If you want a stamp design that’s cute and unique, without investing as much money as having a professional laser-cut stamp, then making your own Rubber Stamp is the answer. Not only is it fun to do, but a handmade stamp is perfect for small and short-term craft projects. Here are some of the many ways on how to make your own rubber stamp.
Wood block (for the handle)
Glue (heavy duty)
1. Sketch your desired design on a blank piece of paper with a pencil. Cut all around with just enough space around the design.
2. Measure the cut-out with a ruler and use those measurements to cut a piece of the carving rubber. It doesn’t have to have the exact dimension as the cutout. If you have a 2” size diameter for the design, your carving rubber could be 2.5”.
3. Place the paper with the design face down on to the piece of carving rubber and rub the back of the paper with your finger or with an eraser. Check underneath the paper if design has been completely transferred. If not, keep on rubbing the back of the paper.
4. If the design is clear on the rubber block, it’s time to start carving. Using the smallest carving blade slowly carve away the outside of your transferred design. Remember that you want the design to be stamped; therefore you should be removing the portions that you don’t want to appear when stamping.
5. After carving the outline of the design, use a larger carving blade to remove the rest of the carving rubber that’s not part of the design.
6. Using a craft knife, even out the carved out portions of the stamp. This is optional though, but it makes your stamp look nicer and cleaner.
7. Once done, brush away any excess bits of rubber. To test if your design looks clear, try stamping it on an ink pad and then on a piece of paper. If there are blots or dark portions that should not be there, turn the stamp face up and carve away until you got your desired print.
8. When you’re happy with the result, it’s time to mount the rubber on a wood handle or wood block. It makes your stamp look professional and it makes it easier to use. To do this, make sure that the carving rubber fits your wood handle. Using glue or heavy duty adhesive, attach the rubber to the wood. For easy identification, stamp the top of your wood block before attaching the handle.
Other Tips for Beginners
• Cut slowly and make small shallow cuts
• Cut at less than 45-degree angle
• Cut away from yourself
• Make curves by rotating the rubber not the carving tool. Add paper underneath the rubber to make turning effortless.
• Practice making simple designs at first to get the hang of it
Other ways to create stamps for beginners and practice
Potato. You’re probably thinking that this is an activity that’s just for children. However, using potatoes is a good way to start for adults who want to carve their own stamps. There are other kinds of vegetables that you can use as well. For example, carrots are nice for small ‘peg’ stamps. The only drawback is that vegetables dry up immediately so you need to use the stamp right away and it can only be used once.
Craft Foam. Here’s another material that’s easy to use but doesn’t rot away like vegetables do. Craft foam can be designed and cut with the use of scissors; no need for expensive carving tools just yet. It is an easy way to create simple stamp designs and when you add a block or handle, it’s almost as if it’s professionally made. You can attach the craft foam to an acrylic or wood block with a glue or epoxy. Simple shapes and letters are recommended when you are making craft foam designs. In some craft stores, you can already buy readily cut designs that are good to go.
Erasers. These are very cheap and easy to carve. They are the closest you can get to rubber carving without breaking the bank. You could use plastic erasers or gum erasers. The only limit is that erasers come in small sizes. Hence, you could practice with simple designs or make one word per eraser.
Soft Block or Linoleum Block. This was a tool that was commonly used for printing and is also now popular for stamp carving. The soft material makes it easy to carve designs even if they are complex. All you need to use are carving tools to achieve the stamp design that you want.
Design Ideas for Beginners
How to Clean and Store Your Hand-Made Stamp
Proper care should be taken if you want your stamp to last a long time. Even though they are not expensive, you spent hours working on it with your own hands. Here are some ways to take care of your DIY rubber stamp.
1. After using your rubber stamp, wash them with water and mild soap. Most of the time, this should be able to remove the ink on your stamp. Dip a sponge on soap with water solution and then rub it lightly on the stamp. Rinse off and let dry on a cloth or paper towel.
2. If the ink stain still doesn’t come off, the kind of ink may require a specific cleaning solution to clean it. Follow the instruction of the cleaning solution manufacturer to clean.
3. Don’t worry if there are still stains left. They won’t affect the print of your stamp in the future. If you’re changing ink colors, make sure to stamp on paper until you see that there are no inks left before stamping on another color.
4. Do not stack stamps next to each other as sometimes rubber and plastics can have a negative reaction with each other. Line the stamps with paper first before stacking them. Using a stackable storage drawer is a good investment for your stamps.
I hope you enjoyed this article on making your own stamps. If you tried making your own stamp in the past, please share your experience with us in the comments section.