Make your own hand carved rubber stamps to make cute floral patterns this Spring
These hand carved rubber stamps are made by cutting into a pencil eraser. With a few simple tools and some imagination, you can make all kinds of personalised stamps, floral patterns, and more!
What you need
- Rubbers to carve
- A lino cutting tool
- Pencil/paper to draw your designs
- A printer, if you want to print your designs
- Paint/ink to stamp with
- Paper to stamp on
Step 1 : Plan your designs
I chose to make several stamps in shapes that can work together to make interesting floral patterns. I made several leaf shaped stamps, in different configurations, some petal shapes that could be used to make larger flower shapes, and some smaller flower shapes, both to make smaller flower patterns, and to use for the centre of the larger flowers. I even made some little insect shapes : a bee and a butterfly. After doing a bit of research by looking at ideas on Pinterest, flowers in the garden, and existing stamps, I drew out my designs. You could also trace or print your designs.
Step 2 : Transfer your designs to the eraser
Since all of my designs were simple, hand drawn shapes, I just drew each shape lightly onto my eraser with a pencil. For a more precise transfer, you can draw (or trace) the design in pencil onto a sheet of paper, then place this sheet of paper, design side down, onto the eraser. Drawing over the design a second time from the back of the sheet of paper will then transfer the design to the eraser. This has the added benefit of mirroring your design for you.
Remember that the design as you see it on the eraser is a mirror image of what will actually be stamped ! So make sure, especially for text, that the design is mirrored.
Step 3 : Carve shapes
On the side of the stamp where your design is marked, carve out the negative space with your lino cutting tool. Carve away at least a few millimetres or rubber over the whole face, leaving the flat surface only where you want the rubber to stamp (your design). For fine details you don’t need to cut very deep, but for large areas and corners, you can cut away a lot more.
Just remember to be very careful. Take it step by step, removing a little bit at a time. You can always remove more rubber, even after testing the stamp, but you can’t put any of it back!
Step 4 : Stamp!
I did some printing with acrylic paint that I brushed onto the stamps, but the easiest way of printing is with a stamp pad, designed specifically for rubber stamps.
Using just a few different stamps, there are an infinite number of patterns, images and arrangements that you can make. Play around with different colours, paints and papers to see what you can make. I tried making gift tags on recycled book pages, and also created some greeting cards, which are now available on my Etsy shop.