How To Make Your Own Stamps
Here are a couple ideas for making and designing your own stamps that you can use in a variety of craft projects. First, here’s a feature that I found online then I added a vintage article tutorial at the bottom. Have fun!
This is an excerpt of a vintage article detailing how to make your own stamps from erasers and use them for projects (on paper, fabric and other items)…
Though stamps are, of course, limited to size of face of eraser, they are easy to make and work very well to produce designs on cloth or paper. You can print luncheon cloths, head scarves, handkerchiefs and all sorts of other small items. You can also use blocks to print gift papers, cover papers for waste baskets, book jackets or any number of other things. If you print on cloth, use textile paints to produce a washable fabric. On paper use hobby enamels, printers ink or tempera paints.
Buy either “soap” or “artgum” erasers. They seem to work equally well. One eraser can be used to make several stamps. It may be cut into pieces to make small parts, such as leaves or carve a design into each face of eraser. Plan design first on paper. If you lay eraser on paper and draw around its outline, it is easier to get size correct by drawing it inside outline. Remember, if design includes any letters they must be drawn in reverse in order to print correctly.
After planning design, transfer to face of eraser. You may either sketch it freehand or cut out paper pattern and draw around outline. Make a straight up and down cut around outline of design, using point of sharp knife and making cut about 1/8-inch deep.
Next cut away background, leaving design in relief about 1/8-inch high (see photograph). Be sure edges of design are a sharp, clean cut. For a one-color print, design should all be on one stamp. If design is to be in several colors, it is better to cut a stamp for each part, that is, one stamp having flower only on it, another stamp for stem and still another for leaf. Another advantage in having several stamps is that design can then be arranged in a number of different ways.
The simplest way to apply paint to these small stamps is to put it on with a camel’s hair brush. Apply an even coat of paint to raised surface of stamp. Be careful not to let paint run over edge. Place stamp face down on material to be printed and apply a firm, even pressure. If you don’t press hard enough, design will not print evenly. If you press too hard, paint will work beyond edge and design will not be crisp and clean. It is best to do a bit of practicing first before beginning on actual piece to be printed. You will soon get the “feel” of using the eraser stamp.
Some stamps can be used to make a variety of different designs, depending on way they are arranged when printing. It is best to begin with a simple design. However, you may wish to print a border for a skirt, decorate a blouse or make a length of hand-blocked material to be used in making a large project with an all over design.
After you finish printing, clean stamp with paint thinner or solvent recommended for whatever type paint used, then wash stamp in soap and water. The stamps can be used over and over again.
The Workbasket Magazine, Number 8, Volume 30
Willard and Elma Waltner