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    Handmade From The Heart | Spring 2013 Out Here Magazine

    Handmade stamps - Tractor Supply Co.
    Stamps add an extra-special touch to every occasion.

    Make Unique Stamps to Customize Your Gift Wrap

    By Elle McCann

    Photography by Tom Milner

    There's something special about creating handmade presents for my family and friends. Not only do I enjoy making things, but creating something especially for someone else adds to the charm and thoughtfulness of each gift.

    If you love to give your friends and family handmade gifts for special occasions or even for no reason at all why not take your creativity a step further and make the gift wrap, too?

    Even better, customize it even more by making your own stamp.

    It's the perfect way to add an extra-special touch to every occasion, plus you can reuse your stamps again and again.

    Stamp materials - Tractor Supply Co.

    Materials:

    You can get these at any hobby or arts-and-crafts store.

    Click here to open and save the PDF file with simple stamp patterns that crafter extraordinaire Elle McCann designed exclusively for Out Here readers.

     

    Try different stamp designs for different occasions and even vary the stamp colors for each recipient. Last year, during the holidays, I made a Christmas stamp and changed the stamp color for each person in my family, which made everything feel truly handmade.


    Elle McCann, of Nashville, TN, loves everything handmade and her friends and family love to receive all of her creations.

    Create the Stencil - Tractor Supply Co
    Print out the stencil you would like to use, then cut around the outside of the design. If you prefer, you can draw your own design right onto the stamp. Place the cut-out design on the stamp block and carefully trace around the stencil with a pencil. Once you have the outline drawn, draw the interior lines of the stencil directly onto the stamp block.

    Carve out the outside - Tractor Supply Co.
    Take your small-gouge linoleum cutter and start to carve out around the outside of the design. Take your time and work by taking out small amounts of the block, rather than large chunks of the stamp block. Carve deep enough into your block so that the only raised surface that remains is your design.

    Carve out the interior - Tractor Supply Co.
    Now use your knife linoleum cutter to carve out the interior lines of the stamp. Keep in mind that everything that remains raised will be the image that is printed. If you are using our stencil designs, you will want to cut away all of the white areas.

    Add ink to the stamp - Tractor Supply Co.
    Use your ink pad to disperse the ink evenly onto your stamp. This is the time to check your stamp to make sure that everything that you don't want to print is carved away. If you missed a few spots or got ink on the outside of the stamp, you can go back and carve those away now.

    Finished stamped gifts - Tractor Supply Co.
    Let the stamped paper dry, then wrap your presents, and finish with a nice ribbon. Make sure you wash off your stamps with water after you are done so you can use them many more times.