Inky Fingers on Friday
Tim Holtz and the 12 Tags of Christmas: Day 5

Weekend Blogging and a Hand Carved Stamp Tutorial

Wow.  Tim's tag for day #4 is pretty awesomely cool!  Take a peek:

Here's my tag:

A big part of tag #4's technique is to make your own ink pad with the cut and dry felt.  (Watch Tim's how-to video here.)  It's one thing to substitute ribbon for twine.  That's about the look.  But, this technique required cut and dry felt to chemically work, and I just didn't have any!  But every problem has a solution, right?

I experimented a bit and discovered that I could make the technique work with a piece of craft store felt on a non-stick craft sheet.  The colored image inside the little house was stamped with my custom ink pad, as were all these art journal backgrounds:

It's a technique I'm going to do over and over again!  I love it!  Here's a close up on the house trinket (it's actually a removable piece of jewelry):

Instead of bells and a bow, I used a simple clear bead as a bottom dangle.  And I didn't have any metal photo corners, so I made my roof from a piece of crafting metal from Walnut Hollow.  Here's an extreme closeup:

You can see that I texturized the metal, added a cardstock heart, and some rock candy distress stickles.  Also, I didn't have any of those pop out memory capsules (and truthfully, I hate the way they look), so I put some Distress Stickles and a flat piece of glass in the front (as opposed to Tim's memory capsule and glass glitter).

Instead of Tim's little gold star, I used a large pewter accent (technically it's a bead cap) that looks a bit like a snowflake!

Finally I wanted to answer Karolynah's questions that she left in the comments of yesterday's post:

This is all so beautiful Julie.
A couple of questions: how did you create the plaid background with alcohol inks? I have 3 bottles and have no idea what to do with them...
And how do you make your own stamps? Where do you get the rubber? Can I use another material? Do you carve them with an xacto?
Yes! 5 days in a row!! Please keep them coming! Everything you put up on your posts is so inspirational!

Posted by: karolynah | December 04, 2009 at 11:09 AM

The plaid background was part of the technique for tag #3 and instructions can be found here.  It's so outrageously simple, it will wow you!  And a while ago I did a video all about ways to use alcohol inks.  You can view it here.

As for making your own stamps, it's surprisingly easy!  Lots of people have lots of different ways of doing it.  But I thought I'd go over the one I use. 

Some supply notes:

  • I use MasterCarve blocks but you can also use cork or erasers. 
  • I use linoleum cutters to do the cutting, but that erasers link in the bullet point above shows you a way to do it with a crushed metal eraser pencil thingy.  You can also use an exacto knife.
  • I like to use a box cutter to cut away the excess because it's so large it makes it quick and easy.  But, you can use a regular craft knife too.

STEP ONE: Draw your design (remember the print will be reversed if you're using words).  Some people transfer their design.  Too much work.  I just use a ballpoint pen.

STEP TWO: Black in what you're cutting away.  Trust me, this will help you remember where you're going.

STEP THREE: Cut out the general shape of the stamp.  The smaller the piece you're working with, the easier it will be to carve it.

STEP FOUR: Using the smallest blade, lightly carve the outline of the design.

Test it.  Ink the stamp up and print it.

Looking at your test print, decide what you like and don't like.  Repeat the carving and testing process until your stamp looks good to you.

STEP SEVEN: Once you're satisfied, cut away the excess carving block with a box cutter.

And that's it!  You have a beautiful new hand carved stamp!

Thanks for stopping by!