Homemade stamps are fun, easy and so inexpensive to make. You can make stamps from potatoes, fruits, wine cork, cardboard wood or soap. You can also make very cool looking designs from twigs and sticks too. The most popular one that is mostly made at school are the potato stamps.
Although these homemade stamps are super easy to make, adult supervision will be needed at all times. A knife will be needed for carving the shapes out of whatever materials you decide to use.
To make a potato block print, have one of your parents slice a potato through the center. Find a design that will fit a cut surface. Draw or trace the design onto the potato, using a pencil or an orange stick. Pare away all parts of the surface that do not have any of the design on it. Cut to a depth of 1/4 inch. Brush showcard paint across the raised design. Press it onto a sheet of paper, any kind, except glossy paper. If ragged edges appear on the first imprints, cut away the uneven parts which may have been left in cutting the potato block print. Smudgy impressions will disappear after a few prints have been made. To make an initial printing the block must be cut in reverse. This may be done by first drawing the letter as it should appear on a piece of paper. Then trace it on the reverse side by holding it up against a window pane. Cut this reverse pattern into the surface of the potato.
There are a lot of different techniques and methodology to making cool linoleum block prints. There are different tools that you should use and there are ways that you should use those tools. Also, you will need to know how to lay out the design, and how to lay out think ink so that it prints right. To find out more about how to make good linoleum block prints....find out more here.
Cork stamps can be used to decorate bookmarks, wrapping paper, and boxes. Soak the cork in water before attempting to outline the design upon it. Find a design that will fit the end of the cork. Ink the outline of the design on the cork. Ask your parents or teacher what you can use to cut the cork, that is safe....such as a butter knife or screw driver, letter opener, or pen knife, Parental supervision suggested. cut away all parts of the surface so as to leave the design raised. If the design you wish to use is too large to fit the end of a cork, split the cork in two, and use one of the flat surfaces of the halves. Press the cut out design against a regular stamp pad, or one you have made from soaking 2 or 3 pieces of blotting paper in ink or dye in a small pan until it is well covered with ink or dye. Then stamp on a piece of cloth or paper.
You can make really cool designs with twigs, branches, and sticks. Whether these naturally found items are round, square, short, pointed, and odd shaped ones. Dip the sticks into paints, inks or dyes. Then press the painted ends onto paper to make designs such as seen here. Instead of sticks you may use spools, dowels, blocks, nails, nuts, screws, clothespins, or meat skewers. The heads of screws, which are flat circles with slots across them, make interesting marks when dipped in paint and printed on paper. Nuts will print squares with round holes or if turned on edge will create uniform rectangles. Nails can be used to make dots. After you have become satisfied with your ability to create lovely designs on paper, you will enjoy arranging the same or other designs on a piece of cloth that is large enough to make a table runner. For printing the design use oil paints or printing ink. Both are color fast and will not disappear when the cloth is washed.
One of the most interesting and beautiful collections that a child can make is a blue print collection of grasses, flowers, and leaves. Blue paper is inexpensive when one considers the number of pictures that can be made from a yard of it. This paper must be kept in a cool, dark, but not damp place. It should only be opened when ready to be used and then only in a semi-dark room. To make a blue print of a flower, press the flower between layers of paper to flatten it and to remove any moisture. Then place it attractively on a piece of glass, or on the inside glass of a photograph printing frame. Carry to a darkened room. Cut off a section of blue print paper the size of the piece of glass. Lay it, the inactive side down, over the flower. Cover with a thin piece of wood cut to the size of the glass, or if using the photograph printing frame, clamp down the back of the frame. See that no light gets through a crack in the sides between glass and the cover. Now expose the blue print to the sunlight. Be careful that no shadow falls over the exposed surface. The blue print whitens on exposure to sunlight. It will take a little practice to know how long a print should be left in the sunlight to get the best results.
Instead of using potatoes to make cool block prints, have one of your parents slice fruit through the center. Brush showcard paint across the inside of the fruit. Press it onto a sheet of paper. Fruits make really cool designs on the paper...you can make wrapping paper or print on fabric as well. You can paint pictures out of the fruit...such as using the pear as a nose.
Cardboard Block Printing - Make block prints that are made with cardboard or pieces of rubber innertube.
Screen Printing Method - Find out how to make your very own screen printing shop in your house. On this page you will find a step by step tutorial.
Bar of Soap Stamps - Learn how to make a stamp out of a bar of soap.