Making your own rubber stamps is a lot of fun, plus it can add a unique touch to your projects. I’ve been wanting to make a collection of letters featuring the alphabet, so I went to work using a soft carving block, an exacto knife and a blunt carving tool. I started by first cutting up a whole bunch of ¾” × ¾” rubber carving blocks, one for each letter. Then after that I began sketching each letter, carving out the lines with the exacto knife and removing the excess material with the carving tool.
I decided to design each letter free hand, however you could certainly print out your favorite typography and then carve out that font. However, I’ve found that it’s easier to go with simplistic designs, and anything too fine or delicate can be difficult to carve. Once I had the whole alphabet done, I cut up a bunch of ½” MDF pieces which I attached to each stamp with some contact cement. This is so you have something to hold on to when printing and makes a big difference in terms of how the print comes out.
When the stamps were done, I figured it would be nice to store them in something so I made a simple pine box with a walnut lid and feet. I decided to use box joints for the construction which I created by hand using some basic hand tools. I made the walnut lid a touch over sized, and I glued on a thin piece of plywood on the inside to create a pressure fit. The little walnut feet acted double duty as both feet and cleats for the bottom of the box.
Now, stamps are a lot of fun and you can create any design you’d like. I used a soft carving mat for these prints, however they make these carving blocks in different thicknesses and hardnesses, so it’s a good idea to try different things and find your preference. So what to use the stamps for? Well, I’m planning on making some cool posters, t-shirts, cards, and other things, as many projects can benefit from some printed letters.