I know I’m not the first to make a tutorial like this, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be the last, but here it goes anyway. I put together this tutorial since I’ve been having an influx of friends asking me how I made my stamps for my InCoWriMo envelopes and letters. I’ve added a couple links for inspiration towards the bottom of this post.
Apologies in advanced for the not-so-great lighting. If you have any questions at all, leave me a comment and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my tutorial
Tools I use:
- Speedball brand linoleum: Speedy Carve Carving Block
- Speedball carving tools (We’ve had this set for a long time), you can find a set on amazon here: Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment 1
- pencil (not pictured), soft lead for easy transfer is good
- paper (not pictured), any paper works, whatever you want to draw your design on
- device used for rubbing – I used the end of my pencil (that has no eraser)
- Ink pads, whichever you like, I prefer Tsukineko Memento Brand Ink Pads
- Optional: Exacto Knife; the Linoleum Cutter set includes a blade, so I typically just use that.
There are other types of blocks you can use. I know of one called Moo-Carve (Master Carve), but I haven’t tried that type yet. You can even use Pink Pearl or White rectangle erasers if you want to give it a go before spending money on linoleum. I find linoleum easier to carve into personally, but I’ve made a few eraser ones, too.
There are two ways that I make stamps. Either I draw directly onto the linoleum or I draw something on paper and then transfer the drawing to the linoleum by burnishing (rubbing). One thing to always remember if you draw onto the linoleum directly, the design stamped will be the reverse of what you draw. If you plan on doing a design with words and letters, I recommend drawing the design on paper and then transferring the original design to the linoleum – unless you’re awesome at backwards letter writing :) I’ll do both ways so you can see what I mean.
Designing and then transferring to the linoleum:
I thickened up the lines for this design. I almost always make changes during this process, even just little ones, and that’s okay. It’s your design, do what you want. In this design, I’m planning to carve the negative space, so the pencil drawing is what will be inked.
Time to carve, just dive in! Use whichever carving tool works best for you. I like the #1 (smallest) for detail. The beauty of stamp carving is you don’t have to carve deep at all. Always start light, it’s easier to remove more later when you see what it’s like inked. This photo was incredible hard to take with my left hand. Usually, I use my left hand to hold the linoleum as I’m carving :)
So I missed a few spots, no biggie, just get back to the carving. Work really patiently if you have super detailed/small areas. I re-carved mine twice, making adjustments till I was happy with the finished product.
Now I have my own monogram that I can stamp on my projects, envelopes, anywhere, really. :)
Designing directly onto the linoleum:
We’re going to use those leftover random scrap pieces from the above project, but you can cut out any size you want if you have a drawing in mind.
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