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


“You will rise by lifting others.” - Robert G. Ingersoll

When times are bleak we seize the smallest glimmer of hope wherever we can encounter it. I find myself in the midst of such times. For me, turning to my Art is a way of trying to make sense of what is clearly chaos.

I started my journey in Art as a printmaker. The mechanics of cutting a woodblock or prepping a stone always fills me with the comforting feeling of whispered anticipation. Working with the Speedball Lino Cutter and Speedycarve block was like visiting an old friend. And the timing couldn’t be better.

I drew simple butterfly shapes on to the Speedyblock as I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to carve. I must say, it was like pushing a warm knife through butter. Now that I am familiar with the block, I am looking forward to using it again on more finely detailed work. I tried both a conventional stamp pad and acrylic paint to print the image. Both were successful, but I preferred the acrylic paint finish. When dried, I coloured the butterflies using Twinkling H20 watercolours. I love their shimmer and rich hue…keeping true colour even when dry.

I love the variety and durability of the Artistcellar stencils. Adding to my Strathmore Journal, I grabbed the Halftone Dots and Seafoam stencils. I wanted to create a feeling of randomness. I allowed the stencils to drop to the paper without positioning them. My selection of acrylics was as accidental.

When all of the elements were complete, I scanned and began the final composition.

It is impossible to ignore the events surrounding us. The implications are global. But through it all, my spirit is renewed.  Each time I see a new group of concerned individuals lifting their voices in unison, I know we are seizing the essence of what makes us truly American. Like soaring butterflies, our differences are celebrated. And we will only rise when we support and lift each other.