Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tutorial- Hand-carved rubber stamps

No drawing skills required!

I used this simple (yes, simple) technique to make a rubber stamp of Sprite! It's a good likeness, although if the hair went in her eyes, that would be even better. No matter how I cut it, that kid's hair is always in her eyes.

She loves having a stamp of herself!

Speedball Speedy Carve block (Hobby Lobby, Dharma Trading Co.)
Speedy carve tool set
bone folder or ruler
pencil, paper, eraser
ink pad
A small cutting mat, or other surface to cut on
small, flat wood shapes (I used rectangles and circles)

First, make a small drawing of your stamp in pencil.  Make the lines dark, because you are going to transfer them onto the Speedy-Carve block.  If you aren't up for drawing, print out a small image, and trace over the lines with pencil.

I'll do an ice cream cone for this example.

Cut a section of the Speedy-carve block just a tad larger than your drawing.  Lay the block on top of your drawing, making sure it is centered and completely covering the drawing.

Carefully flip the whole thing over, making sure not to let the paper move.

Use the bone folder to run the paper, so the pencil lines transfer to the block.

Lift the paper to see your design.

Now it's time to carve.  Remember, you will be making a negative, so you will be carving the pink areas out and leaving the pencil areas.  The area carved out will not stamp!

Start by carving an outline of your image. No need to go too deep.

Continue to carve out the pink areas, and leave the pencil areas. Don't be discouraged. It often stamps better than it looks and you may be pleasantly surprised.

When you think you're done, stamp the image a few times to see if you missed any spots.

Decide if you want to leave the negative area around the stamp or not. I left it with Sprite's stamp because I liked the way it looked, but I am going to remove it for the ice cream cone.  Just cut around it with the blade tip.

There we go.

Stamp it a few times to check that you got all the excess off.

Next, stamp it once (perfectly) on a wood piece.  Let the ink dry all the way before handling so it doesn't smudge.

Turn the wood piece over and glue the stamp onto it.

There they are, drying nicely while Sprite naps.  She'll be excited to find them waiting for her when she wakes up!

I can't wait to make a million more!


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