Creating your own eraser
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
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
- 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.