My boyfriend and I have been really into letter boxing recently and I have become obsessed with the hand carved stamps, both finding ones other people have carved, or carving my own. Hopefully I have a few tips here that are helpful and not on every other blog post about stamp carving.
The most important thing about carving stamps is getting the right materials. I prefer the Speedball brand slab of pink rubber which you can buy at most major craft stores as well as on Amazon. The blue rubber is a little bit harder to carve and I’ve heard that it doesn’t last as long (drying out, flaking, and crumbling). I tried both kinds and though my stamps made from the blue rubber have not crumbled in over a year, I still prefer the pink simply because it is easier to work with.
Getting the image onto the rubber is the hard part. You can hand draw it directly on the rubber, but that doesnt leave much room for mistakes. There is an easier way that requires no special tools.
Start by drawing (or printing) the picture you want on the stamp on a regular piece of paper.
Then flip the paper over and draw with the flat side of a pencil on the back of your picture.
Then turn it back over and place the paper on your rubber. Trace the image lightly with your pencil.
And this is what you are left with.
Clean up the edges by going over it again lightly with your pencil. Be sure not to sharpen your pencil too much or press too hard because you don’t want to pierce the rubber.
And voilà! It is ready for carving.