DIY Baby Portrait Rubber Stamp

October 03, 2022

DIY Baby Portrait Rubber Stamp

I love the idea of a portrait rubber stamp as opposed to traditional signing my name on holiday or greeting cards. I wanted to make one for Justice as he's still too young to be able to write his name. Rubber stamps are easy for his little hand to grab and the coordination to stamp is simpler to understand and follow than writing at his age. With the stamp, he can leave a mark on notes and greeting cards himself with little guidance. After making a stamp for my holiday wrapping paper, I got a little addicted to carving and making my own rubber stamp. There's something about gliding through rubber that makes it so therapeutic. It's like carving butter. But instead of just carving out his name, I thought it'd be cute to turn his portrait into a stamp this time. It was a lot harder to carve on such a tiny surface without losing the details. Here are my step-by-step and tips for this DIY so you can also make one for your LO!

Tools and Supplies for Making Rubber Stamp:

Japanese Rubber Block v.s. Carving Block

I used Japanese rubber block for this stamp. But any carving block meant for block printing would do as well. If you're a beginner or first-timer in carving, I recommend starting off with a Japanese block. It usually consists of 2 layers in different colours. The top thin layer is what you'd carve away. The different colours make it easy to tell which areas to carve and which to keep. It'll also prevent you from carving too deep into the block, making your stamp look even and clean. With the carving block, since it's all in one colour, it can be tricky for the brain to remember that you're actually carving out the negative space that you don't need. 

DIY Baby Portrait Rubber Stamp

DIY Baby Portrait Rubber Stamp

Start With a Sketch

I started by sketching a simple caricature form of Justice's face with a pencil. You can draw directly onto the block but I like to draw on a piece of paper first then transfer to the block. If you draw directly onto the block, it'll be hard to erase if you want to refine or correct a mistake. It's also important to make your portrait as simple with as little details as possible. The carving surface is small and fine lines could easily be tear apart in the carving process. After I'm happy with the drawing, I transferred it onto the rubber block by burnishing the back of the paper. 

Burnish Sketch Onto Rubber Block

To burnish the drawing, place your drawing onto the rubber block, portrait facing down. Shade the back of the paper with a pencil. The portrait will then be transferred onto the rubber block. Now, grab a v-gouge or u-gouge carving tool and start carving away all the unwanted areas. Pro-tip: carve in the direction away from your hand.

Refine your carving as needed. 

Check out my video below to see these steps in action.

I hope you like this DIY tutorial! If you give this a try, be sure to share your pictures with me on IG @tingandthings_ or use hashtag #diywithting. I'd love to see your version!

Happy Crafting!

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About Me

About [span]me[/span]
Hello, I'm Lorita. Hoping to inspire you to explore and create things that make life a bit more fun and beautiful.