Halloween Stamp Set (Otherplan Classic)
Note: This tutorial requires Otherplan Classic, OMC’s legacy application for Mac OS X.
It’s fun to make decorations for Halloween whether they’re large or small. In this tutorial, we’re making some very small decorations in the form of a stamp set. I needed to make some invites for my kid’s Halloween-themed birthday party and figured I could have fun making handmade paper versions.
With a little bit of milling and cutting, I was able to turn a few linoleum blocks into a set of 15 stamps. That way I could mix and match and move elements around for different results.
Note: If you’ve never used an Othermill before, you’ll want to read through the Hello World tutorial for Mac.
OK, let’s get started!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Computer with Otherplan installed
- Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator
- Flat end mill, 1/8" and 1/32"
- Bandsaw or coping saw
- Hot glue gun
- Brayer (optional) if using ink or paint from a tube
- Linoleum blocks, 3" x 5"
- Scotch-Brite pad
- Hot glue sticks
- stamps.zip includes all the designs in the set
Step 2: Place the Linoleum Block
Place the linoleum block on the machine bed so that it’s flush with the front and left sides of the bed.
While holding it in place, run a bead of hot glue around the four edges of the linoleum block to secure it for milling. It’s now ready to go.
Step 3: Set Up Material in Otherplan
If linoleum block is not a preset item in Otherplan, choose wood block as the material type and select Custom Size. Below are the dimensions for the linoleum block used in this tutorial, but be sure to double check your own block when using it.
- Width: 128 mm
- Height: 77 mm
- Thickness: 22.3 mm
Step 4: Set Up the File
We have a set of design files attached here for you to download, or feel free to get creative and use any designs you like. This step requires that BitBreaker Mode be turned on (Otherplan menu > Preferences > check the box for BitBreaker Mode).
- Import the file you want to cut.
- Select Advanced.
- Check the Invert option.
The Othermill will now mill away everything that isn’t a part of the design. The design part will be raised and ready for printing at the end.
Step 5: Add the End Mills
We’re using two different end mills for this project: a 1/32" flat end mill for details and a 1/8" flat end mill for clearing out the larger areas. If we just used the 1/32" flat end mill, the job would take a very long time. If we just used the 1/8" flat end mill, the details would be lost. Using both sizes of tools makes the job fast and detailed, just what we want. Choose them both under Tool Selection.
Step 6: Change Settings for Endmills
Since the end mills can go through linoleum a lot faster than wood, we changed the settings in the Advanced menu to speed it up from the defaults.
We used these settings for this job:
- 1/8" flat end mill at 1500 mm/min
- 1/32" flat end mill at 1300 mm/min
Step 7: Insert the First End Mill
Otherplan always starts with the smallest end mill first. In this case, that’s the 1/32" flat end mill. Place it in the collet, tighten it, and follow the instructions in Otherplan for checking the height.
Note: If you haven’t inserted an end mill before, check out our Getting Started guide.
Step 8: Cut!
Now that everything is ready to go, hit the Cut button. When the work for the 1/32" flat end mill is complete, the Othermill will stop. You can then switch over to the 1/8" flat end mill. The Othermill will automatically start cutting the rest of the job once the new end mill is in place.
Step 9: Clean Off
Clear away all of the shavings left over from the job with a vacuum cleaner, and brush off any dust left on the linoleum. If there are some rough edges that are hard to clean up, wipe them a few times with a Scotch-Brite pad and the roughness will come right off.
Step 10: Cut into Pieces
We used a bandsaw to cut the blocks into smaller pieces, one for each stamp. This makes quick work of it, but if you wanted to do it by hand, a coping saw would work as well.
Step 11: Ink and Print
Now that you have a set of stamps ready to go, you can start putting ink on paper. Press the stamps into ink pads and then firmly press onto paper to get a good impression. The more colors you have to work with, the more interesting the final piece will be.
Step 12: Brayer and Paint Method (Optional)
If you want to use paint or ink from a tube instead, you can use a small rubber roller—known as a brayer—to get the stamps ready.
- Squeeze paint onto a flat piece of scrap material.
- Spread the paint onto brayer by rolling it around for a bit.
- Roll the paint onto the stamp with the brayer.
You can now put that paint onto paper or other surfaces in the same way as the ink pad. Press firmly straight down to get a good impression.
If you make a set of stamps, share your pictures in the comments. And if you have any questions, we’re here to help! Reach us at email@example.com.