Basic techniques.... summary
...many basic techniques for stamping on clay
Purchased stamps

......."angel" rubberstamp suppliers
....metal stamps
Having your own rubberstamps made
....resources, Ready Stamps
....gen. info.
....mounting + unmounting rubberstamps
Purchased or household items (to use as stamps)
....many items (jewelry, toys, figures, alum.foil, wire,
Making your own clay stamps
...making, using
Other ways of making stamps
... carving into erasers ...foam plates... various glues,etc.... reusable foams, etc ...photoediting
Stamp rollers & rolling clay on textures
Filling or Coloring stamped areas ("backfilling," etc.)
....basic info
Inks (using on raw and baked clay with stamping)
Other ways to use stamping
....texture collage, reverse molds, etc.
....bas relief effects
.......stamps used as shallow molds
.......shaving projections (from stampings, etc) ...cutting or pressing down around stamped images
.......shaving impressed stacks (mica or colored clays)
Misc. re stamping
Books & Websites


(much of thePowders page also relates to stamping !)
for "textures" and "texture sheets," see Textures
(see also these categories: Molds, Powders, Letters/Inks, Mica )


For many examples and lessons, see at bottom, in Websites
** also many projects using stamps and clay with various techniques


The most common way that stamping is used with polymer clay is creating an impressed image in raw clay by pressing a rubberstamp (or stamp made from polymer clay, or other "stamp") into it. The resulting upper and lower areas can be colored in various ways, if desired, especially to bring out the dimensionality of the image or texture, or to add complexity and interest.
...Regular "stamping" can also be done on polymer clay (usually on baked clay, but not necessarily)

baked clay

Stamping can be done on baked clay in the usual way, though that's done less often than stamping into raw clay.
.......the stamped image will be flat on baked clay, as if it were stamped onto paper, or wood, or another hard surface
...after baking the clay, wipe the clay's surface with alcohol to degrease it well, then do your stamping
... pigment inks are often used (but others may be possible ...see below in Inks), but then must cure the ink with a heat gun or by re-baking at 275 for 5-15 min (...can also wipe surface with alcohol first, if desired)
... layers of images can be stamped on each other on raw or baked clay if you make sure not to smear them (rebake ink to set)
... or inked images can be cured before others images are stamped ....(can be overlapped).

After baking, smooth or impressed clay can also be colored with soft colored pencils or chalks or gel pens (re-bake to cure)... some of these may require a sealer
....or other things can be used on baked clay (Rub 'N Buff or Treasure Gold metallic waxes, metallic/interference/solid color acrylic paints in tubes, inks, or "paints" and "stains" created with Liquid Sculpey, Diluent or Varathane)
...embossing powders can be applied onto baked clay using those special embossing pens that cause the powder to stick wherever the pen has drawn (someone said regular Bic Stic ink works too) --put back in oven to melt he powders. (see Letters/Inks for more info on embossing liquid)
(.....see Paints ....and Letters & Inks ...and Powders-Waxes, for more on how to handle each of these on baked clay)

raw clay

Various kinds of purchased stamps can be impressed into raw clay (rubberstamps, metal stamps, other objects, etc.)
....shallow-cut stamps don't work as well as more deeply cut ones for many of these techniques
Or make your own stamps to impress into raw clay (from other polymer clay, or silicone, or many other materials)

...The resulting impressed patterns in the raw clay can be:
1. left as is for a sculptural effect
2. completely covered with metallic powders, paint, inks, or chalks, metallic leaf, etc., or with glazes
3. or they can be partly covered with those same things, with the color being left: the crevices only (antiquing)
.......on top areas only (highlighting, or if painting)
.......(in the crevices and on the top areas, resulting in different colors for each)

...Or the clay can be powdered, inked, or metallic-leafed first, and then. be stamped

Stamped images in raw clay will have upper and lower areas can color these areas, if you want and even color them differently (before and/or after baking)
....if using diff. colors, they can be made with different media... for example:

.....metallic powders or metallic waxes such as Rub "n Buff
.....acrylic paints (thinned or not)... oil paints... alcohol inks...fluid chalks ...colored pencils... etc.
.....liquid clay or Future or Varathane tinted with powders, inks, paints, etc.

complete coverage
... using metallic powders, metallic leaf... applied, then baked
....using "glazes" & "stains" made from clear sealers, or liquid clays tinted with color
...........(for more on glazes, see Paints > Patinas)
Sarajane's textured clay w/ metallic powders (tiles at bottom of page) ...complete coverage (& highlighting)
purplepapillon patched-together shapes of various simple impressions (with complete? coverage of powder colors) +

highlighting and/or antiquing more sharply define the stamped image because the upper and lower areas of the impression will be different colors or shades
...these can be done all over the impression, or just wherever desired

... brush or fingerbrush upper areas of stamped raw clay with metallic powders (mica, embossing, or pastels, etc.), or with metallic waxes, paints, inks, etc.
..... this will create a metallic background (or other colorant) for the upraised areas, with the stamp image recessed and remaining the original clay color
Tonja's stampings highlighted with gold powder

Sarajane's highlighting w/ metallic powders (both near bottom of pages) (...& also complete coverage) and
Kathy W's examples of highlighted textured clay for beads (gold powder on black clay)
..........(for more on highlighting see Powders )
Jan's design produced in relief--"intaglio" made by stamping into multicolored clay .... then highlighting the upper surfaces with Pearl Ex powders (which are somewhat translucent). (gone)
...or mica powders as "paint" mixed with gum arabic or (applied with?) a Dove (rubber tipped) blender... or highlighted with Rub 'N Buff (sealed with acrylic spray) (see Powders > As Paints and also Metallic Waxes, for more)

...apply acrylic paint (pref. from tubes). to the surface, let dry a bit, then wipe off paint from the upper areas, and bake... or bake with paint first, then sand off the upper areas
.....antiquing can also be done with powders, metallic leaf, glazes (using tinted clear sealer or liquid clays), etc.
.... brown paint is most often used (generally Burnt Umber) gives an aged or weathered look... Sarajane
.... white paint used the same way will give an out-of-the-ground ancient look
....other colors can be used for different effects.
Desiree's lesson on antiquing with brown paint, for faux ivory (...she also bakes the paint for 10 min. after sanding--not nec. tho')
Sarajane's antiqued molded heads
Jenny's lesson on antiquing (with different colors over white clay)... using dirt as well (and stamping)
Barbara McGuire's lesson on stamping and antiquing with gold iridescent acrylic paint over white clay,1158,CRHO_project_9826,00.html

Dotty's (mostly) flat sheets deeply stamped with texture sheets, antiqued with gold
Tonja's gold or red (stamped or molded) clay, antiqued with black (paint?)

............(for more on antiquing, see Molds > Antiquing... Paints > Antiquing ... Faux Ivory)

metallic powders in particular
....can be applied to lower impressed areas only by applying powder to a stamp with a cosmetric sponge for even application (or several light applications with a finger)
....can be applied to upper areas only with a finger, etc. (see "highlighting")
....contrasting colors of powder can be applied to both upper and lower areas, or mixed with other effects for coloring lesson on stamping with Pearl Ex-ed stamp...then applying a diff. Pearl Ex powder to the upper areas

....can be mixed into the acrylic paints for antiquing
..........I often use black acrylic paint, then add antique gold PearlEX or metallic gold acrylic ...Sarajane
....can also be mixed into Varathane, or gum arabic, e.g.
....can also be applied with rubber tipped brush-blender
embossing powders can be applied onto unbaked clay (seal afterward)

sanding off upper areas
.... after an image is stamped into clay and baked, the stamped clay can then have all or any traces of color on the upper surfaces completely removed by sanding...this will leave a color only in the crevices or just clean up color around upper edges of the impression
nenuphar's Egyptian images completely powdered with copper, baked, then powder sanded off upper areas (or maybe removed before baking).... gives same effect as stamping with copper ink
.......or maybe painted after baking with copper powder in liquid clay (or Future, etc.?), baked again then sanded . . .......(this sheet then placed on background clay which was textured and mostly covered with copper powder)??
backfilling can also fill in the impressed area with very soft clay of another color, then sand back the surface . . . buff after baking (even on your jeans or socks) to remove any excess (or carefully remove it before baking...see Carving); someone suggested rubbing quickly with a little Sculpey Diluent or Sani-Tuff?, or other solvent for clay.
....see below in Shaved Impressions for
creating an upraised image of a stamp with faux "backfilling" of another color --by filling in the crevices of a stamp, shaving off any excess, then applying and sheet of clay, and removing whole thing from stamp --Sutton Slice)

combination of techniques
...Jody Bishel's gold Pearl-Ex-covered, stamped or onlaid surfaces, "antiqued" with burnt umber acrylic paint, then glazed

Heather P's lesson on using diff. colors of (metallic) acrylic paint (like Plaid and DecoArt brands) for upper and lower areas
........she applies paint to the stamp with a cosmetic sponge and stamps the clay ... then she uses sponge to apply a diff. color(s) paint to the upper areas (highlighting) ... lets dry ...trims clay to desired shape this case, she then also adds simple cane slices to the edges of the clay, then trims them to only a small frame ... she bakes, then coats with Future

Maureen C's lesson on stamping with ink (or not), then painting the upper areas of a stamped image with a brush and thinned acrylics, etc (gone)

Jeanne's FAQ's on using metallics,paint,antiquing, texturing, etc.

bas relief images can also be made from stamped impressions in raw clay by pressing the clay down all around the main images, leaving them upraised
(......see below in Bas Relief effects)

...Often no release is needed between a stamp and raw clay. If you find it necessary, you can use:
...a brushing of cornstarch or talc or metallic powder on your raw clay (use spritz of water for Fimo clays)
I saw someone using a cornstarch-filled sock (or old pantyhose), & of course, I made my own version of a ponce bag as soon as I got home (thanks, Oscelyn!).... I had been using rubber stamps with clay, & I didn't really *need* to have a release agent, but it works a little more smoothly with a little tap of cornstarch. Marla
...ArmorAll can also be used ....I used some on a stamp, stamped the clay, washed my stamp in dish detergent using a toothbrush, dried it, and stamped on paper using pigment ink from a pad. No problem whatsoever. The stamp did not resist the ink. Di
...Kato Repel Gel
. . .a thick, paintable, water soluble polymer clay medium which prevents polymer clay from adhering to itself while curing (baked or raw)... can also be used as a ordinary release for stamps, molds, etc. . . .it's now available in some places

