It’s time for a fun tutorial on how to make a little hand carved stamp set using some small hand-carved rubber stamps, some wine corks and an Altoid tin! This little stamp set takes a little time to make, but is super easy and it’s a great idea for giving as a gift or a stocking stuffer this Holiday season or adding to your own little stamp set collection.
I start out by taking an Altoid tin or any small candy tin available, but it needs to fit wine corks. Once the number of corks is determined, taking into account the additional space that the actual stamps will take up, simply make sure the stamps and cork all fit nicely. An Altoid tin holds four wine cork stamps. Then I carved the small rubber stamp snowflakes for each cork – I tried to carve each snowflake shape a little bit different. One of the most important things to pay attention to when you’re carving for wine corks is to make sure that the stamp is not bigger than the wine cork. You don’t want the edges of the stamp shape to go past the edge of the wine cork because then you won’t get a solid or consistent impression. So in order to make sure that you get the size just right. What I would suggest doing is before carving the stamp, take a measurement of the cork diameter by tracing around the outside of the cork top so you know the limits of how big you can carve your stamp.
Since I always trace and transfer my designs, I just drew the diameter of the cork on the my tracing paper and then sketched my different snowflake designs within those circles and then transferred them onto my rubber stamp block for carving.
Once you’ve carved out your designs, you’ll want to adhere the stamp to the wine cork using a permanent glue, like super glue, gorilla glue, or e6000 ( I have found that E6000 will not stay in place over time, the stamps may shift after gluing in place). Once the stamp is adhered and well dried, test out your stamp. If everything looks the way you want, on white text weight paper, stamp out several snowflakes in a row right next to each other. Then cut out the strip of stamped snowflakes to wrap around your cork, so you know which stamp is which. This is called giving it an index.
You’ll want to adhere the strip to the cork using a glossy sealer like Mod Podge, a glossy gel medium or varnish medium. I do this using the decoupage process, glue on the cork, paper on top of the glue and another coat of glue on top of the paper. Let that dry really well. Then you have a very clever and functional wine cork stamp set in a cute little Altoid tin.
If you want to have some more fun decorating your Altoid tin you can trace the top and the side shapes of the tin to create liners for the inside top and bottom of the tin as well as the outside cover and sides. You can have fun using the stamps you just created to make a fun pattern which also doubles as a way to know what stamps are inside the tin as part of the stamp set.
One tip I have is to use Pigment Ink over Dye Ink as it has more permanence. You can adhere the patterns onto the tin lid using the same decoupage technique similar to what I describe above to adhere your pattern strip to the cork. Add any other fun embellishments like glitter and/or paint, and voila you have an adorable little stamp set using everyday items!
If you want to follow along with this tutorial in video format, you can check out my tutorial on YouTube starting at minute 02:55.