FriDIY: Hand Stamped Kraft Notebooks

How to make rubber stamps
Personalised Kraft Notebooks
Anyone who knows me, knows I am an avid crafter. I'll try my hand at most things (that's code for 'I can't see anything through') which can either be really satisfying or a MASSIVE disaster. Either way, I thought I'd start sharing these experiments - just in case anyone's interested - kicking off with those nifty personalised kraft notebooks up there.

I'm quite pleased with how these turned out as I'm fairly new to linocutting - I don't think that failed attempt in Year 7 Art really counts. They're pretty rustic looking (aka messy) but that's totally the look I was going for. Ahem. Anyway, once you get the hang of it you can go crazy and start stamping all day err day.

How to linocut
What You Need
- Kraft notebooks
- Erasers
- Lino cutters
- Ink
- Pen/pencil
- Tracing paper (optional)

So first up, you're gonna need to think of a design. If you're a newbie to this stamp making lark like yours truly, you'll probably want to keep it simple and on a larger scale - which is where those giant novelty erasers you used to have at school come in handy. If you're nimble with a No.2 you can go ahead & draw your design straight on to the rubber, if you're lacking in the artistic department (right there with ya' sister) go ahead & grab that tracing paper.

You want to remember that once stamped the result will be a mirror image of your original design, which is kinda important if letters & numbers are being used.
How to make a linocut
As you can see I've kept it nice & simple with easy to follow lines. You'll also notice I've scribbled all over it. These little squiggles indicate the negative space where I want to cut; any areas I don't cut will catch the ink & form the stamp. 

Now it's time to get your carve on.

Slowly & gently start removing the negative space with shallow cuts, always moving the v-shaped blade away from you 'cos those little buggers hurt if you're not careful. If your lino cutting set has multiple blades it makes things a little quicker & easier for you, but fear not, if you've just the one it's still totally achievable. 
How to make stamps
How to linocut at home
Phew, now the hard part is done & you can start stamping to your hearts content. Dab the ink pad over the stamp, giving it an even coverage and test it out on a scrap piece of paper. If some of that pesky negative space shows up just grab the cutting tool again & carve away the area where ink has shown up where it shouldn't. Test it once again and if you're good to go it's time to get your ink on!
How to make stamps at home
How to personalise notebooks
How to personalise stationary
Make your own stamps
Et voila! You are now a certified stamp-maker with a set of snazzy handmade notebooks! I think these are pretty darn cute and what's even better is the possibilities are endless, I've already got a few more ideas floating around. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, let me know in the comments if you have tried it before or decide to give it a go.
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