Saturday, 24 January 2015

How to carve fabulous stamps from balsa wood

I would be the first to admit how much of a fangirl I am. The geekier a craft, the more excited I get, and anything that involves one of my many fandoms is fabulous. The brilliant thing about this project is you can completely customise it - that's the point. For example, I made a stamp for Chirstmas with a reindeer on, which I like to think inpired awe to all that recieved my  handmade cards. Alternatively they may just have cursed my mirserlyness at not buying people cards, but that's beside the point. Anyway, this is how I make them:

What you'll need:
A piece of balsa wood (it's a type of wood that's soft, so easy to carve)
A pencil
A design that you want to be on the stamp
A craft knife
A carpet or cutting board
A sharpie, or felt tip
A pair of hands (in working order. or you could always use your feet.)

First, take your design and lay it face up on the balsa wood. Then begin to trace it, pressing hard so that the pencil indents the wood below (please, unless you are feeling foolish, like I clearly was, do not use a pencil with an easily snapable (what do you mean that's not a word spell check. it is too) lead. just don't).
Here is my design, traced onto the wood. I went over it with pencil so I could see the marks more easily

Now use your sharpie to colour in all your negative (getting professional here) bits - the parts you want to go in (ie remove).
Now, take your craft knife and begin to chip off the coloured areas. You can do this by slipping your knife under the wood, and cutting round the edges
Continue this until you have removed all the coloured area. You can do the fine areas by pushing firmly down with a pencil. TADA YOU'RE DONE!!!!! It probably looks amazing, like mine, but don't worry if it isn't - you can always try again. Congratu very lations.