A few months ago, after deciding that attending a workshop on rubber stamp making was too expensive, we went out (and online) and bought materials to make our own stamps. I ordered some rubber online (Jo from lovesprouts has some in her Etsy store for sale – and she is a wayyyy more accomplished rubber stamp maker), bought craft knives from Art Friend (they are generic ones also found in Popular bookshops); Sarah dug out her ink pad from her stationery throve, and we got to work. The results were surprisingly decent – no thanks to several DIY links we found. So when we started writing this blog, Sarah suggested that we make a tutorial of our own to help others who might also want to start making stamps on their own.
- Rubber. You can use an eraser too!
- Craft knives, or more accurately basic wood carving knives (V-gouge and U-gouge)
- Tracing paper. You can draw your image directly on the rubber too. Just keep in mind that you have to draw a reflected version.
- Ink pad
Draw your design on the tracing paper. I’ve decided on a cloud – it is a simple enough shape and kumo (cloud in Japanese) is kinda our business.
After you’ve drawn your design, turn the tracing paper over and transfer (by rubbing) your design unto the rubber piece.
Tada. And now you’re ready to start carving your rubber stamp.
Take the V-gouge (if you’re nervous about handling sharp tools, as I was, I suggest multilating some practice erasers) and slowly run it along the outline of your design. Try to achieve as much carving as you can in one stroke – this will help to keep lines smooth.
Once the outline is completed, you’re ready to carve out the rest of the excess rubber.
Take the U-gouge and carefully carve out the rubber surrounding your design. (You would have to remove sufficient rubber so that when you ink your stamp, ink doesn’t accidentally catch onto unintended areas!)
And that’s it!
Ink your newly-made stamp, and stamp away!