How to Print Thank you Notes Using Foam Trays

With the holidays approaching, make these easy thank you cards for your child to send after receiving a gift.

Materials Needed:

  • Styrofoam meat trays
  • Scissors
  • Copy paper & Pencil for drawing ideas
  • Dull pencil or chop stick
  • Block printing ink ideal or *tempera paint
  • Brayer or roller
  • Baking tray (metal or glass) or flat plastic lid
  • Paper or blank cards
  • Large spoon
  • Table covering or newspaper
  • Damp rag

*If tempera paint is used, dish soap & flour may be required.


  • Cut off edges of meat tray to create flat piece of foam


  • Trace foam piece onto copy paper. Draw simple line picture. Stay inside drawn rectangle.
  • Using a dull pencil or chop stick, copy drawing onto foam or place drawing on top of foam & trace lines with firm pressure Remember: All letters & numbers must be traced or drawn onto foam backwards
  • For very young children skip first step & draw directly onto foam
  • Double check all lines are deep, not shallow
  • Add small amount of ink or *paint to tray & roll brayer over ink several times to create an even coating Tip: Keep damp towel near by to clean ink off fingers
  • Roll brayer over foam several times in multiple directions until covered
  • Flip over foam onto printing surface (paper or card) & press firmly
  • Flip over paper & tray together & rub paper side with back of spoon
  • Peel off paper and let dry

   * If tempera paint is not thick & sticky, add small amount of dish soap & flour.

Cloud 9 Kid Connection:

Print making invites children to experiment with a new tool called a brayer. Children enjoy experimenting with new gadgets & the repetitive process of print making. Don’t expect clean & perfect prints with this process. Try printing over other drawings or paintings for varied effects.