Make Your Own Custom Stamp

Back in middle school art class, we were given the opportunity to make our own stamps to test our patience and creativity when it came to block printing. It was a fun exercise, I recall, so memorable that I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it again ever since.

It’s the type of project that requires planning and patience, and you’re sure to get better over time. Start with an easy design (think: the silhouette of balloons for DIY party invites, your handwritten name as a custom sign-off, or a set of kid-friendly stamps for craft time) and have fun!make a custom stamp

After you try this project, show us what you made! Share your results with us on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #maderemade!

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Step 1

 Open GalleryMaterials to make your own stamp.Source your materials. A fine arts store has a better chance of carrying carveable linoleum or high-density rubber than a local craft chain, and they’ll likely have the tools to suit. I chose a Speedball product that I found on Amazon.com, sized 4″ x 5.5″ and a coordinating cutting tool with multiple attachments.

Step 2

 Open GalleryPick a design for your stamp.Pick your design. For this tutorial, I’m going to rock out a handmade Made + Remade stamp.

Draw your chosen design on a piece of paper with a pencil, making the lines a little heavier than you might normally write or draw so that it transfers easily to the rubber. For accuracy with my design, I printed out the logo to size and went over it with pencil.

Step 3

 Open GalleryCut your rubber to size with a utility knife, depending on the size of your stamp design.Cut your block to scale with the size of your stamp. I cut my 4″ x 5.5″ one down to 1″ x 4″ for workability, using a utility knife.

Step 4

 Open GalleryTransfer your stamp design from the paper to the rubber area.Transfer your pencil drawing onto the stamp by lining the design to the available rubber area and pressing down to encourage the pencil to transfer. Don’t shift the paper until you’re certain the transfer has occurred, because it’s hard to match it back up. Consider using around-the-house tools to aid in transfer, like a rolling pin.

The pencil transfer will be the negative of what you drew! This is how you want it, so that when you apply the ink or paint and test your new stamp, it “prints” correctly.

Step 5

 Open GalleryBegin carving your rubber with the cutting tools.With your carving attachments, slowly begin carving away the area around your design, the negative areas that you do not want included when the stamp is being used.

Work slowly and very cautiously, because the rubber or linoleum that you’re working with is very soft, like mozzarella cheese. It’s easy to cut too much (and you can’t go back if you do!), and it’s easy to cut too deep as well. You’ll get a feel for it as you proceed.

Step 6

When all of the negative area is removed, rinse the excess pencil markings off of the stamp, and dry it completely. In my case, very little pencil was left on the rubber, as most had rubbed off slowly as I worked.

Step 7

 Open GalleryTest your DIY stamp on scrap paper, and then remove more negative area if necessary.Test your stamp with any medium you wish. I used an ink pad, but you could also use a fine layer of craft paint (like I used in this DIY stamping tutorial).

On scrap paper, imprint your stamp a few times. If some areas of rubber in the negative area are catching a bit of ink or paint, go back in with the cutting tools and carve those areas a little deeper. Note: from my experience, letters that curve, or cursive for that matter, is probably not for beginners, but it was a great effort in patience nonetheless.

Step 8

 Open GalleryGlue a piece of wood to the back of your stamp for rigidity.When the tests come out to your liking, you can glue a thin piece of wood to the back of your stamp to help maintain rigidity.

Materials

  • High-density rubber/Linoleum for carving
  • Ink pad
  • Glue and Thin plywood (optional, for rigid backing)

Tools

  • Utility Knife
  • Pencil
  • Linoleum Cutter/Rubber Cutter with attachments
  • Saw (optional)
About Emily Fazio 

195Posts

I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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2 Responses

  1. top brokers says:

    Interesting perspective and very good writing style you need informations about force me to ask you if you have ever tried to write any text longer than this one? If not, then you should, you've got huge potential… Thanks:)

  2. self inking stamp says:

    I love making customized thing..because I love giving this stuff to my friends and my new friends.. even for their birthdays..

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