Published on May 8th, 2011 | by Julie Finn0
How-to: Carve Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps
For my daughter’s star-themed fifth birthday party, we also wanted to make star-themed party invitations. But there were too many stars on too many invitations to simply hand-draw each one, and with gas at over $4 a gallon here and our party budget already blown on star fruit, I wasn’t about to drive to the big-box craft store across town and splurge on star stickers.
In order to keep the handmade look of hand-drawn stars on a multiple of invitations, my kiddos and I crafted hand-drawn, hand-carved rubber stamps. Creating your own custom rubber stamps is simple (especially if you can be trusted to wield an x-acto knife!), and it makes for a unique, completely personalized craft supply to use in all your handmade work.
Here’s how to do it:
Although you can absolutely carve stamps from a huge variety of natural and recycled materials, store-bought stamp carving blocks are an ideal consistency to make this project easy. Thicker blocks can be carved with great detail, and thinner blocks can be cut right through in one cut with a sharp knife. Blocks that are labelled as “soft-cut” can be etched with tools as mundane as sharp pencils, bamboo skewers, or metal forks, making them ideal surfaces for permitting children to carve their own stamps.
To design a stamp, feel free to draw directly onto the stamp block itself as a cutting guide, or use a rub-on or stencil to let you work from a pattern. To carve the stamp, you can cut around the positive or negative image of your drawing with a lino cutter, or you can cut right through the entire block of material with a craft knife–that’s what I did with the star stamps that my daughters drew, so that they could see exactly where they were placing them on the paper.
You can use a hand-drawn, hand-carved rubber stamp exactly as you would use a store-bought rubber stamp. They’re perfect for anything that you want to be unique and personalized–business cards, wedding programs, craft fair signage, and, of course, the best birthday party invitations ever made.