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This post is just a test to explore how I might go on to do more tutorials in the future. I hope that it is informative, but future posts will hopefully be clearer and more detailed.

Making your own stamps at home is quite easy and really satisfying. There is something so glorious about printmaking that turns a drawing or doodle into something really special.

This method is very simple and easy to do with things you may have lying around the house. While I am a big fan of using lino tools to carve my stamps, it’s just as effective to use a scalpel or boxcutter.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Tracing paper
  • a soft pencil (HB at a minimum)
  • erasers or a piece of an easy carve printing rubber
  • a blade or boxcutter
  • stamp pads

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Trace your drawing onto the trace paper using the soft pencil, breaking up any sections of colour into different small pieces of trace. I will do a more detailed tutorial about designing stamps/prints and breaking up drawings into layers later.

Flip them over onto your eraser, or soft cut block and trace again. The soft rubber will pick up the graphite lines very quickly and doesn’t need a lot of pressure. The softer the lead you use the darker the mark you’ll leave behind, but soft leads will also smudge more while working. (I will also make a little post about pencil grades soon)

I used an HB for this and used a very light pressure.

For all four stamps I used a single craft blade. I have a kit with a few different blade shapes, and I prefer a fine tip for stamp carving, but you could get the same results using a boxcutter or stanley knife.

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Use the tip of the blade to gently cut around the outside of your shapes. do your first line on a slight angle facing AWAY from the shape you are cutting. Cut again on the opposite angle at a slight offset from your outline and then use the tip of your blade to flick out the piece of off cut rubber.

If you are struggling with accuracy, it is generally better to try and remove small pieces of rubber at a time, and to cut ever so slightly larger than your original design. This means you can do test prints and snip out more rubber where needed, rather than cutting too far and ending up with gaps in your design.

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