To use metallic powders on a stamp for stamping into clay (can also do repeatedly for a "texture"):
...pour a tiny bit of metallic powder out onto a opened-up, folded piece of copy paper. the selected tool into a piece of scrap clay to pick up a bit of oil ...then press it into the metallic powder
...shake off the excess, then press into the clay.
......repeat as many times as desired. .... pour the extra back into the jar using the fold in the paper as a funnel
(see more in Glues > Superglue Solvents)

Tips for stamping on clay

When stamping on clay, place your clay on a piece of paper of some sort --it will be much easier to remove without distorting the image than if you'd pressed it to your (inflexible) work surface…

if (your clay is) very warm and mooshy from handling, letting it sit a few minutes will firm it up. This could make a difference in whether your stamped impression is deep or not-so-deep. Also, a warm mooshy bead will tend to distort if you press something into it. Julia

To get a really deep impression, Rebecca K. suggests standing on top of your rubberstamp and clay (with paper on other side of clay to protect the floor and the clay) ... particularly with large surface stamps
... I STAND on the back of the rubber stamp to get a deep impression. ....with a shoe on my foot, I stand on the back of the stamp for about 20 seconds..... be sure you remove the clay slowing and carefully, as sometimes the deeper areas can come apart if you aren't careful. DottyinCA
....When you stand on the stamp there has to be even pressure... don't rock back and forth and don't stand longer than 10-20 seconds. Trina
...You can also take the rubberstamp off the wooden block it is on. Same as buying an unmounted stamp. Elaine
...I use unmounted stamps!! They make a lot of difference in the impression you can get..... I put the clay over the stamp (after I have taken the stickyness off the clay with the lightest application of cornstarch rubbed in) ... then I roll the clay from the center out to each end (rolling from the center out gives you more control I think.)
.... Unmounteds in large sheets like 4 x 6 or larger are more readily available than they used to be. Look on Ebay ...there is a seller there with great stamps for little money, unmounted. Search under unmounted rubber. Karen in Florida


Rubber stamps

try Hot Potatoes stamps Many of their designs are quite bold and deeply etched, as they are also designed for use with fabric (have you ever seen embossed velvet?) Katie

kits from PremoSculpey contain: 4 rubber stamps, four 2oz bars of Premo Sculpey, and one "Shapelet" (a stencil with 4 patterns for cutting around the stamped designs --see Cutters-Blades/Stencils for more info on these); these kits are now available in Classic or Asian designs.

unmounted rubberstamps in large sheets like 4 x 6" or larger are more readily available than they used to be.
....Look on E-bay ...there is a seller there with great stamps for little money, unmounted. Search under unmounted rubber. Karen FL

clear photo polymer stamps (not polymer clay)
...they are inexpensive and clear so they can be seen through for placement, but they must be attached to a clear acrylic mount (temporarily or permanently) with a piece of clinging vinyl (only need a piece or two for many stamps) or double stick tape, etc.
...these are different and better than what clear stamps used by businesses ("fragile," etc.) were originally (Posh) (Duncan, PSX)
...these are made from photopolymer
...... you can also have your own stamps or stamp sheets made from this material (see more on this in Paints > (Photosensitive) Photopolymer Plates for making Texture Plates)

Clear Snap's Molding Mats . . . rubber sheets of images and textures...10 available at
(see below in Other Ways, for using these with foam stamping materials)

"rollagraphs" (mini and larger ones)

If you pull the rubber-stamp off the plastic wheel it is easier for me to use with clay you can cut them up or leave them whole a little powder and you can roll them thru the pasta machine. (You can buy just the wheels and one roller base, then interchange the wheels.) The one that Jan is talking about can be cut into seven different stamps about an 1" square. That's less than a buck apiece. And these make the greatest backgrounds. Christine

ERA Graphics sells a number of mold boards (like the Ready Stamps ones, but without the stamp sheet?) 3 1/2" x 4 1/2", $10.50

Do not try to make silicone molds with some stamps (Stampin' Up, for example) ... Linda from Puffinalia's Miracle Mold explained that there is IIRC, a metal, in those stamps that prevents the MM from setting up. lib

"angel" rubberstamp suppliers

"Angel" rubberstamp companies are those which in general do permit you to sell projects that you make using their images.
.....No one can regulate what you do with the stamp for your own personal use, but when you start creating items to sell in boutiques, at shows, or even to friends, then you'll need to consider the company's policy.

Even among angel compaines though, there are differences in policy when you're selling items made with their stamps:
...some of the companies' Angel Policies are so restrictive that it makes it impossible for polymer clayers to use them. For example, Stampinup as well as many other Angel companies restrict the use of their stamps to "stamping" only, and will not allow you to photocopy them for use as transfers. ...they also will not let you use their images on items that are sold through retail stores, or galleries, etc. Dotty
....some have a restrictive policy that requires that you send in a photograph, or even an actual example, of what you intend to do.
...others require that you limit production to a certain number of pieces per style. VERY general rule is that the bigger compaines are less likely to be angels.
...Another thing to keep in mind is that even fewer companies (almost none that I can think of) will allow use of the image if it isn't individually handstamped. (that means that you must have hand stamped each image on each individual piece of work and not used any form of mechanical reproduction .... so stamping, copying on a copy machine, then doing a transfer to clay, is a no-no for most all stamped images (again, if you are going to sell or publish).
Of course, it is always possible to contact a company and ask permission if you would like to do something and aren't sure if it's OK. Hope that helps. lynn company also says, our "catalog is not a source for clip art. If you wish to use an image contained in this catalog for any other purpose, or in another manner than that originally intended, please contact us for permission. "

I have a list of angel companies along with their policies (some only let you do a specific number of items with an image). Go to and click on Complete Angel List. ...I update the list on at least a monthly basis. Judy

The Angel Company http:/// . .. .we are completely angel, with NO restrictions ...Aimee

There is a great web-site out there for rubber stamps for transfers, Photo Art Stamps. The reason I'm posting this to the list is that when I asked the owner about photocopies for transfers she replied: "You can use the sheets for whatever you like!!! I am a total angel company and if you can sell anything you make with my stamps/images-then more power to you!! And I'd be happy to put up a picture in the gallery and tell how to reach you!" She has some great plates of unmounted rubber available. Check them out. Not affiliated, just a satisfied customer. Carle --she asks only that you send her photos of what you do; otherwise use her stamps as you wish

these are made especially for pcers. You may use them in your production work.
Barbara Maguire
, Nan Roche, and Cynthia Toops have designed these stamps. Each stamp has a positive image on one side and its negative image on the opposite side. ...Dianne C. (click also on Nan Roche and Cynthia Toops at bottom)

(petroglyphs, ancient symbols)...We have a liberal copyright policy too - and I will supply an electronic version of the art to anyone purchasing a stamp who needs one. jessica

Here is an "Angel" rubber stamp co. . . . Marty

I previously posted that Design Innovation's Creative Claystamps were completely copyright free....(however) please note the following: "Even though the artists hold the copyright to the design, you may use them freely in your work. However, you may not produce a copy (a stamp)of the stamp itself." (similar to most policies, I think.. DB)...That is a quote from Barbara Maguire...I just wanted to correct my comment.

eragraphics...My favorite angel company for rubber stamps to use with PC is http:// .. Roberta, the artist/ownder is also a PCer. She is also my oldest, dearest friend. She has a lot of stamps that are very simple and deeply cut. Perfect for Polymer clay. Since she is a polymer clay person, if you call her, she will be able to guide you to the best stamps from her collection for what you want to do. The stamps are sold unmounted, which is the way I like them because you can really smoosh them into the clay.
... Best of all, for our purposes, are her mold boards. They are actually the molds (matrix) from which rubber stamps are made. So far, she has twelve sets available ...lizzlady

I design rubber stamps for a couple of companies and being a clayer too, I tend to "think clay" with a lot of my designs! Every now and then I get to toss in a design that I really just want for clay :-) She's an angel company too so go take a look... You'll notice for yourself which stamps seem to just beg to be pressed into clay... like the jewel frog... or the primative goddess images... See the urn stamps done in clay here... Raven

She is an Angel company and her stamps are deep cut and unmounted. Check it out. Jeanette

I have been trying various techniques using rubber stamps and not all rubber is created equal. However, has stamps that are great for clay. DEEPLY etched red rubber and solid designs. Service is EXCELLENT and there is a "buy $30 get a freebie" program. (You can get a whole set for free.) Mounted and unmounted, I prefer unmounted for clay, and have a set of lucite blocks for when I want to use them mounted. I have been a customer for about 9 mos and am very satisfied. I have no connection with the company. Valerie
Yes they are an angel company. At the bottom of one of their pages I read "We are an angel company - now go forth and create!" Maureen

Blockhead has lots of unmounted sheets and some texture sheets (one has lots of trees)

I have been using the angel company list to find stamps lately and since I am into Celtic things, Pictographs, Egyptian and Oriental stuff, these are some of the companies that have some real nice ones: A Country Welcome ...nice background and border stamps
American Art Stamp Tribal style -nice contemporary style and pictographs
Artistic Stamp Exchang e-nice Kokokopoli
Beeswax-nice background(scenic) and wildlife
Blazing Star-nice borders
Bunch O'Fun-large Chinese characters
Haika-some nice Mexican, African, etc. and sheet stamps
Highlander Celtic Stamps-lots of Celtic stamps and they are good ones, looks like
Homegrown Stamps-nice Oriental and borders
Lizards Breath-nice borders, Pictographs, stamps with a Southwestern flavor
Moon Rubber-nice Celtic
My Stamps by Cathy Daulman-nice Egyptian, Oriental
Natures Blessings-nice Egyptian, Greek(columns, etc.)
Planet Rubber-very nice backgrounds, Asia, Celtic, Egyptian,etc and stamps-very good site
These are some of the sites that seemed particularly interesting to me. Kat

angel?... Missing Link Stamps ... loads of old images in various categories .. also old postage stamps

