DIY kit: Monogram stamp

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by Jane Trash, photography by Photomawf

What you’ll need:

  • Monogram Stamp Kit (includes two stamp blocks, a wood backing block, a  linoleum cutter, blender marker, black-ink pad, and transfer stick).
  • Glue or epoxy (one with a five-minute dry time is best)
  • Utility knife or X-ACTO blade
  • Popsicle stick

 

STEP ONE

Using Laura Worthington’s new soon-to-be-released typeface, create your one-, two-, or three-letter monogram. If you have limited or no experience with carving, you may want to choose just one letter. You only have a few inches and this is an intricate font, so don’t go too small.

If you’re creating your own monogram, print your letters with a laser printer at about 3.5 inches in height. You need to transfer the toner, so if you use an inkjet printer it won’t work. The darker the image is, the better the transfer will be.

This part is really important: Print your letter(s) forward, not backward. When you transfer the text and carve it, it will be backward. Then when you print it, it will be forward again.

STEP TWO

Cut out your letters fairly close to the edges. Place the letters face down on the stamp. Take the blender marker and color the back of the paper. The blender marker evaporates fairly quickly, which is why I’ve done it here in halves. Avoid moving the paper to ensure a clean and smudge-free transfer.

Quickly burnish the paper with your transfer stick. You want to be firm and even, without tearing through the paper or letting the blender evaporate. Peel off the paper.

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STEP THREE

The easiest way to get the hang of this is to just dive in. But you can always try a cut or two on the back side first (since you’ll be gluing that surface down later). I suggest starting with a long, sweeping line of one letter. In this case, I began with the swooping top of the B. Just go slow and steady.

Some tips:

  • Don’t ever carve with the sharp end pointing toward your chest or other hand.
  • When carving small interior details, always start tight against the line and follow the sweeping details out. You can always go back and take off more rubber, but you can’t add it back on.
  • Go slowly!
  • No matter what, it will look cool. So if you slip and cut where you weren’t supposed to, don’t give up. You’ll still be happy with the outcome, and this is a forgiving typeface.

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STEP FOUR

Try it out. Apply even pressure with the palm of your hand or fingertips. If you see some scraggly lines or details you don’t like, you can go back in and adjust with your cutting tool.

 

 

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STEP FIVE

When you have the stamp printing just right, stamp the smoothest side of your wooden block. Again, go slow and apply even pressure because you only get to do this once. Then spray with a fixative or sealer if you have one.

Glue your stamp onto the bottom side of your block (using the popsicle stick to evenly spread the glue). Be sure to do it as the mirror image because you want the same orientation as the top of the stamp.

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STEP SIX

Stamp your heart out. The quality of the print depends on the ink, pressure, and material stamped on.

To clean: Stamp off excess ink and let dry. It can also be cleaned gently with a toothbrush and warm water. (Soap is optional.)

If you chose to go with letters large enough to encompass the entire slab, you may have trouble stamping an even image. When inking up your stamp, tap multiple times on the ink pad to sure the entire area has made contact with the ink. Or treat yourself and buy one of those large specialty ink pads.

Fairgoods is an online shop that sells type and fun gifts that use that type.

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