Step 1: How to make stamps with Sugru
Sugru's rubbery texture once it's cured and it's moldability when fresh out of the package lends itself well to stamp-making. I played around with several different methods of making stamps with this material and was quite happy with the results.
Step 2: Materials and Tools:
- Sugru (I made all six stamps with 2 packs of Sugru)
- Wood -cut to size and sanded, corks work too depending on what size stamp that you want
- Carving tools, utility knife, nail etc.
- Cling wrap
- Dish soap
- Pencil, scissors, glue
- Craft foam
Step 3: Getting started
If you have never used Sugru before (or if you want to buy some) check out their website for instructions and other useful information.
- Prepare the wood blocks by cutting them to the size that you need and sand the edges smooth, the blocks that I use were about 2cm X 2cm for the small ones and the larger block was about 4cm X 2cm.
- Cover your work surface with cling wrap and sprinkle soapy water on it
- Cut open your pack of Sugru and condition it (knead it for a minute or so)
- Divide it into two pieces. Cover one side of a block with one piece
- Make sure the Sugru is an even thickness and press it down on the soapy cling wrap covered work surface to flatten it out
- When the Sugru is flat and smooth on the block trim off the excess at the edges
- Repeat with the second block.
- You can use the excess Sugru that you trimmed off to make another block, or use something smaller instead like a cork.
- Remember that once you open a package of Sugru you have about 30 minutes to work with it before it starts to cure.
Step 4: Carved stamps: carving before curing
I first experimented with carving the stamp before the Sugru had cured. Prepare the stamp as in Step 2. Using a nail and a utility blade carve a shape onto the stamp. The Sugru is quite soft at this point so it is easy to carve and if you make a mistake you can just smooth it over and start again. It is important to make the lines thick enough and keep the surface even. When you're satisfied with your stamp place in a warm dry spot to cure for approximately 24hrs.
Step 5: Carved stamps: carving after it is cured
Carving the stamp after it has cured is similar to doing an eraser stamp. Prepare your stamp as in Step 2 and let cure for 24hrs. With a pencil draw your image onto the stamp. If you want to have text on the stamp it needs to be a mirror image. Carve out the shape using a utility knife. Take your time and work carefully, unlike the stamps in Step 3 you can't smooth over your mistakes. Test out the stamp as you go to see which areas need more carving.
Step 6: Stamps from a mold: wax
I wanted to try making stamps from a mold or impression. I experimented with carving an image into wax and making an impression from it.
- Break up pieces of wax from an old candle and melt it down in a glass jar on a small warmer.
- Pour the wax into a flat shallow dish (I just used the lid of the glass jar).
- Once the wax has cooled and solidified place your wood block onto the surface and mark the size on the wax with a felt pen.
- You can draw your desired image onto the wax within the space that you marked.
- Carefully carve out the shape in the wax. Make sure the edges are smooth and that it is carved to an even depth.
- Remove any wax shavings or debris. You can heat your carving tool to make it easier.
- Once you are satisfied with your carved wax, prepare the stamp as you did in Step 2.
- With your finger coat the wax area that you carved with soapy water.
- Press your stamp down onto the wax with firm and even pressure.
- Lift off and check how it looks, if you are not satisfied with it, you can smooth it over and try again or use your carving tool for some touch ups.
- When you are happy with the stamp place it in a warm dry spot to cure.
Step 7: Stamps from a mold: craft foam
I found that using a wax mold worked for larger more solid shapes but if you wanted to do fine lines or text it was too brittle to carve. So I tried craft foam.
- Mark the size of your wood block on the craft foam
- With a pencil draw your shape, image, text or whatever onto the foam.
- Carve it out with a utility knife, make sure that the lines are not too thin.
- Cover the foam in soapy water and prepare your stamp as in Step 2.
- Press the stamp onto the foam with firm even pressure.
- Lift off and check how it looks, if you are not satisfied with it you can smooth it over and try again or use your carving tool for some touch ups.
- When you are happy with it set it in a warm dry spot to cure.
Step 8: Labels
To give the stamps a finished look I added labels to them. Simply stamp each one onto white paper. Cut out the stamped image and glue onto the top or side of your stamp. Cover with clear tape.