There are many ways of making your own custom stamps at home. These range from very simple techniques such as carving shapes into potatoes through to making your own clear polymer stamps using a special custom stamp making kit. Carving stamps from materials such as erasers or special carving blocks is another way of making custom stamps at home. This is a versatile technique and includes everything from simply cutting few lines into an eraser to give an interestingly textured block stamp through to carving intricate and complex designs.
Why Make Your Own Stamps?
There are many reasons why carving your own stamps is a good idea. One of the main reasons why people carve their own stamps is to have access to completely unique designs. While very intricate designs may be difficult to carve by anyone other than an experienced stamp carver, creating a special motif, monogram or other basic shape is within the reach of most crafty people.
Carving stamps can also be a low cost alternative to buy new commercially produced stamps. The cost of cheap eraser can be much less than the cost of a brand new stamp. Simple block stamps that are ideal for making backgrounds or for using to stamps all-over designs can be easy to make. Why spend a lot of money buying this type of stamp when one can quickly be made at home for a few pennies?
Materials and Equipment Required to Make Your Own Stamps
Stamp carving is one of those techniques where the supplies required grows with experience. A simple stamp can be carved out of a cheap eraser using no more than a craft knife. However as experience (and enthusiasm) grows, then other equipment such as special carving tools or carving blocks can be purchased. It is certainly possible to carve stamps using a craft knife, however using proper carving tools makes life a lot easier.
Specially designed blocks for carving are available in a variety of sizes. It is also possible to use lino. Linocut stamps can be very effective, however it will be necessary to use proper carving tools as lino is very hard and takes more effort to carve. Lino is cheaper than carving blocks and can be an interesting alternative.
Images for Carving Stamps
The best images for stamp carving are images with a strong outline. Most carving blocks are perfect for drawing on using a soft pencil. If you don't fancy drawing freehand onto a carving block then trace an image onto tracing paper and transfer this to the carving block. There are a large number of images that can be used to carve your own stamps. These include public domain and copyright free images as well as free images that are available for personal use.
Making Stamps and Letterboxing
At first glance, rubber stamping and a outdoor activity that involves walking, orienteering and clue solving may seem like unlikely bedfellows. A stamp, however, is an essential part of the 'treasure hunt' style activity known as letterboxing. A personal stamp is used to stamp the visitor book of a letter box and the stamp is a key part of the activity. Many letterboxers carve their own stamps and this is why there is often a lot of information available about stamp carving on letterboxing websites. For more information about letterboxing see the Letterboxing Organization website. About.com Walking Guide, Wendy Bumgardner has an introduction to letterboxing.
More Information About Carving Stamps
Here is a list of more information here at About.com Rubber Stamping about stamp carving:
- Carve Detail Stamps
- Carving Blocks for Stamp Carving
- Cutting Tools for Stamp Carving
- Lino For Stamp Carving
- Make Stamps from Craft Foam
- How to Carve Stamps in Erasers
- Speedy-Cut Review
- Speedy-Carve Review
There is plenty of information else where on the Internet. Here are some websites that offer advice, information or inspiration!