Time Taken: Approx. 60 to 90 minutes
This toadstool stamp is fairly simple to carve and can be used to make sweet gift tags. You can use either an ink stamp pad or for a richer more vibrant colour try block ink. It’s also a good opportunity to use up any small card off cuts you may have about.
Given the sharp tools required for carving I’d suggest that any kids’ participation should be restricted to inking the rubber and stamping the tags.
Most of the items required are readily available. Many art shops now stock the soft rubber printing blocks. The product I use is called ezy carve, 14cm x 21cm and made by Renoir. It costs $8 US or $9 AUS. If you’re struggling to find it even online I have heard of people carving small stamps from a regular rubber eraser. Block Ink can be purchased from art stores – I’m using Australian made brand Derivan. Lastly, the carving tool – the linocut blades and handle I use are “speedball” brand and came in a kit. 3 interchangeable tips are stored in the handle – very handy!
List of items
Sheet of paper to draw your design on
Black pen for design
Pencil for tracing paper transfer
Gift tag size cards with holes punched
Rubber Block for carving (you can cut a piece to the approximate size of your stamp before we start - BE CAREFUL with your sharp tools)
Carving tools - I use linocut tools size #1 and #5
Ink Pad stamp OR flat plate, block ink and spoon
Step 1. Draw your toadstool, the exact size you would like the stamp, onto a sheet of paper. (If confident you can draw straight onto the rubber but it is much easier to erase mistakes and refine your design on paper first).
Step 2. Use tracing paper to transfer design to the rubber block.
Step 3. Now to start carving. SAFETY NOTE: You do not need to apply much pressure to carve rubber and always ensure you angle the tool away from your body and wherever possible away from fingers to avoid any injuries if you slip (You are undertaking this at your own risk!)
Remember that the areas you are going to carve away will be the colour of your chosen card and the areas you leave untouched will be where the ink prints from. Also note that the stamp print will be the reverse of the picture you have carved. eg. If you want to print word, you’d need to carve the words into the rubber so that they read backwards.
Take your finest point carving tool (mine is size #1) and gently carve a groove around the outside line of the toadstool. Now carve the spots out of the top of the toadstool and then another groove inside the line of the stalk
Step 4. Take a larger carving tool (for this part I use size #5) and remove the inside area of the stalk and all of the area outside of the toadstool. If you have a Stanley knife handy you can cut away the rest of the rubber that you do not need but this is not absolutely necessary.
Step 5. Wash stamp with soap and water to remove any small pieces of cut rubber or pencil marks. Allow a few minutes to dry.
Step 6. Inking and stamping. A) If using a regular ink pad, turn the stamp face up and wipe the ink pad across the face of the stamp. Or B) If using block ink, use the back of a spoon to spread it thinly across a side plate and press the stamp face down into it.
Do a few test stamps on a scrap piece of paper. You may find you may want to further refine your design. Now get stamping : )
Step 7. Allow tags to dry then thread a piece of coloured embroidery cotton or jute string through the punched hole and your tag is ready to use.
Please note the design of the toadstool and this tutorial has been created by me (http://chantalvincentart.blogspot.com/). All photos belong to me. I would love for you to share my tutorial but please be sure to link it back to this blog.