Here's a super quick and fun DIY for those looking to add a little personal touch to gifts. Although I made this for Valentine's Day, it can definitely be customized and used for any occasion. The sky really is the limit here!
| Bayer (hand roller)
| Permanent marker, ruler & scissors
1 | First, draw your design in permanent market on the carving block. I like to draw lines to remind myself where to cut. A good thing to remember when drawing your design is to think of it as a stamp - whatever is raised will be seen when stamped, and whatever is carved away will not be seen.
2 & 3 | Place your block on a cutting mat, and begin to carve out the negative space in careful, short, and slow motions. Please be careful! These blades are sharp and not a toy! Even though you are not cutting to the bottom of the block, the blade will often times slide off the block and into your table. I personally like to cut a border around my shape first but it's up to personal preference.
4 | Finish carving out the spaces around your design. This is also another place to play with design. I personally like a "handmade" feel, so I left some lines raised and showing around the heart to indicate that it was carved. You can also completely carve away the block around the heart to get a cleaner look.
5 | Get your paint ready! I squeeze my paint out on cling wrap because it's a quick clean up. Squeeze about a quarter size amount and use the bayer to roll out the paint. Roll horizontally and vertically to evenly distribute the paint. This stage is a "less is more" situation. Keep rolling until you hear a "sticky" sound while rolling the paint.
6 | Take your bayer (now covered in a thin layer of paint), and directly roll onto the raise surface of your stamp. Important - do NOT directly place the stamp into the paint to get color. This will result in uneven distribution of color and can cause the paint to bleed when you stamp it. You can play around with the look of the stamp during this process too. Unevenly coat the stamp to get that handmade look, or evenly coat the stamp to get a bold image!
And voilà! I used my stamp on some craft paper while wrapping gifts. You can also use your stamps on cards, hangtags, journals, and more. The heart was a simple and quick stamp, but you can carve anything you want to really make your crafts personal. Printmaking is an art form, and can be taken to so many different levels. Have fun!