As you know, I have been hosting an annual carve-a-stamp-a-day challenge (aka #CarveDecember) in December since 2014! The challenge will continue for FREE this December. It's time to order your rubber! :)
As always, everyone is welcome to join. New stamp carvers will develop their skills quickly and experienced stamp carvers will sharpen those skills. Everyone will connect with new friends. Here are the basics:
- Carve a stamp.
- Print it.
- Post the print to instagram.
- Use the hashtag #CarveDecember.
- Here is a quick side note about the hashtag. A wholesaler of carved stones has been spamming the tag for months with so much unrelated content. I just don't know what to do about it?! It makes it really difficult to find the content intended for the tag. Sigh. Is it time to change the tag? What do you think?
Here is a list of 31 prompts which you are welcome to use to help shape your daily carving. If you're not a prompt person, don't feel obligated to use the list.
Here's a quick list of things you can do to have a great #CarveDecember experience:
Gather Your Supplies
When working on a daily project, I find it easiest if I have all the supplies I need right at hand so I can sit down and get to work. Even if you don't have a dedicated art space, you can quite easily fit a stamp carving kit into a shoebox or a tote bag. I take my stamp carving supplies all over the world with me -- just remember to pack your blades in your checked luggage. Even if you're traveling during December, you *can* carve a stamp every single day! All you need is your kit and a table.
Here's what's in my carving kit (links to brands I use):
- Speedy Carve
- Glass Mat
- Ballpoint Pen
- Box Cutter
- Carving Tool and Blades
- Permapaque Markers
- Black Ink Pad
- Black Reinker
- Colored Ink Pads
- Avery Tags
- Scratch Paper
- Grid Stamp
Plan for Success
I like to make a plan. But I also like to remember that it's okay to deviate from the plan. The plan should be helpful, and not feel like it's strangling or constricting you.
Some things to plan:
- Pick a time of day to carve. For example, I do best if I get it out of the way first thing in the morning. Other people have told me that they like to do it as an after dinner activity or a lunch break activity.
- Make a list of stamps you'd like to create. For example, I need to create a sentiment stamp or two for this year's holiday cards. I'm also thinking about what stamp I might like to make for the Print Exchange. What's on your list of "stamps I'd like to own?" Write them down so you have some ideas for what to carve. Nothing is worse than sitting down to create and not having any ideas. This is also where the prompts can help you. Use the list to generate ideas when you don't have any.
- Gather inspiration. Start a Pinterest Board dedicated to #CarveDecember. (You can see mine here.) Or go analog and start collecting images from magazines, taking photos, or even starting with some sketches. There's nothing wrong with copying as long as you site the source of your inspiration.
- Plan ahead for the hard days. December is a busy month. But some days are busier than others. When I know that I have a crazy day coming towards me, I grab my list of quick and easy stamps. Generally speaking, these are stamps that are small -- about an inch -- and simple -- stripes, dots, etc. They still look great, but I can get them done from carve to print in less than 15 minutes. (See my blog post: How Long Does it Take to Carve a Stamp.) Also this video shows how quickly you can carve a stamp:
If you don't see the video above, click here.
No Experience Necessary
If you want some help with stamp carving, these are resources I offer:
- Book: Carve Stamp Play
- Online Class: Stamp Carving 101
- Online Class: Stamp Carving: Designing Patterns
- Online Class: The #CarveDecember Class
- Check out ALL of my stamp carving related blog posts since 2006 HERE.
You can also visit YouTube for tons of FREE video tutorials on stamp carving!
I really hope you'll join us for #CarveDecember! It's fun and easy and you end the month with an amazing collection of unique hand carved stamps, whether you carved every day or just a few days!
Are you planning to join in this year? Let me know!
REMEMBER: You do NOT have to carve every single day to participate. Even if you just get in 1 or 2 stamps, you are most welcome!
My goal with this project is not to put anybody through a painful bootcamp. Rather, I want to show people how easy and fun and quick stamp carving really is!
I really hope you'll join us for all of the fun of #CarveDecember. Thanks for stopping by!