Rubber Stamps

Making rubber stamps is incredibly easy. I can usually throw something together in about 5 minutes. All you need is:

  • An old inner tube (like from a bicycle tire)
  • A scissors (or very sharp knife)
  • Rubber cement
  • Something to glue your stamp to (like a block of wood) First thing is to cut a piece of tube long enough to put your design on. Then cut it down one of the ridges so you can lay it flat. Brush off the powdery substance on the inside, and draw your design (on the smooth side of the tube…this way your design will look nicer. If you use the outside, the design will have line running through it and rough areas) with a permanent marker. It will be difficult to see, but I can’t think of anything else that would work better (and not harm the stamp).Next, use a scissors to cut out your design. You can try to use a sharp knife, but this is difficult because of the way the rubber stretches. I’ve found a sharp scissors to be much easier.

    Once your satisfied with your design, find something to glue it to. A block of wood about the same size as the design is good. Otherwise, any flat surface will do. I’ve used the bottom of a whiteout bottle, the bottom of a tape dispenser, and even an old CD.

    For larger stamps, if you can get your hands on a piece of foam about 1/16 of an inch thick, that will make things look a bit nicer. Smear rubber cement on your block of wood (or whatever) and then on a piece of foam the same size as your wood block. Let them dry, and then press them together. Then do the same with the design you’ve cut out. Smear the cement on the rubber and on the foam, let them dry and press them together (this will give you a much more solid hold than if you just apply the rubber cement wet and stick them together wet).

    If you’ve used foam, using a sharp knife, cut the foam around the outside of the design, about as close as you can get to the rubber. Then peel the extra foam away. This will make it so that when you apply the rubber stamp, you won’t end up with the edges of the woodblock.

    Then, just push the thing into an ink pad and apply on paper, cardboard, whatever.