I've been following Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's #CarveDecember project for years. I love seeing what she makes and marvel each year that she can create an entire month's worth of hand-carved stamps during what is the busiest time of the year for many people. I find her repeating stamps particularly awesome. For my first-ever stamp, I went with something that I thought would be much simpler: a pineapple. Affiliate links below.
Hand-Carved Pineapple Stamp
Sketch your design on a piece of carving rubber. Using shallow cuts, remove the excess rubber around your design. You can always cut more off, but you can't add back what you've already cut away. Oh, and always cut away from yourself - these tools are sharp!
I started by removing material around the edges to get used to the feel of the tool. Then I worked on the pineapple itself. Through trial and error, I learned that when cutting curves, it's easier to rotate the rubber than the tool. I held the knife vertically to create the notches on the surface of the pineapple.
Finally, it's time to stamp! I used juicy ColorBox cat's eyes for the yellow and green areas. I added a dot of brown to each notch using a Tombow brush pen. Huff your breath on the stamp to make sure the ink is moist, then stamp it on white paper.
I'm very pleased with how my first carved stamp turned out! Have you ever carved your own stamps? Any tips?