How to Carve your own stamps

Way back in high school, one of the fun things we did in art class was create our own stamps by carving linoleum blocks.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about that project and the possibility of not only creating my own stamps, but also beautiful stamped fabric.

How to carve your own stamps

Carving linoleum for stamps is just one of many ways to create your own personal stamps.  Since I thoroughly enjoyed it in school, I went on line looking for a small kit to get me started!

how to carve your own stamps

You can purchase linoleum blocks for printmaking as well as a linoleum cutter and blades at your local art supply store or online. I located a Block Printing Starter Kit on Amazon that included everything I needed to get started.

It included a linoleum cutter with three different size blades, a block of linoleum with a wood backing, a brayer, tray and printing ink.  I love to purchase kits when I’m trying out a new craft.  It supplies everything that I need, and if I end up not enjoying it as much as I thought I would, then I’m not out a ton of money.

Affiliate links to Amazon below

For this project I used:

Block Printing Starter Kit
Vintage Camper Pattern
charcoal pencil
Ink Stamp Pads
Block Printing Mat

vintage camper pattern


How to carve your own stamps

I began by designing my own vintage camper pattern.  As you probably already guessed, I’m a huge fan of camping themed crafts.  The ultimate fun of designing your own stamps is creating your own designs.  It could be meant for scrapbooking, cards, wedding announcements, fabric design, or other forms of art.

You can design what you love, or even use my free vintage camper download!

How to carve your own stamps

Print the pattern to the size that you want.  Flip it over and color in the backside of the paper with a charcoal pencil.

How to carve your own stamps

Lay the pattern onto the linoleum side of your block, and then trace the design.  The design will transfer onto your linoleum.

How to carve your own stamps

Use a pen to draw over your transferred lines so that they will not smudge off while you are working on carving the stamp.

How to carve your own stamps

Bust out your linoleum cutter and start carving! The kit that I used came with a variety of blades, some with more of a U shape and some with more of a V shape. I used the U-shaped blades for removing large pieces of linoleum in the wider areas and the V-shaped blades for cutting the details and outlines.   Carve with the curve of the blade down into the linoleum.

When deciding where to carve keep in mind that what isn’t carved is going to print.  Decide where your lines are and what you want to show up when stamped.

How to carve your own stamps

Linoleum is much harder to carve than rubber or soft carving blocks. It is best to take a slow approach when carving it. Working fast may result in the cutting tools slipping.

Please note: The blades on the cutting tool are sharp! This is not a project for young children or anyone struggling with fine motor skills. Always cut the linoleum away from you and work slowly to avoid hurting yourself with the sharp blade!

How to carve your own stamps

This is my finished piece.  Note that I had to go grab some pink ink and try it out before I remembered to take a photo.  (I got a bit carried away with my fun new project!)

There were a few errors in the finished stamp (places where I slipped), but all in all, I was pleased with my first stamp.

How to stamp

How to carve your own stamps

I practiced on paper first to see how my design worked.  I used stamping ink pads rather than the ink and brayer method.  I found that it created less mess and gave me a more even coating of ink.

I also found that my stamp got a better ink when I dabbed my ink pad onto the stamp instead of the other way around.  I also discovered that I could get much better coverage by using a block printing mat behind my paper.

My new stamp made a great addition to one of the pages of my daily journal.

How to carve your own stamps

I used this same technique to print my pattern onto a piece of cotton fabric.  Be sure that if you are stamping on fabric that you use ink meant for fabric.  After the ink has thoroughly dried, you can apply a hot iron to the design in order to set the ink.

How to carve your own stamps

I then used fabric markers to add in details and create something unique.

I plan to use my camper prints to make either hot pads or placemats with.  I think they will be a fun addition to my RV!

Have you ever tried linoleum stamp making?  What did you make with your stamps?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Julie September 17, 2016, 6:40 am

    What a fun project! I remember doing lino cuts at school, I also remember how long it bled when I sliced a bit off the end of my finger! Your “be careful and cut away from you” advice is spot on!
    Despite my accident I do have fond memories of it. I love how detailed your stamp is, much more so than I would have thought possible with a DIY, lovely.

    • Susan Myers September 18, 2016, 1:48 pm

      Hi Julie!

      Oh wow! The sacrifices we make to create beautiful things! Yes, I did lino cuts in school too and you do have to be very careful. But it is worth the effort to come up with something unique. Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m going to experiment a bit more with this particular craft and see what I can do with fabric.


  • maria September 4, 2016, 6:05 pm

    Since the pot holders I loved this caravan. Thanks for the patern

    I like very much all your works. Congratulations



  • Beverly September 4, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I’m in the process of decluttering and downsizing. I came upon a box of some old artwork. In this box was a linoleum(sp?) stamp of a shark that I had carved out along with some prints. I kept my stamp. I majored in art and pyschology in college. I took some courses in art therapy and elementary education (1-8). Your project reminded me of this. I was dianognosed (sp?) with a rare, progressve, incurable disease called Stiff Person Syndrome with parkinsonism. I have gone through BVR, but I need a wheelchair because I can’t stand for along time. I have a wheelchair, but it is outdated. I can’t find funding sources, so I’m saving money from my low income disability check. Evenualy, I’ll have enough. Sorry to bring up my “problems”. I’d really would like to do what you do, but first I have to get rid of my “clutter” as my husband calls it. It’s a one way street. We aren’t on the same page.

    • Susan Myers September 18, 2016, 1:38 pm

      Hi Beverly!

      Thank you so much for the email! I’m so sorry to hear about your condition. I hope that things start to improve for you. In the meantime, keep decluttering and downsizing. It makes life so much simpler! And do what you love. If art is it, then try your hand at some things that are still possible even with your condition. Being happy is what is most important. Take care and thank you so much for commenting!