Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Howdy and Happy New Year, everyone!

For today’s tutorial, I’d like to share an idea for carving your own stamps.

I happen to be taking two online classes that deal with astrology, so I chose to carve a set of zodiac signs, planets, and moon phase stamps to use in my art journals.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Steps 1-6:

  1. Print out your designs.
  2. Color in an image with your pencil.
  3. Flip the paper face down onto your carving material.
  4. Rub the back of the paper with your pencil.
  5. Take a peek to be sure the image is transferring.
  6. If so, remove the paper and get ready to carve!

Carve Your Stamps:

Using a Speedball Lino Cutter or other stamp carving tool, carve around the dark areas you traced and rubbed onto the carving material. You cut away the white space, and keep the dark areas. (This can be tricky for my brain to process, so be patient. I recommend starting with a simple design, until you get the hang of it.

Make a print of your stamp, using the Archival black ink pad.

Cut away any miscellaneous areas that you missed.

Keep going until you need a break. 

TIP: ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOURSELF WHEN CARVING STAMPS. Cutting toward yourself will likely get you a bloody finger or worse! Those blades are sharp!

Enjoy your collection of hand-carved stamps!

Additional Tips:

Stay hydrated.

Use good lighting.

Get up and do some yoga stretches or shoulder rolls to keep your back and neck healthy.

Blessings to you,

Briana of

Greetings Creative Ones,

Hand lettering is truly an art and takes years of practice and patience. I may come up with and master a style that I am happy with some day but until then, I can use these great Artistcellar stencils to make beautiful words happen.

I fell in love with Tam's Inspiration series stencils by Tamara Laporte. There are twelve words to work and the lettering style is very playful which is just what I was looking for. I didn’t really have a plan when I started this project today and I wanted to see where these whimsical little words would take me.

I used Yasutomo’s Mineral Paper and Splash Ink to create a background of color. Drop several drops of the acrylic ink randomly on the paper and wait a minute to let the color settle a little. Take a brayer and roll the color over the paper until the colors are blended and let the colors dry but not too dry. The ink should be slightly tacky on the paper. I chose the Kaleidoscope series for the the background because I can doodle inside the shapes later. Lay the stencil over the mostly dry color and lift off color with a damp makeup sponge.

Take another stencil from the Kaleidoscope series and apply ink from an ink pad with a sponge for a layered effect. Do this with several sheets of mineral paper and enjoy the process of making beautiful back grounds. If you feel the paper is too saturated with color, you can rinse it off or wipe off excess color with a sponge or baby wipe. I decided to choose the paper with the lightest background for the lettering.

Apply archival black stamp pad ink over the lettering onto the colored mineral paper using a makeup sponge. Bring out highlights using a white paint pen. Bring out shadows and fill in the gaps with a black felt pen. Make doodles using the shapes in the background with more ink.


Oh, and dont’ forget to those white “magic sponges” for cleaning paints and inks off stencils. :-)