10 ideas for your stamp
Ok, to be honest: I am a stamp-addict. I just can't get enough of making stamps. And when I have made one, I stamp on anything that I see: white paper, coloured paper, newspaper, my children's lunch bags. My family finds my stamps on old bills, added to personal notes, even on our wallpaper in the kitchen. And because I love it so much, I just HAVE TO write another article on stamping. In this post I provide 10 ideas how you can use your self-made stamp at home - and become a happy stamp-addict, too! If you are an art teacher, I can't wait to read in what way you take the ideas below into your art classes!
10 ideas what you can do with your self-made stamp
If you don't know how to make stamps yet, read the post "How to make your own stamp".
1. Design postcards
Friends and family love to receive real cards with real stamps and handwriting on them! Use cardboard or strong paper and play with your stamp: Add colour, add text, add drawings, use overlapping or accumulation, make a collage... the possibilities are endless! Cut out the right postcard format afterwards.
2. Add speech bubble
Make a speech bubble stamp. This goes quickly and is easy. You can use it again and again. For example, I sometimes like to hand back graded artwork to students with short, personal comments.
3. Leave a note
Leave a note to your family on the kitchen table, or hide it in your kid's bed or shoes. I always find it a little bit exciting to hide notes somewhere - even if it's not in public. This is an easy way to surprise and delight others or to make your shopping list look just a little bit more attractive. I love to use the speech bubble stamp here, too.
4. Design a folded card with narrative elements for special occasions
When my sister was pregnant with her second child I made 4 bird stamps for her. The idea was that she could use them herself to make cards, announcing the birth of her son. I sent her a prototype: Birds sitting on a cord, chatting to each other and when you opened the card, the birds would tell you his name.
But of course she was far too busy to make those cards immediately after the child was born. Instead, she used the same idea to invite everyone to the child's baptism. She used green and blue coloured ink, which worked really well on the white paper. Also, I loved how she used the bird stamps later again: at the end of the ceremony, her three-year-old daughter handed little paperbags with the same bird prints on them to everyone as a thank you gift. In the paperbags were flower seeds. It was late April and we all went home and planted flowers.
5. Design a personalized sticker
My brother Max is a hunter. Occasionally, he hunts wild boar, which ends up in loads of labeled plastic bags in his freezer. I used my boar-stamp to design a sticker for him that he can put on those bags now. Simply scan the image of your stamp, import it to photoshop and add text. There are a lot of online sticker shops that will print your sticker and send it to you. Check their website to see which format and which resolution they want you to use. This is really easy and such a nice, personal gift.
6. Make a candle light
I used the same image to create a candle light for our school's Christmas party. I opened the image in photoshop and created a snowy landscape around the boar. Then, I printed the image on transparency paper. Cut it out, tape the ends together - finished! This makes a beautiful winter decoration. It's beautiful, when you print out a whole bunch of them and turn off all other lights in the room!
7. Stamp on discarded maps and books
When I got an invitation to a wedding with a little wale on the invitation card, I decided to make a wale stamp for the couple as a wedding present. Then, I used an old map to print a few pictures.
8. Put up self-made wall-paper
I once asked my students to design in groups 2-3 different stamps of the same animal and then make a collaborative work. After all, printing gives you the opportunity to use the same printing block again and again. Why not make a whole flock of birds, fish shoal, group of crabs?
9. Create your personal desktop image
For this picture, I printed the geese with white lino colour on black cardboard and opened the scanned images in photoshop. Tip: Use monochrome colours or leave an area in the picture free of many contrasts. This allows you to identify your desktop images easily.
10. Share your work!
Send your postcards to people. Use social media to share your work. If you have a website, publish your work and give others the opportunity to leave helpful comments or add more ideas (Please do below!)
If you are interested in some of the images above, go to the printables page. Here, I provide free and high-resolution printables for your personal use!
What do you do with stamps? How have you used them in your art class? Please leave a comment!