adventures in stamp carving

DIY stamp carving

When I first started The Dainty Squid I blogged about… well, everything. Some of my oldest posts featured silly sewing projects like a catnip filled kitty mat and the one quilt I started but never finished. I talked about the hunt for my first house in great detail and rambled on about just about everything. Sometime between then and now I decided to focus more on finished projects and adventures, things I had already mastered or was already decided on. Two reasons for doing this – 1. Sharing a lot online is weird and sometimes you need to step away to protect yourself mentally. 2. It really cleaned up the blog to not just be posting about every single thing ever.

For a while, it didn’t really occur to me that this was kind of taking away what made The Dainty Squid special because I wasn’t creating (aside from photos.) Now that I’m back to sewing and other creative ventures I’m wanting so badly to share more but feeling like I don’t really know how these days. In the past three months, I’ve grown so much in my sewing but aside from a quick photo or two in my instagram stories I haven’t even mentioned it on the platform I literally started to talk about that type of thing.

Friday night though, I did something I have to blog about!

I carved my very first stamp.

denture stamp

Okay, not a huge deal. Lots of people do this in high school art class or even take a college class that requires it. Not me though, I have never ever carved a stamp in my life. You should also know that I’m the kind of person who wants to try everything but gets pissed off and quits when they try something for the first time and aren’t automatically excellent at it.

I’ve been feeling so inspired lately with my sewing that its really just lit my creative fuse. I obviously want my sewing to be profitable but I also want it to be fulfilling. That’s a very important piece of the puzzle that was missing the first time around. (I wrote a little about that here the other day.) These days I’m allowing myself the time to sew for fun, to doodle on my iPad, and experiment with other hobbies that interest me.

Stamp carving was something I had been wanting to try for a while now but always felt like I wasn’t talented enough to do. I still don’t think I’m naturally gifted at drawing but I do think that if you practice at something enough you’ll definitely improve. I’d drawn up these dentures based on a pair in my collection and thought they’d make the perfect subject for my first stamp. (Same drawing used in this fabric I had printed! It’s kinda fun to see it in different mediums.)

I sat down, reminded myself my first stamp was sure to absolutely suck but that it was okay and got to work. A short time later I scurried away into my office to do a test print and reemerged with a massive beaming smile as my little experiment had been a success.

So, it’s not perfect but HOLY SMOKES, I AM PROUD. It was the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep that night and the first thing I thought of on Saturday morning. I’ve already bought another carving block so I can make more. You best believe I’m thinking about making a bigger one of a very similar print for my jean jacket.

Consider this your reminder that its okay to create just for fun, that experimenting is good & you’re probably going to suck at things when you first try them (but sometimes you don’t and that might be the best feeling everrrrr!)

I used Speedball’s rubber stamp making kit. It has everything you need to get started so it’s perfect for first-timers. (Plus it’s cheap!) I also picked up screen printing ink since I knew I wanted to print on fabric and a foam brayer because I read that foam works better when you’re printing on fabric. BOOM. Everything you need. Now go make something!

Also, I really am going to try to get back into the habit of posting about projects as I work on them instead of only when they’re finished. Hope you’re ready for the sewing posts that are sure to be heading your way!

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