Wednesday 24 February 2010

Make your own stamps - tutorial

As this month is Celebrate The Boy month over at Made and Made by Rae, I did another tutorial for you, not the one I had in mind, that will have to wait for another day!
Some of you might remember the kids drawing to rubber stamp tutorial I did a good while back well this is similar but a wee bit more impressive.

You will need:
  • Rubber to carve, I like to use a thicker rubber for this type of project because the stamp won't be mounted on a wood block
  • soft pencil
  • sharp craft knife or carving tool
  • ink pad, if you plan to do the stamping on a T-shirt, you will need fabric ink
  • paper
  • an image to carve
  • something to stamp on
  • iron (if stamping on fabric)
First you need to pick an image, if you are not much of an artist you can trace something or find some clipart you like, when you are making the stamp you will carve away all the white areas, the black will be the stamp, the image on the left will be the outline and the image on the right, the colour.
Colour over your image using a soft pencil, then flip the paper over and place it on top of your rubber, hold the paper still and rub over the image with your finger nail.
The image should be transferred onto your rubber, you might want to neaten up the image a little with your pencil but try and keep it as close as possible to the original image.

Now to get carving, you want to leave the marked areas and carve/cut away the rest.
Once you have the image carved you need to cut away the outside edge so you are leaving just the image, try and make the edges a clean cut.
Now give the stamp a test on a bit of scrap paper, when you do the test you will notice any little areas you might have missed or may need cleaning up. Once you have finished the outline stamp repeat the process for the colour stamp.
Give them both a test and make sure the edges are clean cut.
Now, the fun part, dab the ink pad onto your stamp, this sounds backwards but it really does work better than pushing the stamp into the ink. Use the colour stamp first and make your first stamp.
Now ink up the outline stamp with a darker colour, carefully place the stamp over the colour image and.. taaa daaaa.... cool huh?
Now go wild with them! I use VersaCraft inks which I think is a Japanese brand, I am not sure if the are widely available. The ones that you can use on fabric does say fabric and more on the box, you need to set the ink by ironing it before washing. Just place a piece of plain paper over the item and then press, without steam. If you are in Japan you can buy the inks and rubber at Tokyu Hands and Loft.
There is no end of possibilities, animals, robots, trains, planes.... usually the last photo would be of Ebi-kun modelling the new T-shirt BUT we only had a plain long sleeved shirt and he can't get it on over his cast, so you will just have to use your imagination, and whilst you are at it, imagine that I had ironed it too :o)

I will add this to the tutorials list that you can find by click on the button on the left and if you do use this tutorial, let me know, I would love to see what you come up with.


  1. oh what a great idea. Will have to try this one out with the kids.

  2. I love the way you used that car stamp. SOO cute! Thanks so much for the how-to, I'll be linking.

  3. I so wish I had the patience and the craftiness to do this. Thanks for posting. Much appreciated.

  4. Wow that looks so cool. I love your creative ideas. Thanks for the tutorial. Simply LOVE the T-shirt.


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