Create easily your own stamps and prints
- Scissors, glue
- Colours (printing, acrylic, tempera or poster colour)
- Brush, sponge or cloth to apply paint
- Stable cardboard
- Paper with various surface structures, bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, etc.
It’s the beginning of December and I just finished my Christmas card mass production. For the amount of cards and letters, the whole thing was relatively fast thanks to a printing technique, which I learned about two months ago in Japan. Probably this technique is not typically Japanese, but I didn’t know it before.
To create printing plates or stamps, you can use all sorts of everyday materials. I first drew stencils on paper and then transfered them to my material. There are several ways to do this:
1. Way: Stencils
Cut the individual shapes out of the template, glue them onto cardboard (or other material you want to use) with a piece of tape, and draw around the template. Of course, if you just have one pre-drawn template, it will get smaller and smaller by cutting away the already marked elements, so I recommend working from the outside to the inside.
2. Way: Tracing
You use blue print. If you do not have blue print, you can make it yourself very quickly (but then it is not blue, but grey). You can hatch the back of the template with a softlead pencil. If you now trace the lines of the shape, for instance, with a ballpoint pen, the graphite is pressed onto the ground.
3. Way: Pressing in
If you want to achieve graphic effects or shapes by pressing lines into a soft surface, you can simply tape the template on the material and draw the lines with a sharp object.
ATTENTION! Please note that your motifs will always be MIRROR-INVERTED when printed. If the direction plays a role in your subject (for example, in writing), you have to represent it the other way around!
Next, you cut out the individual elements of your motif and glue them together. Whether with liquid glue or glue stick, it does not matter – the main thing is that everything sticks together well.
Most interesting is when you use materials with different haptics and surface procurement, even different paper produces different effects. If you use thin material, you should stick a piece of cardboard under your print motif for reinforcement. This should have the same shape, so fit exactly on the subject. In addition, I also glue a larger piece of cardboard as a printing plate under the stamp so that I can more easily put pressure with my hands later when printing.
Next up is colour!
In general, you can experiment with this technique a lot and there is no right or wrong. You can apply the paint with a paint roller, brush, sponge or cloth. Also, you do not need a specific colour type. Although ink is especially good, but you can also use acrylic or tempera paints. Make sure, however, that the colour is not too liquid, but does not dry too quickly. If you have spread it well, you’re ready to print. Take a firm base (table top is also possible) and press as hard as you can!
One last advice:
Here you see an unfortunately failed work: I tried to create a printing plate of verses of a song by scratching the tiny letters in a foam plate (of course mirrored!), but the words were just too small and inaccurate, so in the end you can read almost nothing. That’s why you should take care that your motive is not too filigree.