Stamps are a great way to spice up greeting cards, wrapping paper, labels, book covers – anything really! Last year, I was inspired to make all my Christmas wrapping and cards totally DIY, starting off with some stamps. They’re so easy to make, and much cheaper than bought stamps! So, if you fancy yourself a bit of DIY this week, grab yourself some tools and get started!
– Rubber erasers
– Lino cutters or Xacto knife
– Ink pad
You can get a box of cheap erasers at any stationery shop, such as CNA, PNA, Clicks, Makro or Game. They can be any size, but I found that the rectangular ones work best. I have a set of lino cutting tools from high school that are super handy at doing grooves and cutting out the excess rubber from around the design, and you can get them from any large hardware store or art store. I’d highly recommend using an Xacto rather than a craft knife, as the blade is much thinner and tapered at the end, giving you more control over cutting out your design. I got my ink pad from Typo, but you can get from CNA, PNA and art stores.
Start off by sketching out some designs. Start off with something simple and solid, so you can get some practise.
Once you are happy with a design – I’m going for a basic Christmas tree shape, transfer the design onto your eraser. My erasers are pretty small, so I have to make sure I don’t go off the edge!
Time to start cutting! Begin by cutting down into the eraser, about 3mm, around the edge of your design, making sure you keep your lines neat so you don’t end up with jagged edges.
Then cut around the edge of the eraser, about 3mm off the side where your design is. Don’t cut too deep, otherwise you’ll slice off your final stamp shape. Do one line all the way around, and then you can start taking little bits away.
You can take large pieces off by sliding your Xacto knife about 3mm under the surface, keeping away from the stamp design.
You’ll see it looks quite tatty around the design, but the basic shape is there! Take off little bits at a time so you don’t get carried away and chop off more than you need to.
I used my lino cutter with a rounded blade to start cutting further away from the surface, so that when I put some ink on it and press it onto paper, I don’t get any excess rubber marks. I usually take about a 1/3rd off from the total thickness of the eraser. One tip – lino tools aren’t as pointy and sharp as an Xacto, but still great at cutting, and you won’t be likely to cut yourself while doing this. Stabbing yourself with an Xacto isn’t fun or pleasant!
You can neaten up the edges with your Xacto knife so make sure there aren’t any messy edges, or if you’ve accidentally taken off more than you were meant to – you can see I did that on the middle brand on the left hand side – oops!
Time to test our little stamp! Place it onto the ink pad, and give it a good first coat of ink. You can let it dry before adding a second coat, as the first coat of ink doesn’t coat the rubber too well.
You’ll see that I can actually take a bit more off around the sides of the design – that’s why you want to take as much off as possible!
Trial run done! I can see I made a small oopsie on the very top of the tree, so I went back and trimmed again with my Xacto knife.
And voila! There we have our first eraser stamp for Christmas! You can use any colour ink you want, or decorate it afterwards. It’s up to you!
I made quite a few last year, after doing my first one. It takes some practise, so feel free to use cheap erasers to start off with before you really get into it. I also haven’t washed my stamps, and it hasn’t affected their stamping ability. But I’m sure you can easily wash them in some warm soapy water, although it might make it tougher for the ink to stick each time.
Feel free to use them all year round, on cards, labels, gift wrap and more! I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and if you have any suggestions or questions, let me know! Happy DIY Christmas everyone!