Thursday, 8 January 2009

Childs drawing to a rubber stamp tutorial

I hope this is going to make sense, my head is full of cold!

You will need...
  • a drawing
  • rubber (a plastic eraser can be used)
  • something to carve with, a proper tool or shape knife
  • ink
  • paper to test on
  • something to print on (I used a T-shirt)
  • Iron (depend if you are printing on fabric)

First, find a suitable picture, if it is too big/small you can resize it. It might be an idea to make a copy of the original rather than use the childs masterpiece. Trace over the picture with a soft pencil, I like to use B4.

Place the paper over the rubber and rub with your finger nail, this will transfer then pencil to the rubber.
Remember that your image with be reversed, this is important if you are planning on using text, the writing should be backwards on your eraser.
Now for the carving, with this robot, I carved away all the white but that last robot I carved away his mouth and eyes for a more solid look. Just make sure you decide before you start exactly which bits you are going to carve. My tool is a Speedball and comes with 3 blades that are stored in the handle - very handy.
Once you have carved away the rubber you need to test it, there is always a little bit that might have missed, in this case, I need to remove more around his anteana and the edges. You might prefer to cut away any bits around the edge that are not needed. When you are happy with the print you can mount it on a block of wood, which makes it easier to use. If you stamp the top of the wood, double check that you are sticking the rubber piece on the same way or you will end up with upside down prints (she speaks from experience).
Then get printing, there are lots of different inks available so check you have the right kind for the surface you are printing on. 
For the ink I used, it needs to me set with a hot iron (no steam) for 30 seconds.
Then you are done and you then need a model to P-O-S-E. Luckily I had one on hand...

(click image for bigger picture)
When you are finished printing, stamp of a piece of paper to get rid of an excess ink then wash with warm water, don't scrub at it, the rubber with break off. Pat dry and store in an box, try and lay big stamps flat.
For me, stamp carving is very relaxing, I can get into that 'zone' where I am at perfect peace. As much as I love sewing, I don't have the same feeling when I sew, some people say knitting is relaxing in the same way, for me, if I got into that mode with a pair of knitting needles I would end up tangled in a big ball of yarn, I will stick to the carving I think.
If you give this a go, let me know, I would like to see what you come up with.
Pin It button on image hover