When I was really little my mom started my first collection..... rubber stamps. I remember at the time thinking it was an odd thing to collect, but I loved getting to pick out a new stamp when we occasionally stopped by my favorite child boutique. Bins full of bouncy balls, wooden puzzles lining the shelves, definitely no lack of Hello Kitty products, I was in heaven. Sadly the shop is no longer anything like that, but I've grown to cherish my rubber stamp collection and no longer think it's such an odd thing to collect!
Now not only does my collection include a ton of stamps from all different places, but a few gems I've carved myself, and it' a lot easier than those linoleum carvings you did in high school art class! Here's my most recent creation.
What you need....
You will also need something to rub your transfer onto the block as shown below. I use the Speedball linoleum cutter and Artist carving blocks that I ordered online, your local hobby shop may carry these items. Trace your image (no real drawing skills required! Find an image online and print it out) onto tracing paper with a thick heavy pencil line. Then with pencil side down, rub onto your carving block.
With your smallest carving tool, start going around your pencil lines. You want to carve out anything that doesn't have pencil, so the pencil portion should be all you have left on the surface when your done. Work you way around slowly, a little at a time being careful not to cut anything you want to be part of your finished image. These blocks are super easy to cut through (you can also do this with an eraser if you like, use them to make really little stamps).
Once you have it all carved out, use an exacto knife to cut away the extra block. Save any pieces large enough to make another stamp with! Ink up your stamp and lay it down on some paper. You will find some spots that you need to go back and trim some more. Carve them down and ink again. Do this until you get an image your happy with. Below you will see the bottom image was stamped first, has some rough spots. Then the top image was after I cleaned those spots up.
Thank of all the cools stamps you can make now! Start your own collection, have fun!