For the longest time I've wanted to make a hand-carved rubber stamp; I've seen them on Craftster ever since I became a member of that site, and I think they are cool! I bought a set of linoleum-cutting tools about a year ago, and several months ago I picked up two blocks of "Speedy-Carve".
The only thing missing was an ink pad, and that fell into my hands when I attended Fork and Talk in Little Rock, Arkansas, (hosted by Craft Gossip and sponsored by EK Success Brands). One of the items in the huge bag of products I received that day was this big black ink pad. Perfect! With all the materials ready to go, I finally had the motivation to give it a try.
Here is an in-progress shot of my SECOND carved stamp; you can see the tool I used at the top of the picture. I traced the heart and wings from a plastic template I already had made (I use it to make sewn hearts).
And below you can see the finished products: my first two carved stamps! Yay! The one at the top of the picture is actually the first one I made. I tried to carve the words in the center...and realized what a newbie I was, when I stamped it the first time and the words were BACKWARDS! AARGGG! So I just carved them off the stamp and resovled to try again later. I finished the second stamp last night, in about an hour.
To get the words onto the stamp, I printed them off the computer, then drew over them (on the right side of the paper) with pencil. Then I put the words face-down in the center of the heart and traced each letter with a pen (I thought it would give firmer pressure than a pencil) to transfer the pencil marks onto the stamp. It worked great! (Although I must say, the directions that came with the stamp did NOT work great: "Use slightly warm iron to transfer images: pencil drawn, newsprint, freshly printed ink-jet and laser-print images." My freshly printed ink-jet letters did not transfer at all with the slightly warm iron.)
So, now that I have these awesome new stamps, what am I going to do with them? I tried stamping the one with words onto a card; hmmm, looks okay, but kind of plain and boring. So I tried something else.
Oh, yeah, that's better--I glued some randomly-cut pieces of bright paper to the card, then stamped on top of them:
I made a lot of cards!
And I stamped a envelope for each card using the stamp without words. I intend to use these as inserts with swap packages and etsy sales, and I will write the recipient's name inside the heart on the envelope. (Hey, if you join a swap I'm in, maybe that will be YOUR name!)
I'm so happy with how this stamp came out; I especially like the all the little lines in the background that make it look hand-made. The carving was actually much easier than I expected; it just takes patience and a steady hand.
I've ordered more Speedy-Carve...now I just need another good idea...