Stamp Carving

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Have you tried carving your own rubber stamps?  With the right tools, and a little patience, you can turn your artwork into your own custom stamps to use in your crafting!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

–OR–

For Printing with Ink, and a Brayer:

To begin your stamp carving, use a pencil to draw, or trace a design for your stamp.  I suggest keeping your design simple, and your lines fairly bold on your first stamp, until you get the hang of carving.  Remember, what is black on your design you will not carve, what is white you carve away.  When you’re done drawing, go over your lines with the pencil, and make sure you get a good, black lead line, so it will transfer well.

Flip paper over, so your pencil drawing is against the rubber, and gently rub the back of the image with your paper creaser to transfer the graphite to the surface of the rubber.

Remove your paper, and you’ll have a mirror image of your design transferred to the rubber.

Use your X-Acto knife to trim the excess rubber from around your design.

Fit your carving tool with the smallest, V-shaped tip.  Carve a line completely around the outside of our design.

Now begin carefully removing the areas of your design that were white on your paper–everywhere there is NO pencil lead.

Next, switch your carving tip to a the larger, more flat curved gouge.  Carve a wider outline around the outer edge of your design, using the first skinny line you carved as a guide.  Then, working in small sections, remove the rubber background around your image.

To check your progress, ink your stamp, and print.  You can see and high areas you missed, or other areas you want to improve.

When you’re finished carving your stamp, print on paper using ink pads, or Speedball Water Soluble Block Printing Ink and a brayer.  To print on fabric, use Speedball Fabric Block Printing Ink and a brayer.  Wash your stamps with soap, and water to clean them up when you’re done printing.

Happy Crafting!

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