Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pencil Eraser Stamps, Yes, You Can Do It Yourself!

 Yay for pencil eraser stamps!

I decided to make one more pencil eraser stamp, because it's nice to have a little heart that you can use to embellish all sorts of things. Like a non virtual "like" button. Spreading love all over your real life.

And since I was going to carve one, I thought, hey, why not do a simple tutorial.

Now, this craft is so simple you almost don't need a tutorial, but hey, why not lay it out for those of us who like instructions.

First, get a nice new pencil with an unused eraser. Then draw your shape on the eraser with a sharp pencil. Try to make sure that you get your design in the middle of the eraser and try not to run it into the edges where the eraser starts to curve. This heart is slightly off center, and so in the end, it will not be quite symmetrical. That's ok, it doesn't have to be, but it might be something you want to be aware of if you want symmetry... which can be more difficult than cockeyed. But cockeyed is often charming. So, your choice.

 Then take your Xacto knife (or other very sharp blade) and begin to carve around the drawn design. Start with the straight lines, those are easier, and cut away the top of the eraser.

Do NOT cut all the way down to the bottom of the eraser. You only need to remove about an 1/8th of an inch off of the top and if you cut too much eraser away, you might weaken the stamp and then it will break more easily.

Also, in the same vein, do NOT undercut your design. It is better to cut on a slight outward slant so that the base of the design is slightly wider than the top. This improves stability.

You have to test out the material of the stamp to know the  best way to cut. This eraser was rather stiff, so instead of carving in a gentle curve around the top of the heart, I cut away tiny pieces in straight lines, going around the outside. The last part I cut away, was the V at the very top to make the edge.

At this point, once I have my rough cut, I need to do a test stamp. Out comes the ink pad. The first tests I did I realized my heart was way too rough for my liking. (the two tiny hearts on the top left of the test sheet) so I took out my Xacto knife again. A little piece of advice here, if you've got old eyes like me, get your reading glasses, because this is very fine, delicate work. Again, using tiny little shavings, I slowly cut away the rough edges, trying to even out and smooth the heart until it was to my liking.
Each time I took away a bit of eraser material, I'd do another few tests. Here, you want to make sure that when you cut away material, you get all of it off, because if you leave small shavings barely attached they will make your edges look fuzzy or ragged.

Here are my pencil eraser stamps in use. See? Simple. Just a little close attention and that's all you need. I will say that the heart was actually the most difficult of all these listed shapes. The polka dot was, of course, the easiest, since it's just an eraser left as an eraser. Easiest stamp ever.

Give it a try. You might get slightly addicted to making cute little stamps.


Geen Grey said...

How cute! Never would have thought of this. Now I'm gonna have to try it! Thanks for the tutorial!

Rowena said...

You can thank pinterest for dissemination of great ideas. I never would have thought of it either but for the craft pins.

Denise Livingston said...

I LOVE you tiny you got your elephant stamp! The elephant chain is awesome. :0)

Rowena said...

I have a tendency to make things very small. And then they get smaller and smaller because I'm used to making things small.

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