Other Stuff

Creating your own eraser stamps

Making your own stamps is easy with the right tools, and not very expensive. Considering the price of stamps these days, erasers can be a good alternative. Eraser stamps, however, do not last as long, and are not as study as regular stamps. But if you have a need for a stamp that you do not have in your collection sometimes making one can be the ticket.

Carving stamps originally was done by artists in the 60s and 70s, an alternative to linoleum block carving, which was difficult to work with. Unfortunately at the time artists were limited to the sizes they could find, erasers. Some of the popular erasers were Staedtler Mars, or Pzkut until recently some companies started making bigger sheets of rubber to carve.

To make a stamp, first you need to pick a base. I generally use small erasers like Magic Rub, since they are readily available, and cheap. But if I need a bigger image, Staedtler and Speedball make bigger sheets which can be found at an art supply store.

Next, tools. Like with linoleum blocks, the tools are the same. I generally use a Speedball linoleum cutter, the v-groove type, size 1 and 2. A craft knife is also handy. Not many tools are needed for making stamps.

On to carving tips

  • Start off easy so you get the hang of the amount of pressure you need to guide the nibs.
  • Transfer the image onto the eraser by carbon paper or just putting a bunch of lead on the paper of the paper. Sometimes I just draw directly on the eraser.
  • Try to carve away from the design. If you undercut the design it will not be as strong.
  • Use the craft knife to clear big areas of the stamp, like the background.
  • Like any image, make sure if there is lettering involved, that it is carved backwards.

One more tip, don't use your eraser stamps to emboss velvet. While it might work a couple of times, it melts the eraser. Trust me, I know.