Last week I mentioned that I was going to do a stamp making post inspired that this blog that I found on Pinterest. I actually did Printmaking in college for my degree, so I'm pretty used to doing this kind of thing. I'm far more familiar with using lino for block printing, but lately I've started hearing about this carving rubber which is lots easier to use. I ordered some online, but funnily enough a few days after it arrived they got some in my local craft shop Silkes.
I cut my 6"x4" piece into 4 sections easily with a scissors.
I then did some quick sketches in pen. If you are not used to doing block printing it might be helpful to use a marker to block out the bits you won't be carving, these are the areas that will be black. Also don't forget that your image will be reversed, so write it backwards if you are doing any text.
The area you will be carving is the white part of your picture. Go slowly and carefully, as my tutor said it's not a race, once it's carved you can't fix it. The rubber is much easier to carve than lino, and it also doesn't crumble at the edges which is good. I did have a box of beautiful carving tools but over the years I must have lost them when I moved house, I used these very basic tools which you can pick up in any craft shop.
Use a scissors to cut off any excess rubber at the edge, but leave an outline of your image.
I used the ink I use for card making, it leaves a mottled texture (rather than using printing ink) but it's faster a cleaner and I quite like the texture anyhow.
Press firmly onto your paper, the nice thing about the rubber it that if you hold it really still you can lift it up at the corner to peek and see if it's printed properly.
My end result! I think I'll be using these to make lots of Christmas stamps, they are fun, quick, and most importantly they make your cards totally individual.
NOTE: Be careful to keep your fingers behind the tool when carving, this is lesson number one in Printmaking, I can't believe I made such a rookie mistake! Morto!