy printing project. Here's what you need to do it:
Salvaged styrofoam tray from a supermarket meat product
ball point pen (or some kind of pointy stylus)
some kind of water soluble paint
brush or brayer to spread paint
paper or cloth to print on
optional: brayer or rolling pin to press block print on paper or cloth
Step 1: Prepare the block
Save the styrofoam trays from your favorite meat products bought at the supermarket and wash them throroughly. Cut off the rounded corners so that you have a flat styrofoam surface.
Step 2: Prepare your print design
Using a pen/stylus, "carve" your design into the printing surface.
I prepared a line drawing on tracing paper to transfer onto the styrofoam. Alternately of course you can just wing it and draw/carve directly on the printing surface.
Step 3: Make a print
Spread your paint over the printing surface. You can use a brayer for this to get a consistent coating - I couldn't find mine though, so I just used a large paintbrush to distribute a thin coat.
Lay paper gently over the top and gently rub fingers over the top. Using a brayer for this will give you more even pressure. A rolling pin would also work for that. However, I just used my fingers for this.
Gently peel off the paper and voila! Block print.