Thursday 30 July 2015

'Cheap as Chips' ~ DIY Stamps

        Hi everybody Its's Toni here to share another one of our inspirational posts. I've been having a go at stamp carving and thought you might be interested in what I've discovered. Some time ago, a very good friend sent me a gift of some  Speedball, 'Speedy - Carve'. I set to work with my lino tools not really knowing what I was doing. Here are a couple of pages I made a long time ago using some of the stamps I made....
Since then, I've discovered that you can get some very good results by carving into erasers. If you haven't tried stamp carving, this may be a good, cheap, starting point.
You will need a lino cutting tool, I use one made by Speedball, it comes with a selection of different sized cutting blades. You will also need some erasers, here are a few that I managed to find in my local shops....
When starting to carve into a rubber eraser, use the side without a printed image, as the printed surface is often quite slick and may not take the ink so well. Here are some of these same erasers after I've carved into them....
If you are new to stamp carving, I would suggest keeping to simple shapes. To begin, sketch your design onto the surface using a soft pencil. Then take your cutting tool and fit in a small ' v ' shaped blade. Be aware that the blades are pretty sharp! Start the carving process by cutting a narrow groove around your design, as if you were giving it an outline. Its a good idea, when you're cutting around a curve, to move the rubber instead of the tool. Always cut away from you and keep those fingers away from the blade. Here's one that's just been started.....
You can see my very rough sketching and the pale lines where I've started carving the outline. Once you have carved a groove all the way around your shape you can change to a wider blade and start to cut away the background. Start from the groove and work outwards. If you start from the outer edge of the eraser and work in towards the shape, you risk accidentally cutting into your image. Continue until the image appears to be raised from the background. You may then wish to change back to the narrow 'v' blade to add in some fine detail, such as the veins on a leaf. You can take a test print at anytime during the carving process, just use a water based ink pad such Distress Ink, which you can easily wipe off without removing your design. 
Shaped erasers, such as the flower shaped ones pictured below are great as they need very little carving to give great results. 
Here are a couple more prints which I think will make lovely backgrounds for cards, I've printed these two with black Archival ink over a Distress sprayed background.
If you think this is something you'd like to try and have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer any queries. I've got a spare pack of four square erasers, the same as the ones pictured above with 'RSPCA' printed on, which I'd love to give to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post. I'll choose someone at random on the eve of our next inspirational post. In the meantime, happy crafting ! 


  1. Wow Toni!! Love what you've done with the erasers! I've always fancied having a go at this but didn't want to pay out lots more crafty money on something new. Now I need to look for some erasers in the drawers and see if I can borrow a tool to see if I like it. Truly an inspirational post. xxx

  2. Brilliant tutorial Toni and I'm so happy to see stamp carving here, I'd love more people to try it as its so much fun and can save a fortune too!
    Big hugs
    Donna xxx

  3. Oh my word - such an inspiring, original post - love your rubber carvings - amazing.
    Alison x

  4. I love the speedy carve. Hand carved stamps look so nice don't they.
    Love yours.

  5. Wow Toni, your hand carved stamps are amazing ! I love how you've used such a simple and easily accessible item. I've got a stamp carving kit buried somewhere, I may need to dig it out ! Sue C x

  6. A fabulous tutorial, never thought to make my own stamps. These all look amazing.
    Yvonne xx

  7. Great post and thanks for sharing. Greetings!

  8. I bought some tools and rubber but got cold feet once I began looking at the how-to's. Perhaps starting with an eraser as opposed to the larger blank 'rubber canvas" will be easier...Thanks for sharing your process and the inspiration!

  9. Stunning Toni, Love the designs you have done for the stamps. Wonderful tutorial and thank you for sharing.
    Sharon x