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How to Make Rubber Stamps - Part 4: Tips and techniques

In this part of the tutorial I give you some useful tips and techniques for making and using rubber stamps.

Part 1 of this tutorial is here


Negative and Positive Space - and carving


Two rubber stamps with stars

When you are carving out a stamp or an image you have decisions to make. How you carve it dramatically affects how the actual stamped image looks. And this all comes down to negative and positive space.

In order to demonstrate this I will carve two identical images in opposite ways.

Carving out a star

For the first star we carve out the space inside the star.

Carving around the star

And for the second one we carve the space around the star.

You can probably imagine this makes a dramatic difference in how the stamp comes out.

Negative and positive stamps

And it sure does make a big difference. This is what we end up with.

Now this is just a simple example but you can see how the carving you do has a dramatic impact on what the final stamped image looks like. Keep this in mind.

A good way to think about it is that wherever you carve there will be no ink.

Make Some Handles for your smaller stamps


Mount stamp to a block

You can mount your stamps on wooden handles. This makes it very easy to handle and use them. Hah.. I guess that's why they call it a handle.

Mark the block

And stamp the other end of the handle before you mount the rubber onto the block. This way you can see exactly what that stamp creates. Orient it exactly the same way as the rubber is oriented.

Making Letters and Words

Rubber stamp carving

See the Letters on this stamp? See how they are backwards. This is important. Remember to do all your lettering backwards.

The stamp

Because the Stamped letters will be the right way.

Here is a good example. I carved "Linoleum Block" with all the letters normal. And you can see how the stamped image turned out.


Carved letters  

 Backward stamp


Mixing colors

Mixing Colors - Inks for stamping are water based and easy to work with and you can mix colors to get desired colors. Here you see a little bit of blue mixed with a lot of yellow to give us a nice green


Speedball Speedy Carve Stamp Making Kit



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