On a Crusade to Carv my Own Stamps

For this months crusade Michelle Ward have been kind enough to send me a small package of printing block material to use when I carv a stamp!

Printing block material
Isn’t that girl the best?

You just can’t find this stuff here in Sweden, and I have wanted to try carving a stamp from soft printing block material for years now. I didn’t enjoy cutting linoleum very much when I tried that, it was too hard and I kept cutting my fingers. Cutting in this material is a totally different experience. It’s not like cutting butter but at least similar to carving in a soft sandwich. And saying it’s easy to make marks in the material is not saying it’s easy to cut shapes the way you want them to look. No way, that’s not at all what I’m saying.

Carving a heart

My Heart Stamp I wanted to cut out advanced ornaments and big swirly shapes, but discovered that the first shape I drew, a little heart, was almost too advanced for me already! I felt like my carving blades were too big and clumsy. Or was it me? In the end I was hacking out the shape instead of cutting it – and that’s probably why it looks a bit like breadcrumbs coming loose from the block!

Carving on my bird stamp

I decided not to be too disappointed that I couldn’t carve Michelle Ward masterpieces but go for small icons that I could use in my diary or make small prints with. I think that’s the right decision. I like all of the stamps I made, and I’m sure I will use them more than once. They are maybe looking infantile, but they are my hand carved stamps, made from my squiggly drawings.

Carving a bird stamp

The second one I carved was a long legged bird that is walking on the ground looking for something to eat. I’m going to use this one to make small prints and paint the ground and sky around him with watercolors. I bet that will be fun too. I really like carving stamps.

Carved stamp with a bird

I also made two different flowers, the second one almost freehand without sketching very much at all. Then I was too tired to continue cutting, so I sewed together a finished sweater in front of a movie instead of making art.

Next one: a flower

I got four pieces of this material
called Safety-Kut softoleum in 8 x 5 cm. I’ve only used one piece (!) for all of these four designs because I cut both back and front! So I will continue to sketch and look for designs to make into small stamps. I will continue to practice cutting and then using my stamps when I journal! One little bird already found his way to my diary! I think I will have to challenge myself even more and do image transfer too.

Now I’m going to take some time to surf the other members at the Street team and see what they’ve carved out for this crusade!

I think the most important thing when
you participate in these things is to visit the others and make comments of encouragement and tell others that you like what you see. Isn’t that why we send in our links? To be noticed and challenged and have fun? That’s what I’ve been trying to do, both at the GPP Street team and other challenges I’ve been apart off. My favorite used to be Studio Friday but it doesn’t exist anymore. Tine is having a baby soon!

So with Studio Friday gone I’ve joined the monthly challenge of the GPP Street team that Michelle Ward puts together. This month’s crusade is called Cut it out and it’s cutting your own stamps as you might have guessed by this post already?! Go check the others out and join in and show what you’ve carved out!

Second carved flowerLook at Michelle Ward’s stamps and read more tips from her. I’m putting up her rubber stamps on my wish list!

First I joined crusade #16 and made a timecapsual in my Art Journal but in February I didn’t take time to post about #17 – a travel kit for journaling, though I submitted two previous posts. (oh and since then I’ve found a art bag that I will need to fill and write about soon). The first post with my art kit is about journaling in Ardeche in France and my post Watercolor me now is about journaling outside. Some people kindly visited these posts and commented on them, I think that was awesome! It’s so much fun to get comments on your old posts as you then can re-visit them!

I’ve collected some links with even more information on carving stamps, if you’re not dead already!

Carving out some stamp making-links

Stamp Carving 101
Carved your own stamp tutorial by Alma Stoller
Hand carved stamp by Moki
The Carving category at Belinda’s blog
Carving how-to from Ruth

Have fun making it your own!

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38 Responses to On a Crusade to Carv my Own Stamps

  1. Laura says:

    I love all three of your stamps…

    You’re right about visiting and encouraging fellow challenge participants. Getting your comment on my blog rekindled my spirit on the stamp project.

    I think I will abandon the L stamp for a hot air balloon as I am obsessed with them too.

    So many projects, so little time.

  2. Christina says:

    Hej v?nnen,

    vad kul med allt du pysslar. Du g?r s? fina grejor och det verkar s? himla kul! Sj?lv ?r jag mest begravd i tr?kiga b?cker ;-). Kram Chitina

  3. I’ve only recently started carving stamps, too, and I LOVE it! It’s a bit of a learning curve, but the results are SO COOL! :D

  4. Sister Diane says:

    Excellent post – and I love your stamps! This is a craft I’ve always wanted to try, too, but haven’t found time. Thank you for all the great links – you may push me down the carving path yet….

  5. Juliann says:

    That sounds like a really interesting program, I shall look into it and maybe join up in the future :)

  6. We do this for our geocaching log stuff! It’s soooooo fun!!!

  7. joanne S says:

    You could use erasers to make your own alphabet stamps. Just remember (I didn’t) to reverse the letter on the stamp!!! My erasers are Hi-polymer by Pentel but I also have some German brand. They are white polymer and look like the sheets you carved.

  8. Jessie Mae says:

    Your stamps are great! I especially like the little bird.

    You’ve inspired me to dig out my stamp carving materials. Such fun!

  9. Serena says:

    I would LOVE to try this! Thanks for the info and the links…much appreciated. Great post!

    Thanks to Joanne S (commenter) also as I wouldn’t have thought of using erasers.

