Introduction: Making Custom Patterns and Textures With Foam Rollers

About: Huur... derrr.

Custom cut foam rollers are a great way to create repeating patterns and textures. They can be used with text to roll messages on walls or paper. They are easy to make and unique.

Here I'll make a puzzle piece pattern that can be rolled out with a wide variety of paints.

Step 1: Layout

I use Foam Pro brand rollers because they are completely glued to the inner tube. Other brands are glued in strips or dots and tend to fall apart when they are cut.

I started by planning out the pattern on paper. When I had the design worked out I transferred it to the roller.

I started by dividing the roller long way into four sections. I divided those sections into four sections in the other direction, creating 16 squares. First, I marked out where the lines would intersect. I made sure to alternate the direction each cross curved. Next I marked out the nubs and holes that made the pieces lock together. Finally, I went over the whole pattern to make sure all the curves were smooth. By drawing the pattern in steps it helps insure that the pattern is even.

Step 2: Cutting

I used a hobby knife to cut all the lines. I cut each line completely to prevent confusion. When all the lines were cut I carefully removed alternating puzzle pieces until there was a checkerboard of puzzle pieces.

Step 3: Clean Up

Now I cleaned up the pattern. I used a hobby knife, tiny scissors and a magnifying glass to smooth all the curves and remove any flaws in the pattern.

Step 4: Paint!

I used some left over red paint to test out the roller. It gives an effect similar to sponge painting. The pieces can be hand colored to get multi-colored patterns. Varying the pressure you use when you roll it will also give different results.

I've used foam rollers to create patterns, textures and text. Words can be carved into the foam (backwards, of course!) and rolled onto walls or paper to spread your message. Narrow rollers can be used to create room borders and other detail effects. Make textiles, wrapping paper, invitations and announcements, T shirts and other fun projects. Grab a foam roller and a hobby knife and see what you can come up with.