DIY Hand-Stamped Alien Greeting Cards

Learn how to make your own custom stamps for these out-of-this-world greeting cards.

Greeting Card That Says "Greetings" With an Alien Flying Saucer

Alien Stamp Greeting Card

The Crafty Lumberjacks have a great how-to for getting the same screen-printed look as expensive greeting cards by carving a rubber stamp.

and HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Caitlin Dabbs

Caitlin Dabbs

Custom-printed greeting cards can get super pricey, but the Crafty Lumberjacks have figured out how to get that screen-printed look with a simple rubber stamp from the craft store. By carving your own stamp, you can create a reusable, unique design for cards, gift tags and more. And the process is a lot easier than you think! Watch the video and read on for the full how-to. Once you learn the basics, you can make your own design or copy their fun UFO card.

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Materials Needed:

  • 3 rubber carving blocks (2 need to be the exact same size)
  • #2 pencil
  • paper
  • printmaking paper
  • black ink pad
  • teal ink pad
  • carving tool with v-shaped blade
  • carving tool with u-shaped blade

Create Design

Sketch a UFO image with a #2 pencil on a piece of paper. If you’re not comfortable freehand drawing, you can print out clipart and trace it onto a piece of paper. Trace over the image multiple times to darken the lines. This will help transfer the image onto the rubber carving block. For text, write or print the word “Greetings” in a fun font and trace over the word multiple times on another piece of paper.

Transfer Design

Carefully center the carving block on top of the image. Press down firmly. Try not to shift or slide the block. Before lifting the block, mark the corners of the stamp on the paper. This will help you keep the second stamp consistent with the first. Raise the block and check for a successful transfer. Retrace the design on the paper with a #2 pencil. Repeat the transfer process with a second carving block, using the marked corners on the paper to line up with the block. Use the same process with a smaller carving block for the text. The phrase will transfer backwards, but don’t worry. It will stamp correctly.

Carve Stamps

To prep the blocks for carving, trace over the designs on all three blocks with a permanent marker to prevent smudging while carving. Practice making cuts in an area on the block that’s not part of the design. When carving, push the tool away from yourself in long continuous lines applying even pressure. Hold the tool at an angle parallel to the block to make shallow and horizontal cuts. To carve the outline and smaller details, use a v-shaped blade. Use less pressure for fine lines. For curves, turn the carving block instead of the tool. You can place a piece of paper under the rubber block to help make rotating easier. To carve out large areas, use a u-shaped blade. Apply heavy pressure to carve the negative space around and inside the image. Repeat with the other blocks.

Stamp Cards

To test your stamps, press each block on top of an ink pad and then stamp a scrap piece of paper. Carve away any unwanted raised areas. Repeat the process until you're happy with the stamp results. If you don’t have a blank card, you can make your own by folding a piece of printmaking paper in half. Press the first stamp with the full outline of the UFO on top of a black ink pad. Then, place the stamp in the center of the card and press down. Before lifting the stamp, lightly mark the corners of the stamp on the card and let dry. Next, press the second stamp in teal ink. Line up the second stamp with the markings and press down. Finally, stamp “Greetings” with black ink on the top center of the card.

Clean Stamps

After your stamping session, gently wash each stamp with soap and water. Do not rub while cleaning the stamp as this could break off tiny pieces in the stamp. Instead, pat clean and dry.

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