Last week, Chelsea kicked off our PAPER topic by showing us how beautiful embossing can be. This week, I personally wanted to explore creating a custom design on a massive piece of yummy paper! When it was my turn to decide what to make, my mind instantly went to a few pieces of watercolor paper I have been saving since college. They are thick, textured, heavy, & screaming to be turned into something special. This seemed to be the perfect occasion.

I used to be really into carving my own rubber stamps so I decided to resurrect my tools & dive back in. I was inspired by Yellow Owl Workshop, a wonderful San Francisco based co. that is all about hand-carving! They actually have a great how-to video right here if you plan to try this and need more visual help.

So where to start? Well since our current topic is about paper, lets start there! I used a paper called Arches – you can easily find this at stores like Blicks or Michaels. It is deemed watercolor paper but is also known to be used for drawing, calligraphy, gouache, printmaking, acrylics, and even digital printing! You have a few choices if you plan to work with this specific paper – you can go with hot press, cold press, or rough! Hot is smooth, Cold is moderately textured, and rough is extra well, rough. I went with cold press, pictured below.

The next step was to draw out my pattern and start carving. This is super simple. All you have to do is draw your design on a piece of paper with a pencil. Then transfer it over to the carving block by rubbing it with your hand. I used the Speedball Linoleum Cutters & Carve Block. Or you can just buy it all in one kit. Once you’re done carving, its time to start stamping. I’m telling you – this project couldn’t be more fun and easy.

The obvious choice would be to use an ink pad for your impressions – mine was running low so the marks were extra faint. I had invisioned this piece being very black so I decided to experiment with using acrylic paint. I just brushed a light layer of paint and voila, it looked great. I obviously did a ton of tests before I started the real deal. Note – always do a test run, always.

The rest was smooth sailing – paint, stamp, repeat! It takes a while but hey, it was totally worth it. I experimented with leaving areas blank and turning the triangle different directions – this allowed the lines to play off each other and create interesting effects. Once I was done, I framed it in a simple silver ikea frame. I was going to hang it up in my new office but it ended up coming home with me. I hope you guys give this a go – there is nothing like a new piece of artwork to freshen things up. If you do make one, Chelsea & I would love to see & hear from you! Happy stamping + paper loving! Also, thank you Loren Crosier for taking some of the photographs.

TAGS : Design Guide, Traveling Stamp


May 3rd 2013

what an awesome project! i love this – and i love how the paint texture varies in each stamp. also question – where did you get your adorable shoes i see in the third to last photograph???


replied on May 3rd, 2013 at 9:49 AM


They are from BC Footwear – you should check them out. I own like pairs of their shoes :)

May 3rd 2013

Heck yeah! This turned out amazingly well. And to top it all off, you have a one-of-a-kind piece of art for your new studio.

Go team Design Guide!


May 3rd 2013

This looks so cool! I’ve wanted to give hand-carving a try for quite some time, but I didn’t get around to it yet…maybe this is the time!


[...] over to Emmadime for the full DIY details. This entry was posted in design, interiors and tagged design, diy, [...]

May 3rd 2013

such great inspiration! i’ve been wanting to create a larger piece of art for a blank wall in my house for a long time. thanks!


May 3rd 2013

Amazing! Kinda wanna give this a go…!


May 3rd 2013

Very cool project and art piece!


May 3rd 2013

The end product looks so nice, I would hang it on my wall!


May 4th 2013

You are so creative! I love you style as always, where did you get your sweater and shoes?


replied on May 4th, 2013 at 1:27 PM

@Jamie S,

The sweater is from H&M and the shoes are from BC Footwear!

[...] Some inspiration. [...]

May 5th 2013

I am in love with your rings! Particularly the two thick gold bands on your index finger. Where did you find those?


May 8th 2013

Marry me!


Amazing result! Thanks for sharing that =)


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May 15th 2013

Hi Nice Diy i will try myself. Can I ask you something where did you get the double brass ring ? it is very nice



May 16th 2013

Beautiful! Love your work and your rings;) Where did you find the two gold bands?
Thanks in advance!


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June 18th 2013

[...] that little striped stamp that I hand-carved and made a poster from!? Well, it has officially become a traveling stamp!! [...]

July 8th 2013

This is such an effective pattern, and the traveling stamp idea is awesome! Also thanks for sharing where you got your materials from, I’ve been wanting to have a go at rubber stamping for a while, but was confused what people actually used as the stamp, and what ink would work!


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July 29th 2013

This is such a great idea!!!! Going to be great following this project along! x


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[...] a fun desk calendar | SkyGoodies5. Learn how to carve your own stamp and create your own print | Emmadime6. Paper Shasta Trailer | Our Boler7.  Thank You (free printable) from Oh So Pretty8.  [...]

December 30th 2013

I am in LOVE with this!

Thanks for sharing!


January 2nd 2014

So simple yet so effective! Thank you for sharing x


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January 12th 2014

Love your project! thank you for sharing


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February 24th 2014

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote
the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to
drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.


April 12th 2014

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