DIY Rubber Stamp Tutorial

I know I’m not the first to make a tutorial like this, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be the last, but here it goes anyway. I put together this tutorial since I’ve been having an influx of friends asking me how I made my stamps for my InCoWriMo envelopes and letters. I’ve added a couple links for inspiration towards the bottom of this post.

Apologies in advanced for the not-so-great lighting. If you have any questions at all, leave me a comment and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my tutorial

Tools I use:

DIY Stamp Carving
DIY Stamp Carving
  • Speedball brand linoleum: Speedy Carve Carving Block
  • Speedball carving tools (We’ve had this set for a long time), you can find a set on amazon here: Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment 1
  • pencil (not pictured), soft lead for easy transfer is good
  • paper (not pictured), any paper works, whatever you want to draw your design on
  • device used for rubbing – I used the end of my pencil (that has no eraser)
  • Ink pads, whichever you like, I prefer Tsukineko Memento Brand Ink Pads
  • Optional: Exacto Knife; the Linoleum Cutter set includes a blade, so I typically just use that.

There are other types of blocks you can use. I know of one called Moo-Carve (Master Carve), but I haven’t tried that type yet. You can even use Pink Pearl or White rectangle erasers if you want to give it a go before spending money on linoleum. I find linoleum easier to carve into personally, but I’ve made a few eraser ones, too.

There are two ways that I make stamps. Either I draw directly onto the linoleum or I draw something on paper and then transfer the drawing to the linoleum by burnishing (rubbing). One thing to always remember if you draw onto the linoleum directly, the design stamped will be the reverse of what you draw. If you plan on doing a design with words and letters, I recommend drawing the design on paper and then transferring the original design to the linoleum – unless you’re awesome at backwards letter writing :)  I’ll do both ways so you can see what I mean.

Designing and then transferring to the linoleum: 

Draw what you want for your design in pencil. I’m designing a monogram of my initials.
IMG_2086

Cut a piece of linoleum that will fit your design. I leave room around the edges.
IMG_2091

Place your design on the linoleum and use a tool to burnish (rub) the graphite on to it. I used the back end of my pencil (no eraser).
IMG_2092
IMG_2094
IMG_2099

I thickened up the lines for this design. I almost always make changes during this process, even just little ones, and that’s okay. It’s your design, do what you want. In this design, I’m planning to carve the negative space, so the pencil drawing is what will be inked.IMG_2104

Time to carve, just dive in! Use whichever carving tool works best for you. I like the #1 (smallest) for detail. The beauty of stamp carving is you don’t have to carve deep at all. Always start light, it’s easier to remove more later when you see what it’s like inked. This photo was incredible hard to take with my left hand. Usually, I use my left hand to hold the linoleum as I’m carving :)

IMG_2109
IMG_2111

After carving most of the insides, I chopped the extra linoleum around the edges (We’ll save these leftover pieces for random design stamps later).
IMG_2119

Okie-dokie, time to do the first draft stamp on scrap paper to see what we have so far:
IMG_2122
IMG_2125

So I missed a few spots, no biggie, just get back to the carving. Work really patiently if you have super detailed/small areas. I re-carved mine twice, making adjustments till I was happy with the finished product.
IMG_2132

Now I have my own monogram that I can stamp on my projects, envelopes, anywhere, really. :)

picsay-1393540150 

Designing directly onto the linoleum:

We’re going to use those leftover random scrap pieces from the above project, but you can cut out any size you want if you have a drawing in mind.

Draw directly on the linoleum, anything you want (remember, it’ll be the reverse stamped). I’m just going to do some random lines/shapes.
IMG_2140

Choose your tool – I’m using #1 again – and carve at where you put your lines (carving the positive space – the pencil marks). Nothing fancy here.
IMG_2141

Stamp away!
IMG_2147

Make whatever you like. :) My collections growing, I’m sure yours will, too! Most of all: Have fun! :)
IMG_2152

 

Inspiration:

Thanks for reading!

For projects I'm currently working on, free PDF zines and printables, sketchbook pages, videos, & more support my work on Patreon! :)
www.patreon.com/sjanemills