I wanted to make labels for the balms & salves we made so I could give them as gifts and I figured making stamps would lend the homemade feel but also be easy enough to reproduce for the several batches I would be making. Homemade stamps lend a handmade touch to gift tags, cards, and products and making them is a creative and fun thing to do in a group. The more you practice, the more precise the carving will be, but for your first project begin with a simple design.
What you'll need:
- Rubber blocks (can be found at art supply stores)
- Ink (depending on what you're stamping, you can choose water based or oil based ink)
- Carving tools (you will need small, precise tools if you want to make detailed stamps. I prefer flexcut, though they are expensive you will only need two thicknesses to start)
- A simple design
- Wood or cork to affix to the back of the stamp with glue or a glue gun (optional)
1. Draw a mirror image of the design of the stamp onto the rubber block. This means if it's text you're carving, you will need the text to be entirely backwards.
2. Begin carving out the negative space around the image. The parts that you want to be stamped onto the paper or fabric should remain intact while the parts of the rubber that you do not want stamped should be cut away. It's easy to cut away too much, so air on the side of caution. You can always cut out more later if you need to, but once you cut away too much you will have to start over again.
3. Spread a thin, even layer of ink on the stamp and do a test pressing. If there are any areas that are too thick, cut away some of the rubber until you've achieved the desired effect.
4. Once you have achieved the desired design, you're done! When stamping, make sure to apply an even layer of ink and apply even pressure so that the whole image reads. Also make sure to stamp onto a flat surface so that some parts are not more bold than others.
Experiment with different colors and sizes as you improve your skill level, and get creative.