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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cork Stamps and a Contest

Lately I've had fun experimenting with cork stamps. I carve them myself from corks leftover from wine and champagne bottles.

Here's what one looks like:

Here's how to make your own:

1. Sand your cork so that the face of it is as flat as possible.
2. Choose a simple shape. If you don't trust your art ability, find a small clip art image. Either glue it to your cork or draw it on the flat edge of the cork with a felt tip marker.
3. Carve out the image. I find that I do best if I use my craft knife and slice straight down into the cork, then I chip away the excess. Your goal is to leave a slightly raised image.

To stamp your image, use a thick piece of styrofoam under your paper. This compensates for the fact that your cork probably won't be as flat as you'd like.

Now, press the raised image against your ink pad and then onto your paper. Don't worry if the entire image does NOT transfer. That's part of the beauty of this art form.

Finally, add dimension to your image with watercolor paint.


If you would like for me to send you a bookmark featuring some of my cork stamping, just comment on this blog. On Tuesday, I'll choose one lucky commenter to win a custom-made bookmark.


Anonymous said...


Susie Q said...

I've not smelled it in years, but I used to love burning I guess a campfire does as well. Or the first wood fires of fall when it is finally cool enough. Then there is always caramel apples....;D New wooden pencils for fall. This is probably our last year to buy those as they are using pens and mechanical pencils now...sigh.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Thanks, Anonymous.

Suzie Q, I just bought my husband some caramel apples. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I would love a handmade bookmark--in return, I would send you some of my handmade Christmas gift tags--xxKaren

Rachel said...

What an excellent idea! I have tons of corks and just don't want to throw away. Can make easy shapes and let my kids use these instead of mine stamps! :)

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Rachel, that's the key--EASY shapes. Also, the image will not be perfectly solid. However, that makes them a great project to teach mixing colors. Most people don't understand enough about how to mix colors, so your kids can have the fun of stamping and learn a new skill all in one.

Woman Waiting in the Seams said...

Back in 1972, my first husband made rubber stamps in our basement. I am an artist and would design special stamps for customers. I drew the designs & we sent them to a company that made them into the metal moulds from which the rubber was pressed. The corks or scraps of rubber can be roughly cut to shape for colored shading, then stamp in a darker color with a picture stamp over the top. Who would have thought that 25 years later, entire stores devoted to rubber stamps would exist!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Hi, Woman Waiting in the Seams. When I wrote a book on how scrapbookers could use stamping on their pages, the distributor told me, "No one will ever rubber stamp in their scrapbook."

It's fun to be a trendsetter, isn't it?