DIY: handmade stamp & greeting cards

I’ve been a Whimseybox customer for a few months now and each craft they send is always better than the last. 2 months ago, they sent materials for a handmade stamp and hand printed greeting cards. I have to admit, I was a little nervous with this one, so I tucked it away until I had time to really tackle it. This past Sunday, I went to town!

Sometimes, the hardest part is figuring out what you want your stamp to say. So, I went with a classic lolcat greeting – HAI! My friends who know me well will get a kick of out of it. In fact, looking at my greeting cards just makes me smile. So here’s how I did it. Be warned, if you’ve never made your own stamp, there is a small learning curve, but completely do-able.

1. First, gather all your materials. You’ll need card stock, a rubber stamp, a stamp carving tool, ink, and what I’m going to call an ink spatula. Also pictured, original instructions from Whimseybox.

2. Next, print out your text or image. If you’re super creative, you can draw something. I printed text. Take a pencil and color in your text/drawing. You’ll want to press down fairly hard because you want the pencil to transfer to the stamp.

3. Next, burnish your text to your stamp. I had no clue what this meant, so I looked it up. Always learning something new. Basically, flip the paper over to your stamp and rub (without moving the paper) over your penciled in area. If you’re a lefty like me, just think of all the times you smudged your homework in school. This too is essentially ‘burnishing’. Your text will be backwards. I filled in any areas that didn’t transfer as well, just so I would have a guide.

4. Next, start carving out your stamp. A stamp carving tool should be thought of like a shovel. You scoop out the negative space (where you don’t want ink) like you scoop ice cream or snow. You don’t pick at it – like I first tried to do. Start small and don’t try and go too deep straight away. Carving a stamp is much like cutting fabric, you can’t add it back after you’ve cut, so go slow. Safety note: scoop away from you and your hands, this little tool is sharp!

5. After you have your stamp carved, add ink using your ink spatula. A little bit of ink goes a long way.

6. Test your stamp on some scrap paper. I found out that I preferred the second stamp, instead of the first one with all the fresh ink (you can see my test sheets in the back of this pic). Then, stamp your greeting cards & voila!

I love how different and personal each card is. The project itself took a few hours to complete, but it’s one that I really enjoyed and would do again in an instant. But for now, I’ll be sending these cards out to a few friends and hope it makes them smile too!

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