DIY filigree rubber stamp

One of my many reasons for doing the daily stamp challenge was being able to print my own shirts. It was only several years ago that apparel with adorable tiny prints (e.g. swallows, cats, owls, etc) became trendy. As per usual, I wanted to catch the tail end of the bandwagon when I started to carve stamps.

But I was already almost halfway to the challenge when I finally made a stamp design that I was happy to print on a shirt. Here is that design:

This skull, by the way, is inspired by a Pottery Barn Halloween product. I was browsing their store when I chanced upon this pillow case:

Gorgeous, right? I made a similar lacy skull design on tracing paper. My version was smaller, of course, since my erasers measure only 3 x 1.25 inches.

Rubbed the design onto the eraser and traced it again using heavy pencil. Cut off excess eraser as well.

I then started carving the outline. I kept my blade slanted, as shown here:

Once I’ve sliced all the way around, I carved another line a few centimeters from the outline. Like so:

Once the outer eraser sections were carved away, I started on the details. As you can see, I used my X-Acto knife for these steps. I could have used the thin Speedball carving knife but I prefer the X-Acto.

This process is a little bit taxing on the hand but the best method is always to go slow. I didn’t dwell on the imperfections as well because when it comes to stamping (or people), the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

After carving out the penciled in details, I made practice stamps to see if I like the overall look. At this point, I thought the stamp could use more teardrop and round detailing.

I added said teardrop and round bits and came up with this:


Will tell you about how I used this to print on a shirt on my next post.


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6 thoughts on “DIY filigree rubber stamp

  1. It’s a great time for skulls right now in the US with Halloween right around the corner! They seem to be really popular lately year round too. I love your stamp and that pillow, wonderful job!!

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