Carving an eraser is one of the most popular ways to make your own stamps. If you have any artistic talent (and even if you don't) you may want to give this technique a try.
You'll need a piece of carving material such as Uncle Walter's Carving BlockŪ, Magic RubŪ, Mars Staedtler erasers, or Nasco's Safety-KutŪ, something to carve with like an exacto knife and a linoleum cutter, or a Dremel tool (a craft style drill), dental tools and an image.
If you're carving an image of your own, you can draw it directly onto the eraser. If you're not, you will need to transfer the image to your carving material. To do this, make sure your image was created by a heat transfer method such as a laser printer or xerox machine. First, thoroughly wet your carving material with nail polish remover. Then, trim the excess paper away from the image and place it face down on the carving material. Using a cotton ball soaked with nail polish, firmly rub the back of the image until it transfers to the eraser.
As we said before, you can carve the image using either exacto knives or a Dremel tool. Regardless of what you choose, this is a exacting process because once you carve out a piece of material, it can't be put back. Many people find that it easiest to carve the smallest areas first. Using your tool of choice, cut out the white areas on the eraser. Do one small area at a time and use the dental tools or a scissor to clean up any stray particles. Make sure that you carve deeply enough so that none of the background can transfer ink to your projects. Move on to the larger areas and if you have any really big areas you can use the lino cutter for these. When your entire image has been carved, remove the excess eraser from the outside of the image by cutting an outline which tapers away from the outer edge of the image. Once the entire image is carved out and cleaned of debris, wash it in soap and water or window cleaner to remove all traces of the transfer. If some of the transfer refuses to budge, you can sand it off with a fine emery board.
That's all there is to it! Depending on the thickness of your eraser, you may want to mount it as you would any other stamp and if you're a stickler for neatness, you can smooth the edges of the stamp with a nail buffer (found in drug stores)
We'd like to thank Mary Jane Hopper of MJ Stamps for the information that went into this article.
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