How we make custom stamps

It’s fun for us to work with other creative people in business, bringing their ideas to life. We love when someone approaches us about custom work, whether it’s a business logo or a child’s name. To share some of that joy with you, here’s a little bit about how our process works.

It varies but the first step, which in and of itself can be multiple steps, is to decide on a design. Sometimes this is a short process: a customer sends us a file of the image they’d like us to carve into a stamp—done! Other times a customer wants a variation on their logo or something based on an idea they have, and this requires design work on our end.

Photo Dec 30, 1 15 35 PM

If we are creating a design from scratch, the process is similar to how we come up with designs for the Darling & Dear line (like the Pinata pictured here). With custom work, we take direction from the customer first, then we have the creative freedom to whip up a great design that we both love. It’s fun, and honestly flattering, to come up with these custom designs.

After we have the design, I begin by sketching designs over and over again until something looks just right. When Jen and I are happy with it, we send it to the customer for adjustments or approval. Then, we either make a few tweaks or move forward with carving the stamp.

Making the design into a stamp is a lot of fun! There is something so different about stamping an image on a piece of paper for the first time to see how it comes out verses seeing it being printed out on paper from a printer. Not only does the stamp process give it character and life but so does the fresh ink and perfectly imperfect print. Imperfect to Darling & Dear means that the ink will never be rolled out the same way twice, and the ink will never print on the paper in the exactly same way each time. So, each stamped design will look a little different—keeping the design consistent but each card or print we make unique.

We do however conduct a quality check by inking each stamp and doing a few trial prints to make sure there are no areas that need adjustment. Sometimes the edges need to be cleaned up or maybe a corner needs to be perfected, this process is done over and over until we are satisfied with the print the stamp is producing.

Raleigh Dog - carving process

In many cases with our custom stamp orders—like for The Angus Barn—the customer also wants cards to go along with their new stamp. The process of stamping each card correctly, with the right amount of ink etc. is harder than you might think! It takes focus and consistency in movement. So, for The Angus Barn (and others) we keep the new stamp in our workshop so that we can make more cards for them when they place another order. For others who want to keep their stamp for printing onto customer merchandise bags and other things, we sell them the stamp for their use.

Be on the look out for our next custom stamp! We are finalizing one right now for one of our favorite local makers out of Durham, NC!



SALE: On all prints! From $16 to only $9 when you purchase one regularly priced card (starting at $4). See the sale and LIKE  us on Facebook.

GIVEAWAY: Get our Cozy Fox (5×5 print)! Follow us on Instagram (@darlinganddear) and find the post tagged #foxprint for more details on how to win. Announcement on 1/9/15!

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See us at Madewell on Saturday

Darling & Dear has been invited by Madewell at Southpoint Mall in Durham to come set up a table in their store this Saturday 12/20 — the weekend before Christmas! It should be a busy-good time, and we’d love to see you there!

From 4 – 7pm, we will be selling holiday cards and sets, any occasion cards and sets, garlands, gift tags, and more.

If you can’t make it, check out our goods in our Etsy Shop.

Madewell is a clothing store we’ve loved — so much that Jen even found the perfect wedding dress from Madewell for her late summer wedding outdoors in Brown Summit this year. See more on that in last week’s post.


We’ve been freshening things up! Darling & Dear’s website has a whole new look. With that, we also have a new blog and newsletter that comes to you each time there is a new blog post.

If you’re signed up on our mailing list, hooray! You’re one step ahead. If you’re not, we invite you to join Kim and Jen on their “handmade in the USA” journey and join the mailing list today. Xo!




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Married in Madewell

Madewell in Raleigh at Southpoint Mall has invited us to “pop up” our shop on Saturday, December 20. Eeeeeek!

We are super excited about this opportunity to showcase our holiday cards, our any-occasion cards, stationary sets, and more to a whole new audience! We’ll be sending out invitations to join us, so if you’d like to come by you can subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of this post.

Jen's Wedding Dress


On a side note: I got married a couple of months ago, on a beautiful September day, wearing this Madewell dress!

On the day I went into their store (at Crabtree Valley Mall) to look around, I was searching the whole mall for a dress and had so far come up empty. Everything was either too fancy or too casual. I wanted something classic, unique, and special. I’m used to not getting great service, so I tried on the dress without consulting with the girl in the store. It was my first time in the store, though I had shopped online before.

But when I came out of the dressing room the girl gasped and come over, saying: “You look amazing in that dress! Wow. I had no idea it could look like that. Are you getting married?” She didn’t know me at all, I had not told her anything, and this was not “a wedding dress.” I must have had that glow! Needless to say, she made me feel amazing in that dress.

My whole experience was just right—personal yet professional, and sweet. The day I wore it was too. :)

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