How-to: Carve Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps

Draw the Stamp onto the Block, Then Cut Out

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.


+ stamp carving blocks

+ carving tools (an X-ACTO Knife is the best)

+ fine-tipped pens or rub-on stencils, to create your designs

Here’s how to do it:
Draw the stamp design directly onto the stamping material

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.

Use Your Hand-Carved Rubber Stamp Exactly as You Would Any StampYou 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.

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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