Art lesson: Handcarved stamp

Published by Lori Pickert on January 27, 2009 at 02:16 PM

Our telescope — what he drew.

The weather this Christmas prevented us from getting together with our family until almost a month later, so I had to hold back and not show you some of the great presents the boys made.

My 12-year-old son gave everyone moleskine cahier notebooks handstamped with a stamp he carved himself. Check it out!

First do your drawing, then outline it very heavily with soft pencil.

Lay your drawing on your carving block and press down hard to transfer the pencil marks.

Any words or letters in your drawing will reverse automatically for carving and look correct when you stamp them — if you draw directly on a stamp block, you need to reverse your own writing!

Use the pencil to fill in any spots that didn’t transfer well.

Be careful to carve away from your drawing — and your fingers!

We carved down about three layers to get a nicely raised image.

Ink it up with your stamp pad and test it on scrap paper — you can then carve away any problem spots.

finished notebook!

We loved this project! We were inspired by journals we saw on Etsy and Geninne’s wonderful rubber stamp carving tutorial here. We will definitely be carving more stamps!


Comment by Sam on January 27, 2009 at 06:35 PM

That's a fabulous present. The stamped image has come out beautifully. Great work.
By coincidence, I have been doing some stamp"carving" talk on my blog too. I don't have one of those fancy carving tools (yet!), so I tried embossing into polystyrene (styrofoam). It worked quite well :-)

Comment by kirsten on January 27, 2009 at 06:38 PM

that turned out so great! i've been wanting to do this with my daughter (and by myself!) for a while, and this is perfectly timed, as our supplies should be arriving today!

Comment by SnippetyGibbet on January 27, 2009 at 07:00 PM

Oh, that's really quite a beautiful piece. Kudos to your son.

Comment by Aimee on January 27, 2009 at 07:58 PM

So beautiful!

Comment by Barbara on January 27, 2009 at 08:16 PM

awesome!! he did a great job. I love linocut-ting :) and what a gorgeous galaxy viewing area.

Comment by Theresa on January 27, 2009 at 09:22 PM

Great stamp!
I am jealous of your observatory, btw. We have a telescope but no big windows like that.

Comment by Sarah Jackson on January 27, 2009 at 09:44 PM

ooh! we're very inspired. you should see my shopping cart at dickblick. oops!

Comment by jen on January 27, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Love that! Great job!

Comment by amy on January 27, 2009 at 10:27 PM

this is beautiful - the final product is so textural and interesting! Thank you for sharing...

Comment by barbara on January 27, 2009 at 10:41 PM

awesome. we will definitely have to try this out.

Comment by Kelly on January 27, 2009 at 10:51 PM


Comment by Ann on January 27, 2009 at 11:54 PM

Wonderful! Printmaking is a wonderful project. I'll have to email some of the work my art class did, both the linoleum blocks and woodcarving.

Comment by Meredith on January 28, 2009 at 12:15 AM

Oh man is that cool! Thanks for the tutorial link as well :) Clever and creative boy :)

Comment by jess on January 28, 2009 at 12:22 AM

Great gift idea! And nicely done, too. I did some stamp carving when I was into letterboxing (if you don't know what that is, check out I think it would be right up your alley). I haven't been able to get out much with the newborn and the cold weather, though, so letterboxing has been put on hold for a bit... although now I'm tempted to carve some stamps so I'll be prepared when I'm able to get back to it!

Comment by Dawn on January 28, 2009 at 12:35 AM

Great job! What a wonderful gift and project.
Lovin' this corner of your house too!! I have been craving just such an uncluttered space...

Comment by cyndi on January 28, 2009 at 12:45 AM

what a great idea. it turned out beautifully.

Comment by Ellie - Petalplum on January 28, 2009 at 06:01 AM

What a fantastic idea. Such a great drawing, and skills to carve. Lovely lovely gifts, I'm sure your family will enjoy using those special and thoughtful journals.

Comment by mommyknows on January 28, 2009 at 07:03 AM

Wow, I am really impressed! I love the finished product. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Jen R. (aaron-n... on January 28, 2009 at 03:17 PM

What a fabulous idea! Thanks!

By the way, I never got the forum id/password I asked for... :(

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 28, 2009 at 03:58 PM

thank you, friends! :^)

sam, i’ll come check out your project!

jen, i’ve taken care of it. ;^)

Comment by lucy on January 28, 2009 at 04:17 PM

I love it. I remember doing this in art class in highschool, it was so much fun and I remember being so very proud of myself. What a great idea for gifts...

Comment by nancy on January 28, 2009 at 06:58 PM

great project! I love the finished product. I'm going to file this away for later, or i might just try it myself sooner than later!

Comment by Denise on January 29, 2009 at 04:38 AM

What a view you have. Love those floors.
Cool stamp!

Comment by Tiphaine on January 29, 2009 at 07:32 AM

This is such a great idea !!!!

Comment by melanie on January 29, 2009 at 02:55 PM

I love this project! Do you think it would be too hard for an 8 year old? We have done printmaking this year, using just old egg cartons and a dull pencil to 'carve' the shapes out and the kids just loved it.

Comment by Adrienne on January 30, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Lovely! What a great idea. I like using the stamp on the notebook cover.

Comment by Lisa on January 31, 2009 at 05:15 PM

Wow! I think I smell a project for my family here!

Comment by Jodi Anderson a... on February 1, 2009 at 03:36 PM

Gosh, we haven't made stamps in ages. Thanks for putting this idea in my head. I think that it's something that we'll do this week.

Comment by Lucia on February 2, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Lori, great tutorial. Seeing your stamps prompted me to pull out our letterboxing gear and we had a little letterboxing adventure over the weekend. I posted about it and added a link here so others can learn how to make their own stamps (it's a lot of fun isn't it?). Have you guys done any letterboxing?

Comment by molly on February 3, 2009 at 09:20 PM

oh man. i love this. i think i even have all the tools hiding in a closet somewhere.

Comment by leslie on February 5, 2009 at 02:38 PM

i have made several of these myself, love how they turn out! i just need to let the kids have a turn now(it is so relaxing to chill out and carve away!)


Comment by Geninne on February 6, 2009 at 05:23 PM

Oh wow Lori! You guys are so creative! I'm so glad you found that tutorial useful :)

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