How to Rubber Stamp and Use Paper Punches

Dana Hinders
Martha Stewart circle punch
Martha Stewart circle punch

Learning how to rubber stamp and use paper punches opens up a world of crafting possibilities. In addition to making greeting cards and decorating scrapbook layouts, you can explore a variety of home décor projects and handmade gift ideas.

About Rubber Stamping

Rubber stamping encompasses a number of products and techniques. You can buy wood mounted rubber stamps, foam craft stamps, or clear acrylic stamps. You can stamp with dye ink or emboss with pigment ink. Watermark ink gives you a lovely tone on tone effect for subtle backgrounds.

To learn more about stamping, check out the following LoveToKnow Crafts articles:

About Paper Punches

Paper punches are a handy alternative to purchasing a specialized die cutting machine. Some of the many different shapes available for punches include:

  • Circles
  • Ovals
  • Squares
  • Rectangles
  • Tags
  • Flowers
  • Butterflies
  • Swirls

Paper punches will cut through patterned paper, cardstock, and vellum. They are generally not strong enough to cut through fabric or chipboard, however. When needed, you can sharpen your paper punches by punching through aluminum foil a few times.Paper punches can be purchased wherever craft supplies are sold. The price of paper punches generally depends upon the size, with the larger punches being significantly more expensive.

Ideas for How to Rubber Stamp and Use Paper Punches

If you're looking for ideas on how to rubber stamp and use paper punches, here are some fun techniques to try:

  • Are you a novice rubber stamper? If you don't feel confident enough in your stamping skills to try stamping directly onto your project, stamp the design on a separate piece of cardstock, then crop it out with a circle or square punch.
  • Use a circle or square punch to punch a window in the front of your greeting card, then add a stamped design in the opening.
  • Use various punched shapes and cut out rubber stamped images as filler for a handmade shaker box accent on a greeting card or scrapbook page.
  • Use shadow stamps to make your own abstract patterned paper background. Punch squares from this paper, then arrange in a grid-like formation to create pretty wall art for your home or a base for a simple scrapbook layout.
  • Use a border punch to create a decorative edge along the side of your greeting card or scrapbook layout.
  • Add interest to simple punched shapes by covering them in a layer of Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) and embossing the design. This will give them a raised and shiny appearance. Try gently bending the shapes back and forth to create the look of cracked glass.
  • Punch small butterflies from colored paper; then add them to a stamped nature scene. Fold up the wings for a slight 3D effect.
  • Make a flower bouquet by adding punched flowers cut from various colors of paper to a stamped image of leaves and a vase.
  • Design a Christmas tree by layering several upside down green hearts together in a triangle formation and adding a brown trunk cut from textured cardstock. Place your tree accent next to a rubber stamped image of Santa Claus for a fun holiday greeting.
  • Stack three progressively smaller white circles on top of each other to make a simple paper snowman. Use foam adhesive to mount your snowman on top of a rubber stamped winter scene.
  • Make bookmarks to give as gifts by stamping images onto punched tag shapes, then adding ribbon or fibers to the top of the tag.
  • Punch a small design to the corner of your scrapbook journaling block, then accent key words in your text by stamping them in various coordinating ink colors.
  • Embellish a rubber stamped design by using the negative space from a punched shape as a stencil for chalking.
How to Rubber Stamp and Use Paper Punches