DIY Stamp Village

February 7, 2013 | DIY

A little while ago now I bought a couple of blank rubber stamp blocks with the idea I would carve them up into something awesome and amazing. Alas, awesome and amazing didn’t happen at the time, and so they’ve just stayed in the draw, forgotten and unloved… until now, that is!

I’m still not sure ‘awesome and amazing’ has happened, but would you settle for cute and fun?

I thought with Valentine’s coming up, these sweet little houses would be great for decorating wrapping paper, cards, tags, or little bags.. and once Valentine’s is over, you could even carve yourself a little bird or some smoke to stamp in place of the hearts. :)

Here’s what you’ll need:

- A pen or pencil (having now tried both, pencil is probably better)
- Rubber stamp blocks (if you live in Singapore, try Love Sprouts – Jo not only sells blank blocks, but also some of the most gorgeous and finely carved stamps I’ve seen!)
- Carving Tool (mine has interchangeable heads – try Amazon.com)

*Please note that I’ve never taken a class to learn how to carve stamps, and am by no means good at it! The steps below are just created from my own experience. You do whatever works best for you, and if you want to share any awesome tips or tricks you’ve learned, please let me know in the comments!

Step 1.
Use your pen/pencil to draw your design on the rubber block (remember it will be reversed when you stamp it). If you’ve got lines to cut out, make sure you draw them fairly thick so it’s easier to see where you want to carve. Cut the block down so it’s about the size of your drawing (not too much free space around the drawing).

Step 2.
Carve out your stamp. I started with the smallest head on my carving tool and went around all the edges of my house first before using the larger heads to take out the bulk areas, and finishing the details with the smaller heads again. But it’s entirely up to you how you want to tackle it. As you can see it’s far from perfect, but still gives a cool effect!

Step 3.
One I was finished, I washed the stamp off (this is why it’s better to use pencil, pen could transfer onto the paper even after it’s been washed) and dried it. I then tested my stamp with ink, and carved a bit more once I’d seen how the stamp came out. And that’s it – start stamping! Repeat these steps for as many houses as you want, and don’t forget the little hearts that come out of the chimney. I did the hearts separately so I could stamp them in a different colour, and also so they could be interchangeable (with smoke, or a bird) down the track.

(you can see here that I did one in pen, and the others in pencil. When I went to print the one I’d outlined in pen, the first few prints also come out a bit blue).