DIY “Thanks for Being my Rock” hand carved and stamped card
Dealing with mental health bullshit, I need a lot of support from the people around me to survive and thrive. Even though I don’t trust this task to many, I have my couple that really are life savers. Today’s craft tutorial will be making a card to give to those people in our lives who help us hold it all together. This craft is on the advanced side and might require additional resources which I’ll provide.
Printmaking is one of my favorite art mediums. I LOVE working with tools and my hands. It’s a craft that requires focus so it’s great for distracting and building self confidence. I also love carving, molding, and chipping away at things. If you haven’t tried stamp carving or printmaking before I strongly recommend you do a practice carving. If you want to make the card, but don’t want to do the whole carving deal, you can just trace the image and paint it.
- Design template (click link to download template- note: you’ll notice the text is backwards, this is good)
- Speedball Speedy-Cut 4″X6″
- Black permanent ink pad
- Blank cards and envelopes 5″ x 7″
- Water color paints
- Small paint brush
- Scratch paper to do rough prints on
- Graphite pencil
- Linoleum Cutter
Note: If you do not want to do any carving, just print out the template and trace the image on your cards or water color paper, and paint the design.
First, download and print the template. Then you’re going to cut off excess paper. To transfer the image, take the graphite pencil and shade the backside of the template. Place the template, design facing up, on the speedy-cut, and with a ball point pen or pencil, trace the lines of the design. This should leave an imprint on the speedy-cut. Then with a permanent marker, trace over the transferred image.
Now, you’re ready to start carving! I always start with the smallest cutting tool, and I go around the smallest areas first. If you’ve never done any carving before, you can use a big eraser to practice on. That way you can get a feel for the carving. Once you’ve carved most of the detailed parts, you can start using one of the larger sized carving tips to get rid of the larger chunks.
Once you’ve finished carving, flip the easy carve over, grab a ruler, and a permanent marker to add guide lines. I make one vertical line going down the center, one horizontal line through the center, and then two more horizontal lines, one on either side of the center line. This makes it a little easier to line up when you go to print on the paper.
Then, cut some of the excess easy carve, but be sure to leave enough of a border for you to grab.
Now, do a rough print on your newspaper or scratch paper. Make sure you use an ink pad that is a permanent ink, otherwise the water color painting will cause the ink to bleed. Since the carving/stamp is kind of big, instead of placing the stamp on top of the ink pad, press the ink pad over the design. You should be able to see if there is more carving that needs to be done, and there usually is. Once you pull a print that looks good, you can leave the stamp as is, or separate it into pieces. I cut the stamp into three different pieces, as seen in the pictures. It makes it a lot easier to put the right amount of pressure on each section.
After you’ve done your prints, you’re ready to start painting! I’m a big fan of doing rough prints and playing around with the painting before using the cards.
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