Custom T-Shirt Stamp Step-by-Step on the Carvey

This year we added the Carvey to our maker ‘toolbox.’  Our makerspace is directly connected to our library with only a brick archway to separate us. For this reason, I was hoping the Carvey would be as quiet as advertised.Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 1.15.42 PM (They advertise it as being as quiet as a desktop printer, but depending on the material and the amount of ‘cutting’ the noise level can vary.  I have had to pause it a few times when there was a class being read to or a quiet activity was underway.)Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 1.16.01 PM

There is always a learning curve with a new tool and this is true of the Carvey as well.  However, that curve was pretty slight and within a few hours, we were creating all sorts of creations.  The designs, at least for beginners, are done with the web-based native software app called Easel.  It was very easy for this newbie to navigate and create my first few projects.  For this particular project, I wanted to create a ‘staff’ t-shirt for our student directors and producers for our school television studio: WGST (the World’s Greatest Student Television).  After designing the ‘stamp’ I had to flip it so that I would be carving out the ‘reverse’ for stamping purposes.

You can download the step-by-step PDF HERE.

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Here is how the stamp ‘blank’ turned out.

I glued the 1/8″ board to a larger piece of wood just to make the stamping easier.  To help me align the design, I added a couple of wooden spools to the back of the wood blank too.


Next, I just needed somebody to help me make some shirts!  Thankfully my wonderful daughter was home from college and was willing to help me create the shirts for the students and adults who help with the broadcasts.

The process was pretty straight forward.  We placed a cardboard square inside each shirt to keep the paint from seeping through and also to give a little ‘resistance’ when the stamp was pressed down.  We used regular latex high-gloss interior paint.  It was applied using a foam brush and then carefully pressed on the shirts.  The ‘weathered’ look was perfect!  Each one is slightly different.


 I think they like them!


I look forward to finding ways to integrate the Carvey into our future projects.

How to Make a Simple Homemade Stamp to Create Your Own Custom Stationery

I like the idea of sending thank you cards.  It wasn’t something that I grew up with doing as a young person, but my wife did.  It is now second nature.  I think it is pretty wonderful to get a hand written note from someone and so I try to send them as often as I can.  It’s easy now days to pick up a pack from the dollar store, but imagine how much more special the receiver feels when they know you personally made the card and took the time to send it.  In this post, I’m going to show you a very simple way to make your own personalized stationery for basically no cost.

I like 5″ x 7″ cards.  I sometimes print an image at Walgreens, glue it to the card and then find a quote that enhances it.  I’ve been wanting to try something different, so I decided to make my own stamp.

I began with a block of scrap lumber, approximately 4″ x 6″ in size.  I screwed a smaller block to the wood to give it a handle.

Next, I took a handful of rubberbands and created an interesting pattern.  The handle actually helps create different designs on the underside.


As usual, patterns and designs pop up that I didn’t see before test printing.  The star was a surprise!


I tried a few test prints and was very happy with the design.  I tweaked a couple of the rubber bands to enhance a few lines.

I used tempera paint that I had on hand and a foam brush to dab it on the underside of the stamp.  I found that I could actually make several ‘prints’ from one coating of paint.  In fact, neat effects evolved with the decreasing amount of  paint.  I also experimented with turning the stamp different directions to see what would emerge.


I received a package earlier in the day and didn’t want to simply recycle the packing material.


After unrolling, I decided to make my own wrapping paper with the packing material.  This was a lot of fun to try all sorts of different techniques.

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This was a simple project and I think I would love to try it with students.  We have tons of ‘scrap’ material left over from all sorts of projects.  Add some rubber bands and you’ve made an instant stamp!  It would be fun to see how students experiment lines and patterns as well.  This would be a neat holiday gift for students to make!


I know I would appreciate getting a card like this.  How about you?  Do you have any suggestions for how to make this activity even more fun?