I got this stamp carving kit last Christmas as a gift from my cousins. I loved it because the truth is that I had been thinking about stamps for a while. However, I had their gift sitting around until now because I’d never carved stamps before and I was super afraid of doing it wrong and messing with their present. I had the materials very visible, so I felt guilty every time I saw them around. But I wasn’t ready to deal with the possible failure if I couldn’t make anything decent out of it.
And yesterday, God knows why, I suddenly felt it was the time to do it. And I did it. And it wasn’t so difficult. And I think it turned out pretty well.
In fact, there is no mystery. You have a rubber surface and a set of knives, and you have to carve away all the parts you don’t want to be printed.
1.Draw something in the rubber surface or draw it on a paper and transfer it. REMEMBER: the stamp gives you a “mirror image”, i.e. the image will be inverted in terms of right and left. So, if you are using numbers or letters, you have to draw them backwards.
2.Take some time to get familiar with the different blades. Some are rounder, some are wider, some are pointier… Once you have gathered enough courage, start carving. The rubber is a very soft material, so you don’t need to apply much force. In fact, the subtler the better. Carve from the inside to the outside of the image.
3. Once you are satisfied with your stamp, you can leave it like that or you can glue it to a base made of wood, plastic or whatever hard material you have around. I think this makes the stamp easy to use because it gives it more structure. But I guess finding and cutting the wood for the base can be difficult, so it’s totally fine if your leave your stamp base-less.Truth is for the small ones I just used some wood scraps I had from a previous project and made the stamps the size of the bases… 🙂
The carving itself was pretty easy, so I guess it only takes a good idea and practice to master “the art of carving”.
Here is very useful link to a blog with more detailed instructions if you still feel insecure, and some interesting tips and tricks.
And if you already know the technique but you are lacking inspiration, here’s a Pinterest board with hundreds of great ideas. I can’t wait to try some of the designs!