Do you ever have a craft that you look at and dismiss because you think it's too hard and won't be as fun as it sounds? That was me and stamp carving. It seemed like a lot of work or would take some special artsy skills to make a decent looking stamp. I can barely draw, so I thought there was no way I could pull off modern day Michelangelo stamper sculpting. Yet, when I saw a kit that claimed it was simple and everything was included, I figured I should at least try it before I thumbed my nose at it. That's what we always tell the kids to do, right?
I'm really glad I did because it was so much fun. And surprisingly relaxing. And believe me, I need relaxing activities in my life. It doesn't require much stuff either. Just some gouging tools, a block of eraser-like base and some tracing paper. The tracing paper is ideal for someone like me (aka zero drawing skills). You can just trace a shape or design on to the paper. Then press it face down on the rubber and press to leave the outline. I started with a basic star for my first attempt since that didn't involve much detailing.
Then using the bladed tool, you slowly gouge out small sections to make the empty space around the outline and then the rest of the rubber surface around the design .
You don't even have to dig down too deep, just enough so the part that will be the stamped design is the only bit the ink will touch.
Then just trim away the excess and the stamp is ready to go.
I got a little braver and did a freehand drawing of a strawberry and used less pressure to gouge out leaf edges and to make some indentations for the seeds.
It only took a few minutes and the results looked pretty decent. I really hoped it would stamp well.
I did some orange & blue stars to make some designed paper too. I can see these being ideal for making gift wrap, stamping on fabric and decorating things.
Now that I've gotten the hang of it I'm going to come up with some more elaborate designs to carve up. I only used about a third of the rubber base the kit came with, so I'm looking forward to making myself a whole custom stamp collection. A whole new crafting addiction has unfolded and I sure didn't see that coming!
I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
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