…a delightful Chinese artist who soley engages in the art of chop carving. Of course I had to have my own chop made, as well as some for special gifts. These chops can be used to put your name (in Chinese of course) on your clay work. See the photo's of my set at the following:
(website gone) The best part is, this young artist is willing to carve a chop for those of you who cannot make it to Florida! The chop comes in a fabric covered presentation box and includes the chop, a small blue and white covered china dish with the traditional red ink, two paint brushes, a black watercolor stick and carved black watercolor dish --- all for $9.95 for the set plus $10 for carving and $5 for shipping in the United States. A larger set with a larger chop, four paint brushes, the dish with red ink, another blue and white china water cup with spoon, matching brush stand, the watercolor paint stick and carved watercolor dish is only $25 for the set plus $10 for carving and $5 for shipping in the US. An additional box of 5 colored watercolor sticks is $5. . . .The artist asks that you email him first to confirm the details of any order and please mention my husbands' name (Jim Del Pinto) so he knows how you heard of him. . . Several members members of my stamp club have already ordered and received their chops with no problem. His written english is limited but he can read and understand english if you do not get to complicated. My chop is in my last name. The artist's name: Jiyin Shan, Email:

Metal stamps

Tandy's metal stamps are made for leather working. They are not steel forged. They are chrome clad, which can be a problem if one were to use on metal as the chrome plating cracks and breaks off.
...You can still order from Tandy by going to (Tandy Leather Company web site). They are strictly mailorder now.
... IJS and other jewelry supply houses carry metal stamps made for working with metals. Because of this all their stamps are steel forged and NOT chrome plated. They aren't as pretty to look at, but, are perfectly functional. Meredith
These stamps tend to be deeper than rubber stamps, I think. . . .
The smallest alphabet stamps that Tandy has are 1/4". Thalassa
Rio Grande has some metal stamps that come in very small sizes. They have them in alphabets and symbols and other designs. They are made for stamping designs in metal, but I see no reason why you couldn't use them for polymer, you just wouldn't need to use a hammer ... LOL ... I've seen them in their catalog which you can order from their website... I think that's the right address. Good luck...anna

(also called "dies")


"Ready Stamps" (the first of its kind we pc'ers knew about)
You can make your own stamps to use with polymer clay, or for anything!! Check it out at their website--or call them at (619) 282-8790. This is a great moneymaking service of the Cerebral Palsy Association.
....(You simply draw or photocopy images or words onto a piece of white paper in a 9x7" space; send it to them with a check for $32 +3 s/h, and they will send you back the rubber stamps as a sheet which you can then cut and mount—onto anything flat --- AND something called a "matrix" if you’ve requested it, which turns your stamps into molds for clay too
remember: ask for plate & rubber & matrix—several people could create images for the page, and split the cost).
Also- those of you who use Ready Stamp. Did you know you can bake in the matrix? I just learned that at Sandy Camp. Trina
.......Yes, the vulcanizer presses at over 300 degrees. To keep something from curling up, put a piece of parchment paper, then something heavy and non-flammable on top. A tile might work well. Make sure that there is nothing oozing out that will bond to the parchment. Yes, you can cure in the matrix. All pieces involved...hard polymer, matrix and rubber go into the vulcanizer at the same temperature, but different pressure. I don't know how many times you can cure the rubber, but you can use the matrix at least 50 times.Kim K.

eragraphics http:// ...Roberta, the owner, also works with polymer clay. She offers unmounted stamps, simple and deeply carved ...Best of all, for our purposes, are her mold boards. They are actually the molds (matrix) from which rubber stamps are made. So far, she has twelve sets available. They are fabulous for use with polymer clay. She demoed them on Carol Duvall last year. Lizzlady

rubberstampit . . . . . . . this one (is a similar service and ) you can get individual made or a 8x8 sheet for $18.00 unmounted. -NF

I had not heard that all the local rubberstamp making places were using plastic for their stamps these days. DB
... Not all of the places, just the 24 hour turnaround/cheap places. ... the ones who actually make rubber stamps rarely do it on the premises, take a few days, and charge at least double. Susan

I bought a stamp making kit ($10.99 from office supply department at WalMart) It's the kind that you could make a deposit stamp for checks or a return came with letters and numbers individually cut. I super glued the number stamps to the end of an unsharpened pencil and now I have a complete set of number stamps from 1 to forever and it only cost me $10.99. Each piece is stamped with J2 and then the appropriate number (i.e. 1/50) The little dash thing came too! I also have all the letters of the alphabet and I can make any type of stamp I need using my pencil and super glue. Ohio Jan

clear photopolymer (not rubber) stamps and texture sheets/plates can also be created from your own artwork and used in many of the same ways (see more on photopolymer in Transfers > Photosensitive > Photopolymer)

If you are ordering stamps from a custom company, you can also get the soft polymer, too.... this is clear and the back is sticky. Just stick it on scraps of acrylic and you can look down through the stamp to see exactly where the stamp is going. Kim

some stampmaking set by Artisan's Choice ($50, makes four 2 1/2" stamps only; need more supplies for more stamps--each item of which is bought separately) (go to Refills page for kit and refill info)
1 Blacklight (Uses 4-AA batteries not included), 1 large (2.5 oz.) tube CastingGoop™ works with the Blacklight to cast a 3-D mold from a flat image; a large (2.5 oz.) tube RubberGoop™, a small (.5 oz.) tube ActivatorGoop™ (these mix together to create the rubber stamp in the mold) a set Exposure Trays™ with complete mixing accessories, a set Wood Blocks with finger grooves, StampingGlue™/StampingFoam™, an Exposure Stand™, Imaging Film™ Sheets and a Direction Sheet with photographs.

Lark Books catalog I recently received... list a great looking Celtic Symbol rubber stamp kit that includes 18 different Celtic Symbol stamps plus box and instruction/explanation book for $19.95, page 23 of the newest edition.They have a web site
They also have two Celtic-Symbol Dover books with CD-ROM for your computer listed, if you would prefer to go the redi-stamp way and make your own Celtic stamps. Sara Jane Whyte
Our product is a True Type font which lets you design your own intricate Celtic Knot patterns... in any program that uses fonts ... each letter you type is a piece of a Celtic knot! ......$20. Laurie
Good Golly Miss Molly! This program is truly addicting! It takes a few hours to get familiar with the different "fonts" so that the patterns will fit together right, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy and fun. Anyone who wants to work with these knot patterns should check this out. . . . possibly for making silk screens, transfers, and for making a rubberstamp matrix. Dotty in CA

General info.

Be forewarned .... having your own stamps made is enjoyably addictive!!!
......You'll tend to find more and more uses for them, as well as other images you just *have to have* for clay :-)

drawing your own textures can be fun too ... things like thin lines or little stars, etc., etc!
.... "texture sheets" can even be run through the pasta machine with a sheet of clay for a deep and even impression

(You might want to add to your sheet of images for Ready Stamps things like:
....your signature, prices for selling your work, etc.
...logos or words/graphics for things you need to write repeatedly (...for example: File.... Do.... Done.... Lost This on My Desk, sorry.... TAXES ...etc.)
...things for marking your calendar ( pick up carpool 2:30, clay meeting 7:30, flea treatment, etc.)

You don’t have to "know how to draw" . . .
...Get some graph paper from your Office store 1, ½, or ¼ inch. Draw a (simple) design in one or more of the squares, then copy that design to the same number of other squares. Now your background or texture design is uniform.
...For other designs trace images out of magazines and catalogs onto printer paper. Then ...copy what portions you like, or use stencils with different shapes, to come up with a collage.
.......Trust me you have tons of stuff around your house that you can trace, draw around or copy. .
. .Go into the kitchen and rummage through that drawer that we all throw everything in. Get an ink pad and have the kids make prints of their hands, feet and noses (make sure the ink is not too permanent though). ...then photocopy and reduce them to a small size. Go out to the garage and see what the hubby has out there. Screws, bolts, wrenches my oh my. Go out in the yard and gather leaves and twigs. Draw your own. It’s your stuff and your image. You should see some of the stuff I draw. My friends shake their heads in wonder. I’m the only one who ever knows what it is, and I like all my stuff. Stephina

what the Colorado guild did with stamps, in assembly line

Dover books for images to have stamps made from

lesson on using a photoediting program which can handle "layers" to create a very high-contrast image in the computer to simplify photographs, etc., and make them into stampable images

Mounting + Un-mounting rubberstamps

RubberStampsClub lessons on various ways to mount your own stamps
lessons on how to mount in various ways, tips; also paper label "indexing" to show stamp image (gone?)
Merry Stamper's lesson on mounting onto acrylic blocks with cushion and supplies
krowe's lessons on mounting on wood or acrylic blocks (gone?)
BlockheadStamps' lessons on wood and vinyl mounting
Static Cling Vinyl mounts
Rubbertree Enterprises' acrylic blocks & Halos supplies
Stamping Ground's Halos

Wacky Wagon supplies:
larubberworks info, links, supplies?:
....and books
cushion supplies:
cushion and vinyl sheet supplies:

preparation for mounting
--cut as close as possible around the outermost lines of the rubberstamp
--(stamp an impression on the back of the mount or on a piece of paper to be glued to it)

rubber stamps can be mounted directly onto hard surfaces, or have a layer of spongy material between the stamp and the mount

permanent mounts for stamps:
--use a permanent adhesive to attach the stamp (or simply don't removethe stamp after using a temporary adhesive)
...... examples: rubber cement, white glue, spray glues, E-6000, double-sided tapes like Scotch Poster Tape or carpet tape, even BlueTac or other putty or gel-like adhesives to attaching posters or hooks to walls, spongy materials like moleskin and other foam pads for feet, held on with glue, etc.)
.....can mount the stamp onto opaque items (small wood block, or wood "turning" from craft store), a piece or pieces of balsa wood, or any firm material, etc.
.....or mount onto a transparent or translucent item which is handy for being able to see exactly where to position the stamp...e.g., glue the stamp onto the top or bottom (outer) portion of one of those rectangular hard plastic boxes or a solid acrylic block (buy at a plastics store or other places) - a different stamp could be glued to each side (can be a permanent or temporary mount).
(see just below for temporary mounts)

The major advantage of having the stamp mounted on wood is the ability to see the image in its finished state. Convenience (having a stamp ready to go) is also great for STAMPERS, but not necessarily for clayers. Margaret D.

