Dec 6, 2009

self made rubber stamps

for some reason i've been really "attracted" to rubber stamps lately ... actually since i started using them on my clay. and now i've started using them on paper as well (weird i know ... that's what they're actually made for right, paper). as usual, i've been googling rubber stamps and seen numerous tutorials on how to carve one on a soft carving block ... so i decided to try it out for myself of course :))

however, i haven't been able to find the same sort of carving blocks here, but i did find an alternative that i can carve on. linoleum sheets. apparently these are some sort of flooring, but since i found mine in the art shop ... i guess they're for art too ;p

the materials i use are :

- 4" x 6" linoleum sheets (soft)
- basic wood carving tools
- non-permanent ink pens
- lots of patience (and practice)

1. prepare linoleum sheet

2. and basic wood carving tools (i'll call them cutters for short)

(no. 1) - V shape cutter ... very good for carving slim lines and outlines

(no. 2) - large U shape ... to "scoop" up larger surfaces

(no. 3) - small U shape ... to carve thicker lines, or "scooping" surfaces that are too small for the large U

3. make your design with a non-permanent ink pen so that you can wash off the residual markings after carving

4. i began carving with the V shape cutter.
*apply some pressure onto the sheet to prevent the cutter from skidding off and creating lines that are not meant to be there :)

i decided to start the easier way by making this a "negative" stamp (the butterfly will look "engraved" on the paper) by carving ON the outline itself

*to make a "positive" stamp (design that looks "embossed" on the paper) you have to carve AROUND or OUTSIDE the lines.

5. as you can see, the U shape cutters are very good for "scooping up" the thicker edge of the leaf motif

* i START carving the wide edge of the leaf motif with the U cutter ...

* and then i change the cutter to the V cutter to finished the leaf motif off, creating a clean pointed end

this is the finished butterfly stamp, with the residual purple ink washed off.

*note that the design and outlines are the actual "carved" places and this becomes what they call a "negative" stamp (see the next image)

butterfly design
tree design
*negative stamps ... where the motif comes out looking engraved.

heart design
this one started off as a negative stamp, but i decided to remove linoleum all round the heart so now it's "sort of" a positive stamp :) also, can you see the residual markings on the linoleum? that's what happens when you use a permanent ink pen to draw your design :(

elven design
this one is how a proper positive stamp would look like. i have carved all AROUND the motif so that the motif becomes the focus. most rubber stamps that you find in the market are made in this manner.

happy pimping! :)


  1. You are amazing. I have a trillion rubber stamps but I would never attempt to make them. In fact, I have to turn away now LOL...


  2. These are great, Luthien! You get to make your own unique designs. Your signature look. We made these in grade school. I always loved the way they look. You can also get a completely different look buy carving all the other areas and leaving bits here and there. Love it! Great tutorial.

  3. It's seem easy but I'm not sure if I'm going to make it, but Thank you so much for the Idea..

    Tammy introduce your side to me, and I'm so happy that I stopped by your place.


  4. You are a patient girl, Luthien! Great stampers in the end! Have you ever used a big pink eraser to cut a stamp?
    Squeeze, Lisa

  5. Oh, those are so cool! I love that you just grabbed the materials and started creating!

  6. marbella :)
    thank you hon!!

    steph :)
    thank you :) LOL!! i know what you mean!! i think i'll run out of storage space real soon too! then i'll run :)

    tammy :)
    thank you :)) yea... now i can actually do all sorts of elven dsigns for myself :)) hehehe!! we use to cut stamps with potatoes at school!

    sophie :)
    thank you very much for visiting!! hope to see you again soon :))

    lisa :)
    thanks hon!! i'm only patient when i'm doing something i love ... otherwise :p! big pink eraser? hah!! i'll have to try that!

    chris :)
    thank you :) there are many things that we still can't find here .. so sometimes we gotta be a wee bit more resourceful :))

  7. You are simply AMAZING!! those talented hands and creative juices... simply wonderful .. love the stamps, thanks for the tutorial :) p/s - i think i may take up crochet, but am still going through some tutorials on how to grasp the basics of it :D

  8. That is so cool! I never thought of making my own stamps; I may have to try that some day. I doubt mine would come out that lovely, though!

  9. How cool! Thanks for this great tutorial :)

  10. you are so all-around great at figuring things out... always a beautiful job done... this being no exception... your design is wonderful, and your stamps are great! and once again, you have made things seem very do-able... thank you, luthien!

  11. I love to make stamps, and yours are beautiful.
    I like especially the heart.

  12. I lo9ve to make stamps, and yours are beautiful.
    I love especially the heart.

  13. I love these, now that you've started using them on paper, what's the next step?

  14. mellie :)
    thank you :)) ooo... crochet sounds complicated! but i think you'll do really well with the needle! are you trying knitting too?

    merily :)
    thank you :) aww.... with some patience and practice it's not that difficult. trust me ... yours will turn out great! try it :))

    tali :)
    thank you hon :))

    maire :)
    awwww... what a sweet thing to say :) thank you very much my fren :)) trust me ... it's really not that difficult. the most difficult thing is jus the control of the cutter, as long as you get the strength right ... it's quite easy :)

    janine :)
    thank you very much :)) last night i even tried mounting my stamps on a piece of wood! hehehe ...

    stephanie :)
    thank you :) hehehe ... you'll see you'll see :)))))))))))

  15. I love your designs. Now you can use them over and over. I did this in college, definitely a fun technique. Have you ever tried using Styrofoam for example meat pkg. trays to make stamps? With your creativity I'm sure you could come up with some fab. designs.

  16. Luthien, you are fearless! I love the way you will just jump in to anything creative. I end up thinking and thinking about it, and never do it.

    I love your drawings! These stamps turned out great! I am really going to try this ;-)

  17. OMG Luthien!! I honestly don't know what to say anymore!! You never cease to amaze me with your talents and desire to try new things - you're truly an inspiration in every respect!! Your tutorials are amazing too, you're an absolute angel for sharing techniques with others.

  18. Luthien, these are fantastic!!!!!!! I've wanted to try them too but I just haven't yet. You inspire so many on a daily basis! Thank you!!

  19. charlie :)
    thank you :))) it is fun!! i'm off to buy some more lino sheets :)) can you actually carve on those styrofoam trays? i've never tried it ... but i think i must :)) hehehe ...

    maggie :)
    hahaha!! thank you!! i'm only fearless when it comes to craft ... but i could never be in amazing race!! LOLz!! yes :) try it! it's really fun :))

    sharon :)
    awwww... you always say the sweetest things to silly ole me :)) i'm just greedy and insatiable when it comes to crafts ;P
    :) namaste my fren ...

    darla :)
    thank you luv :)) you are a lady of many talents too ... i saw those stockings!! i'm sure you can handle the carving tools with ease :)) it's a pleasure to inspire and to be inspired :) that's why i love bloggie land so much!!

  20. Oh my you have such great ideas!! =)

  21. I am so glad I found your post. I am doing my first lino cut - and the entire decision about negative or positive cutting threw me in a tizzy. Your careful step-by-step was awesome.

  22. Hi there Luthien, love this post! I'm wondering where to buy the linoleum sheets? Locally, we have a WalMart and a Lowe's...would either of these carry them? Or maybe I could find some on Amazon. As far as the styrofoam trays, I have tons of those; used to work at a convenience store with a deli! Thank you for sharing your skills :) I'm going to pin this and may eventually do a post linking to yours.

  23. Rubber Buffers: Check here for all types of rubber buffers such as rubber corners and solid wall buffers etc. Also know about the uses of rubber buffer.rubber buffers


thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
Luthien :)