Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another thing I am obsessed with now...

So, a while back I saw this post on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog and decided I had to try it for myself! She was carving her own rubber stamps! So fun. I have been wanting a stamp of a girl and a boy -- the kind you find on the bathroom door -- so I decided that was the perfect place to start! Here was my process:

First I bought the materials. You need a carving block and some carving tools. I bought this and this from Dickblick - an online art supply store. The block and the tool(s) only cost me about $12! Pretty awesome.

Here is the block before you carve into it. I got the one that is 6 1/2" x 11". I thought it was a good size.
Next, I found some free clip art online and printed out my image onto a transparency.
Then I rubbed the ink onto the rubber. See how it's kind of mushy? The ink was a little too wet. Not sure that I will do this same process again. Especially if I need it precise. But hey, this was my first time, right?
I printed a boy and a girl and then cut them out with a box cutter.
Then I began to carve. The linoleum cutters that I got came with 6 different sizes of carving heads. I had to kind of experiment to find exactly which ones were best where.

I kept going until I was happy with it (stamping along the way to see where I needed to carve a little bit more.) Here are the final stamps. They are definitely not hard-edged, but I am pretty OK with that. Sometimes I like a grungier more artsy look.
After these two I sorta went crazy. First I carved a cute little circle...

Then some leaves...

And then some clouds, a typewriter (that was a hard one), a chevron, and a lamp post (which I put the little beam poking out on the wrong side. Grr.)...

...and then my favorite - a Polaroid stamp. I have been wanting the one from Studio Calico for a while, but it's usually sold out, so I just made my own. And I kind of love that it's a little shabby.
I carved all that and I still have a block that's a little bigger than 4x6 to do some more! I highly encourage everyone to do this. Love it.

P.S. I also decided that I kinda want to put this wallpaper on my ceiling:

or this:

or my favorite (it is a little metallic), this:

Thoughts? Feelings?


  1. I have been so wanting to get some of this foam! I heard Julie talking about it on Paperclipping Roundtable and really been debating...I LOVE the poloroid frame...too cute.

  2. Jen, thanks for the tutorial. That's amazing that you did those on your own. They're great. And so glad you responded to my question about your Polaroid frames in the LO you posted in CK gallery. I did make a stamp one time, but it's very simple. I wanted a large sort of parenthesis for outlining a journal spot. So I just took the art foam from Hobby Lobby and cut what I wanted, then glued it to the back of an old hardback book. Works great and I have used it many times.