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Images for Making Your Own Stamps

Carve Your Own Stamps or Use Photopolymer Kits

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Making your own stamps, whether by stamp carving or using a photopolymer kit, can be very rewarding. This is a great way to own your own unique stamps that you can use to create highly individual work. People with good drawing skills can easily draw good designs that can be used to create stamps with. For the rest of us, however, finding ready made designs that can be used is important.

What is a Good Image for Making Your Own Stamps?

Not all images are suitable for making stamps. While some points will vary depending on the method used, there are some common features of images that are good for stamp making:
  • Copyright - the very first thing to be aware of when looking for images to make your own stamps, is to establish whether the image is copyright free or whether the copyright holder grants the right for their images to be used. Images that are available in source books or books of designs are likely to be the copyright of the designer but with permission granted for the limited use of the images. Commercial use may also be prohibited. Completely copyright free images are extensively available and these are ideal for making stamps of all types.
  • Black and white - depending on your method of making a stamp, it is best if the image is black and white. This gives the greatest degree of contrast if you are transferring an image to a piece of carving block and it also necessary if you are using a photopolymer kit.
  • Line drawings - while photographs can be used with photopolymer kits with relative success using special materials, line drawings are typically the best images to use when stamp carving and for beginners using photopolymer kits.
In general, the things you don't need to worry about are the size and orientation of an image, as you can alter this using a photocopier or printer.

Finding Images for Making Stamps

Here are some places to find images that are suitable for making your own stamps (remember to check the usage terms of any image before proceeding):
  • Clip art - many pieces of clip art are perfect for stamp carving or making photopolymer stamps. Tip: - search Google Images for suitable images. A search for 'copyright free images' will return a wide range of results, however, a click on the 'Show Options' button will give you the opportunity to limit the search to just black and white images if required.
  • Books - many design and source books have images that can be copied and used for making your own stamps. These are available from art and craft stores, they can also be borrowed from the library.
  • Stencils - many stencils are perfect for making stamps. Their bold shape is particularly well suited to stamp carving as there are generally no intricate lines to cut around. There are some stencils available here at About.com:
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