Hand Cut Arabesque Stamp {Tutorial}

Learning how to use new tools is an important step for a young artist. In the age of 3D printers, the lessons of using your hands to create something, must not be lost. Cutting a square block into an arabesque stamp allowed my daughter to spend an afternoon working on something hand made.


I came across this carving set at our local store and couldn’t resist bringing them home for my daughter.  I stopped at my local art store and asked what I could carve with them and they showed me several options. I got a linoleum block because it’s easy to carve, especially if you use it within a year of buying it, before it hardens. I learned there is a difference between the soft block and the hard block, such as carving details. I went with the hard block because I thought it would be easier for my daughter to handle, since it had a back.


The tools came in different shapes to allow my daughter to cut fine lines and negative spaces. There were just a few more things I gathered before we got started.



Arabesque tile detail printout
Tracing tool
Carving tools
Carbon paper
Masking tape
Linoleum block

We wrapped the carbon paper around the block and wrapped the arabesque printout out over it.  We used the masking tape to secure everything in place. Then my daughter used the tracing tool to draw out the shapes in the tile detail.

I helped her check to make sure every line was done, going back over a few.

Now the fun begins, the carving!  I let my daughter hold the block on one side and showed her how to carve away from her hand. If you are doing this with a child, you must supervise and allow them to take their time.  The carving does not have to be deep, use the different tools to achieve various cuts.

As you can see from her shavings, most of them are very small.  I sat with her while she keep working, taking a little off here, a little there.

She hasn’t decided what she’ll do with it when she’s done: use it on a card with acrylic paint, or maybe a nylon bag with fabric paint or gift it to a friend.


Stop by these other fun ways we incorporate arabesque designs into learning about art:

Palm Tree Celery Stamp Art {Tutorial}

Melted Crayon Allah Art {Tutorial}

Be sure to visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more DIY craft tutorials.


I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.