However, I prefer my stamps unmounted for polymer clay so I can curve the stamp to impress a not-flat object, or to use only a portion of the image. Irene
....I prefer using unmounted stamps for use with clay (and mounted stamps for other stamp uses). Margaret D.

REMOVING rubberstamps from their backings (best for some polymer techniques, and makes storage much easier)
... an 8-10 sec. trip to the microwave will soften the adhesive long enough to take them off (this tip via Dee Gruenig on Carol Duvall for stamps mounted on wood). Carla
...after zapping them in the microwave, they'll peel right off the mount...... I use "UNDO" to get them off the cushion. Margaret D.

STORAGE for unmounted stamps:
...empty CD cases as storage cases for unmounted stamps. Well, I went to the Dollar Store and got some more cases. Lorie M.
...I store my unmounted stamps in the plastic sleeves used for pictures, slide mounts & trading cards, all housed in a 3-ring binder. Marg.D.
...index card boxes .... stamp the image on the index card and put the stamp behind it....each box has its own theme ...categories (so far) are Plant, Critter, Background, Printed, Shapes, Tiny, Patterns, Fantasy, Art Deco. Kim ....also Seasonal
....While not using them, I keep any sticky surfaces of temporary mounts from accumulating too much dust by covering with a small piece of Ziploc bag plastic.

One of the best things you could do when filing unmounted stamps is to stamp them on a piece of paper and keep that paper in front of or behind the plastic sheet that houses the stamp in the binder. That way, you'll be able to visualize the image. Margaret C.

temporary mounts ...(for unmounted stamps)

you can make (a few different sizes of) temporary mounts for bare rubberstamps in several ways
...then remove and re-store the stamp when finished to save space

rubbery - spongy can make your own temporary sticky spongy stuff
.....use something like Fun Foam... then apply rubber cement, or a temporary spray adhesive (3-M was suggested), or Tack It Over and Over, etc., on both sides
.....use a bit of Dr. Scholls' foam pad or moleskin, or other kinds of foam tape
.....some glues will be temporary if they are allowed to dry a bit before being attached to something... so could try that with rubber cement, white "sizing" glues such as for metallic leaf, double sided tapes (but make a little less sticky first... see just below), or use temporary spray glues, or try
or other putty or gel-like adhesives to attaching posters or hooks to walls, etc.
....I think I even used regular white glue to hold some things onto a block of wood for stamping, then removed the items/stamps before the glue was dry
.......or just use a non-permanent white glue (like Elmer's Washable School Glue), then use water to remove when finished
double sided mounting cushion for stamps
.......rubberstampers often use this black (or can be red/gray) foamy padding material for mounting stamps
.......... (to make less sticky so you won't have too much trouble removing the stamps, touch that sticky side with your finger or with fabric a few times, or rub on something like cornstarch/baby powder, or leave the backing paper on the center part of the stamp, put other paper or fabric on that sticky side)
(.....some cushion comes with only one sticky side, or no adhesive at all)
......using a bit of glycerin on your scissors when cutting will keep them from sticking to the adhesive cushion (Merry Stamper); remove any residue with Goo Gone; Kai bonsai scissors seem to be recommended by a number of sites
.....try to cut the cushion either straight down, or angled out from the surface a bit (don't undercut)

While not using, I keep the adhesive foam on my temporary bases from accumulating too much dust by covering with a small piece of Ziploc plastic.

velcro-type system sold by Halo (and others?) --consists of acrylic block with grooves for embedding strips of velcro (hard side), plus adhesive (soft side) velcro for attaching to back of stamp (which also acts as the cushion); (wood blocks could also be used); this makes for a great storage system, since stamps can be placed on other hard velcro strips in a binder.

vinyl cling sheets can attach stamps to acrylic mounts (the unmounted stamps can be stored in plastic pages in notebooks or in "magnetic" photo albums)
... Clear Decals designed for ink jet printers from an office supply store can also be used (or "decals"?). It can be found cheaper on rolls, and even self-adhesive
.....(if not already self-adhesive, use double-sided tape to adhere since rubber cement won't work with with some static-cling vinyls).

magnetic strips or sheets can be cemented to stamps and mounted on small metal tins or transparent "Clearsnap" mounts
Peg Pop, MagnaStamps, etc.

firm base
-- anything hard and smooth (small wood block, or wood "turning" from craft store), a piece or pieces of balsa wood, etc.)
--for a see-through base, which is handy for being able to see exactly where to position the stamp, glue the stamp onto the top or bottom (outer) portion of one of those rectangular hard plastic boxes or a solid acrylic block (buy at a plastics store or other places) - a different stamp could be glued to each side (can be a permanent or temporary mount).

PURCHASED or HOUSEHOLD Items to use as stamps

Many household items or purchased items can be used as "stamps," or used repeatedly as "texture tools"
.....screwdriver tips (Philips make stars, slot screwdrivers make short fat lines).... paintbrush tips... dental tool or sculpting tool tips...
.....(stripes:) ... teeth of combs...sides of bolts... the strip from rubber hose clamp
.....charms of all kinds (some even come as tiny metal frames) ...
jewelry parts... chains...
.....wadded aluminum foil....
wooden cutout shapes... netting or fabric... filigree...
.....small toys... figures (toys, or not)....faces from various figures...

..Jackie's sheet with multiple marks of many kinds made with simple tools
(esp. various sizes of ball point stylus, etc.)
...... her tools
...Teri's stamping/texturing tool sort-of lesson made by embedding a bent floral wire into a clay handle (circles, s-shapes, hearts, etc.)
.....these may also be multiple (short or cut-off) pins or wires, etc. (for making clay handles, see Tools > Handles)

round-ball-type items can be used to make round depressions
.......or they can be used to make a mold from which a positive is created so hemispheres (domes) can be made
...things like ball stylus tools (intended for embossing, etc.), hat pins and other ball-headed sewing pins, marbles, ball bearings, etc....some can be glued or mounted on handles, etc.
...Etch 'N Pearl tool by Studio by Sculpey has a concave hemisphere-shaped indention in one tip end
......when pressed into smooth clay, it creates a raised hemisphere of clay which could look like an embedded bead
.........unfortunately, my Etch N Pearl rods bent (right out of the package) and I cannot get them straightened out. I believe they are aluminum Nancy C.
.....or make a row of "set-in pearls" by making depressions with a ball stylus first, then fill each depression with a clay ball you make can use the concave end of the Etch 'N Pearl tool though to pick up the clay ball and set it in place without deforming it)

Metal or plasticl cake decorating tips are my favorite tools for adding texture/designs on a piece of clay in lieu of the ubiquitous leather tools and rubber stamps
...flower tips make particularly lovely impressions.
...They come in a variety of sizes, are cheap, and fit right over the tip of your finger so if you are stamping over a large area you don't get a cramp in your hand. Also, you can get pinpoint accuracy in the placement of your impression. Celeste

I made wire shapes, then hammered them flat, then impressed them into various shapes of flat clay ... then I painted the sections with different colors of Pearlex and baked them... I started prying the wire up to add some liquid clay to make a strong bond between the wire and the clay. . . . but as I am pulling the wire off, I am thinking that instead the clay shapes look better without the wire (with the black background clay showing through, but assuming the shape of the impressed wire ..looks like faux carving). (inspired by a Mike B. pin) Kellie
....good for backfilling with clays or tinted liquid clays too?
...I bet it'd look wonderful pressed into a clay covered votive, leaving a thin area for the light to shine through where the wire was pressed in. Darla

MicroMark has a set of three tiny pounce wheels: - the wheels are much smaller than a seamstress' pounce wheel, (which really *is* a neat tool to have around) and the "dots" it makes are closer together, which you might like better for small scale figures. Elizabeth I have that same set, only I got it at a woodworkers store.... it's used to transfer a pattern to wood. Joanie
(the larger ones appear more like broken lines than dots)

A very good way to mark clay with even lines of dots as decoration on leaves or wings etc, or as a slicing-guide marker down (a clay sheet or) the length of canes, is to use miniature modelmaker's circular-saw blades which are mounted on a handle (very like a tiny pizza cutter wheel). ...Different diameter blades tend to have different teeth spacings, so a tool with two different sized blades at either end can be used to create differently spaced patterns/guide dots. The blades are available from model-maker's suppliers or larger tool shops.
...My handle strips are galvanised steel, punched at intervals of about 1cm with 3mm holes ...Mine were 30 cm long and I simply cut some lengths from them with aviation tinshears (a hacksaw would be fine too). I used M2 (2mm) bolts to hold the handles together and to hold the blades, and used appropriately sized nylon washers to space the blades away from the handle strips. It's probably best to buy the saw-blades first and see what size holes they have, then get the correct bolts,nuts,washers/spacers. Alan Vernall

the back side of the handle of a disposable Gillette razor is used by 1001artbeads to create the veins for leaves (see lesson in Sculpture > Leaves)

Other stuff could probably be used instead of the wire. a smooth piece of twine, perhaps. lay it down on the clay in a design, and then brayer the twine down into the clay. texture, and apply pearlex, then gently remove the twine. Kellie

One of the texture type tools I've been planning to do is to take my textured buttons and create a double ended tool with the positive image on one end and the negative on the other (each end being mushroom shaped –the whole thing being hourglass shaped). Helen

