Stamp Carving for Total Beginners

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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… 🙂

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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!

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