January 24, 2013
Over the past year or so I’ve come to love simpler and recyclable wrapping paper, and use it for all occasions. In the past I’ve dressed up the plain brown craft paper with twine, ribbon, bows made of yarn, and homemade gift tags. So fun. This past Christmas I took it a step further and made my own Christmas Tree stamp, and used it and permanent red ink to make super special custom Christmas wrapping paper. And honestly, I don’t know that any of my gift recipients enjoyed it as much as I did. Haha.
Anyway. I loved designing and making the stamp + decorating the paper and wanted to do it again, and this time share it with you. AND as bonus to this, the finished products will be for sale in my Etsy shop when this post goes live! Wrap your gifts in homemade love!
So first, how to make a rubber stamp! First you need
- some carving tools,
- rubber base or a rubber block eraser,
- something to mount the rubber on once carved,
- and some creative juice.
- Krazy glue
And now, for amazingly simple steps:
- Drink glass of creative juice.
- Sketch out some ideas for your stamp, pick one and either trace or re-sketch lightly onto rubber with a pencil. The Christmas tree I drew was a bit more elaborate – for this project, I stuck with a simple heart.
- Use your carving tools to carve your shape out, or to carve a negative of your shape – you choose. I used an Exacto knife instead of the actual carving tools made to do this because I’m a cheapo and didn’t want to buy the set. It’s harder with just an Exacto knife, but doable. If you aren’t a cheapo and want the tools, they are inexpensive – and there’s less risk of slicing your finger(s) off.
- Mount your new stamp on something – If it’s big, you can buy a 99-cent craft wood plaques and glue it to that. You can find some square of plastic, or chunk of cardboard, or something else creative. The rubber is probably a little floppy and will be difficult to hold otherwise. For my heart, I chose a champagne cork from my little vase of retired corks. It was basically perfect, and so I highly recommend a cork for your stamp if it is small.
NOTE on glue: I originally used tacky glue – first the original kind, then the fast grab kind. Both worked well, until I went to wash the stamp, and it promptly came off after being under the water for 5-10 seconds. Krazy glue proved to be water proof and a better gluing agent for the rubber and cork.
Stamp is done! Now we move on to the fun part. For the actual stamping activity, you need:
- something on which to apply your stamp (obviously),
- an ink/paint Brayer (if your stamp is big) (I ended up not really using it),
- and an ink pad, paint or ink of some kind.
I experimented with regular craft acrylic paint, and found it to be too thin. The stamping was difficult and smeared too easily. I switched to Artist’s Loft water color paint and it worked much better. Ink is the best because it’s much thicker than paint (but takes much longer to dry). And if your stamp is small enough, you can use regular ink pads. Paint or tube ink vs. the ink pad make for somewhat different apperance.
NOTE on using tube ink: If you get oil-based printing ink, you will need turpentine or some other heavy chemicals to clean it off of your fingers and off of your stamp and off of whatever you accidentally got it on. If you want permanent ink vs. just some fun and easy craft paint or ink pad, make sure to read the directions and be prepared.
And now you get to stamping whatever it is your want stamped. In this case, it’s my special all-purpose recycle-able brown craft paper aka wrapping paper. Woo.
I did three different color combinations and altered the pattern a tiny bit.
[No, there was no ring in that box for me. Nice try. Photo props, ya'll, come on.]