And something I hadn't thought of at the time is patiently filing a design in the head of a large nail. ( I used a) 3/8" diameter round file that I snitched from my Dad a zillion years ago, a 1" wide fine flat file ditto and a set of X-acto needle files. I think the nails were called ten penny, they were pretty big. I have also filed the head of a large brad to make a very small beveling tool for my leather earrings. Ann

using real leaves as "stamps" to make textured oak leaves....
...lesson at Monica's site in Italian, but obvious from the pictures)
(see more on using leaves to impress clay in Sculpting > Leaves and also used as a mask for metallic powders in Blends > Other Techniques)

see Sculpting-Body & Tools for various kinds of texturing tools for simulating fur, hair, scales, fabric/clothing, etc
Textures > Misc.Tools for Texturing for more possibilities
Fauxs--many for leather simulations made by stamping

book: Handmade Prints: An introduction to creative printmaking without a press, by Anne Desmet & Jim Anderson, Davis Publications, 2000.
.....They describe in detail making stamps from polymer clay
.. . . they say baked polymer clay blocks can be inked with a brush, pounce or roller, using oil or water-based ink and printed by spoon-burnishing. After printing, some of the stamps were reused to form collages, which I thought was a pretty neat idea. . . Dona



to make a stamp from clay: can make it an impressed piece of clay--or other material (most "line stamps" will create a raised image when pressed onto the final raw clay)
....or you can use that baked impressed piece of clay to create a reverse stamp (most "line stamps" will create a depressed image when this version is pressed into the final raw clay
(some purchased stamps are already "reversed" since their raised portions are "backgrounds" rather than "lines"... so they will do the opposite --these include silhouette stamps)

one-step clay stamp:
...roll out raw clay into a flat sheet that's at least as large as you'll want your whole stamp to be a rubberstamp (or other stamp) into the raw clay, then remove it (use a release if necessary)
.....or press the clay onto the stamp
...cut out the clay around the image the clay so it's in the shape you'll want for handling it
......or, cut out the clay so it's in the shape you'll want for using the whole stamp as a stamp, frame and all (see just below)

two-step clay stamp for the opposite effect
... roll out some clay and make a basic no-ink impression in it (don't bother to cut it out now)... bake that... you've now made a flat mold
...brush the flat mold with a release if needed (water or talc/cornstarch)
... press more raw clay into all the dips of the baked mold... flatten back of the raw clay
....cut out the new piece into the shape you want...bake you have something which looks like the original rubberstamp can use this reversed stamp mold to create a simulated cloisonné look by filling the spaces in with embossing powders and baking again. Very effective, and most folk won't be able to work out how you did it. Crafty Owl
(DB: or fill in with clays, then gild the dividing lines –or before baking???)

The idea was to carve, stamp, or sculpt an original stamp (in clay), then create a negative of the original .....and make a pair for everyone in the swap. Elizabeth
Carved Stamp Swap each photo, the carved/onlaid original "stamp" is on the left (and its negative --impression-- is on the right ):

often, no release is needed when stamping into raw clay with baked polymer stamps
....(however, for info on releases which can be used for polymer clay if needed... one of which allows the polymer stamp to be baked with the raw polymer ... see above in "Basic Techniques" > Releases)

When using a regular stamp which has a background (as opposed to using a tool which has no background):
...If you trim around the stamped raw clay image just inside the raised outer areas leaving only a flat area as background, when this baked stamp is later used as a stamp in raw clay it will create a raised image within a depressed background shape
...But if you trim around the stamped raw clay image outside the flat area, just past the raised area, when this baked stamp is later used as a stamp in raw clay it will create the same image but it will have a "frame" around it
. . . . (if a number of these stamped images are made next to each other, the result is an automatically raised frame area around each image.)
(this is really confusing... best to just try it and see!)

For ease of use if you want, the baked stamps can then be mounted on more clay, or on other objects, or at the tip end of long objects, etc.

I'm just guessing here, but maybe that new clay that Sculpey makes for erasers (EraserClay) would be good to make (rubbery) stamps out of? Katie

I used polymer clay to make a huge "stamp" of a Celtic cross that I use to stamp the outline of the cross in my cement (and peat moss) mix... The clay stamp I made is about 14 inches tall by about 8 inches across.... It took a lot of clay, but it works great for what I am doing.... I also made some PC Celtic knots and other designs to make impressions into the cement crosses.....Dave

When I tried to develop new ways to use the ripped transfer/tearaway etching technique (see Transfers > Etched), I found a way to make stamps (actually a stamp sheet,with multiple copies of one image in my case ) for imprinting the raised letters of my name on beads (like a mold).
....(lesson:) I made a photocopy page full of my name. (No reverse printing this time, kids). I then made a polyclay sheet from it by etching it the Gibson way. Then I baked it. Now all I have to do is roll some of my beads on top of that tile, and voilá: my name is on the beads.... As the letters are raised above ground level they catch the light and show the writing. And if the light is not right, the writing doesn't stand out too much.
...This same technique can be used to make small scale raised decorations on beads. I have made some tiles for veins, tiled-wall, lace etc. Really easy way to make interesting beads! PoRRo?

Patti K's lesson on using ballpoint ink to transfer the lettering (then use stylus) onto clay to create a stamp (for a gift tag)

stamps can also be made by pressing brass stencils (or other small stiff stencils) onto a ball of clay so that clay rises up through the hole; this can be baked then used as a stamp (possibly with some texturing added to the shape first), or pressed into raw clay and baked for a mold
...or see Jan S's paper punch lesson:

for much more info on making your own stamps:
.........see other places on this page, e.g., Coloring In & Backfilling
...see Molds > Making Your Own ...that covers much of this same information (just a difference in terminology, etc.)
...see Textures > Making Textures & also Making Your Own Texture Sheets)

Stamp Rollers

(see more info and ideas on these in Textures > Texture Sheets)

Make nifty continuous stamp rollers by carving/stamping a rectangle of clay, which you then:
....roll into a log
...or use to surround a dowel or another log of clay or other things before baking

Or create the onlays and/or impressions after the clay is a log or on the dowel/etc.

It would be neat to also add onlays to the surface of the stamp--things like:
.... tiny Kemper cutter shaped pieces of clay... "writing," or whatever with tiny extrusions from a clay gun... other things you create with clay or liquid clay... other non polymer clay materials

texture roller: I just did a texture swap..and one of the participants made an awesome brayer-type thing. She took a rod of pvc pipe (about 1/2" diameter) and covered it with clay...then applied the texture and baked.
.... She then took a length of dowel and placed it inside the pvc to use as the roller. It works great! Jan

carved wood rollers (same general idea)

Tom Jeffrey showed an interesting version of rolling stamp cylinder at our guild meeting.
....first he braided** double strands of heavy cord and connected these into a circle (like a cuff bracelet).
...then he took a fat roll of clay and put it inside the circle
... he squashed this clay until it extended past the edges of the braided cord.
This resulted in a stamp roller which looked a bit like a thick slice of hollow bone (as in a ham slice), with the cord impression on the outside of the cylinder. When he rolled this across a thick sheet of clay, it left a continuous raised impression of cording.
**think his may have been two sets of two cords simply laid over each other repeatedly, but not sure; you could use any braid technique, of course, or even laying cords in a pattern, glued together on the outside, before pressing the molding clay into the inside . . . DB

Rebecca K's lesson on impressing a pattern with gold metallic powder by rolling the bead itself on top of a flat stamp which has been sponged with gold powder & a liquid medium (she uses glass beads and specialty mediums . . . though we could use smooth polymer beads with Diluent, liquid clay or Varathane, etc. instead??).
... always rolling toward herself, she uses a skewer inside the cylindrical bead and rolls all the way around, but does the rectangular beads by hand, one corner-then-side at a time...her beads are flat on each end so she stands them to set for awhile before baking,1789,HGTV_3352_1399593,00.html

Julie's lesson on impressing a pattern into the raw clay of a "bead" (which is made by wrapping a strip of clay around a mini wooden spool) by rolling it over a carved white eraser ..can then be highlighted, antiqued, etc., if desired

page on cylindrical seals (rolling stamps)

baked textured clay sheets can be rolled over with raw clay beads (if tube beads, use large-diameter skewer) instead of making the texture sheet stamp into a roller

(more ideas in Textures > Texture Sheets)

(see also "rollagraphs" in Bought Stamps sub-category below)

FILLING or COLORING stamped impressions

basic info

The lower areas of impressions created by a stamp in raw clay can be colored or filled in with various things
...... some will cover only the bottom areas of the depresions, and some may fill the areas higher
Some of the things which can be used, in various ways, are:
....softened raw clay
....paints and inks (metallic or not)
....tinted liquid clays, and other tinted liquids
....metallic powders (mica or real-metal)
....embossing powders ....(can use an embossing pen, or tiny brush with glycerin to hold the powder where you want it)
(some of these may require wiping off or sanding back the upper areas, leaving color in the depressions)

softened clay....many small marks were pressed into raw clay with various tools (to make shapes like long, thin, triangles—or any shape)
....they were baked, then backfilled with a white "grout" made from Premo clay mixed with Diluent and rebaked)
(see more in Carving > Backfill) —can sand if excess, or remove all/most before baking with alcohol?

paints... inks:
...If you want to let the color go into the recesses of where the clay has stamped, then tube acrylic paints are good t for bright colors
.....just jab the paint on with a rather stiff brush so that the paint gets into all the recessed areas... then wipe off the surface... let the piece dry thoroughly. can then sand the surface if you want to remove any residue. Dotty
..........then add a gloss finish if desired, or sand and buff, or leave as is
..... I used metallic acrylic paint. I dabbed it on the baked peices, then rubbed off the excess, and the paint in the crevices just stayed there. After letting it dry for a few hours, I took my finest grit sandpaper, and gently sanded off any paint that remained where I didn't want it.... Then I buffed it with an old peice of denim fabric, and applied two coats of Future, front and back. Honestly, I think I like this effect even better because it leaves the "carved" look, since the paint doesn't completely fill the crevices. Darla (website gone)
Polyzine's lesson on filling in stamped images with colored acrylic or oil paint, then sanding after baking (similar to antiquing" but in this case the upper parts were dry sanded to avoid leaving any of the color on the background ("staining"
...... I baked the piece and then painted the low lying areas with acrylics (I then covered them in clear embossing powder for gloss (or use a gloss acrylic finish)--a tip gotten from someone else online)....after baking the piece for about 5-10 more minutes, it looks like enamel.
.......... (I had carved my texture sheet out of PZ Cut, which is a white eraser-like material...) Trish
.....low areas colored with Pearlescent paints (including Dr. Ph Martins Iridescent colors, such as copper, gold, green, lavendar; Accent Crown Jewels (metallics); and Folk Art acrylic pearlescent paints ... Pat H's thick-line ( stamped images
...Marcia B's lesson on making cut-around, stamped clay piece to create a painted onlay for to top of an Altoid Box (or terra cotta pot, xmas ornament, etc.) (gone)

tinted liquid clay:
I put cornstarch on a rubberstamp, press it into scrap polymer clay, then bake
.......doing this leaves the lines raised, with a well between them (sometimes I dig them out deeper)
........then I fill the cells with colored liquid clay (using oil paint or metallic powders). Marlene
(see much more in Liquid Clays > Cells).
Ann & Karen Mitchell"s lesson on partially covering glass votive with translucent clay leaf shapes (cut out from a sheet of clay first stamped with real leaves here and there... cut around each leaf shape with an Exacto, etc.)
........each leaf on votive is first covered with tinted liquid clay ( oil paint + duo green-yellow Pearl Ex) which is wiped from the top areas in sev. min's and left in crevices (...also the remaining blank glass areas are covered with liquid clay tinted with Pearl Ex),2025,DIY_13748_2274492,00.html
...lesson on using liquid clay tinted with alcohol inks on textured clay (cut out into a shape)... color is left on upper surfaces a bit too ("staining")... gloss finish can be added for a kiln-fired-glaze "ceramic" or enamel look

