Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Step by step - hand carving a sunflower stamp

I was so happy to get a new commission to create a large sunflower stamp for my customer's wedding invitations. How exciting! Not only carving the largest stamp I think I've ever carved but mostly knowing that something I created will be incorporated into someone's very special day. I began with a sketch approved by the customer. It's roughly 3.5" x 3.5" square (or in this case, circle).
I like to sketch in ink, so I've gone over the design with pencil to be burnished onto the rubber as seen above. Basically just trace your design in pencil on paper, flip it onto the rubber, then rub the paper with something smooth like a burnishing board or a smooth handle on a butter knife.

Next, I've carved out around the petals with an Exact-o knife.

Here comes the fun part, carving out the design with my Speedball carving tool.

Now to test the stamp - looks great!

Now I'm ready to glue the stamp to the back of a prepped wood mount. I have painted it this happy yellow in an acrylic paint and then spray varnished it. I use E-6000 glue for a really solid seal.

For the top of the wood mount, I've added a stamped piece of sticker paper and spray varnished it again (it will get a couple more coats when it's done). All that's left to do is lacquer the exposed wood in the back and it will be good to go!

This will be going out to a very kind customer that's been a pleasure to work with but I think this may be the start of something as far as a prototype for over sized stamps. What other designs would you like to see in this large scale?


  1. Looks yummy! I would love to stamp things with such a huge - and pretty! - stamp. Sunflowers happen to be one of my favourites as well.

  2. Wow, it looks great! Of course :)

  3. Awesome! It is an honor to help people with their special events--and fun too!

  4. may i post this on our friday what are you working on now?

  5. Thanks all! The customer says she loves it and is happy with the extra little lines (that I think gives it more of a woodcut look, and she said she wanted it to look rustic) so I'm very happy!

    Yes please Paula, that would be great!

  6. ps will do it next friday as i realize this week is going to be long already.
    good to have a big one in case no one else posts anything :)