1 Background Stamp, 3 Ways
How to Make a Stamp
Whether you’re designing homemade cards or decorating a boring wall, stamps are a fun way to create pretty designs that require very little artistic talent. If you want avoid buying expensive premade stamps, make your own at home. Try a twist on the traditional rubber stamp, which uses an eraser, carve one out of a potato for a kid-friendly project, or make a super quick sponge stamp if you just want to paint basic shapes.
Creating a Rubber Eraser Stamp
Choose a stamp design based on your skill level.If you're a beginner, stick with simple shapes and designs that won't involve tiny, detailed cuts. The more advanced you are, the more complex your design can be.
- For example, beginners could do triangles, block letters, or stars.
- Curved shapes or designs are harder to cut than straight lines.
- You can practice drawing your design on a piece of scrap paper first. Keep in mind that if you have trouble drawing it, you'll have even more trouble cutting it.
Draw the mirror image of your stamp design onto the eraser.Since you flip the stamp over to paint with it, the final result will be a reflected image of what’s on the stamp itself. Use a pencil, pen, or marker to outline the design backwards on the eraser.
- If you're having trouble, an easier trick is to draw the image normally on a piece of clear paper. Then flip the paper over to trace the mirror image onto your eraser.
- You can use any color or size of eraser. A thicker eraser will be easier to cut since there's more to work with, and will hold up better over time.
- Mirroring is especially important if you’re using numbers or letters.
How to Transfer a Design to an Eraser
1. Trace or print your design onto a piece of clear tracing paper. If you’re tracing it by hand, a thick permanent marker works best.
2. Turn the paper over so you have the mirror image.
3. Hold the clear paper with the design over your eraser or tape into place.
4. Cut along the lines through the paper to transfer the outline onto the eraser.
Cut away the eraser around the design so that the stamp is raised.Use an X-Acto knife or V-tool to carefully remove the eraser from any spots that you don’t want to be painted. Any area of the eraser that’s standing up above the rest will become part of the stamp. Shave off any excess bits.
- Cut as close to the line of the design for a more accurate stamp.
- Glue the eraser to a piece of wood if you want a little more support.
Apply ink or paint onto the stamp, then press it onto a flat surface.To ensure you cut out the stamp’s design properly, try it out. Dab the stamp on an ink pad or brush a thin coat of paint over the stamp. Flip it over, line it up on your paper or craft, and apply firm pressure.
- You can use whatever color ink or paint you would like.
- Look for spots where the color has smudged or showed up somewhere you didn’t want it.
- If the stamp isn’t producing the image you’d like, clean it off, re-cut it, and then try again.
Clean the stamp in between each use with baby wipes.This will remove the previous color so it doesn't transfer to your next project. Baby wipes also have lanolin in them, which moisturizes the rubber in your stamp, making it last longer. Wipe down any part of the stamp with color on it.
- You can also use stamp cleaner or soap and water. If you have dried-on color, scrub the stamp with a toothbrush and cleaner to remove it.
- Avoid using anything with alcohol in it. That will dry out the stamp.
Making a Sponge Stamp
Cut a sponge into the shape of your choice using scissors.Sponges aren’t ideal for intricate designs. Stick with simple shapes like circles, hearts, or stars that have just a few cuts and nothing too detailed.
- If you don’t want to freehand your stamp, draw the shape on the sponge with permanent marker before cutting it.
- You can buy cheap kitchen sponges at a dollar store, grocery store, or online retailer.
Add a toilet paper roll handle if you want to grip the stamp better.Cut an empty toilet paper roll into pieces big enough to hold comfortably in your hand. Attach 1 roll section to the back of the stamp with hot glue so you can stamp without getting paint on your fingers.
- If there are kids helping with this project, have them decorate the sponge handles with paints, glitter, or sequins.
- Be careful using a hot glue gun. If you get burned, rinse it under cool water immediately. Call the doctor or urgent care if the burn is larger than 3 inches (7.6 cm) or if you notice any white, brown, or black areas.
Dab the sponge in paint to fully saturate the front of the stamp.You don’t need the paint to soak through the entire sponge. Dip the front of the stamp into paint, then tap it lightly on a scrap piece of paper to remove any excess.
- If you don’t dab the sponge on a piece of paper a couple of times before putting it on your final surface, you’ll likely end up using too much paint and it will smear or blur together.
- Choose your paint type based on your surface. For example, if you’re stamping a T-shirt, use fabric paint. If you’re decorating a wall, opt for interior wall paint instead.
- Pour the paint into a tray or shallow dish to make it easier to coat the stamp.
Push the stamp onto your surface, applying pressure evenly on all areas.If you’re only pushing down in the center, the paint will pool there, distorting your design. Press each edge and section of the stamp firmly onto the surface to ensure that the entire stamp has transferred properly.
- You should only hold your stamp on the surface for about 3 to 5 seconds. Otherwise, you risk over-saturating the print.
- When you go to remove the stamp from the surface, lift straight up, trying not to drag or smear the stamp.
