Happy Monday and Happy April!
A few weeks back, I shared some inspiration for stamped business cards. I thought this would be a great DIY way to make professional yet hand-crafted business cards, all while avoiding the high cost of letterpress. Well, I took the project head-on and think the results are pretty great. And, lucky for you, I took some pictures along the way so you can do it yourself too! This technique definitely isn’t just for business cards! This would be great way to make notecards, save-the-dates, or just pretty art for your walls!
One note: This technique isn’t terribly different from regular stamping, however I couldn’t find the right ink color in a stamp pad, so opted to mix the colors myself. Block printing ink is nice and thick so leaves a slightly more tactile texture than just regular stamping from an ink pad from the craft store.
What you’ll need:
* Stamp—this can be either hand carved like I did for my storage cabinet, designed and custom made (which is what I did and purchased through this company), or purchased at a craft store.
* Paper—I got business cards from Paper Source.
* Block Printing Ink—Mine is Speedball brand from Blick’s.
* Brayer—Essentially a foam or rubber roller. Mine is once again from Blick’s.
* Inking plate—You can purchase plates, but all you need is a nice flat surface. I borrowed a piece of glass from a picture frame.
* Something to mix the ink—I used a palette knife.
* Depending on how large your art is, you may need something to burnish the print (basically press it down so it inks everywhere). I didn’t do this, but it is probably a smart technique :)
To start, you’ll need to get your ink mixed. I was going for a coral color, so I mixed orange, pink and white until I got the right shade of coral.
Once you have the color you like, you’ll begin to roll out the ink on your inking plate. You’re looking for a thin and even coat. You’ll know when it is ready when the roller on the ink starts making a velcro sound and you can see small peaks in the ink.
Once you have an even coat of ink on your plate and roller, ink up your stamp. Lightly roll over the stamp a few times until you have a nice even layer.
Before stamping on your paper, I recommend doing some test prints. This will help you see if some areas have too much ink or not enough or where you need to push harder on the stamp. I also found that a very light blot on some scratch paper produced more consistent results. But play around. Your ink and stamp will be different, so it takes some time to get it so your printing well each time.
Then stamp away! You don’t have to be perfect and each one will be a little bit different. That’s part of the fun of this technique!
For my business cards, I decided to add an edge painted detail as well. I’ve seen this done a lot of different ways, but I had a small enough batch that I decided to just use a pen! Again, I tried a few different things and liked the look of this pen the most.
I’m so happy with the results and I love having this printing technique in my arsenal. It’s fun to do and really makes a lovely finished product.