Thursday, December 16, 2010

Carving Stamps

I am really into personalizing. I try to make most things I use. I have been carving stamps for over a year. This same technique can also be called "linocuts" or "block printing". I reserve those terms more for large scale artist prints. Which can be very detailed and amazing. Although making my own stamps is amazing, I like to just call them stamps.

I like to use Speedball products. I picked them up at the Michaels store that I work at.
I am sure that these tools can be purchased online if you have trouble finding them.

Speedball carving tools
X-acto knife
Carving block (these can be brown, pink, white or ivory)
*****You can also carve those white vinyl earasers
Stamp Ink

Step #1
Decide the size of your stamp. Sketch the design in pencil on a piece of paper.
***NOTE: you can draw directly on the block, BUT it will be reversed when its used AND its hard to erase if you mess up.

Step #2
Cut out the design. Use the back of the carving tool to burnish the design onto the block.

Step #3
Use knife and gauge to carve out the negative space. I like to work with a piece of paper under my block so I can easily get rid of the scraps. It can get messy. Rinse your block to wash off all tiny bits.
***NOTE: you can also carve out the positive space for a more solid block effect.
******NOTE: do one or the other

Step #4
Ink the stamp test it. There are may be more you need to carve away that you won't see until you test.

Step #5


  1. Helllo Lady L,
    I may make a Yambus Stamp! Wouldn't that be a great way to start my new MailArt365 theme.

    How big is your stamp. It appears to be the size of an index card. I would think that working smaller could be very difficult.

    Thanks for posting instructions. Watch for something in your box someday when you least expect it!

    Sue (aka Box652(

  2. My stamp is smaller than a business card. I am excited to see your stamp. I check my mail box every day!

  3. Hi Lady L,
    I appreciate your instructions. I made one rubber stamp once but haven't tried words yet. I was most worried about getting the image into the stamp. I will try the burnishing. You just rubbed the backside of the paper and the pencil stuck to the block?
    mad madge

  4. Yep, it's transfers. It's the easiest way that I have found to do it. Let me know when you make yours, I would like to see it.