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Making Rubber Stamps is easy! Learn how to make your own craft rubber stamps for stamping up paper crafts with stamp art at home.
Making stamps at home does not mean producing amateur stamps suitable just for kids' stamping. With a little information and the right rubber stamp making supply, manufacturing rubber stamps is fun and easy!
Classifying Rubber Stamps
For starters, rubber stamps are classified into two categories: business rubber stamps and art rubber stamps or craft stamps.
Business stamps are hand stamps, self inking stamps (pre inked) or dating stamps; the text of which makes them personalized rubber stamps. When using a hand stamp you must stamp it up and down on a stamp pad to load the stamp with ink before making your impression.
Art and craft rubber stamps are a lot more interesting as graphics such as hand drawn artwork, craft clipart along with alphabets and photographs can be used. Used in creating scrapbooks and greeting cards these custom stamps can also be used with embossing powder or ink for embossed rubber stamping. If you have ever tried to locate a Chinese character rubber stamp, you will know they are hard to find, so why not make your own? Stamp art has no limits - all your stamp ideas can be realized once you start making stamps at home so start gathering your rubber stamping ideas!
You will never again need to buy from a Rubber Stamp Manufacturer!
The fantastic thing about making your own stamps is that you will save money and do away with buying stamps from a rubber stamp maker or rubber stamp company. You can get all your rubber stamp making supplies or a rubber stamp kit and make your own personalized stamps, photo stamps, signature stamps and craft stamps within the comfort of your home.
Different Methods of Rubber Stamp Manufacturing
Does it sound impossible? Well it isn't. In fact making rubber stamps can become addictive once you grasp the basics. You must have an understanding of how different methods of rubber stamp manufacturing is carried out, then you can start searching for the relevant rubber stamp supply to start creating your rubber stamping ideas!
- Hand carved - Creating a carved stamp is still practiced in some countries. A simple example of a carved hand stamp is carving on erasers but this is beyond the skill level of most of us and is very time consuming.
- Vulcanizing - You may be familiar with magenta rubber stamps that utilize self cling foam similar to EZMount for sticking to acrylic blocks. These are vulcanized rubber stamps like the ones you buy from Stampin Up. Vulcanized stamps require a matrix mold to be produced for each new design making it an expensive process for small quantities of a single design. The vulcanizing heat press is also quite an expensive stamping machine for home use.
- Laser - Sounds hi-tech and so will your bills be! You can also make your own rubber stamps using a laser engraving machine, however, expenditure is high including its maintenance and operating costs, which are much higher than the vulcanizing process. Lasers are usually used for business style stamps where a custom rubber stamp is required.
- Flash technology - This relatively new stamping technology is not too expensive but the finished stamp has only a single colour, similar to the self inking stamp. This means it's unsuitable for your creative craft stamps. Flash Stamp technology employs a technique where ink flows through a membrane after exposure to a light source. The sections of the membrane containing the artwork remain open from which the ink flows.
- Polymer stamp making - Using a liquid polymer, artwork and a UV light source polymer is the clear choice for making custom rubber stamps at home with its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. You will only need a computer, laser printer and a UV exposure unit and of course the correct polymer for stamp making.
Stamping up with Polymer Rubber
Among the various ways for manufacturing rubber stamps, the polymer stamp making technique is the winner of all available stamp making methods for rubber stamp makers at home. Manufacturing polymer stamps will allow you to get professional quality custom rubber stamps at the lowest price possible!
It might surprise you that polymer stamp making is now the most common method of manufacturing stamps commercially today. The majority of business ink stamps, self inking personalized stamps and increasingly so craft stamps are now more often polymer stamps. Polymer stamps are also known as acrylic polymer, clear stamps, clear rubber stamps and rubber plastic stamps. Interestingly, polymer stamps contain no rubber at all and are still called rubber stamps!
Stamp Making Rules
Before you launch into making your own polymer rubber stamps, you must keep in mind some important factors about polymers. Pay attention to these and you can be assured of a high quality rubber stamp.
Platemaking Polymers - Used extensively in the printing industry not all photopolymer plates will produce rubber stamps. To make a stamping die a polymer with the durometer reading of 40 is ideal; this is the hardness scale of the cured polymer. InstaPlate is just such a kind of polymer designed to make rubber stamp dies and best suited for home use. It is available as a photo polymer gel in a sachet (commonly known as 'polymer in a bag'). With InstaPlate, you can be assured of a good quality polymer so request it when you investigate your stamp making supply.
Polymer Solidification - Some stamp making kits employ other types of polymers that solidify under natural light or a single light bulb. This is not recommended as polymers that solidify under a specific UVA light range are always better. All professional stamp makers use polymers like InstaPlate as it allows control of the UVA light at a specific wavelength to make stamps. So invest in a quality UV exposure unit along with a commercial grade polymer such as InstaPlate to create stamps like the professionals do, this is especially important if you are interested in producing wholesale rubber stamps at home for resale.
Strength of your Rubber Stamp - We often come across polymer stamps with no structural backing allowing the stamp to naturally stick to a mounting block. While these seem great, they are susceptible to tearing, dirtying and distortion. A strong permanent backing avoids these problems and is becoming very popular now that we have products such as EZMount and InstaGrip. InstaGrip is a new method of affixing rubber stamps to acrylic blocks and is a repositionable mounting system designed for mounting stamps onto acrylic. InstaGrip is basically a clear thin silicone repositionable mat that sticks both to the stamp backing and the acrylic block. Since it's transparent, it will allow you to see through the stamp and the block to place your impression, making your stamping process easier than ever before.
The Light Source - You don't need to spend a fortune on a light source for making stamps at home. Commercial stamp machines have built in timers that control the exposure of the polymer and are quite expensive. A better alternative for home stamp making is a smaller craft stamp maker that utilizes an external portable countdown timer. The UVA light output from one of these units will produce the same quality stamp as the larger commercial stamp making systems.
About the Author:
Robert de Rooy has been involved with the stamp making industry for over 12 years and provides technical assistance to stamp makers. He operates two website's about stamp making, one for craft stamp making at home www.makingstamps.com.au and another for commercial stamp making www.instastamp.com.au