storytelling with stamps

Over time, our stamp collection has grown to more than we can use at one time. These are a few of our favourites. Some are hand made, some have been purchased. As we were working on this picture, the littlest was telling a story. He selected the stamps he wanted to use, laid them all out and then went at it! It’s fall with naked trees and red leaves, the lion is resting in the forest and the raccoon is going to climb a tree.

Here are some stamp making resources and some tips we have discovered through trial and error.

I’ve stopped trying to keep the stamp pads from getting muddied with colour. It’s too much to ask of an enthusiastic four-year-old caught up in the making. So we use inexpensive stamp pads from the local dollar store and replace them when they get dirty or dried out. I also have a stash of clean archival quality stamp pads that I take out one at a time when we want to make something special.

Mounting stamps or adding a handle makes them easier for little hands to use. We glue ours to sanded wood scraps or make a little duct tape or push pin handle on the back.

It’s easy to make your own stamps. Geninne Zlotkis is an expert stamp maker and has kindly shared her skills in this great tutorial and list of materials here.

Some of ours were cut from craft foam. If you can get the kind with a sticky back, even better! These are super easy for children to make themselves. They can draw the design on the paper on the back and then cut it out and stick it on to a bit of wood.

Multi-part stamps (like the tree above) are super fun to make and use. They add variety to pictures by allowing you to leave out or alter certain elements (hence the naked trees). These get used a lot at our house.

If you’re not up for making your own, here are some great places to buy stamps that are ready to go:

Yellow Owl Workshop
Old Island Stamp Company
The Small Object
Urban Source (for locals)
Djeco (these are great for colouring in with pencils afterwards)
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