  10. Serena says:

    Ooooooops, sorry…..I meant to say that I think your stamps turned out great!

  11. Becci says:

    iHanna, Thanks for the comment on my stamp carving efforts! The package said it carved like butter and it guess it did compare to linoleum! Yours turned out so fun! :-)

    Have a great hair day! Becci

  12. Hi Hanna! I love your stamps you carved! They are sweet and darling, I love them just like they are… I especially like the photo of you carving, with your drawings in the photo… it’s an awesomely clear photograph… thanks so much for leaving the kind comment about my carvings, I’m so glad you stopped by!

  13. Chris says:

    Oh, Hanna, these really look charming. I love that heart! Thank you for sharing photos of your process. Michelle is an awesome person and very giving.

  14. Christy says:

    I love the little birdie print! Hooray, good work! :)

  15. Bonafyde says:

    I love all three stamps you have made, especially the heart…
    I really love this post and am inspired to carve my own stamps now, thanks so much for the links and knowledge!

  16. mari says:

    Such lovely stamps you’ve carved! I’ve also been dreaming of those soft carving blocks, but of course they’re not available in Finland either. Once I tried carving an eraser, it’s quite similar material, but so much smaller:)

  17. gkgirl says:

    i think
    your stamps
    turned out
    adorable…
    that little bird…
    so cute!

  18. Laura says:

    Hi – Thanks again for your comments. I did! I made stamps I like!

  19. Hanna, your stamps aren’t infantile at ALL. They’re marvelous!

    I’ve really enjoyed carving my own stamps, although I can be a little dangerous with the carving thingamajigs. Thankfully, no serious injuries.

  20. thereza says:

    ohhh so cool! lovely work there!
    i do lino sometimes but cut my finger last time :( blood all over the place… will be doing it again soon though! :)

  21. andrea says:

    good for you to try something new~! i think your stamps turned out fabulous!

  22. TJ says:

    Hanna, I love your blog. Your stamps are great. I totally understand how frustrating it can be when you’re not able to get the supplies you need.

    I’ve been hunting for the Staedtler carving tool set with artists blocks and so far I’ve been unable to find them here in Germany. The irony of it is that Staedtler is German!!!!

    Great job connecting, overcoming obstacles and above all creating! Your fan in Wuerzburg… tj

  23. ArtKat says:

    There is nothing wrong with your hand-carved stamps, they turned out great! They are all very sweet, you will use them all the time! :)

  24. Hanna! How did I miss this post? Did you come and leave a link on the crusade? Anyway – great images! Love seeing you carving with your sketchbook designs on the page and the testing out of the images. Great stuff! Do I spy some of my packing tape on your cutting tool? Cool!! I’m adding your link to the crusade list now.

  25. susan w says:

    I think your stamps are charming! Wonderful work for your first experiences in this rubber. When I took a class on carving, the instructor had us start by making a very simple 4 cm square block with freehand parallel lines closely spaced, running across the surface. By doing this, we developed a feel for the rubber and for the carving tool – learning to feel how deeply we were cutting, and how to control blade pressure. The resulting stamp was great for texture backgrounds; by turning it, you could create a basket-weave look or use it in a variety of repeating patterns.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Hanna!
    i love your stamps! your birds are wonderful!! i am so glad that you got your stamp carving rubber in time to enter the crusade!!
    Hugs!
    Elizabeth

  27. Cindy says:

    Your stamps came out great! I can’t believe the heart was your first one – that is a complex design to start off with, but you did such a good job carving it. Can’t wait to see what else you create with those blocks!

  28. Kim Tedrow says:

    I love your first stamps, especially the long-legged bird! Thanks for sharing your process with us. -Kim

  29. J Wells says:

    I think your images are quite charming, and I’m very happy you were able to get involved and that you shared your efforts.

  30. Maj Carita says:

    Hei Hanna, fun to see your stamps! I really love the birdie! Should you get bitten by the “carving bug”, I can give you a couple of german adresses, for buying carving blocks online… It is a bit closer than the states, but it might not matter in the end…

  31. Carin.c says:

    Hanna, I really enjoyed your stamp creations, especially that heart with swirls – they are all very stampworthy and not infantile at all. Some of us would love to get the effects you have gotten – we all have our own style but usually like everyone elses.. at least I have found that to be true for myself. Enjoy using these and hopefully you won’t use up all your material too soon!

  32. tina says:

    hey hanna,
    loved seeing your stamps. i found carving difficult at first but as with all things, i am sure with practice one gets better. the big thing is to use the stamps and whatever they are, i am sure you will use them once you have put all that effort in. i love your blog by the way. visit it often . you are so prolific. always something new to see.

  33. audrey h. says:

    I think your stamps are so darling and turned out wonderful. Love that little bird and the flower stamp is gorgeous :)

  34. forcryeye says:

    Your stamps are wonderful! I am very interested in your drawings in your sketch book. The little owl is so adorable, then again…I have a thing for owls! I would love to see the owl carved! And share that journal with us!!!!

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  36. theresa says:

    Hi Hanna,
    Just try cutting with a xacto blade–#11. You may like the results better than using those tools–less crumbs! It’s loads of fun–yes?!

  37. Pingback: iHanna’s Creative Space » Blog Archive » Craft Accomplishments Report (part II)

  38. Pingback: iHanna’s Creative Space » Blog Archive » Craft Accomplishments Report (part II)

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