Home > Fun Stuff, Mail Art, Printmaking > Making a Hand Carved Rubber Stamp

Making a Hand Carved Rubber Stamp


Janice Marie at Fripperee blog sent me a lovely ‘zine on using a plastic eraser for hand-made stamp carving.  I tried it for the first time and had a lot of fun.  Swap-bot users have an internal term: “angel” as a verb {to angel, or angeling} which means to send out, for free, an item because a trade partner failed to mail a trade and left the recipient in a group trade empty-handed.  People angel to compensate for those who do not follow through on sending what they were supposed to mail.

I carved a self-portrait of angeling since I have sent out a few items to be kind to swappers who were cheated.  The rubber stamp is silly and I laughed when I finished it.  I’m glad I went to art school to go on to carve silly rubber stamps.  I used a cheap plastic eraser, drew on it with pencil, cut it out with an Xacto knife and a Dockyard Microtools v-gouge.  You can’t use a light wash of ink or acrylic paint like for linoleum printmaking, the plastic rejects the media, so you have to closely eyeball your cuts.  Maybe next time I will try rubbing some graphite on the eraser lightly to see the cuts revealing the white rubber beneath and still be able to see the pencil lines drawn for the design.  This will probably help me make smoother lines.  The stamp was fun to make and ran me $0.60 for the 2×6 cm plastic eraser.



  1. JJ
    December 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    You did an amazing job for your first go! and i love the subject matter!

    • December 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      I keep mailing them out, so I may as well personalize my angeled swaps! ☺ This thing is tiny, but the soft firm surface of the plastic eraser does carve great. I’ll do better on my next one!

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