A rubber stamp can easily be made from stamping materials purchased at a craft store. There are ready to cut sheets of stamping material of various densities. They may be cut with a craft knife or with special cutting tools. Alternate materials may also be used. Various types of erasers make good rubber stamps. Pink erasers work well, as do white erasers. White erasers may be easier to cut. You can also cut a design in foam board and use it to stamp with. Rubber stamps are often mounted on wood or acrylic. While this is helpful, it is not a requirement for making rubber stamps.
Draw the design for your stamp on paper. You can transfer your design directly to the cutting surface. Remember that the cut-out portion will be the colour of your paper and the areas left flat will be the colour of your ink or paint.
Draw the design lines heavily with your pencil. Turn the design over onto your chosen stamping surface and burnish the back of the paper with the back of the spoon. Draw directly on the cutting surface if you prefer. Reverse any lettering you want included if you choose to draw directly on the cutting area, otherwise it will print backwards.
Cut out the design with a craft knife. Trace the design on the outside edge of the line with the point of the knife towards the centre of the line. Repeat this on the other side of each line. This will leave a groove or v-shape along all the lines of your design. The groove or v-shape is needed so that there will be a space in your stamp where you want the paper or other surface to show through. If you need a large area the colour of the paper, you will need to cut out a wide area from the stamping surface. Speciality cutting tools make this easier, but are not required.
Spread paint or ink evenly on a palette or other appropriate surface. Plastic or glass also make good spreading surfaces. You can use a piece of paper, but you may want newspaper under it to protect the table from bleed-through of the ink or paint. A brayer (a roller with a handle) is helpful to spread the ink, but a foam brush also works. A stamp pad will work if it is large enough. Stamp your stamp into the ink or paint and make a test print on scrap paper.
Check to see if you need to make adjustments. The lines may need to be cut deeper or wider, or there may be a portion of the stamp that was not removed completely. Make these adjustments and test again. Your stamp should be ready for action.
Care should be taken when using sharp cutting tools. Cut on a stable surface and never cut towards any body part. Children using these tools should be taught safety precautions for handling sharp instruments. Always supervise children in cutting activities.
Tips and warnings
- Care should be taken when using sharp cutting tools. Cut on a stable surface and never cut towards any body part. Children using these tools should be taught safety precautions for handling sharp instruments. Always supervise children in cutting activities.