Stamping and a fall giveaway

A few weeks ago I found myself totally riveted by Filth Wizardry's blog post on stamping, using plasticine to make amazing prints. I used to love stamping as a child. And who didn't? Ink, paper, and magic. I loved that breathless anticipation as I waited to see what would emerge when I lifted my hand. 

As far as crafts go, printing and stamping have that blend of stillness (as you press down and wait for the ink to set) and instantaneousness that just appeals to little kids. We spent a whole happy afternoon making many different kinds of stamps while little A. cooperatively napped. 

Do check out the link above, as well as this one from Floating Ink – I love her handcarved stamps! Have any of you carved your own stamps? I'd love to carve stamps like these someday.

Here are photos of our session. There was stamping with erasers and plasticine and wiki stix, using toothpicks, cutters, sharp pencils, and so forth to carve our designs. 







 Stamping-111(Hmm….I seem to have a thing for birds right now, don't I?! I tried them in every way – molded as well as in low and high relief.)

In the end I think that it was beeswax, (which we collect stray bits of in a jar on our windowsill) which made for the most durable stamps. 



My kids have also made prints with potatoes and lotus root at school. Lotus root was particularly beautiful. What else can you think of to stamp and print with? 

Now the fun part: a little giveaway to celebrate autumn, since it seems to finally be cooling down in Japan. 



These sweet little stamps are not handcrafted, though they do look like it. There's a little autumn-themed stationery set too. Comment below and tell me one craft you'd love to learn, to enter the giveaway. For an extra entry, join Origami Mommy on Facebook, so I can start putting blog updates on there. You can also tweet about this giveaway – just be sure to let me know. I'll pick a winner at random two weeks from now, on Friday November 5th at 8 PM EST!


39 thoughts on “Stamping and a fall giveaway

  1. Becca

    I carved some stamps a few years ago to make christmas cards and labels…haven’t tried it recently though with my daughter..although we do use vegetables for stamping-but that’s with paint.okra makes for beautiful prints.. I think my daughter would LOVE these!
    I would love to learn how to knit..would love to be able to make wool soakers for dango-chan.
    thank you!

  2. Francesca

    We use potatoes, I never thought of beeswax (thank you!), and I’m intrigued by the lotus root which sounds so cool! I’d love to learn so many crafts: wood carving, (goat) cheese making, and spinning wool are on top of my list … if I narrowed it down to just one, I probably would have a better chance of getting to it:)!

  3. MyKidsEatSquid

    We’ve done carving out of ivory soap and that was a lot of fun–easy and the mess smelled really good. But what kind of crafts would I like to do with my kids? I’d really like to know some simple finger knitting techniques. My SIL tried to teach me but I ended up being just terrible at it.

  4. Jane Boursaw

    My crafty daughter would LOVE these stamps. So cool. Love your photos, too.
    As for a craft I’d love to learn, I think weaving would be it. Years ago, I bought a loom from the ladies who lived next door to us for my entire childhood. They were well-known weavers in the community, so I felt lucky to get their loom as they got older and weren’t able to use it.
    Have *I* used it? No – sadly, it’s been in my basement gathering dust, waiting for “some day” when I have more time (and space – like, maybe after a kid moves out, I’ll move the loom into their room).
    And I have no idea how to weave, so would have to take a class or something.

  5. Susan

    These look great! When I was little, my Dad created a stamp for me and we made hand-pressed stationary as party favors for one of my birthdays. I’d like to learn more about collage or jewelry making.

  6. Patricia

    These are so sweet! I mean the handmade ones, I have to try this with my girls!
    And the ones for the giveaway are so lovely! and so japanese… my favourite!!!
    Iยดd love to learn how to knit but I can never find the time, I will someday I hope!

  7. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart

    Those are very cool. Being a bit craft-impaired, I’m not sure I understand what you used for “ink,” but I love the watercolor-like result.
    I already quilt. I’ve made all kinds of homemade soaps and body products. I’m learning to knit, including felting.
    What else would I like to learn? Well, once I get past some “useful” knit items for the house, I might get brave about clothes … perhaps a dog sweater first … then I’ll maybe try to make a sweater for myself.

  8. Frugal Kiwi

    These are super neat. I’ve tried potatoes in the past with reasonable results, but these would be, well, less inclined to rot!
    I’d love to learn to spin and weave. Imagine wearing clothes that you processed from the back of a sheep to your own back. THAT would be something.

  9. Stephanie - Wasabimon

    Christine, will you be MY origami mommy? Your kids must have so much fun with you.
    As for what I’d like to learn, I have a book here on making paper laterns and lamps. It sounds like so much fun, but it’s a lot for one person to bite off when they haven’t crafted in years.

  10. Kris

    I wrote about printmaking for FamilyFun years ago and one project involved carving floral foam. You know that green stuff? Probably not as environmentally friendly as beeswax, though. Cute, cute!

