How To Make Your Own Stamps

I’m involved with some art journal groups this year. I haven’t kept up with the weekly prompts, but I am doing some of them and maybe I will catch up eventually. I see many of the artists in my groups using stamps in their work and I wanted to do some stamping too, but I also knew I wanted to make my own stamps so I figured I might as well learn how to do that for my art journal pages. I found a book on stamps to read up on the process. I bought some supplies. Then I started experimenting!

I bought some E-Z-Cut Printing Blocks and a couple of linoleum mounted blocks from Dick Blicks.

How To Make Your Own Stamps
Linoleum carving block.

 

I drew a picture I wanted to carve, after reading some tips in this book: Stamp Carving 101: A Complete Guide on How to Make Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps. Then I got out my trusty Speedball Linoleum Cutter and got to work carving. I tried to keep the images simple because, to be frank, I didn’t really know what I was doing.

I tried the linoleum first because it was what I was most familiar with. It was really hard to carve. I found it difficult to scrape away the linoleum. I only cut myself once so I am still claiming VICTORY! Once I had the stamp carved I used a brayer to apply some printing ink to my stamp. I turned the block over and pressed the stamp into the paper, but I think the linoleum was too rigid to make a clean, solid print. It might have come out better if I was able to put the block through a printing press and really squeeze it to the paper. Unfortunately I don’t possess a press so I can’t try that out right now.

I wasn’t too happy with how hard the linoleum was to carve or with the way it printed. It was a lot of work and a lot of disappointment. I think it might work better with a smaller block, but I haven’t tried that yet so I don’t know for sure.

How To Make Your Own Stamps.
The linoleum stamp doesn’t hit the paper in the same way. The flower doesn’t all appear. I may need to use a press with it. The bird on this paper was carved with the E-Z block and makes a clearer print.

 

Next I tried the E-Z printing block. It was like a big floppy rubber eraser. It carved like butter. I had to be careful about not cutting off more than I meant too, but quickly adjusted my pressure and started enjoying the process. It was so easy to carve that my four year old was able to do it. What a joy to work with! I cut the tree out of the block using an x-acto knife and was able to use the extra pieces to make some smaller stamps too (see the bird in the above photo).

How To Make Your Own Stamps
E-Z Block Tree Stamp.

 

I liked the way the E-Z printing block printed better than the linoleum. The rubber was completely flat on the paper allowing the printing ink to stick to the paper and create a lovely print. It was so much easier to carve. I don’t think I’ll bother with the linoleum again. The only problem with the E-Z block was it can crumble which makes me wonder how long the stamps will last for.

How To Make Your Own Stamps
The E-Z blocks were bendable and rubbery.

 

I was really excited about how my tree stamp printed. I just ordered some ink pads so I can see how the rubbery stamps print using that kind of ink next. I’ll keep you posted on how printing with an ink pad comes out in comparison.

I have plans to create many more stamps so I will have plenty of experimenting to do.

How to make your own stamps.
E-Z block tree stamp on card stock.

 

I am using this tree stamp to create hand stamped cards for my customers. It’s been fun using different colors of printing ink to see how the tree comes out. I am looking forward to making more prints and using my original stamps to decorate shipping envelopes for my online sales. It’s a pretty easy and fun way to customize your packaging and to help you establish the often elusive “branding” that businesses are always trying to capture. It’s also just fun to send mail to your friends in really cool envelopes.

Have you done any stamping? Do you have a favorite stamp related art product? I am interested in trying new things to see what I like to use best. Your tips and insights would be extremely helpful!

 

Happy Monday!

 

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6 thoughts on “How To Make Your Own Stamps”

  1. I have only used rubber stamps that I have purchased…that seems really dull now. I do not know anything about the products you used (beyond one linoleum stamping adventure in 6th grade art class) but was wondering if your e-z block could be wood mounted to prolong its life? Tiny-small must’ve had a blast too!

  2. I love the instant gratification of carving my own stamps. Bravo for trying something new! My favorite carving block is by Nasco. You can order various sizes too. If your stamp is too big to use easily, roll ink on the stamp and put your paper on top and smooth out with your hand or the back of a spoon.

    I use lino-zips because I really hate cutting myself. They are also made by Speedball. They are a pull tool so you have more control.

    If you try the linoleum again, heat it up first with a warm iron. It will be easier to carve. When it gets too cool, heat it again.

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