Jainnie has done some breathtaking beads by using her own texture plates & black clay....then giving several allover coats of the pearescent inks....allowing to dry and then sanding back the top so the black shows through again with the most stunning colours left in the groove of her own texture stamped clay.....too cool! . . . .You could use rub'n'buff or just about anything I guess. tantaz

mica powder only in the recesses, or in recesses and top (or all over). lesson on stamping with Pearl Ex-ed stamp (can apply with cosmetric sponge) ...then applying a diff. Pearl Ex powder to the upper areas of my favorite ways to create a texture is to pour a tiny bit of Pearl-ex Powder out onto a single folded piece of copy paper which I have opened up. Press the selected tool into a piece of scrap clay to pick up a bit of oil, then press into the powder....shake off excess powder, then press into my clay.... repeat as many times as desired. When I've done this as many times as necessary, using the fold in the paper to act as a funnel, pour the extra back into the jar.

Michelle's lesson on stamping a kimono design w/ black ink on raw clay, then coloring it in,1158,CRHO_project_27267,00.html

She marks the palette with a Studio 2 marker, then thins the ink with the Studio 2 blending fluid to apply to the stamped image on the clay. It is similar to watercolor and looks great. JJ

see below in Other Ways/Other Tools for stamping, for impressing with wire or twine, then backfilling

see also Carving > Backfilling... .and Liquid Clay > Cells ...and Powders

see above, near top, for using paints, etc. to highlight


(....see much more on inks & also inkpads in Letters & Inks > Inks for tinting, etc.)

some kinds of inkpad inks used for stamping explained and listed by type and

Stamping can be done in raw clay with permanent inks (including pigment inks) in all colors; the color will then be in the crevices only; do not rock the stamp while impressing (doesn’t need sealing).
....Or use a finger to apply pigment ink to raw clay to highlight upper surfaces).

Stamping can also be done with permanent inks on flat surfaces of baked clay ; in this case it will look like a regular stamped image with no depressions (pigment inks will need to be re-baked briefly to cure).
...It’s also possible to color in the stamped image if you want, with colored pencils (esp. Prismacolor brand), then seal.

As a general thing, dye inks are more transparent, and soak into whatever you use them on
---pigments are more opaque and sit on top. Sarajane

MOST inks are water soluble, meaning that if they get wet, they will smear. Ginny
...( I've stamped on clay with a normal multi-color ink pad, and even after baking, some of the ink washed out of the imprint. Enough color stayed though and didn't smear so the clay wasn't ruined.) Rob & Melissa
....we used the stamper ink pens to stamp the impressions into the clay. We then baked them and they were wonderful, however, it was raining out and when the rain drops touched the ink it smeared.. . . . .I then used gloss over them to seal the ink, and if I used too much gloss, that too was smearing the ink. Veronica

You can stamp baked clay and then rebake, also use Varathane for gloss.
... Some of the metallic inks don't dry well on clay, but all are improved with re-baking, adherance-wise. Also, some of the metallic pad inks get dull. You have to experiment a little too see what goes with each clay type. Sarajane

There's a new inkpad out, Brilliance (pigment), which comes in both pearlescent and solid colors.
.... If you're wanting to stamp *onto* the clay, as opposed to *into* the clay, they work great! They can be heat set and then you can continue manipulating the clay without smearing off the image. Laura A/Sparkle
.....If you like the Brilliance pads, you should try the Inkredibles. They are the non-sparkly cousin to Brilliance. Barbara McGuire helped them develop the colors, and naturally, they work great on polymer clay. Darla

Debbie Anderson prefers Ancient Page, or Memories ink pads. They are juicy, dense colors. They are sold online by
....Debbie makes beautiful double-sided, hollow beads, with stamped images. See article in Oct. 02, Bead and Button, page 68, for tutorial and pictures. Kay

I love Crafter's Ink by ColorBox. They do stay "open" (wet) for a long time and need to be heat set and/or covered with embossing powder (& heated) to be permanent, though. Elizabeth

There is a fabric ink called Fabrico that will heat set when you bake and will be permanent. Fabrico is also available in markers (40+ colors in pads and markers!).... go to your local stamp store to get these. Ginny

I use both dye and pigment based inks in my work, but for a crisp clear image I prefer dye-based (website gone) lynn K.

All the ink pads have "reinkers" which are tiny bottles of ink meant to refresh/refill the pads. However, they can be used as "paint" as well. That would probably be better than using the pads for clay artists. ...available online through many sources. Jessica
......The liquid versions of (Crafter's Ink by ColorBox) come in little re-inker bottles and those are wonderful for making your own stamp pads or for tinting Liquid Sculpey. They're not transparent like the Fiesta/Pinata inks, though in very small quantities, you might not notice any lessening of translucency in layers of cured LS. Have fun! Elizabeth
.... I have a ton of little Posh Rainbow Ink bottles.. I gotta try it and see what happens !!!
....I don't know anything at all about the Posh line of inks, so you might need to adjust how you work with them, when mixing into Liquid Sculpey. The Fiesta/Pinata inks are alcohol-based, for instance. You're not normally adding enough alcohol to the TLS to cause trouble, but to be safe, I've been dropping the inks on top of the TLS that I want to tint and then letting it sit for a while so that the alcohol evaporates. That way, it won't cause bubbling when you cure it. . . . The Crafter's Ink liquids are some sort of mineral-based product - they smell kind of like Kiwi paste shoe polish. You can mix those right in to the TLS. Have fun! Elizabeth

large number of projects using stamps

(see Backfilling above for using inks in recesses of stamped/textured clay)


OTHER WAYS to USE stamping

make two-sided (stamped) beads by piercing a ball of clay with a needle or skewer, then pressing two stamps into the ball (one on either side) at the same time, or you can press the ball onto a stamp, then press another onto the top side while leaving the first stamp in place. This will flatten the clay ball, making it into a flatter bead; you can also begin with a cube-shaped bead, stamping first two opposites, then the other two sides.

texture collage: I know that lots of folks like to have big sheets of texture to work with but it never worked for me either. I can't seem to splice the edges right.
....What I do is use lots of smaller stamps to get one textured sheet which is a collage of stampings.
....One of my favorite tools is a texture finger cup. You can make them yourself by molding a ball of scrap clay over your finger or as I do over the end of a rounded dowel. ...My favorite finger cup was made by scoring thin lines raiating out from the center of the cup. Depending how it is pressed into the clay, it can look like pine needles, fireworks, grass or even coral (on a large scale).
......My other homemade stamps are usually about an inch or an inch and a half.
..... I have some textures as sheets but usually end up making smaller stamps from those. Jody B
...Irene's texture collages on clock (monochrome)

make "outie" molds from purchased or made stamps

Use stamps or tool-stamps to make impressed "textures" too... as backgrounds or other
....for example, stamp all over a sheet then cut out a shape, or mount a separate stamped piece of clay onto this background... or mask an area first, then stamp only inside that area

To create a frame around a stamped image (impressed or raised), one way would be to trim around each image...after baking, press that shape into a fresh sheet of clay, then cut the raised frame just past the impressed area

reverse images can also be made with materials like the stamping foams discussed below in Other Ways.

see top of page for more pages and techniques that use stamps

(... also Clay Guns, for making an impression guide for creating "stained glass" leading)

Bas Relief effects

stamps used as shallow molds

shaved projections (from stampings, filigree, etc.):
Stamps can be used as shallow molds to make filigree and shapes of various types, to use as onlays, etc.
... press some clay into a stamp (preferably deeply-cut) as you would into a shallow mold, or press it into a texture sheet or shallow mold
... then remove any of the clay which extends above the highest part of the stamp (or the back side of the texture sheet) by shaving it off with a long blade, or perhaps rub on sandpaper or with an abraisive like Bon Ami or even cornstarch until all the excess is gone (don't damage stamp though)
...Sarajane's lesson on creating gold "filigree" onlays then placing on top of colored clay (barrettes & eggs)
......she pushes smooth lumps of clay onto stamps (shallow stamps won't work well) or onto texture sheets (or even molds), then carefully shaves off the projecting upper parts with a long blade (powdered with cornstarch), trying to get what she wants all in one pass
.....places these very thin filigree onlays onto a clay base of some kind with the tip of a knife or a toothpick ...and presses lightly to adhere well (tries not to press or hold the onlays after placing them to avoid distortion)
......when adding a number of bits, she begins in the middle, then works outward
ex's: and
..Jeanne R's lesson on using shaved bits (not whole) from mica clay ghost impressions onto a base sheet, or shavings from two layers of clay
...could use all kinds of shaving shapes too

(where are the other examples?)
for a version of this which uses two colors of clay in a stamp, to create a delineated pattern or image, see just below in Shaved-Impressed Stacks --Sutton Slice)

using deeply cut stamps as shallow "molds" (for thick sheets of clay)
... cut away the background clay around perimeter of the stamped image (the outside edges can be rounded/pressed to the back) .....Maureen Carlson calls this "structural stamping"
........she may also distort or otherwise manipulate the lines created by the stamp by making the lines deeper, etc.(or could add more details)
...she then antiques and/or colors the upraised segments with acrylic paints (thinner?) or transparent blending paints such as Delta Soft Tints for soft colors

an image could also be broken down into puzzle pieces (separate parts) by stamping colored clay sheets one at a time ..trimming.... then putting those pieces back together (...from the bottom up)
....Maureen Carlson creates each section of an image which is continguous and the same color as "one piece"
....some parts can be higher than others (made from thicker sheets?) to create more variation and depth
....she suggests forming the clay sheet into approximately the correct size and shape before pressing with the stamp do this, stamp the image, then cut around it, and roll the remainder back into ball ... also try to keep the clay within the stamp shape while impressing --or trim later.

