Sometimes finding the perfect stamp can be quite a pain. Often I have an idea of what I'd like to use for a project, but I just can't find anything like it at the store. So I figured—why not try making my own stamps? It's not as difficult as I thought it would be, and now that I have my own set, I can mass produce cards with a special handmade touch. And the control freak inside me is satisfied.
Check out the instructions below to learn how you can turn your own handwriting or doodles into stamps for your crafting needs. And be sure to check out the ink pad selection at the A Beautiful Mess shop!
–stamp carving kit
–static cling foam mounting sheet
–acrylic stamping blocks
-pens (a variety of thick and thin is nice)
-white paper (scrap pieces are fine)
-X-Acto blade and scissors (scissors are optional with the use of a blade)
-ink jet printer with copying capabilities (I used this Canon printer)
-clear tape (optional)
Step One: Create your doodles on white paper. The thicker the lettering, the easier it will be to carve out. I had a difficult time with the "Happy Day" lettering, so I gave up carving it out. Lesson learned.
Step Two: Cut out your doodles and arrange them to fit on your piece of rubber. (My rubber was leftover from an earlier project, so I was working with less space.) Tape them together so they'll stay in this arrangement when you copy them later.
Step Three: Cut out a piece of static cling mounting foam to fit to your piece of rubber. Then peel off the sticky side and attach it to the rubber. The other static cling side, when peeled off, will temporarily mount to acrylic blocks for stamping use, but when unmounted they'll lay flat for easy storage too!
Step Four: Copy your doodles onto wax paper. To do this, just trim out a piece of wax paper to the size of your printer paper and place it in your printer's tray. The ink will not be set onto the paper, so be careful when handling it. The wet ink will transfer easily to the rubber, so be precise when arranging the wax paper onto the rubber. I swiped the back of the wax paper with a card to transfer the ink to the rubber.
Step Five: Cut out the pieces of rubber and carve away the negative space from each design. For the more detailed areas, like the cursive "hello," I had trouble using the stamp carving tools that came with my kit, so I carefully used my X-Acto blade to cut out the islands in the letters.
After your stamps are carved, you can mount them onto acrylic blocks for stamping use. The static cling side of the mounting foam will make the rubber infinitely repositionable, so when you're not stamping, they can be removed from the blocks and stored flat. Much easier than storing permanently mounted stamps!
Acrylic stamping blocks are also really great because you can easily see the outline of the design through the clear acrylic, which allows you to accurately position the stamps.
I must say, this was actually my first time using the messy ink pads, and I was really happy with how saturated the colors turned out. I'm looking forward to using them again soon!
This is my first hand-carved stamp project! Not too bad for my first try, but I can't wait to make some larger, more complex stamps for homemade greeting cards and gift tags. –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.