Rubber Grateful Dead customizable 'steal-your-face' stamp made block-printing style, and demonstrated on paper using black ink.
Step 1: Materials Needed:
- Stamp carving block (i.e.:'rubber canvas')
- Carving tips and holding base
- Permanent Marker
- Paper plates
- Block printing ink (or other desired paint/ink)
- Rubber roller
- Paper (or other material to be stamped)
- Paper towels (for clean up)
Step 2: Pencil the Design
Draw the design with pencil on your 'rubber canvas' or stamp block. Remember to think of your design in terms of what parts you want positive and negative (the raised part you do not cut will be the inked stamp). I either fill in the parts I am going to cut or mark them with an "x" to remind myself.
Step 3: Finalize Design With Marker
When you are happy with how the design looks, go over the parts you will cut in permanent marker. This step provides bold smooth lines that are a better guide to follow with the cutting tips.
Step 4: Make the First Cuts
Think of the final stamp in a functional way... how it will be to handle for inking and stamping, which parts of the design to cut off rather than carve, etc.
I decided for the steal-your-face design I wanted to be able to put any of my favorite things in the middle, so I cut the 'mind space', if you will, completely out (following the marker lines with a shallow cutting tip first to provide a good straight edge to use the slicing tip against).
Step 5: Finish Cutting the Marker Lines Out
Using slow and smooth strokes, cut the remainder of the marker lines out, replacing them with deep enough grooves or negative space so that the finer details will not fill with ink when the stamp is printed. For this project I used Speedball brand cutting tips: one with a rounded square shape for flat-bottom cuts, one with a V-shape to carve the finer details, and one that looks like a rounded exacto-knife and is used as such.
Step 6: Finish Cutting the Shape
For this stamp, I decided to cut the rest of the surrounding block off, since it is a design that is raised in the middle with nothing on the edges. For wider prints such as landscapes, you would just need to dig down enough for the voids or negative space that they are deep enough to not take on ink and leave marks where there is supposed to be nothing.
So, at this point we have the finished stamp. Now onto using it...
Step 7: Printing Set-Up
Squirt a dollop of ink (or paint) onto one of the paper plates (it doesn't take much, maybe dime sized for this palm-sized stamp) and spread it out with the rubber roller until the roller is covered in paint.
If there are any lines or ripples (access ink) on the surface of the roller, use the 2nd paper plate to roll it out until smooth.
Then roll the ink onto the stamp, trying to keep the roller as level/parallel as you can with the flat stamp surface (to only cover the parts you intend - keep the edges out of the voids/negative spaces).
Step 8: Making the Print
Press the stamp down on the chosen surface as evenly as possible, and cover it with the 2nd paper plate. Use the roller to roll over the stamp with the paper plate in between. You want to make sure to press firmly and go over it a bunch to get a perfect ink covering, but try not to jostle the stamp at all while doing this as it will blurr/smear the print.
Remove the paper plate and anchor the bottom of the stamp with your hand as you peel the top away slowly (to check for perfect coverage). If the print isn't perfectly solid or there are dots or blank splotches, just carefully lay the stamp back down and roll over it some more; until you have your perfect print.
Step 9: Customize!
I used the permanent marker to match the black ink I used this time, but the possibilities are endless! Maybe next Ill make some little stamps to fit inside..
Oh! But be sure to let the stamp dry before customizing (::smudges!::)
Thanks for reading!
Please leave constructive feedback if you'd like, this is my first Instructable ;)