Process and Tips

6 Quick Tips for Stampmaking

1. Don’t carve towards your hands or body, always away!

2. When you carve, start shallow - you can always go back and make deeper cuts as needed.

3. When you do curves, turn the rubber - not the tool!

4. Keep your tool at about 45 degrees and just skim the rubber with the tool.

5. I usually use V tools for my edges, U shapes for more of the detailing/textures as well as the V. Flatter ones are used for clearing large areas. You'll find what marks you like to make and which tools work best for your process!

6. Have baby wipes and rubbing alcohol handy for cleaning if you’re using pigment inks.


Stampmaking Process

You can do your stamp spontaneously, or you can plan it out. This is how I do it:

1. I do a sketch on copy paper, cut it out, and put it facedown on a corner/edge of the rubber sheet (such as Speedball Speedy Carve), and just rub with your finger to transfer the image and begin carving. A bone folder also works well for this.

2. Then, cut around the image but leave some space - it’s easier to carve the stamp when you don’t have it trimmed down to its final form yet. 

3. When I’m done carving, I trim it up with a craft knife or box cutter. Box cutters are essential so you can do many stamps on a single sheet of rubber!

4. Proof the stamp by inking it up, printing it on a sheet of copy paper, and see if you want to make any adjustments.