Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stamp-tacular hits and misses

This week I dropped off a few of my Christmas ornaments at a local vintage consignment shop called Street Scene. I was putting together pricing labels, and realized after hand lettering my second card that I really needed something that would help me create labels faster. Now, I should have followed my first instinct, which was go to Office Depot and get a rubber stamp made. Something professional with curly cues. But the $20 price tag threw me off. Surely I can come up with something on my own.
After scouring the forums and blogs, I fumbled across a few sites that explained how to make rubber stamps with $1 erasers, like this one that I book-marked over a year ago and have been dying to try.
However, the Speedball lino cutter almost everyone on the blogs brought me back to the $20 price tag I have been trying to avoid. So, I found another blog where a stamp carving only used an Xacto knife. Considering I already owned an Xacto knife, I gave it a shot. I grabbed a sharpie and drew my company name on a standard pink eraser and got to carving. The result wasn't that bad, but my edges were rough, and of course, I didn't realize I was supposed the be carving a reverse image, so my bluegirl actually read lrigeuld.

Take 2 – I found another blog where I learned how to easily get my reverse image in my eraser before carving, AND this carver made all her stamps with only a cuticle cutter. Alright. I could buy a whole manicure set at Dollar Tree for only a buck. So with a whole new package of erasers I gave this technique a go.

Rats. The cuticle cutter did okay, but again, my round edges looked rough, and there are a lot of curves in my chosen company name, so that wasn't going to work. Also mad props to the girl who can carve with a cuticle cutter, but I put her in a category of crafters who can knit with pencil nibs and paint masterpieces with a sponge. This is a category I don't fall in.

My determination has a tendency to override my common-sense, and the once lofty $20 price tag on the Speedball carving kit didn't seem too outrageous. Totally forgetting that I could have a professional make a stamp for me for the same price that would be detailed enough to include my store site, blog and a tiny portrait of myself, I stomped right into my local craft store and bought the lino carving set.

What a difference the right tools make. I carved out a couple of initial stamps and my company logo. I am in love, love love with the linocutter. I was up till midnight playing around with it, and can't wait to play with it some more. I have a decent company logo I can use on price tags, and a little flower for practice.

In the end my frugality lost, but I have one more item on my list of, “I want to learn how to do that someday” items and that is truly priceless.

Here is how I did it.
Step 1 – trace an outline of the pink eraser on a regular piece of paper so you will know how big your design can be. Then draw your design in pencil in that space.
Step 2 – cut out the design and place it face down on your eraser. Then rub, rub, rub the back of your pencil, or your fingernail, on the paper and your image will magically transfer.
Step 3 – carve out your designs. Remember to cut away anything you do not want stamped.
And that's it.
If you want to try the cuticle cutter method, check out this blog for instructions.
Have fun buying the Dollar Tree out of eraser packages. I have.

1 comment:

  1. This is so me, it's not even funny. Like my tile table. Wayyyy more expensive than it should have been. Good crafting, though!