Have you ever wondered how to make a rubber stamp? We love the speed and ease of stamping as much as the next crafter, but what if you want to make something totally handmade and unique. Well, the answer is, design your own rubber stamp.
For more stationary and journalling inspiration check out our blog posts below:
- January Journalling – The Joy of Printing Photographs
- January journalling DIY
- How to make homemade washi tape
Over to Yi from Cotton Candy to show us how to make the rubber stamp…
You will need:
- Stamp pad
- X-acto knife
- V-tool – a carving tool with a v cutting edge
- Some paper or card for stamping
How to make a rubber stamp
The v-tool helps to remove large areas from the rubber which will not be required in the finished stamp. If you can’t find one, you can use the x-acto blade instead, but a v-tool makes it easier.
Use a pencil to draw the outline of your design. Keep the design as simple as possible.
Trace your drawing onto tracing paper using a good 2B pencil.
Place the tracing paper with the pencil mark side directly over the part of the eraser where you wish to carve the stamp. Using your thumbnail, scratch/rub over the lines.
The pattern is now transferred to the eraser. Note that the image is now mirrored. (This method is important if you are using letters or numbering in your design, or your image needs to appear a particular way round.)
Using a permanent marker, outline the pencil marks. This will help prevent the pencil marks from smudging and create a thicker guideline for carving.
Using the x-acto blade, start carving from the outline. Keep the blade at a 30 degree angle with the sharp edge pointing away from the line you are carving. Don’t cut too deep.
Working on the same line, re-insert the blade about 3mm away from the line and out at a 30 degree angle again. You are effectively creating a v-groove next to the line. Repeat for all the marked lines. Be extra careful with the areas where the lines are close together, you do not want to cut too deep and end up cutting away the other marked lines. This is why the graphics should be kept simple.
Using the v-tool you can remove chunks of eraser quickly between the lines.
Cut away the excess eraser around the main stamp as the excess area might get stained with ink by accident and create unintentional blotches when stamping. Use the v-tool / x-acto blade to cut the edges off at an angle to tidy up the stamp.
Now apply some ink using an ink pad to test your stamp.
Test stamping will help you identify areas that need to be removed or refined further. Keep your cuts shallow and remove bits at a time. Keep checking until you get the perfect stamp.
One final note to make, if you are creating a stamp which has no specific left or right-orientation, you can skip the first couple of steps and draw direct on to the eraser. If you have words or lettering in your stamp you will need to use the tracing paper method to ensure you have the mirror image for stamping.
Wow! That’s amazing Yi, and your guide makes it look so easy. If you’d like to find out more about Yi Farn, check out her blog Cotton Candy. For more journalling makes and rubber stamp creations subscribe to Mollie Makes.