Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Carve Your Own Rubber Stamp Tutorial

This is an easy tutorial on how to create a rubber stamp out of your designs.
There are other products available that will achieve the same or better results.
These are the tools I use and what has worked best for me.
Give it a try.
Speedball Carving Block (in pink)

carving tools

craft knife and cutting mat (or a place mat will also work well to protect your work surface)

an original drawing

With a pencil, draw your design on to tracing paper.
Place the tracing paper (design side down) on your carving block and rub the pencil marks on it.
Once your design is transfered, cut it out by using a craft knife.
Cut it leaving about 1/2 an inch all the way around it.

Now carve around the lines of your design.

Your linoleum carving tool comes with different size cutters, so use the smaller ones to get into
small areas or for adding details.

When you think you are done, ink up the stamp and do a trial test on a piece of paper. You need to make sure that everything is as you like it. If not, continue carving.

Once it is carved, the above design looks like this.

And this.

Some hand carved stamps come out looking great. You really don't need to do anything else to it.
Like this one I carved last year.

This stamp prints really clear. I use it as an embroidery pattern.

But some stamps don't come out all that great and that is when you have to pull out the magic.
Here is one of my stamps. It really doesn't look like much. I used a white carving block... which is softer than the pink type. I don't recommend the white block because it carves off easily and comes out extremely uneven.
So anyway, this is what the stamp looks like.

Once it is stamped on fabric it looks like this.

And with a little bit of magic..... it looks like this.


I start by gently outlining the design.
For this, I like to use Micron Pens. THese are available in various thicknesses from .005 to .05 and also come as a brush pen too. These are archival, waterproof and available in various colors.

You can achieve various looks from one stamp. Tilt the head
one way, give each face a different complexion, make the eyes and lips get the idea.
Then color in the eyes and lips using gel pens and fabric pens.

With a touch of Palette ink pads, it looks like this.

I like to use Palette inks in various shades of red and brown. These are acid-free, archival, non fading, fast drying and waterproof. It works on all paper surfaces and can be heat set on glass, fabric, wood, name it. They also come in really yummy colors like Cognac, Burnt Sienna, Belle Rose, L'Amore Red and Toile Pink.I use a puffy round brush to rub the ink pad colors on the fabric....something like a cosmetic brush will work just fine too.
When it is all done, it looks like this.

Alma Stoller


Allison said...

Terrific tutorial...thanks Alma, for saving a newcomer so much trial and error. This is inspiring.

Jackie said...

I love carving my own stamps with the pink Speedy Stamp blocks! I usually draw my own little floral motifs etc. to use on my stamps, but using drawn faces is a great idea. I just may try it tonight.

suzi finer said...

Thanks for sharing this cool tip; a fabulous tool that can make stamps out of so many different things (ever use it on an eraser?)

Cathy said...

Superb tutorial, thank you for sharing Alma, your work is very inspiring!

Eden said...

Thanks for sharing. I've always wanted to try this. Do you mount the stamps on wood or something? Is that necessary?

macati said...


Marie-Hélène à Madrid said...

Thank you to share and this tutorial is fantastic !!!
Kiss from Madrid (Spain)

SeaBird said...

Wow - cool! I've been thinking of trying some letterboxing and will be needing a stamp to leave my mark!

Donna said...

Great tutorial! Thanks!

Xstamper said...

Nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Carol (from UT) said...

Alma: You are awesome! How do you do so many things and still travel all over teaching? You must stay up nights! I love your tutorials. Thanks for sharing.

Deb said...

Thanks Alma, I have always wanted to try this, but was afraid too. I think I will be able to now.

nichan said...

thank you for sharing (^.^)

Diana said...

Thanks for this tutorial! I love this!
I will be posting this tutorial as a link on my blog post!

karla nathan said...

Thanks for the tips, I have been wanting to try this. I was thinking there was no reason not to just use an exacto knife, but now I see why the proper tools would help.

Tammie said...

I am just thinking of doing my first stamp. Thank you so much for all your simple ideas!

Wendy Burton said...

great tutorial. I just put a link to this on my twitter :)

Collectors Stamps said...

Beautiful stamps and interesting tutorial!!
Elizabeth J. Jimenez

Bieha Besh said...


soggystamper said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, Alma! I haven't dived into carving my own stamps yet so I appreciate this tutorial.
Sue Erickson