Make Your Own Rubber Stamps

Dana Hinders
Rubber stamping
Rubber stamps are great for making greeting cards and other paper crafts.

Learning how to make your own rubber stamps opens up a world of crafting possibilities.

The Versatility of Stamping

Stamps are a favorite tool among crafters because they are so versatile. Rubber stamps can be used to make:

  • Handmade greeting cards
  • Personalized stationary
  • Wrapping paper
  • Party decorations
  • Scrapbook layouts
  • Home décor
  • Wearable art

Depending upon the technique you use, you can easily create multiple looks with one stamp. For example:

  • Stamp in a solid color ink
  • Stamp with different colors of ink covering various parts of the stamp
  • Color in the stamped design with markers or colored pencils
  • Emboss for a raised look
  • Stamp with watermark ink for a sophisticated and elegant tone-on-tone look
  • Stamp with watermark ink, then chalk over the design

How to Make Your Own Rubber Stamps

While rubber stamps are widely available from craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels Crafts, sometimes it can be hard to find exactly the stamp you're searching for. In this case, learning how to make your own rubber stamps is a great idea. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Your name
  • Favorite phrase
  • Monogram
  • School or sports team logo
  • Stamped version of your favorite doodles

Make Fun Foam Stamps

Fun foam, often used as part of children's craft projects, can be used to make your own rubber stamps. This material is easy to cut into whatever shape you desire.

Supplies:

  • Fun foam
  • Scissors or die cutting machine
  • Double sided scrapbook tape or other strong adhesive
  • Block of wood or other material to use as base for stamp
  • Dye ink or acyclic paint for stamping

Instructions:

  1. Cut your foam into the desired shape using scissors or a die cutting machine. Many craft and scrapbook supply stores have die cut machines for customers to use, if you don't already have your own at home.
  2. Apply double sided scrapbook tape or other adhesive to the foam. Attach to your block of wood or other material to give your stamp a stable base.
  3. Stamp your image using dye ink or acrylic craft paints. If you choose to use craft paints, remember that a thin coat will give the best results.
  4. Clean your stamp with soap and water when finished. Dark colors may stain the foam, but this won't affect the quality of the stamped image in the future.

The Craft Zine blog has some tips and tricks that may be helpful to those interested in making foam stamps.

Make Carved Eraser Stamps

Carving erasers requires patience and practice, but it can be a great way to design rubber stamps that are truly unique.

Supplies:

  • Large eraser to use for carving
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Pen
  • Wood block
  • Paper
  • Ink pad

Instructions:

  1. Draw your stamp design on the eraser. Keep in mind that simple designs are the easiest for beginners to carve. Additionally, straight lines are easier to carve than curved lines.
  2. Carve your stamp design. Remember that you need to carve away the parts of the image you don't want to appear on the paper. Additionally, any text will need to be reversed in order to stamp correctly. If you're not sure you're carving properly, periodically stamp on a piece of scratch paper to check your progress.
  3. Clean your stamp thoroughly before using to remove any small bits of rubber that might affect the image quality.
  4. If desired, mount the stamp on a piece of wood to give it added stability.

You can see a more detailed eraser stamp tutorial, complete with photos of projects you can make with your stamps, on Geninne's Art Blog.

Caring for Your Handmade Stamps

While learning how to make your own rubber stamps can be a fun craft project, it's important to keep in mind that these stamps are usually a bit more fragile than ones that were purchased from your local craft store. Keep stamps away from heat and direct sunlight. Store them horizontally in a shallow drawer, away from any objects that might scratch the surface.

Make Your Own Rubber Stamps