How to make linocut rubber stamps


Lino cutting is an easy project, but many people don't realize how simple it is to make their own stamps. You can find linoleum blocks or softer, easier-to-work-with printing block material at an art or craft supply store, along with the necessary cutting tools and other equipment. Use your own rubber stamps to personalize letters, packages, gift boxes and tags. With practice, you will be able to make more and more intricate designs with your homemade stamps.

Step 1

Draw your desired design on the linoleum or printing block. Keep in mind that when you stamp the design, it will be the reverse of what you are drawing. Alternatively, you can draw your design in pencil on paper, place the paper facedown on the block, and rub the design onto the block. Trace the rubbed design on the block with your pencil to darken the lines so you can see them better.

Step 2

Using the cutting tools, cut away all the areas of the block that are not part of the design. In other words, if you will be stamping in black ink on white paper, cut away everything that should be white. The cutting tool tips will be in various sizes and shapes, so read the instructions on the set to make sure you are using the appropriate tool for fine details, large areas and so on.

Step 3

Clean the block of all cut fragments. If you like, you can rinse it under water to make sure all the fine particles are gone. Pat it dry. The block should be totally dry before the next step.

Step 4

Press the cut block onto the ink pad, and stamp a piece of paper to test your cutout. If there are lines on the paper you do not want, cut them away on the block. Repeat this step until you have the design the way you want it.

Step 5

Mount the stamp on the wood block with glue, and you are ready to stamp.

Tips and Warnings

  • Kids can do lino cutting projects, but keep in mind that lino cutting tools are very sharp and must be handled with the utmost care. Only older children should try this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Linoleum block or soft printing block
  • Lino cutting tool set
  • Pencil
  • Ink pad
  • Paper
  • Wood block
  • Glue


  • Etsy: How to make a stamp
  • Weird Bug Lady: Adventures in Stamp Making

Who Can Help

  • Speedball cutting tools
Keywords: linocut, block printing, stamping

About this Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a B.A. in English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her book, A Travel for Taste, was published in 2008.

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