Many, many years ago I made my own stamp in art class in high school. Technically, I don’t think we used it as a stamp, instead we rolled paint across it and then made prints. But the tools and fun factor are still the same today.
Make Your Own Stamp
You need three things to make your own stamp:
- Stamp carving block: Moocarve. I had already purchased 2 Speedball Speedy-Cut Carving Blocks, which are 2.75″x4.5″ each.
- Carving tool, also called a linoleum cutter. Many years ago I bought a Speedball linoelum cutter and two blades, sizes 1 and 2 (they are interchangeable) from an art supply store.
- Image to carve. Images that are mostly lines are easier to cut than circles.
- Ink pad: I used an ink pad I already owned Palette Hybrid Inkpad by Stewart Superior in black/noir (which I bought to stamp my logo onto muslin bags).
- Paper: Some ink doesn’t work on all surfaces. Matte paper is a pretty safe choice. Shiny, glossy paper may result in smudged impressions.
Below is a circle stamp I made recently using part of a 2.75″x4.5″ carving block. I used a Palette Hybrid Ink Pad, which has a great matte finish. I started using the size 1 blade but it was too shallow for me, so I used the size 2 blade for deeper cuts. (But I’d recommend you start with your smallest blade size until you get used it it).
Steps to Make Your Own Stamp
- Draw the image on the carving block before cutting. (Remember to reverse your image if it’s directional, like letters.) If you use a pencil, you can erase and redraw the image until you’re happy.
- Start cutting.
- After you’ve cut out the design, you may want to cut the grooves deeper so that when you press down on the ink pad and paper, the pieces you’ve cut away won’t be included in the impression.
- Test it. Knock off the extra carving block pieces and press your new stamp onto the ink pad. Press firmly onto a paper.
- Carve away any excess parts of the carving block that show up in the impression.
- Post a link to a picture of your finished stamp in the comments, I’d love to see them!
Below is a journal lines stamp I made using a full 2.75″x4.5″ carving block. I like how the lines look messy and very hand drawn.
Tips for Using a Linoleum Cutter
- Be careful. The ends are sharp, please be careful! Point the cutter away from you and keep your fingers out of the way. This isn’t an activity for small kids, although they could draw an image that you cut out for them.
- Start with the smaller blade. If you have more than one blade, start with the smaller blade so you can see how it works.
- Go slowly. The blade cuts like butter so go slowly or you’ll cut more than you want.
Ink Pads for Stamping
- Apparently the StazOn ink pads are great for stamping even on surfaces other than paper but I haven’t tried it yet. It’s supposed to work on photo paper and vellum.
- I found this Complete Guide to Rubber Stamp Pads and Inks quite helpful.
- SimonSaysStamp has a wide range of ink pads available.
Stamp Carving Resources
- Super helpful Hand Carved Stamp Tutorial from Geninne’s Art blog (author of Making an Impression: Designing and Creating Artful Stamps which I have not read yet but it’s on my wishlist)
- Beautiful and inspiring Hand Carved Stamp Set also from Geninne.
Have you made your own stamps? Share a link in the comments.