Learn How to Make Custom Stamps from Art Gum Erasers

  • 01 of 05

    How to Carve Custom Stamps from Art Gum Erasers

    Variety of stamps
    Carve stamps from erasers. Getty Images: xPACIFICA

    If you are looking for something a little different, then why not learn how to make a custom stamp from an art gum eraser? Art gum erasers are simple to carve into a whole variety of shapes and are soft enough to be carved with a craft knife. In this step by step guide we take a look at carving a free form shape. This means that instead of having a specific design in mind, we simply start carving into the art gum eraser to create shapes.

    Beginner Carving Project

    This is an ideal project for beginners. Art gum erasers are low cost, readily available and easy to carve. They are also typically larger than other erasers and this means that they are less fiddly to hold while carving. Carving a free form shape allows beginners to get familiar with the technique of carving into rubber before moving on to other materials. The ends or the sides of the art gum eraser are suitable for carving into, depending on how you want the finished stamped image to look.

    About Art Gum Eraser

    Art gum erasers are used by artists to remove pencil and other marks from paper. Art gum erasers are very soft and crumbly which makes them easy to carve into but this can mean that it is sometimes difficult to get precise or very intricate detail. Harder erasers or proper carving block will give better results.

    More About Stamp Carving

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  • 02 of 05

    How to Carve Custom Stamps From Art Gum Erasers - Materials

    Carve Your Own Custom Stamps
    Carve Your Own Custom Stamps. Kate Pullen

    All that is required to carve a free form design into an art gum eraser, besides the eraser itself, is a sharp craft knife, such as an X-acto knife. Lino cutting tools will also work well.

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  • 03 of 05

    Start Carving Into the Art Gum Eraser

    Carving into Art Gum Erasers
    Carving into Art Gum Erasers. Kate Pullen

    One of the key aims of this project is to get a feel for carving into rubber and other surfaces before moving on to other materials. We are therefore starting with a free form design. To start carving, simply make two incisions into the art gum eraser to form a triangle and carefully remove the unwanted pieces of eraser using the tip of the knife. Continue cutting small shapes around the edge of the eraser. Try to cut to a similar depth each time. See the next step for some useful tips to help ensure successful carving.

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  • 04 of 05

    Tips for Carving into Art Gum Erasers

    Carve a V Shape
    Carve a 'V' Shape. Kate Pullen

    When you carve your own stamps make sure that you carve slightly away from the image so that the cut line forms a 'v' shape. If you cut under the image it will be difficult to apply even pressure when stamping and this may cause an imperfect image.

    Remember that the image will consist of what you are leaving, not carving away.

    Gently brush or blow any art gum eraser crumbs away before starting to stamp. 'Gently' is the key word here as art gum erasers are susceptible to damage.

    Practice making cuts on a potato first. While a potato is a completely different texture and hardness to an art gum eraser, it will give you experience of how to hold the knife and exert an even pressure while cutting.

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  • 05 of 05

    Finished Stamp

    Finished Custom Stamp
    Finished Custom Stamp. Kate Pullen

    Continue cutting until you are happy with the design. When carving stamps remember that it is easier to take more away than it is to add to a design, therefore keep checking regularly before cutting more away. Gently blow or brush away any crumbs and the stamp can then be inked and used as a normal rubber stamp.

    Once you are happy with the technique of carving free form shapes into erasers it is time to move onto to carving your own designs!