Stamp Me Daddy Eight To The Bar

Okay this might be too obscure of a reference, but today we are doing stamps.

Wazzup? (But in the voice of my childhood crush, Adam Sandler)

I’m not sure if it comes across, but I try very hard to make most of the crafts in these newsletters original or at least not something you have seen a million times before. However, sometimes, I feel like revisiting a classic craft has a certain value. So this time, we are doing stamps. 

Now, there are a lot of ways to do stamps. You can use a potato, you can use a cork, you can use lemons if you want your stamp to specifically look like a lemon, but I find a lot of these stamp-making methods are very hard if you are trying to make something that isn’t a basic shape or you are doing it with kids and want them to be part of the design process and not just the stamping process. 

That’s why I am going to teach you my favorite way to make high-quality stamps that you can use over and over. You will need one specific material and that is crafting foam or any other thin foam. This stuff is pretty cheap and you can easily get it online or usually at CVS or a dollar store. These types of foams are also sometimes used in packaging. The foam I am going to be using today came inside a pack of pastels as packaging. Thin styrofoam from a take out container or something similar would also work (if you live in a state that still has styrofoam). 

The next step is to draw a design for your stamp. This is a great way to get kids involved as well. When you are designing your stamps, try to come up with a design that has a continuous outline. The sky is the limit here, but the more intricate your design is, the harder it will be to cut out. For the first one, you might want to start simple because it can be harder to cut out than you think. Unfortunately, my upcycled foam was black so I could not draw right on it, but if you have a lighter collared foam you can sketch directly on it. 

Instead, I drew out my design on a piece of paper and then taped the paper to the foam (I drew a leaf from one of those trendy plants.) If you are afraid to draw, you can always trace a design and use this same technique. 

Then carefully cut out your design. This part works better if you have an Exacto knife, which long time readers will know, I can’t find. So I used scissors. It came out mostly ok, but more blocky than it would have if I had my knife. If you are doing this with kids, this is the time to take over. 

When you are happy with your cut out, glue it down to something hard and flat. I used tacky glue, but school glue should also work fine. The gold standard here is probably a small block of wood, but I don’t usually have that in my house, so instead, I used the top of a jar. It will work just as well. 

Wait for your glue to dry and then your stamp is ready to try out! While I was waiting for it to dry, I decided to make some other stamps. The first was to show an important note. If you are making a lettering stamp, make sure that when you glue it down, it looks backwards. 

For this one, I wrote it the correct way and flipped it for the gluing step. 

One of my favorite types of stamps is a pattern stamp. These types of stamps work great for layering and will spice up any package or card and they are the easiest to make. First, I took the scraps from the other stamps I had made. 

Then I cut these shapes into triangles. You can pick any shape or do a lot of different shapes, it will still make a great pattern. I glued down my triangles randomly and made sure there were spaces between them. 

When all my stamps were dry, I got out my stamp pads. If you don’t have a pad, you could brush on your ink, but I think the pad is a lot easier. 

And ta-da, you have a set of your very own original stamps. 

For this week’s wrap up, I wanted to say the last couple weeks of quarantine have really been getting to me. I assume they have been for everyone. I usually keep the end of these pretty cheery, but I also wanted to say it’s ok if you aren’t. I’ve had some really bad days, but I am happy to keep crafting (amongst other things) and trying to focus on things that I can control and things that keep me looking up. I was on a Zoom call about the future of live performing hosted by one of my favorite NYC venues, Caveat, yesterday and they had some hard truths about how long it’s going to take for performers to come back to live-in-person performance, so I am grateful to have started a creative outlet like this. Also if you are craving live content, check out one of their live streams. 

Ok, so maybe this ending was a bummer, but on the bright side, I now have some stamps. Anyone want to be pen pals? Y’all know I have postcards.