Maureen C's also makes her 3-D stamped image into stand-alone pieces by curving its sides a bit and attaching a wedge of clay to the back for a stand (using a bit of toothpick armature)...bake piece upright, propping against a ceramic coffee cup if needed.(see lesson above)

a bas relief effect can also be created on thick cane slices (particularly larger ones) by pressing down around the perimeters of the images with various tools so that the images are raised against the background...
Nora Jean's "push cane"

Debbie A. does something like this with her faux leather technique...she uses a smooth, rounded, metal, leather-working tool to depress all areas except the image... (see Faux-many > Leather) ... she also adds an all-over texture in the depressed areas (with tiny metal stamp or pin tip)

shaving impressed stacks
from mica-containing & from multi-colored clays

If impressions are stamped into a sheet of any mica clay, a perfectly flat, "ghost" impression of the stamp will remain on the surface after the surface has been shaved flat while raw -- or sanded flat after baking
(....this happens because the mica particles have been turned sideways beneath the stamp from its pressure, and results in the sideways areas appearing a darker shade than the surface)
(... this is a "mokume gane" technique ....more info on it in Mokume Gane).

There was an article in Jewelry Crafts called The Illusion of Depth (or something similar) and now I see what she means:
........ I took a slab of gold and pressed a rubberstamp into it. I then shaved away the impression layer. Lo and behold there in the remaining slab of clay was still the pattern of the stamp, with a beautiful illusion of depth. ....even after rolling over the slab with my brayer, the pattern and depth illusion remained.
(.....see Mica for most of the info on this technique)

.......I also took a thin pad of clay made up of alternating blue and gold sheets (paper thin), and did the same thing with the stamp. When I shaved away the top layer of clay, I got this beautiful design of the stamp (ivy) which had a couple outlines in the blue and gold..... I was able to roll over the slab and still see the design.
......... I also looked at the reverse side of the top layer that was cut off, of course that is beautiful also. This is something I have GOT to play some more with.
Jenny P's hidden magic ... stamps are impressed into multi-colored clay (....a 5x5 grid of black-wrapped, Sk. blend logs of different colors... then grid is turned on point, squashed, topped with thin black clay, stamped, then shaved here and there)

(see Mokume Gane for most of the info on this technique)

OTHER.... cheater's ghost image.. Adria has a lesson on making faux ghost images by stamping clay, completely covering with metallic powder, baking, then filling in the stamped impression with liquid clay (she also coats the whole top)... if more is needed, repeat after baking

Sutton Slice...creating an upraised image of a stamp, with faux "backfilling" of another color by filling in the crevices of a rubberstamp, shaving off any excess, then applying a sheet of clay backing then removing backing and backfill from stamp as one piece),1789,HGTV_3239_2932966,00.html

...(originally an ancient Japanese ceramic procedure called 'Mishima'... 'incise, stamp or roll a depression into a clay surface and fill the depressions with thick slip of a contrasting color...when the slip becomes leather hard, gently scrape the surface slip but leaving the slip in the depressions...dry the clay slowly.'... Phil Sutton sort of adjusted the procedure to suit polymer clay.. Alcina)
...lesson: Lisa Pavelka demoed the technique on Carol Duvall... her final result was a black sheet of clay with a raised white pattern on it
... she picked up small pieces of clay (she used just one color--white) and mushed them into a (deeply cut) rubber stamp (with no mount) really well, making sure it filled into all the nooks and crannies (see "releases?" below)
.... then she shaved off all the excess clay above the level of the stamp (it takes a LOT of patience to shave the clay from the surface without also picking up the clay embedded in the rubber stamp though!) (...shaving in a circular motion while holding one end of the blade. Trina)
...she then pressed a sheet of clay (of a strongly contrasting second color --black) onto the stamp, trying to make the black and white clay adhere
...(she then gently bent the stamp back and) very carefully peeled off the whole b&w clay sheet (or better, peel the stamp off the clay?)
...(it could also be that brand new stamps work well maybe they are "dry")
....curiously, Lisa mentioned that if the rubber stamp was of high quality, the tissue blade wouldn't harm the stamp
...this technique created a rather interesting looking effect --something that really highlighted the negative and postitive spaces of the stamp image with strong contrasting colors as well as 3D markings.. Desiree
RELEASE? on stamp or clay ...(not necessary?, but liquid clay might help)
.......Lisa spritzed her stamp with water, but that allows the clay to release too easily (when I didn't spritz, it worked fine!) Desiree
.......You aren't supposed to put a release on the stamp before pressing in the clay... you put the release (Armor All, etc.) on top of the pressed-in clay to keep your fingers from sticking to the clay and pulling it out of the crevices.(I don't use release though, and the clay doesn't stick to me). Kim K.
........I have found that if you put a thin coat of liquid clay on top of the clay you have pressed into the rubber stamp, (then add the backing sheet,) and bake the rubber stamp with the backing sheet attached it to, it works out pretty well! ...otherwise, the clay in the rubberstamp crevices stayed in the stamp. Ruth
curing clay in the rubber shouldn't hurt it - the vulcanization temperature is much higher than the 275o that we normally use. Clean your rubber and condition it with a little water/glycerin mix and it'll last almost forever. But curing clay in a mounted stamp would almost surely ruin a wood mount, (if not immediately, then eventually) the glue used to attach the rubber to the mount, and the cushion behind the rubber. I'd use only unmounted, uncushioned rubber for such a project.Elizabeth
..........the only problem I have run into so far is the clear picture on the top of one of my stamps curled up like a shrinky-dink - Ruth remove stamps from their backings ..... an 8-10 sec. trip to the microwave will soften the adhesive long enough to take them off (this tip via Dee Gruenig on Carol Duvall for stamps mounted on wood). Carla
....I've been putting different colors of clay on the different areas on the stamp - really cool -Ruth
....silhouettes .... wonder if this wouldn't work with black in the grooves, on white clay? Linda S. can do this whole techique with the mica clays too. Carla (see Mica > Ghost Image)
...This technique is fabulous! We learned it from Donna at last year's HIA when we were demoing there. OMG we had soooo much fun with it and the people who watched, well they were awestruck too! It does take alot of patience, and it is not as easy as it looks either. Klew


to make your own stamps, or have them made
(see Lettering for more ideas)

(see Carving >Etching and Texturing >Texture Sheets for making carved and/or impressed clay sheet plates for printing on paper or on other clay, etc)

Stamping into polymer clay with Other Materials
(stamps and stamp/molds)

Re-usable, heat-softening, stamp Foams

Temporary foam stamps or texture sheets can be made by heating and impressing these foam materials.
..... the material can be used repeatedly with reheating (or used just once for a permanent impression, if desired).

The material now comes in sheets or blocks, under a number of names (Pen Score was the first version but that name is no longer used, though they make Magic Stamp.)

Here are some of the brands sold for this purpose now:
--Magic Stamp . . . comes in blocks and sheets in various pastel colors (by Penscore?)
--Magic Mould--this is the sheet version
--Veggie Leather ...sheets... comes in black, white, and various shades of brown/tan
.......can be used as one-use, foam sheets which simulate leather by being impressed, ink-stamped, painted, metallic-ed, etc.
........or just as re-heatable texture sheets like the other foams
--Color Box Stylus Tray . . . each kit-tray contains small pads of foam in different shapes, plus one stylus-holder (foam shapes can be heated, impressed, and treated as small "stamps")...3 trays-kits of shapes available (Magic Stamp blocks & sheets, Color Box Stylus Tray, Molding Mats) (very confusing website!) ...(8x10 sheet of "Almost Leather" = $1.39) (3x4 block = 99¢)
you can get PenScore at many rubber stamp stores ....and in the Nasco catalog as well. Randi

...ordinary craft foam can be used too, for at least some of the stamps... see details just below
toy foam blocks that come in various shapes and colors for kids to play with in the bathtub can prob. be used too
........are they still being sold though? . . . check a toy store
...can also use polystyrene foams like foam plates too?

.....heat the foam to 300-400 degrees for about 30 seconds using a heat gun, waving to avoid overheating. the foam against a texture, or a stamp against the foam, then hold firmly for about 20 sec... let cool
..from here, you can either
.......use it as a stamp after you ink the textured foam, on paper/wood/whatever (wash ink off afterward)
.......or you can use it with raw clay to made an uninked impression
To use the foam again .... reheat it (foam will return to its flat state), then make another impression
...(foam doesn't make as finely detailed an image as clay or silicone would though, but the small foam Colorbox pads look like their impressions are more detailed than the larger foam pieces?)

to create a textured sheet of clay:
....Vesta Abel's lesson on impressing Veggie Leather with a stamp to create a sheet mold
....she then presses a sheet of polymer clay onto the textured Veggie Leather and removes (refrigeration might help stiffen it?)
....then highlights the clay with copper, verdigris, Decor-It inks on a make-up sponge... and bakes for a pendant,1158,CRHO_project_27250,00.html

craft Fun Foam.... Kelly's H's lesson on making a mounted, permanent, stamp with "carved" details
...she used a real inked leaf (or use any other item) to press ontoFun Foam
....using the ink image "stamped" on the foam as a guide, she then cuts out the whole shape
...then she cuts over the veins (or other interior lines) with an Exacto or utility knife
...she mounts the new "stamp" onto a piece of thin wood (or other stiff sheet), and trims it close to the image.
.......for glue, she uses a white-type glue to mount (gone)
(......are these ordinary sheets of craft foam kind re-usable as well??)

few ideas for impressions: ..... lace, string, leaf, basket, bottoms of cut glass bowls, silverware handles, etc.

