This Winter Holiday season I thought it would be a perfect time to share a couple of the Holiday cards I’ve made over the years using my hand-carved rubber stamps. Maybe these will inspire your card designs.
For this first one, I wanted to do a whole 4x6 design because I wanted to be able to do a block print style card. Basically, when a 'carved stamp' gets to be this size, it’s not really considered a stamp anymore, it’s more of a block print.
The best way to do these is to either brayer the ink on, which I don’t usually like to do because the clean up is a bit much. I like to use ink pads, because they're convenient and they really ink up the entire design just as well as a printmaking ink. With the ink pad method, make sure you have a full re-inker because you will be using a lot of it if you have multiple cards to make.
I used a pigment in that is no longer available. But the same company has this very comparable ink, find it here. Once you’ve inked up the block print, you can print it on a 4x6 index card to test out your design and then begin printing on your cardstock for the final prints, or if you’re like me you can stamp your design right onto a blank 4x6 index cards and use those as your final print. I LOVE having this size index cards on hand because I use them for everything, including this lovely card design. You can get a good stash of these index cards here. , which, yes I do buy in a 100 pack.
When you’re done you can place the final print onto a larger piece of colored card-stock so that it would look a little more polished and sophisticated.
I show examples of different larger cardstocks I use for the background of mine in my Make Elegant Handmade Holiday Cards video starting at minute 19:56 which you can find on my YouTube channel.
The next card design is from 2020 and when I sat down to make it, I decided I wanted to revisit the block print style since I had so much fun with the previous years' card. I had been playing around with several 4x6 botanical style block print styles and decided to sketch the designs out on the index cards. This is another reason why I just love using these particular index cards to sketch, test and print with because they're the perfect size.
I sketched the interior branch design first as that would be the print of the actual botanical. Then I sketched around those branches for the second block print which would fill in the exterior negative space created from the branches. So essentially, I inverted the two different block prints.
I intentionally made sure to leave some room around the tops and edges of the card as well as a lot of negative space in this sketch. I was planning to add some pops of color and interest by using posca pens or paints to add berries or floral elements.
Printing the outer print made first was easier, and I used Pigment ink Bamboo color below. The black was this ink and here is the reinker for that black ink. Unfortunately, I don't have a link for the lovely pine colored ink above as it isn't available anymore.
Geesh don't get me started on getting hooked on an ink color and then it gets discontinued.
I specifically designed the two prints as positive and negative space to get the type of design I was aiming for. Once that was ready I experimented with several different color palettes and ended up using several of them instead of deciding on only one.
My favorite one was this one with the black background That I mounted on a spruce colored card. I was really happy with this design and I plan to revisit it again at some point to see what else I can do with it.