I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: easy DIY projects are the best ones! No major artistic skills required, just an open mind and a good old creative itch. Making your own stamps is the perfect example of this kind of DIY project. The result looks super crafty, but the process is blissfully easy. Minimal frustration-potential, maximum output. Because how cool is it to use personalised stamps on your greeting cards and gift-wrappings? (Yes, my definition of cool suffers from a slight craft-geek-bias, but as you are taking the time to read this I am guessing yours might as well ;) ).
I was introduced to this fun craft idea through a cozy workshop at Hello Alice, a creative hotspot near my new home. (Imagine my surprise and delight when discovering these urban hipster-worthy vibes right here on the countryside! ;) ) Together with my sisters-in-law I spent a lovely evening chit-chatting, eating cookies and carving my very first stamps. Perfect way to spend a random Monday evening! No surprise: I went for a botanical theme, starting with an easy cactus shape, building all the way up to my monstera-masterpiece. With little effort and a lot of fun, I am now ready to spread the leaf-love, one stamp at a time!
What do you need:
- A set of small lino carving knives, varying in width (depending on how fine you want to work)
- A sheet of flexible linoleum
- Tracing paper
- A pencil
- A coin
- Little blocks of wood to attach your stamp to
- Option: make your life easy and just order an all-in-one start-to-stamp set, including all of the above.
How you’ll go about it:
- Find and print out a nice image (tip: go easy on yourself an choose an image without a lot of fine details).
- Copy the image using pencil and tracing paper (hurray for no drawing skills required!)
- Lay the tracing paper with your design on the linoleum sheet, with the pencil drawing facing down.
- Scratch over the design with a coin, effectively transferring it on the linoleum.
- Cut out the design with your knives. Rule of thumb: areas you leave untouched will be black (or whatever the colour of your ink will be), what you cut away will be white. Make sure to carve out the spaces in between black lines deep enough so no ink will touch the paper when you stamp.
- Tip: start by tracing the image with a fine knife, then carve out the open spaces with a wider knife.
- Last step: glue the carved-out linoleum shape on a wooden block, to create an easy grip.
- Let dry and you are ready to get stamping!
Want a little extra guidance or some company while creating your stamps? Check out Alice’s page for more workshop dates.