Rubber Stamping

As a lover of DIY gifts and projects, I came across a brilliant website by a lady who makes her own stamps for her illustrations. I found it quite an exciting idea and naturally thought I might like to try my hand at it, so off I went and dug up some info.

When it comes to rubber stamping you could start off by buying ready made stamps at your nearest craft shop, or if you’re somewhat of a purist, and relish the idea of beginning from scratch, then you could opt to create your own custom/personalised stamps. The wonderful thing either way is you can use your stamps again and again over time. In my opinion, it would be wise to consider buying/creating simple stamps that can be incorporated into a variety of images.

Stamps, inks and paper involved in this craft.

– the most frequently used and sold stamp is the rubber stamp (hence why this craft is termed as such) and you get these in two varieties – mounted and un-mounted.
- Another option of stamp you’ve got is the foam stamp which is light weight and is generally used for bold and large images. These are ideal for projects with children, and can also be used in interior decorating projects. These can be mounted or not as well.
- you’ve also got the option of clear stamps which temporarily adhere to acrylic blocks and are available in a variety of sizes and styles and are fairly easy to use and clean.

- you have a choice of dye based inks which are quick drying, colour fast and excellent for beginners.
- pigment based inks which are both colour and light fast, are thick and rich but slow drying. These can be used well with embossing powders.
- Permanent solvent inks, may need a specialist stamp cleaner and will have to be used in well ventilated areas – these can be used on a wide variety of surfaces (including glass and wood) and are longer lasting as the name suggests, and won’t fade in bright light.
- there are more specified inks for the various techniques used within this craft like resist dyes, embossing ink, and fabric dyes which I haven’t gotten around to trying yet, so won't know much about.

- we are fortunate to live in a world so full of options when comes to paper, most of which are suitable for stamping (double yay!). We’ve got options of colour, weight, size, surface finish, absorbency, archival and acid free (both for projects with a longer lifespan in mind) and of course the green option; recycled paper.

All you need to be aware of is what kind of project you’re going to do e.g. thicker paper for greeting cards, and you'll also have to consider what inks you’re using e.g. glossy paper isn’t very absorbent and will apparently need embossing to fix the ink.

Making your stamp.

When carving your stamp remember to keep in mind that you are working with negative images.
Where you want colour don’t carve – where you don’t, cut it out. It’s up to you whether you mount your stamp or not.

A list of things you’ll need:

  • Ready made stamps (if you don’t fancy making ‘em)
  • (if you do, you’ll need) Mouldable Foam, or Lino
  • a printmakers cutting/carving tools
  • wood (for mounting - optional)
  • glue (optional)
  • material to act as cushion (between stamp and wooden mount)
  • inks
  • paper
  • image sources (for inspiration)

Ideas for projects ==> Gift boxes – greeting cards – personal letterheads – envelopes – illustrations – holiday decorations – et cetera

And of course there’s lots of how-to’s on YouTube.

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