How to Make Your Own Rubber Stamps: Homemade Ideas for Custom, Hand Carved Stamps
Rubber stamps are fun and relatively easy to make at home. You can make a wide variety of different types of stamps with craft supplies and recycled materials that you already have on hand. If you do need to purchase materials, they will most likely be inexpensive, such as cork board or craft foam, or will last a long time, such as an X-ACTO knife. Rubber stamps are an easy project to make with kids of a wide variety of ages. This is an appealing project for adults who are looking for ways to customize their homemade greeting cards, art journals, fabric creations, and more. Happy crafting!
Why make your own stamps?
As rubber stamps are readily available at most craft stores, some people wonder why you would make your own. There are a few popular reasons that people choose to make their own stamps.
- Cost factor. Purchasing large numbers of rubber stamps can be expensive. It is almost always cheaper to make stamps than to purchase them.
- Customization and personalization. If you craft on a regular basis, you know that one of the easiest ways to get exactly what you want is to make it yourself. Instead of spending hours hunting for a particular stamp or shelling out money for a custom order, you can make it.
- Choice of materials. While there are a number of methods for purchasing American made stamps from individual artisans, some people may feel more comfortable using stamps that are made from items of their choosing.
Irresistible: Resist Stamping Techniques
Tips For Making and Maintaining High Quality Stamps
- Follow the instructions and advice. When you are attempting a new technique, it is always best practice to double check the directions and follow them in full the first time. Don't start experimenting right away if you aren't sure what you're doing.
- If you're using an X-ACTO knife and/or linoleum carving tool, make sure that the tools are sharp. Nothing will be more frustrating for carving designs, particularly intricate designs, than a dull knife. If your blade is dull, swap it out for a new one before you begin a new stamp project.
- Clean your stamps after each use. I know that this is easier said than done, especially with kids, but one of the best ways to ensure sharp stamp designs after multiple uses is to keep your stamps clean. This isn't necessary for single use stamps, such as potato or cardboard tube stamps, but it is for any lasting stamp.
Tip: Don't forget that you need to carve your design backward!
Erasers are one of the most popular materials for homemade stamps. They are inexpensive and readily available. Look for bulk details during back to school sales and through web sites that sell school supplies, such as Office Depot and Oriental Trading. Erasers are ideal for smaller stamps.
Wine or Champagne Cork Stamps
If you've been saving your wine or champagne corks and haven't been sure what to do with them, this may be a great option for you. You will be limited to smaller designs, but otherwise the possibilities are endless.
How to make wine cork stamps
How to Use Wooden Blocks for Stamps
It's not a surprise that wooden blocks make a great base for stamps, as they are widely used for commercial stamps. Some homemade stamps, such as corks, don't need a base. However, if you'll be using foam stickers, cork board, or another thin material for your stamps, wooden blocks will be a good choice for a base. You may be able to find a good deal on plain wooden blocks at a craft store. Alternatively, look for specials or hunt garage sales for kids' blocks.
How to Carve a Stamp Print Block 101 Part 1
Stamping Carving Blocks
Many people like to use carving blocks for their stamps. You'll see it mentioned in a number of stamp tutorials. These blocks have a similar consistency and texture to erasers. They are one of the largest materials available for making handmade stamps, creating a lot more flexibility for size and shape of designs. Currently the most popular brand is Speedball, which offers blocks in multiple sizes.
Does this make you think of preschool? Who hasn't done potato stamping at some point? If you have some older potatoes in the kitchen that you aren't inspired to use any time soon, turn them into stamps instead. This is a classic project for kids, but you can take your time carving more intricate designs for your own projects as well. Additionally, instead of taking the traditional idea of cutting a potato in half and carving a design on each side, cut a potato down to make smaller designs.
Tip: Many homemade stamps work well with acrylic paint as well as ink pads!
Alisa has a number of very inspired ideas for using cardboard tubes with painting, including stamping. You have to click through to the post to see all of the possibilities for this simple material. Cardboard stamps are a great painting project for preschoolers, but don't discount the simple shapes for more advanced art endeavors as well.
Sponges are tougher to manipulate than some of the other popular stamping materials, but this is a great option for geometric shapes and other simple designs. As sponges are considerably larger than erasers and corks, they can make a great, textured material for covering a larger surface quickly. If you're making a project like the one on the right with a background color, consider using a sponge to do the work.
How to Use Leather Scraps for Stamps
For those who craft with leather or who have acquired leather scraps, you can use leather scraps for stamps in a very similar fashion to craft foam and cork board. Cut the designs that you like and then attach them to the base of your choice, such as a wine cork or wooden block. The tutorial below uses the scraps with wooden blocks. It includes the brilliant idea of using extra leather scraps to stamp the designs on top of the wooden blocks so you can tell the stamps apart easily.
Bottle Cap Stamps
One of the most popular materials for bottle cap stamps is foam stickers. You can simply stick a foam sticker on a bottle cap and stamp away. I also recently came across a tutorial for using cork board for bottle cap stamps. (See the Fishes Make Wishes link below.) Cork board is more involved than stickers as you will have to cut the designs that you want, but it is inexpensive and provides endless options for shapes and designs.
How to Use Craft Foam to Make Stamps
Craft foam is another material that is inexpensive and perfect for making your own stamps. It is very flexible, which makes it easy to cut as well as mark. Some people cut simple shapes and glue them to wood or another strong base. Other people take it one step further and make impressions in their designs to create more detailed pictures, such as feathers on a bird or scales on a fish. Click on the Homeschool Printables link to see an example of this latter concept.
- Homeschool Printables: Craft Foam Life Cycle Stamps
Homeschool Printables, Homeschool Crafts, and Homeschool Activities! Free kids craft ideas for your personal homeschool or classroom use! These educational crafts go wonderful alongsid many thematic units or unit studies!
- How to Make a Craft Foam Stamp
There are tons of tutorials out there for making various types of clay pendants, magnets, etc. that involve making carvings or prints in clay. You can apply this same concept to clay stamps. Polymer clay is one of the most popular and readily available types of clay for stamps, but the possibilities for types of clay are endless.
There are so many ways that you can use handmade stamps!
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