Altered Card Tutorial by Nancy Boone

Today’s Altered Card Tutorial is by Nancy Boone, participant of the Inspirational Card Swap and creative kindred from the Netherlands. Nancy creates her own stamps by hand, using the lino-cut method, and her cards area always a hit with the group. I asked Nancy if she would share with us all how she creates her own stamps!

1 backside card

20 4 leaves

The first thing you will need is a set of Lino cutting tools! This set costs about $10. The tips of the blades are very sharp, so keep away from children and handle with care! You’ll want to buy a set that has at least a wooden handle and 1 to 3 blades. The blades are inserted into the handle. Different types of blades make different types of cuts into the linoleum. There are V shaped, and U shaped blades. You can experiment to see which you prefer! In the United States, Dick Blick and Amazon carry all the supplies you need, as well as local craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

2 box of cutters

3 cutterset

Linoleum blocks come in two densities: hard and soft. In the following photo, the lines are cut with the same V-shaped knife on each block, however the soft linoleum is pictured on the left, and the hard is pictured on the right. If you want a stamp  a very detailed picture use the hard linoleum.

6 cuts in both Linoleum types

I’ve chosen a small design to show you the process. I sketched my stamp first, and then used a black marker to draw it onto the linoleum block.

7 small design ying

What is most important to keep in mind is that whatever is colored black will be what shows up on paper as your stamp. The rest is cut out, and therefore does not show up on your surface.

8 cutting ying

If you have a more complicated picture, you can use transfer paper to transfer the drawing on to your linoleum.

10 a chalkpaper to copy

Never let your fingers rest in front of the blade as you are cutting. The blades are VERY sharp.

11 cut-safe

Once the shape is cut out I cut off the corners as well.

9 cutting out ying and yang

Time for a test print with some stamping-ink!

10 testprint ying yang

When your linocut is done, it’s time to print! You can use regular stamp ink if you want, and be finished!

Alternatively, you can use block print ink specifically designed for this process. It stays wet for quite some time and that’s nice, because the printing will take some time if you make more than 1 print.

First, spread some ink on a glass plate. Roll it several times in different directions, until it is smooth. You will actually hear the ink as you roll, and it will sound less “crackly” as it smooths out.

13 ink on glass

Use your roller to roll over your stamp until it is completely covered. But don’t put too much ink on it, leave the lines open so the negative space can show through!

14 rolling ink

Press your stamp ink-side down onto a paper and press real firm! Make sure you have pressed everywhere before you lift the stamp off of the paper. .If you like the printing process a lot, a Lino press will be handy! Pictured beow are two stamps that I created recently.

16 print bird and butterfly

You can make this process, and your stamps, very simple or very complicated: it’s entirely up to you! You can also use cheap erasers (the pink kind are great, as are the white )!

17 print of erasers

Here is an entire street of Amsterdam homes I created!

18 houses of Amsterdam

The most wonderful aspect of this lino-printing / stamp-making is that you can print your linocuts on everything you like. You can use ink for fabric and decorate your own clothing. I use them in my paintings as well. I used my butterfly stamp to decorate an altered cardboard box!

19 painted cardboard box

The options are endless. Experiment and most of all, enjoy!

Get to know Nancy…

I am 47 years old and I live with my partner and my 17 year old son. All my life I have loved to draw and make things out of paper and fabric. My Mother was often busy sewing, so my sister and I grew up always playing or creating something. I love all kinds of material to work with. I paint and I print. I make bracelets, necklaces and keychains out of old belts I recycle. Or I sew bags from leather pieces of old furniture. Sometimes I wish I could stick to one hobby, but that’s just not me.

I am a social worker for my daytime job. And if there is a possibility, I bring my creativity into my work. My clients are not surprised that I ask them to draw or use cards to bring another point of view into our conversations. And I am always surprised and touched by what it brings…

You can find Nancy sharing her creative journeys at her blog here!


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