Rubber stamping involves applying ink or dye to an image that has been molded, carved or vulcanized onto a rubber sheet. The rubber is then mounted on a surface of stable material such as wood. The molded rubber image is attached to a vinyl cling sheet for added support. The ink-coated rubber stamp was then pressed onto the stamp and the design which was usually words would be transferred onto them. Rubber stamps are categorized into three groups: stamps for office use, decorative stamps and stamps used as children’s toys. Stamping has become very popular and there are several forums that are dedicated to this blooming craft.
There are three distinctively classified types or groups of rubber stamps. The first is the traditional whereby the pad and the stamp were in two separate containers. The self-inking stamps are the second category and in this there is a self-contained dye which usually rests against the vinyl sheet pad until when the dye is flipped at a 180 degree angle making an imprint. The last category is the pre-inked stamp in which the dye is usually impregnated with the ink eliminating the need for the pad. The different rubber stamps including the traditional ones are still in use especially for their bohemian effect and mostly used by artists. The most common use of stamps is for business where the stamp includes the company name and logo as well as address. They can be bought from manufacturers or from stationers and the most common of the stamps include check endorsement stamps and address stamps. When color is added to these business-like stamps, an artsy side is brought to the fore and this has led to an increase in sales of the stamps.
The rubber stamping culture and industry has grown so popular that it has its own governing body which is known as MIM International. This serves the international rubber stamp industry. In the US, the industry has a trade magazine dedicated to it, its growth, history and developments. The magazine is called Marking Industry Magazine. With the technological advancements making your own picture stamps has been made so easy. Personalized stamps can be done in a matter of minutes in a store using the laser engraving technology or you can even make it yourself. All you need is a good quality picture, a computer with a Photoshop feature of some sort and these are numerous so you can choose what suits you, some carving material such as plaster or a rubber block, a cutting tool, tracing paper, a quality pencil, an ink pad, a paint brush, a box cutter, cutting mat or newspaper, a surface for mounting like a small block of wood and super glue.
You then take a photo of what you want on your stamp, import it into Photoshop and turn the photo black and white, edit it to erase any distracting background elements, print it out and tape the tracing paper on top of it and trace over it in thick lines, flip it over and rub it onto the rubber block then get to cutting. Ink up your creation and test it out by pressing it onto the surface of a paper. If it’s come out okay mount it onto your mounting surface and get stamping. The picture stamp can be anything from a picture of you, your pet, a cartoon or anything that takes your fancy.
Once you have done your stamp you can use it for party invites, to mark your books or swivel in a completely different direction and use it in designing t-shirts or to make earrings or create a wallpaper of it. Picture rubber stamps are an innovative way to make your mark on your environment and can make a rather genius idea for a gift. It can also become a business idea where you make picture rubber stamps for art or for children’s coloring books. It does also act as a gateway for a host of other activities that you can take up as hobbies such as scrapbooking, card making and other paper crafts ideas. Since it already has an established community of participants it is easy to find more experienced people to learn from and improve your techniques as well as gain additional that could help you earn cash from what started as a hobby.