DIY tutorial: Make your own lino-cut stamp

Since Christmas I have become obsessed with using rubber stamps,  I use them to decorate all kinds of things like greeting cards, gift tags and paper bags.  The shops stock so many different shapes and sizes it is sometimes difficult to choose and I often end up with far more than I actually need.  Recently I have been giving Sweet Mabel a little makeover (it’s still in progress so expect a few more things to change) but I realised I wanted a logo that I could easily transfer to other materials.  I had no problem with the design, I just needed to figure out a way of getting it on to a paper bag.  Hello homemade stamp.

I came across a set of instructions in Kirstie’s Vintage Home (I love that book.) It only required a a couple of new tools and some soft lino which was actually very cheap.  I got my lino from Fred Aldous, my favourite art shop, jam packed with all sorts of wonderfully creative things.  I’m lucky enough to live near the shop but they do sell online too.

You will need;

Pencil and Paper

Scissors

Linoleum (I used the soft kind)

Lino cutter

Cutting board

Ink pad

First make a template.  Draw your chosen design on to paper, it’s best to start with something simple and large which won’t be too complex to cut out.  Remember, it will appear as a mirror image, so draw your design in reverse, especially if using letters.

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Cut out the template and draw round it or if you are doing a more complex one like mine trace it on to the lino.   Using a lino cutter, gouge away the surface surrounding the outline so that only that part will print.

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When you have finished carving, test the stamp by pressing it on an ink pad and then on to paper.  If the stamp picks up any ink where you don’t want it, just keep carving until you are happy with the test print.   Now you’re ready to go.

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I’m using mine to make my own wrapping paper and to print on to paper bags but you could print on to fabric too.   Just use some fabric paint and a roller and make sure the paint is evenly distributed.  Gently press your stamp on to the fabric and use a dry roller to thoroughly press in the paint. Carefully lift off the stamp and leave to dry.

Have fun!

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