Simply Handwritten: DIY Carved Calligraphy Stamp

I’ve seen so many custom calligraphy stamps online that I thought I would give it a DIY try with my own design.  It is a time-consuming process, but I figure I saved about $40.  And over two hours, that means I just got paid $20 an hour.  Besides, I enjoy working with my hands on detailed work. 
 Calligraphy pen, ink and paper
 Graphite pencil
 Rubber carving block or hard erasers (erasers are better for detail work)
 Craft knife
 Carving needle (I use a livestock needle – you can pick these up at a Tractor Supply Co or similar store)
 Wood block
 Strong glue (I use E6000)
 Strong reading glasses (optional)
 Ink for stamping
(1) Using the dimensions of your eraser, design your custom stamp using your calligraphy pen, ink and paper.  I was unable to find a large hard eraser in local stores (they sell some online), so I made do with a relatively small one.  I made our surname in calligraphy with the rest in block.  If you can find a larger eraser or wish to use a carving block, which can be purchased at craft stores, you will have more design leeway.  
(2) Take your graphite pencil and trace carefully over your design.  You will want to make sure you do this relatively hard since the pencil will be transferred to your carving block. 
(3) Take the carving block and place it over your design, being sure that you have your alignment correct.  Making sure that your paper doesn’t shift, rub the paper over the block so that the pencil dust will transfer to your carving block.  You will now have a reverse image of your design on your block. 
(4) Begin carving around your pencil design.  I first use the craft knife to take the edges and larger sections out.  Then I take the needle and carve around the details of the lettering.  You will NOT want to carve straight down next to a letter.  Begin at the edge of the letter and carve away at an angle so that your stamp is stronger.  Trust me – I made this mistake on my first stamp.  Charlottesville only has one L on that one.   

(5) Test out your stamp and make sure you didn’t miss anything, like the little sections of a’s or o’s.  Those are easy to miss.  If you did miss something and cannot see through the ink, you can simply wash off your stamp with a little water.

(6) Once satisfied with the stamp, mount it on a wood block with some heavy duty glue.  This will ensure that you have even pressure when applying it to your product.  
(Ta-Da!) Now that you know how, get creative and design addresses, monograms, symbols or anything you can’t find at Michael’s for a couple bucks. These can also make a very nice housewarming gift!
  • Jess @ Spool and Spoon - This is so incredible and impressive! Thanks for sharing!! I have to be honest though, there is no way I could handle something so detailed haha.May 22, 2013 – 7:04 pmReplyCancel

  • eden - how do you carve th circle on the 9 or O or in R. thanks for the tutorial. could you do a you tube video this is the only fine letter tutorial out there.December 24, 2015 – 12:12 amReplyCancel

    • Limefish Studio - Hi Eden: I’m sorry I cannot answer your question directly. This was a guest blog post, but I will pass along your question and email to Anna. 🙂December 30, 2015 – 1:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Anna - Hi! I just used the craft knife, carving a little away at a time, layer by layer. I had to use only the very tip, with the point towards the center of the circle being carved out. Hope that helps!December 30, 2015 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

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