One of my favourite pastimes is searching for bargains at my local thrift stores. Depending on what I’m into at the moment, it could be books, canvasses, Art, bric-a-brac, dressmaking patterns, picture frames, teacups, toys…your guess is as good as mine. If it looks like I could use it somehow, or modify it to suit my purpose, I’ll buy it.
Last year I’d bought a set of 4 square melamine-coated MDF drinks coasters. Which I never got round to doing anything with.
A couple of months ago I’d bought a set of wooden alphabets. Which again I never got round to doing anything with.
Last week I bought a set of cork numbers. I’d been in town looking for stamps and stencils and had come across the set, and for some reason my mind did this calculation:
Coasters + wooden alphabets + cork numbers + acrylic medium = handmade upcycled letterpress stamp.
I’d always admired Letterpress-style stamps. But they were always way too expensive to buy. So why not have a go at creating my own?
And so I did. Not just one, but 4. 2 with both letters and numbers, 1 with just letters and 1 with just numbers. The acrylic gel medium worked a treat as an adhesive. I also sealed the letters and numbers afterwards with a layer of the same acrylic gel medium.
And now for the question – how would these stand up to being used as stamps?
I used acrylic paints and spray ink on my handmade letterpress stamps. They came out a treat, with minor imperfections, which just added to the charm.
Have a look:
The next test was – would cleaning up these stamps be easy, or would they fall apart if they went under the tap for too long?
Turns out I was able to wash them under warm running water without any problems. I used a stipple brush to get into the cracks and spaces.
Very happy with my new letterpress stamps! I have big plans for my babies. :-) Oh, and by the way, I’ve discovered that old drinks coasters make ideal mounting blocks for stamps, so guess what I bought next from my thrift store…