So I’ve been itching to try linoleum block carving to make my own stamps. I purchased a starter kit, which was really nice to get the brayer, carving tools, and ink, but I detest with a passion the hard lionleum block material (I’ll stick to the soft, eraser type carving). If you get a starter kit and the hard linoleum comes in the kit, throw it away (or freecycle it) and get the white or pink soft carving material (mentioned later).
The number one reason why I detest with a passion the hard linoleum block material is because I cut my hand 4 times through the carving process (exhibit A shown in the picture below).
The material is really hard, so as your carving, it’s very easy to slip and deeply cut your fingers.
I decided to do a journal style stamp. You can sketch your image on a piece of scratch paper, and then transfer the image to the stamp. I sketched the image directly onto the stamp.
I learned through playing around with carving that you carve with the curve of the blade down, into the material (yes, I didn’t know this at first and tried to cut with the blade the opposite way, which of course didn’t work).
An even more disappointment I had with this finished project was that when I inked the freshly carved stamp, the finished image is hard to stamp evenly. I guess it isn’t the end of the world, I can save the stamp for a distressed looking image.
I did purchase some of the soft eraser material material from Speedball, and I Love it!! I got a 4×6″ sheet and cut it into multiple pieces so I can make multiple stamps with the one sheet. I purchased the Speedycut by Speedball, but I’d recommend the Speedycarve (the pink Speedycarve doesn’t crumble like the Speedycut tends to). It’s easy to cut and really fun to cut as well. Here’s a link to a comparison crab apple designs did for reference. The following is my stamped image with the Speedycut:
I’m going to use this stamp to pair with gifts I make as a label on the gift tags. I used a left hand for the image since I’m left-handed.
For inking your homemade rubber stamp, you can use a stamp pad or the liquid speedball ink. I like the speedball ink that you can roll with the brayer (roller toll) onto your stamp for an even finish but I think I’ll play around with both stamping pads and the black liquid ink to see which I like best.
Something else you can use to carve stamps is simple erasers.