So I decided to make one for him, snapping some tutorial pictures along the way.
Carving these took between 30 minutes and an hour each (30 for the text, 30 for the scalloped edging). And each one cost about a buck for materials. The carving tool was less than 10 dollars and it's been a fantastic investment (considering we've already used it to carve some awesome Stephen King pumpkins).
Supplies (I have links to different companies because those were the best prices I found on the internet, but if you plan to buy both the blocks and the cutter, I'm sure you'd save on shipping by getting them from the same place.)
- linoleum cutter
- Blank Cutting Block (2.75x4.5)
- sharp blade for cutting the stamp into 2 pieces
- double stick tape (helpful, but not completely necessary)
- scalloped edged scissors or rotary cutter (optional- for the fancy edging)
- super sticky masking tape (optional- for the fancy edging)
-You can cut the block in half, which produces two smaller stamps that will be more likely to fit all books.
- Always use a cutting mat or a very thick piece of cardboard underneath.
- Try to keep the blade perpendicular to the cutting mat otherwise it can go a bit wonky.
- For the simple straight lines on Matt's, I just used tape as a guide.
- For the scalloped edges (either all the way around, or just top and bottom), I cut the masking tape with a rotary cutter (scalloped scissors would work well too)...
- placed it along the edges to create a pattern (being careful at the corners- they're kind of fiddley)...
- rubbed it down really well with my thumbnail (otherwise the tape tends to come loose)...
- then I carved the stamp where the tape wasn't. (Also, never cut towards your finger. This is a picture of what you shouldn't do. But then again, you probably won't be trying to take pictures while you do this.)
- It should look exactly like you want it to appear when you stamp, not a mirror image.
- I created a rectangle that was 2.75" x 2.25" (the exact size of the stamp) to help line it up later.
- Bauhaus 93 was a pretty easy font for me to carve.
- Don't forget to save this document to your hard drive. It's much easier to open the old file and change the name for the next birthday kid than to recreate it. (I'm putting this tip in here because I completely forgot to do it. But, you're probably much more on top of things than I am, so you can pretend I didn't say anything.)
-Transfer the image to the stamp.
- Make sure your printer is not out of ink because it will significantly lighten the transfer.
- Clear a flat, hard surface near to your printer to work on.
- Put a few pieces of double stick tape on the front side of the stamp.
- Print the document, lay it face up and then immediately turn the stamp over onto it, lining it up with the printed rectangle.
- Flip it over and rub the back of the paper with the back of your fingernail (or spoon).
- Peel up carefully. The writing will automatically be a mirror image, which is what you want.
- If for some reason it's crooked or badly smeared, you can just wash the stamp with soap and water, let dry and then give it another shot.
-These carving blocks tend to be a bit crumbly. After you're done carving, gently scrubbing it with a clean toothbrush will give it a nice smooth surface.
As with any of my craft projects, I'd love to see your versions if you give them a try.
Also, be sure to come back next week for more of the Book Gift Set, complete with a tutorial for the personalized library bags.
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