Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Design and Make Your Very Own Stamp : A Tutorial

Step 7

A stamp making tutorial brought to you by: Sunshine Speckles
Read more about Alison's Sushine Speckles in her interview below!

design to make into a stamp
tracing paper
spoon or popsicle stick (to transfer design onto rubber)
stamp carving rubber (firm rubber will last longer, but I like the soft rubber for better details)
linoleum cutting tools/wood cutting tools/exacto knife
ink pad
something to stamp your design on

**Note on supplies**: I get most of my supplies at chain craft stores. Check with the rubber stamps, screen printing, and even wood carving supplies. There are also a number of online stores that sell rubber and carving tools, which are the two hardest items to find at the large chain craft stores.


Step 1: Pick a design to turn into a rubber stamp. You can draw your design or use a photo or image you already have. Just remember that the smaller you want your stamp to be, the harder it will be to get clear and crisp details. For bigger stamps, details are great, but will take more patience.

Step 1

Step 2: Trace your design onto tracing paper using the pencil. If you’re going to make a stamp with words, your design should look just like you want the finished stamp to look. When you transfer the traced image onto the stamp, the words will be a mirror image, so the stamp will end up looking right.

Step 2

Step 3: Position your traced image (pencil side toward the rubber) on a piece of rubber that will fit the entire design plus a little extra room. Transfer the image from the tracing paper onto the rubber using the spoon or popsicle stick. Be careful not to move the tracing paper while you are rubbing the design onto the rubber.

Step 3

Step 4: Cut the design from the rest of the block of rubber. Stay close to the design, but leave a little border so your stamp will have stronger edges.

Step 4

Step 5: Using your cutting tools or exacto knife, begin taking out the largest chunks of rubber. I like to work from the least detailed parts to most the detailed parts. You may have to experiment a little to get the right amount of pressure. You don’t need to take out a lot of the rubber. As long as your lines are deep enough to provide some definition, you should have a beautiful stamp. With softer rubber, you can use the tools to just scrape the rubber, which will provide texture or shadows.

Step 5 part 1

Step 5 part 2

Step 6: Once you have carved out your entire basic design, the real detail work begins. Stamp your design onto some scrap paper to see where you need to refine and change your rubber stamp. For my peacock feather, you can see that I wasn’t happy with the way my edges looked the first time I stamped it on paper. I went back to make the edges of the feather thinner and more angled. You will probably have to do this step a couple of times so you can get out any last bits of rubber that you don’t want in your design.

Step 6 part 1

Step 6 part 2

Step 7: Use your stamp! I like to make note cards and gift tags, but you could also use your stamp for address labels, pillow cases or t-shirts (using fabric inks), or even give away your hand-carved rubber stamps as gifts.

Step 7

This tutorial was brought to you by: Sunshine Speckles
Read more about Alison, owner of Sunshine Speckles below in her interview!


  1. Wow, that's amazing and such beautiful work too!

  2. very cool, I have always wanted to try this

  3. Love your tutorial, you have a great eye for detail and a steady hand. I have many scars from sharp objects, trick is not to force the hand.
    Look forward to seeing more

  4. Cool! Thanks for sharing - now I just have to find the time, that I have none of, to make one, or 2, or 3..... :O)