  11. Jennifer Margulis

    These are beautiful. Now you can use them to go LETTERBOXING! I bet there are some great letterboxes in Japan, if you’ve never tried that activity with your kids.
    Jennifer Margulis @ Mothering Outside the Lines

  12. Raheli

    How fun & simple!
    I want to learn how to crochet, but I’ve been putting it off because I want to solidify my knitting skills first ๐Ÿ™‚ I really just want to crochet a big fat rug that will feel so good under my toes.

  13. Katherine

    I love your jar of beeswax! I know how to do so many things a little bit, but what I am trying to learn better right now is clothes sewing. I’ve never liked the clothes that I have sewn very much, but I have some good books now, and I am making progress!

  14. Bronwyn

    Love this post – I’m totally inspired to get a bunch of stamping materials out on the table before the boys wake up!
    As for a craft I’d like to learn… I think it would be making intricate pop-up books and cards. I’ve done some simple things, but I have gotten all the tricks and techniques down to do more complicated designs. First, though, I would like to learn how to make more time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. christina

    I have heaps of beewax but never thought about using it for stamping. I love stamping! Stamping invitations, letters,paintings…etc.
    Two fun crafts:
    1. Corn husk dolls. Making dolls from corn husks. It can be as simple or beautiful as you can imagine.
    2. Have you tried stamping using paper designs? You can cut out these beautiful designs using origami paper and then stamp them on top everyday things like shoes, aprons, coasters…

  16. Cris

    How cute! Very personal, too. Doing stamps like this would make doing Christmas cards almost relaxing.
    One craft I’d like to see (besides the intricate popup books – cool) is not really a craft, but bento making! I have a three-year old in a Japanese preschool and I’d love some practical ideas for quick but cute obento.

  17. Ms Muffin

    Loved this post and the links! I have not heard of using plasticine for stamping before … but I am SO gonna try this! Finally a good use for all those totally messed up bits in our house … ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have read that you can make stamps out of craft foam. I have yet to try this – but is does sound promising.
    Now for the giveaway – the stamps look so cute – what craft would I like to learn? Well … actually a hard questions as I have tried so many crafts already in my life. But you know, I REALLY would like to learn more about jewellery making. I bought a whole bunch of big glas beads for myself – similar to the ones that I sent you – but I can not come up with something that I would love to do with them! It really bothers me! Alle necklaces and things I see always seem to use smaller beads …
    And I really wanna learn quilting. I am working on a baby quilt for my son. I have still to finish the top – even though it was supposed to be a birthday present. *sigh* But I am really scared of the actual quilting part …

  18. Ms Muffin

    This might be a stpuid question … but is there a link to join you on facebook? I somehow do not seem to find it …
    I have tried to build a fan page for my blog but somehow I am having alot of trouble with importing my blog to facebook. Did not figure out why yet … but it never seems to work properly … *sigh*

  19. Cornelia

    I do enjoy reading your blog – thank you very much for your time and your energy! I recently bought a book of HAIKUS. There is something about Japanese culture, it is as if poetry was in the air…A fragrance I smell in your posts, too. Well, and what I would really like to learn is Fabric Origami, i.e. flowers, boxes…
    Wishing you all the best
    Cornelia from Switzerland

  20. Kelly

    Great stamps! I just bought some blocks for carving stamps but I haven’t tried them yet. I like the bento idea! I have made bentos before but they were relatively boring. I’d love to see some new ideas!

  21. Hellena

    I’ll definitely try making homemade stamps with my two and a half year old, as she loves engaging in art projects. I’m so busy trying to juggle a newborn’s needs as well as that of a very artistic, creative toddler (not to mention my dissertation) that it is great to have resources from this website.
    When I have a little more time (i.e., maybe when I’m halfway done with my dissertation), I would love how to make Japanese dolls (the very small ones) or Japanese bookmarks

  22. Meimi

    I would love to learn crochet and knitting so I can make more than just a knit stitch scarf. Those are getting really boring.

  23. mermaid

    We have used potatoes and romaine for stamping.. and bottle lids. Should really try these placticine stamps.. looks so cute and interesting.
    What would I like to learn? Hmm.. don`t really know.. I wish I had enough patience for origami ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love your stories about kindergartens in Japan.

  24. Leah

    Wow those are so cute. As for a craft I wouold like to learn, I would very much like to learn more about the craft of photography. Thanks. I just found your site through ravelry.

  25. Skye

    Your site is so gorgeous! It inspires me to keep blogging and learn how to make stuff. I’m very untalented though–I am starting small. I’d love to see some stuff on baby toy making–especially those puffy baby books my little guy can read or chew! Thanks—

  26. heather

    i love the idea of using beeswax for stamps… what a sweet idea to make them together with your daughter. it’s now on our to do list!


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