Designing and carving stamps has been one of my favourite hobbies lately. That’s why I’m happy to share with you how I make them, so you may end up having as much fun as I do! Besides being a very cool hobby, the stamps are also great for the kids to play with.
What you will need:
- White rubber erasers for small designs or carving blocks for larger designs. The large ones are not so easy to find, though. I bought some great vintage cream blocks from LoveSprouts (currently sold out), tried Speedball pink blocks but I found them too thin, and I’m about to receive some Moo Carve blocks, which have some good reviews.
- Tracing paper
- Soft-lead pencil
- Linoleum cutters. I started working with the whole set of SpeedBall cutting tips only, but I recently got the Olfa precision cutter of 23 degrees angled blade and I’m loving to use it in conjunction with the cutting tip nº 1. Blade of 30 degrees is meant to be good too. You can find them all at Amazon.
- Ink pad. My favourite is Ranger Archival Ink but you can use anyone you like.
1. Once you got your tools ready, you will need a design to start with. You can start off with something very simple, like a star, a flower or a happy face. For this tutorial, I’m showing you the dinosaur I designed for my son’s 6th birthday goodie bags. If you want to make the dinosaur, just download the PDF here and print it out.
2. Now, you need to transfer the design to the carving block. You have three options to do so:
a. draw directly on the block
b. print the PDF and trace over all the lines of the printed dinosaur using a soft-lead pencil
c. use a tracing paper (parchment paper from the kitchen works perfectly) and trace all the lines of the image
3. Lay the traced image (either the print or the tracing paper) on top of the carving block with the pencil lines facing down, then hold it in place and rub the back with your fingers, an eraser or the back of a spoon. Make sure the paper doesn’t move.
4. Once you have transferred all the lines, you can start carving! I use the linoleum cutter with the Nº 1 tip to carve out the lines of the drawing – it feels soft like a butter! Hold the cutter at a 30º angle and go ahead, but since the tip is very sharp, carve always away from yourself. As you carve, rotate the block instead of changing the direction of the cutter.
5. After I’m done carving out all the lines of the design, I go around again, but this time with the Olfa cutter and only over the outer contours, about 2 mm deep (follow the pink lines in the image below).
6. After that, use the Olfa cutter to carve around the shape and get rid of the excess of rubber block, and clean out the outer edges (around 2 mm deep).
7. When you’re finished carving, place the stamp facing up on your table, then pat the stamp with pad facing down, until the stamp is completely covered with ink.
8. Now, perform some tests! After stamping very firmly on a piece of paper, go back carving if you notice you forgot to carve out any part of the stamp.
9. When you’re satisfied with the results, you’re done carving your first artisanal eraser stamp!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me on the comments below. And please, come back to tell me how your stamp turned out! 🙂