Homemade Stamps and Minor Blood Loss

Lately I’ve been going through a stamp phase. There’s something therapeutic in carving them… Although that could be the blood loss talking. Carving tools are sharp and I’m notoriously clumsy. However, If carving them is therapeutic to a klutz like me, then imagine how calming it would be for a normal person.

My mothers birthday was on monday and she chose to spend it in Austin with me (we had some good adventures which I’ll be writing about a little later). This entry is a step-by-step of sorts of how I made her birthday gift.

Ever since I was in college I’ve made presents for my friends and family. I like the idea of giving my loved ones something that’s one of a kind… not to mention easy on the pocketbook. The idea of making stamps came around back in December when I was reorganizing old art supplies and I stumbled upon some printmaking tools and unused linoleum blocks. A box full of bandaids, a tube of neosporen, and a day later I had carved two lovely flower stamps.

All of the supplies can be found at Hobby Lobby in the printmaking section. Supplies include:

  • stamps I carved from blocks of linoleum
  • a brayer (or roller) which is used to evenly coat the stamp with ink
  • a baren (the round red thing pictured) is used to apply pressure evenly to the back of the stamp
  • a piece of glass (or really any flat smooth surface) to use as a “pallet.”
  • block printing ink (I also think paint that has been slightly thinned with water would also work)
  • paper (the less textured paper worked best for this project). Choose whatever colors you like!
  • paint (I used acrylic paints – cadmium yellow hue, teal, and metallic gold).
  • paint brushes
Put a small amount of the ink onto the palette and spread it around with the brayer until it is evenly coated.
Roll the ink evenly across the surface of the stamp making sure the entire intended printing surface is covered with ink. Place the stamp face down on the paper and apply pressure to the back of it using the baren.
Once the ink has had time to dry (about an hour for me) hand paint the images with the colors of your choice.
Arrange the images in a frame however way  you wish. Play with the layout until you find something you like. I chose this bronze colored frame to pick up the subtle metallic gold centers of the flowers. I loved the way it came out! I even had extra painted flowers left over that I can use for handmade cards and gift tags.
Possibly the best thing about stamps is you can reuse them again and again for various projects. I’ll certainly be using these again.

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