Make a stamp!

Whether you're creating a background, working in your journal, or creating a card, a stamped image is always a fun addition to any piece. You can buy a stamp with just about any image, but what about that simple doodle or symbol that you seem to go back to again and again, an image that has special meaning to you.


I find myself doodling stars all the time. As a result, I have tried a couple of simple ways to include stars in my projects.

It's easy to cut a star shape from a sponge, add paint to it, and stamp. You can also cut a shape from Fun foam, or carve the shape into the foam and stamp for a different effect.

These are fast-and-easy ways to add a stamped image, but if you want to create a stamp with more pizzaz (and one you can keep forever), how about carving your own custom stamp?


Here's a simple heart stamp from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's new book: Carve Stamp Play.


1.   Use a pen to draw a heart shape on a 1" x 1" rubber carving block. 

2.   Using a permanent marker, mark the area surrounding the heart that will be cut away. 

3.   Carve out the cleavage of the heat with the smallest carving blade, positioning the blade so that you can place the blade at the tip of the cleavage and push away from yourself to carve one side and then the other slope of the heart.




4.    Continue carving a moat around the outside of the heart.

5.    Using a box cutter, cut away the excess rubber from around the heart, and then cut away any excess in the cleavage of the heart with the carving tool, making sure to carve from the corner out.

note: At this small size, there is no need to switch to a larger carving blade.


Stamps can be as simple or as detailed as you choose to make them. This simple heart is just the beginning.


Carving Tips from Julie

  • Always cut away from yourself using a pushing motion.
  • Go slowly for best results, and keep the "holding" hand out of a direct line with the blade.
  • You don't have to use a lot of pressure when carving. Keep the cuts shallow and clean. 
  • Turn the block, not the tool. Think of it as feeding the block into the tool rather than pushing the tool around the block.


Learn how to design and create individual stamps, sets of stamps, interlocking stamps, and more, and then go on to create unique items for yourself and others.

Julie has all the tips and techniques you need to create lots of wonderful stamps in her new book: Carve Stamp Play. Just in time for gift giving!


Happy holidays.


Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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