Home > Card Making > Guide to Rubber Stamping

Guide to Rubber Stamping

By: Elizabeth Moad - Updated: 19 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Rubber Stamping Design Papercraft

Rubber stamping is the technique of printing a design using a rubber stamp. It is a relatively new papercraft but it has become so popular that it is probably the most widely practised. There is now a fantastic range of products available and thousands of rubber stamps to choose from to create a project for any occasion.

Basic Tool Kit – Must Haves

  • Stamps
  • Ink pads
  • Anti static bag
  • Heat gun
  • Embossing powders
  • Embossing ink pad
  • Cardstock


Rubber stamps come in many forms, shapes and sizes. The images on the stamp can vary from flowers, cats to alphabets – everything under the sun!

Outline stamps – these produce an outline of the image ready for colouring in.

Solid stamps – these are a solid image and may have less detail than an outline stamp.

Wooden mounted – these are the traditional stamps with a rubber image on a wooden block.

Wooden peg stamps – these are small rubber images mounted on peg dowels specifically for rubber stamp tapestry.

Foam mounted – these are usually childrens stamps and are not so durable but they are usually cheaper and come in sets.

Clear resin un-mounted – these are now very popular because you get a set of stamps in a pack, they are good value for money. These are clear plastic images which are self-clinging and are used with a resin block. The clear stamps are placed on to the resin block allowing you to compose your image. They are inked in the usual way and printed just as wooden mounted stamps.

Top Tip

Clean your stamps immediately after use by using a damp piece of kitchen roll or if you used a solvent inkpad use the specific cleaner.

Storing your Stamps

The rubber will perish if exposed to sunlight so store your stamps in cardboard or plastic boxes away from sunlight. Try not to pile up stamps in a box or they will get damaged.


Again these come in all forms and colours:

Dye based – these are water based, non-permanent and usually have a felt pad.

Pigment – these tend to be slightly thicker and come with a foam pad. They can be in all colours; metallic, chalk or pearlescent.

Embossing – these are for heat embossing and are used with embossing powders and a heat gun.

Brush markers – these are coloured pens which you can use instead of inkpads to ink the stamp. The advantage is that you can use more than one colour on an image.

How to Stamp

Step 1

inking the rubber stampThe inkpad will usually be smaller than the stamp you are using. So you need to take the inkpad to the stamp – do not press the stamp in to the inkpad. Cover the whole stamp with ink. 20px breakStep 2

stamp is pressed onto the cardMake sure your worksurface is uncluttered and stable. Put your card on the table and press the stamp on to the card, using a firm downward pressure. Now lift the stamp off the card vertically so as not to smudge the image. 20px breakStep 3

image is left to dry and coloured inLeave the card to dry for a few seconds. If using a solid stamp you may wish to leave the printed image as it is. If you used an outline stamp then you can colour it in using pencils, watercolours or felt pens. 20px breakTop Tip

If the image is blurred you may have moved the stamp before lifting off. If one area has not printed, this may be due to lack of pressure or not enough ink.

Heat Embossing

Step 1

powder is sprinkled over designBefore printing, wipe the cardstock with an anti static bag. This helps the powder shake off in step 2. Print the image using a clear embossing inkpad and then sprinkle over embossing powder. 20px breakStep 2

heat gun melts the powderShake off excess embossing powder and return it to the container. Now use a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. The heat melts the powder to a semi-liquid form and then it turns solid, leaving a slightly raised image. 20px breakTop Tip

An anti-static bag is a little pouch full of powder which, when wiped across card or paper, creates a skin-like layer. Thus when sprinkling embossing powder over an inked and stamped design the powder only sticks to the ink. No more unsightly specks or flicking away with paintbrushes! Available from stamp stores.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Jojo74
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    On my pattern on start it says cast on 37 stitches, commencing with 2nd row of 1x1 rib work 5 rows but after that goes to 6th…
    20 February 2019
  • Radhi
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    Hi, I am from a very small town from Gujarat...I want to sell my qulling envelope online .. please help me.
    4 February 2019
  • Radhi
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    I want to sell my qulling envelope ...online .. Please help me.
    4 February 2019
  • Kazzalee
    Re: How to Felt Wool Sweaters
    Can you tell me what setting the machine should be on. Hot washed tends to be long is that ok. I have not done this before but am…
    15 January 2019
  • Granny P
    Re: Embellishments and Stickers for Card Making
    Can I use photos of peel off stickers from Zazzle as illustration on my personalised poem framed keepsakes that…
    14 January 2019
  • Kal
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    How to start selling greeting cards online and making extra money and starting a business around at home
    17 November 2018
  • Kal
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    I want to start selling greeting cards online I have to do a form to sign up to selling the cards for
    12 November 2018
  • Fiona
    Re: Making Wreaths
    Hello - how much moss should I buy for a wreath? It seems to be sold by weight .... Thanks!
    11 November 2018
  • Sue Lutz
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Want to make an English pattern but not sure of the following terms: 1.WL. fwd ? Does it mean a YO 2. ? W.O.P.K....NOT SURE…
    7 November 2018
    Re: Copyrighting Your Craft Designs
    My name is Nihal. I can give you 1-5 man 0r woman man power at my home. Making card or Assembling the blocks . I haven’t any…
    6 November 2018