Anyone who loves to pen handwritten notes, letters, and cards know how great it would be to have personalized stationery. Aside from your penmanship, these paper products can easily provide a personal touch to your note, making your receiver feel all the more special for getting such a handmade message.
The great thing about personalized stationery is that there are lots of ways to get them. If you’re willing to invest on these products, you can easily find a lot of printers who can help you produce your own range. If you want a more budget friendly option, though, you can also opt to create a printable file of your letter paper and just print out a few pages every time you need to send out some notes. If you’re the kind who want something more tangible and possibly simpler, you can also opt to create a custom stamp and use it to design your personalized stationery.
While it may sound a bit complicated, making your own stamp is actually pretty simple. All you need is some carving skills and the patience carve slowly to create a nice finished product. To help you out, here are some steps in making your very own custom stamps
What you need:
Rubber for carving*
Pen / pencil / any kind of marker
Paper / notepad
Computer and an image editing software
Wooden or acrylic disc
* You can use a wide range of rubber products for your custom stamp. There are lots of craft and specialty stores that sell rubber blocks, carving rubber, or big sized rubber erasers that can be easily utilized for this purpose. You can also recycle old flip-flops and other rubber products as well. Just make sure that the material is soft enough for easy carving and that it is clean and dry before you start.
** Carving tools come in a wide range of kinds and sizes. Please note that you will need rubber carving tools that are available in most hobby and craft stores and not wood carving tools. As these tools come in varying point sizes, you may find it challenging to choose just a few. The most practical option is to get a set with an interchangeable tip, so you can get more bang for your buck. If you can’t find a carving tool set, you can opt to get the #1 tip
for detailing and the #5 tip for carving out bigger chunks faster. You can also decide depending on the size of the stamp you wish to make.
*** If you do not want to shell out some cash on your initial foray in stamp carving, you can also opt to use a craft knife instead. However, carving can be a bit difficult and it may take you a bit longer to finish.
1. Grab your pen and paper and start creating the design you wish to turn into a custom stamp. If you’re able, you can also do this on the computer with a photo editing software instead. Edit the size to fit your desired stamp measurements and print once you’re done.
2. Place the design face down on the carving rubber. You can transfer the ink to the rubber by rubbing the paper using your eraser or your fingernail. Carefully lift one side of the paper to check if the print is transferring properly and continue to do so until you’re satisfied with the result. Be careful when lifting the paper, though, as the design can shift and it may skew your design completely.
3. Once you’re happy with the transfer, grab your craft knife or carving tool with the finer tip and start to carefully carve the outside of the graphic. Whether it has some borders or not, it is essential to carve the outsides so you get a more defined design. Once the outside of your design has been demarcated, you can now take your carving tool with bigger tips to take out the chunks on the side of your stamp. To protect the surface you’re working on, make sure to use a cutting mat to avoid slippage and scratches.
4. Decide how you want your design to look like. If you want a darker output, carve out the actual lines of your design. This will create a more solid image and is a more popular choice for images with details. For graphics that make use of letters and monograms, as well as designs without borders, carving out the negative space or the white areas surrounding the lines is a better option in creating a more defined stamp.
5. To create a finer output, use your craft knife to slice the outsides of your design horizontally. This will create a cleaner look and smoothen the surface of the outside of your stamp’s design. This is an optional step, though, but can guarantee a more professional look to your custom stamp.
6. Clean off the carved block and test it with the use of your stamp pad. If your design does not turn out nicely, carve deeper. Test again until you’re happy with the outcome.
7. With the use of a strong adhesive, mount your freshly finished custom stamp on the wooden or acrylic disc. This is also an optional step but taking the time to do this can make your stamp last longer and a lot easier to handle.
8. Start stamping your preferred paper stock and enjoy your very own handmade personalized stationery!
When creating a handmade stamp, make sure to be careful. Especially since you’ll be working with sharp tools, you have to be mindful with your actions. Carve away from yourself and do not rush the creation of dents in your rubber. For first timers, it is also recommended to work with simpler designs first until you’re confident enough with your carving skills. You can also watch carving tutorials online to get a good grasp of what it looks like to work with rubber.
With ample research and the right tools, you can confidently create your very own personalized stamps and stationery. With this skill, you’ll never run out of ways to personalize your notes, cards, and letters ever again.