Ways to Use Stamps
Make your own gift wrapby printing a pretty pattern on plain craft paper.
Stamp a hand towelfor a personalized kitchen accessory.
Paint a wall borderaround the edge of a room.
Create homemade cardsfor any occasion.
Give the stamps as giftsto someone who loves to craft.
Wash your stamp off with water before the paint dries.Whenever you're finished with your stamp, immediately run it under water in the sink to remove the paint. Wash it until the water is clear and there are no traces of color on the sponge.
- If the paint dries and hardens on your sponge, the stamp will be ruined and you'll have to create a new one.
- You can use either warm or cold water.
Using a Potato
Cut a potato in half horizontally.Use a sharp knife to slice through the potato width-wise, making sure the surface of the cut is completely smooth and flat. Otherwise, the stamp won’t be able to press down evenly.
- To choose the size of your potato, look for one that can fit the cookie cutter you’re using at its widest portion.
- You can also use sweet potatoes to make your stamps.
- A serrated knife is the best for making a clean cut in the potato.
- If you want to be able to grip your potato better, sculpt a small handle at the top of the potato by cutting 2 grooves on either side, leaving a piece to hold onto.
Press a cookie cutter into the cut side of the potato.Set the cookie cutter down on a flat surface, then push the potato firmly onto it. It doesn’t need to go all the way into the potato. Insert the cookie cutter just enough that it creates a significant indication in the potato.
- Metal cookie cutters are sturdier and easier to push into the potato.
- The sharper side of the cookie cutter, also known as the imprinting edge, is the side that should go into the potato.
- If your design is asymmetrical, like a word, be sure to flip the cookie cutter so you push the mirror image into the potato. That way, when you stamp the picture, it reflects back to the proper picture.
Use the knife to cut a thick slice around the cookie cutter.This will create the stamp. Leave the cookie cutter in place and run the knife around the potato. Remove a slice big enough to leave the design raised off the rest of the potato.
- Cut through to the cookie cutter as you drag the knife around the potato so the slice is easier to remove.
- The slice needs to be thick enough that you can paint the top of the stencil design without getting smudges from the areas of the potato that aren’t supposed to have paint.
Pull the cookie cutter out of the potato.Grip the potato in one hand and carefully extract the stencil from the other side. Try to pull it straight out and avoid wiggling it so you don’t ruin the edges of the stamp.
- If necessary, use an X-Acto knife to touch up any shaping around the outline of the stamp or remove any additional pieces of potato that you want to.
Coat the design on the cut side of the potato with a thin layer of paint.Don’t put on too much paint or it will clump up and make the stamped image smeared and unreadable. Use a paintbrush to apply enough paint to just cover the stamp.
- If you’re stamping on paper, use watercolor or acrylic paint. If you’re doing it on a wall, go with interior wall paint, and if you’re designing on textiles, try fabric paint.
- You can also pour some paint into a tray. Dip the cut side of potato into the paint, then dab off some of the extra before stamping the design.
- Make sure every nook and cranny is painted properly.
Flip the potato over and press the painted side firmly onto your surface.Avoid placing the stamp down at an angle. Push it firmly onto your paper, wall, or fabric, applying pressure across the entire stamp so it creates an even design. Lift the stamp straight up when you’re finished.
- If you move the stamp while you’re pushing down or if you press down too harshly, you’ll smudge the final print.
QuestionWhat if need to make something way more detailed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe way I carve stamps is by using linoleum cutting tools which are either V or U-shaped. You use them to dig out small chunks of linoleum. People make them into extremely detailed pieces of art, such as those seen in a Google images search for "linocuts." It does take a lot of practice, so you should start out with a simpler design, but it is possible to add more and more detail.Thanks!
QuestionHow about if I do not have wood and I don't want to use a potato?Community AnswerThere are many things you can use that look cool when dipped in paint and put on paper. Two examples are halved oranges and leaves. Experiment and see what works.Thanks!
Things You’ll Need
Creating a Rubber Eraser Stamp
Ink pad or paint
Wood block (optional)
Making a Sponge Stamp
Permanent marker (optional)
Empty toilet paper roll (optional)
Hot glue (optional)
Tray or dish (optional)
Using a Potato
X-acto knife (optional)
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Русский: , Português: , Deutsch: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Italiano: , Français:
Video: DIY 5 Easy Stamp Making Ideas | How to Make Stamps At Home | Stamps for Kids | By Fluffy Hedgehog
How to Beat Boredom on the Weekend
20 beauty fails we all made as teenagers
Kelly Rowland Just Got Really Real About What Happens to Your Vagina After Giving Birth
When Money Talks Go Round Round (And Lead Nowhere)
How to give a modern room a cool, retro spin
3 Ways to Get Married
How to Deal With a Married Boyfriend
How to Make Diaper Changes Less Unpleasant
Treat High Blood Pressure without Medication
How to Manage Your Money (for Teenagers)
The Nation’s Favourite Advert Is Revealed But We’re Not So Sure
How to Find Cheap Flights to Kenya
5 Key Things to Know About SunProtection