Making Your Own Rubber Stamps

It’s really not that difficult to make your own rubber stamps. This is a fun project for older children to do, and definitely for the scrapbooker.

To begin, you will need to choose what you’d like to have on the stamp. Choose a pattern you can trace, (a black and white image with wide, bold lines is usually better), or simply draw from scratch. I chose letters because I wanted to make some fun letter stamps, but you can do anything – a symbol, your name, a character or an object.

Use tracing paper and a soft lead pencil to copy the image. You will need to fill in the black areas very dark. You want to leave a heavy, shining coat of pencil lead on the paper.

You then need an eraser. Any eraser will do, and any color. I’ve used white vinyl erasers, green rubber erasers, or hard red rubber erasers.

I’ve heard that a lot of scrapbookers prefer to use vinyl (“Staedtler-Mars”) erasers because they are supposed to cut easily and make a clear, bold impression.

Just experiment and see what works best for you.

If you want to create a larger stamp you can purchase carving blocks from a craft store, usually Michaels.

To transfer your image onto the eraser, turn the tracing paper over and place it face down on the eraser. Rub the back of the paper with a rounded stick to burnish the design onto the eraser.

You should now be able to see the image clearly on the eraser, however it will be reversed. Trace over the image with an ink pen or a permanent fine tip marker so it is easier to see.

Now, all you have to do is just carve away the areas that have not been inked.

The best tool to accomplish this is probably the X-acto knife. It’s easy to hold and manipulate through the eraser.

Always cut away from the inked areas at an angle so that they become the peaks of little ridges. Never undercut the inked area! Another nice tool is a sewing needle with its head pushed into the end of a wooden handle. This can be used to prick out very intricate details.

When you are done carving the eraser, press it onto an ink pad and try it out on a piece of paper. After you have done this, you might want to make a few additional cuts here and there, once you see the stamped test image.

When you’re completely satisfied with your stamp, you can cut away the excess material around the edges of your design. You can then obtain a block of wood that is a bit larger than your stamp. Glue the wood to the eraser stamp and you just made a rubber stamp!

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