rubber texture sheets or stamp sheets can be used to make impressions in the foam
.... one example is Clear Snap's Molding Mats
...I got inspired to use my new Molding Mats so I made these doubled-sided, textured, disk beads . I (made a mold by) rolled balls of scrap clay, powdered them and pressed them onto the mold mat with a 3" square piece of plexiglass to keep them flat. ...To make the beads, I took little balls of clay covered them with Pearl-Ex, placed a ball on one of the texture disks and placed a second over the top of the ball of clay and pressed down until the ball was flattened a little bit. That's the hardest part, making sure not to flatten them too much. I put the holes in before I baked the beads. Tonja

...but could also have your own patterned rubber sheets made by ReadyStamps too

Victoria Rabinowe scores a design into a block of polystyrene foam ....supermarket meat trays (or foam plates) work great
...... then she molds her MagicStamp to the carved foam for a reverse pattern

textured, and inked with brown or gold paint, foam has been dabbed onto other surfaces creating a antiqued look.,1158,CRHO_project_2249,FF.html

...... cut desired shape out of the Veggie Leather. Heat on both sides, stamp for a few seconds.
........then use Lumiere, Neopaque or Decor It paints,or Rub and Buff, or Metallic Rub-Ons to add color. Duo glue can be painted on and allowed to dry. Once dry, Pearl-X, leafing or foils may also be added.

foams also work with liquid clay ..... was introduced to this (or a similar) product by Diana Crick some years ago... Dotty

OTHER USES for foam ...when tooling lines in copper sheets, can put foam under the copper sheet for a deeper impression
...or can use as the spongy material when mounting a rubber stamp

Non-reusable stamp materials


I bought 2 packs of those white erasers at the dollar store a few days ago. ... there are 5 in a pack... I made geometric carvings in them. Tonja

these can be easily carved with linoleum cutters (or the tiny Dockyard ones), and/or with Xacto or Testor's knives
...angle cuts away from the design (don't undercut the image or it won't print properly and might break off a piece of the stamp)...cutting straight down is okay, but angled away is stronger.

then use as stamps & molds & textures. . . might be a good way to make silhouette type stamps too (with large blank areas)
....Magic Rub white erasers from the office supply store
...I have used white erasers, Dick Blick brand, Safety Cut and a few others. Uncle Walter's still my favorite but now by a different company. Deb
...My stamps were carved on several different materials, but mostly on the Uncle Walter's Carving Block materials.

You can transfer an image to the eraser for carving guidelines ...can sand lightly first if desired (final image on eraser should be backwards)
...photocopy --though "dry" non-heat copiers won't work-- or inks??, printed backwards, placed on and transferred with acetone or an iron,
...soft-pencil lines will transfer from paper with just rubbing or alcohol
...or draw directly on it (pencil, pen, marker, pigment ink on stamp)

Julie's lesson on using a carved eraser as an impression plate over which is rolled a mini wooden spool with raw polymer clay around it (to create a barrel bead with impressed pattern all the way around it) .....can then be highlighted, antiqued, etc., if desired ( transferring an image to the eraser)

You can get "outie" images if you carve out the negative parts of an image, and "innies" if you carve the positive image on paper.... you can also carve thoroughly for a "cleaner" look, or leave lots of little carving lines in for a more rustic look. . . .
. . . Not only are they cheap, but if you get the thicker ones, you can carve on all sides of them. . . . And those little pencil top erasers? You can slice the very top off so you have a flat surface and carve an itty-bitty design in to use for texture . . . I like to make beads with them and then antique them with tinted TLS. Julie

I carved designs with linoleum cutters into baked clay (and also into white erasers).... then I pressed thin-layered, colored clay stacks (like what you'd use for mokume gane) in contrasting colors into the carvings ...then I sliced off the raised areas. Looked nice -- sort of a variant on sgrafitto -- Georgia (..could also do with thicker layer of mica clay, sort of like ghost impressions, or back with another clay before removing? --see Mica > Ghost impression)

eraser carving (many examples & lessons) --applicable to polymer carving or stamp carving (look especially at BOTTOM of page)

online 'zine for Carvers & Mail Artists (instruction links at bottom) --Tabloid Trash
...If you are interested in this type of carving you should check out the Carving Consortium Yahoo group and their wealth of information in their archives (you must join the list, but could un-join just after--DB). They have a very good program which matches up beginners and experienced carvers. It is a very good group. Deb
(to see some of this group's archived images

I will hand-carve a stamp from a photo you send me (portraits or other). Most of my stamps run about $30 and up; size is around 3 inches (size and exact price are dependent on complexity, and what you want.) Please email me at for more information.
Sample carvings: (sometimes the site is slow loading, so please be patient! --possibly click Refresh)

...see also above in Ghost Images for one way to use thin layers of clay in the carvings before slicing off the highlighted areas (like mokume)

polystyrene foams... plates, etc.

make stamps for free! ...Wash the plastic foam meat tray (I like foam plates better...always flat and larger area. DB)
... Cut out a piece from the flat part. Draw on it freehand with a stylus with a tiny ball on the end. A fat dull tapestry needle works well, too.
......If you don't feel confident to draw freehand, tape a copy of the picture on top, and trace over the lines with a pencil, lightly. Then remove the drawing and deepen the lines with the stylus.
...Press the clay in. Presto! This makes an outie.
...Bake it if you want to use it a lot, 'cause the foam meat tray won't last forever!
...If you want an innie, press the baked outie into more raw clay. jclausen.

(don't leave your clay on the tray though, I believe it will eat into it)
...Zart Foam...(Australian) This foam is just a thickish version of the meat foam trays... I cut a bit out and freehand burnt a drawing of a tree into it heated up paper clip. Dusted the finished product with a blushbrush and baby powder then pressed my clay into it.....voila.
It's not for the accurate minded.....the burnt polystyrene has a bubbly knubbly, gnarled life of its own.....but great if you like funky stuff. I finished off with "dear old pearlex"...tantaz
...if you try the burning method with meat trays, be careful of the fumes!
(..BTW, I just found out that you can shrink foam meat trays in the oven like shrinky-dinks which will get hard. tantaz )

glues, etc.

I've been wondering about making stamps for polyclay from (permanent white glues like) Elmer's Glue All... by drawing a design with a bead of Elmer's glue squeezed right out of the bottle onto cardboard. Then when it's completely dry, you have a raised design and you can ink it and print it. It was fun and looked cool. Wouldn't this work to make a stamp for polymer clay too?
....You wouldn't even have to draw freehand; you could print out something or trace it and then glue the paper drawing to some cardboard before applying the glue.
....Keep in mind you can't control the thickness of the line too well, and so you get a very "loose"-looking drawing with some extra blobs and thin spots. This would be fine if you plan what kind of design to apply the technique to--a sort of casual folk-art image would be great. Suzanne

stamped impression in hot glue...
...used as MOLD: I put an inked stamp into a large blob of hot glue from my glue gun (which was extruded in a puddle on glass, a tile, or whatever will release it), then let it harden.... I slowly peeled off the stamp, and later pressed polymer clay into the new *mold*....(because the glue *mold* was flexible, I was able to pry the polymer clay out quite easily). Barbara (gone)
...........could this mold technique be used as a STAMP as well?... either the negative glue mold, or the positive made from the molded clay
...used by itself as EMBELLISHMENT:
on using hot glue puddle placed on a bottle (or other object) to make an impressed medallion ... impression made with a wet stamp (of any kind) when glue becomes cloudy... after glue cools and stamp is removed, glue impression completely covered with Patio Paint (a strongly adhesive acrylic paint) to color the glue, then highlighted with Autumn Rub 'N Buff (to which a bit of gold RB is added here and there)... (cork for bottle is also painted then Rub'NBuffed)

(for more info on making stamps from other materials like 2-part silicone molding materials, various glues, etc-- see Molds)


ll info about stamping with leaves, or making stamps or molds from real or fake leaves, see Textures > More Info & Ideas

Evelyn's stamped or impressed faces-heads (flat shapes ...antiqued with black or powdered with dark gold) used for small jointed figures

Sarajane uses stamps and texturing (and metallic powders, foil, faux ivory, etc.) which she then uses as small pieces to surround a sculpted face for pins and pendants, etc. (similar to what's done with Friendly Plastic)

flattening stamped or textured clay after applying color to upper and/or lower areas created by stamp/texture:
....A friend of mine had an idea with using (fluid?) chalks on a stamp to make the clay impression can then rub over the raised area with yet another color chalk or with iridescent powders. .... brayer this or run through the pasta machine to flatten (?) .... I'm still playing with this idea. Geo
Kris's lesson on impressing clay with a stamp, applying Lumieres (heat cured acrylic paints) to the upraised areas (let dry thoroughly), then flattening with a hand roller is somewhat less distinct, but still present ....sort of like texture sheet mokume gane or one ghost image mica technique (these are made into solid lentil shapes, and have top loops and cording added
...see much more on flattening out textured areas (like Donna Kato's "brocade" effect sheets) in Textures > Flattening Highlighted and/or Antiqued Areas.

see also Faux-Many > Leather .....and Faux Ivory...... for ways to use stamps to simulate various fauxs

Cre8it's interesting mostly-silhouette stamps... though in component pieces (bodies, heads, tails, arms, etc.), which can be combined and arranged in any way desired (people & pets... semi-abstract or ethnic) ... can be used as templates if stamped on paper...enlarged, etc.

I've found that stamping numerals into the dice is tricky; tends to get the dice off square, so you have to carefully re-shape without mashing in the grooves...
...try baking small plain cubes then put sheets of clay onto the baked cubes and then impress the letters. The dice would probably hold their shape alot better that way. Linda

You can make lovely stamped round beads by rolling aluminium foil into a ball and covering it with a sheet of clay. Pierce the hole by pushing a big, sharp needle right through clay and foil and then hold the bead steady with the needle still in the hole. Then press your stamp onto the bead. The firm surface of foil under the clay means you get a good impression. I use a bit of talc to stop the stamp sticking. There are quite a few metallic effect beads done like this in my Techniques book. They really do look like worked metal - I love the effect. Sue
I get the wooden bead car seats--the ones "to massage your back"--and there are about two gallon baggies full of wooden beads on each carseat. I pay my kids a dollar each to take the seat apart and toss the platic thread. The wood beads are bakable, have a big hole, and are easy to cover. People throw them away every spring as they get a frayed edge....or they cost 5 dollars or so brand new at the store! Sarajane

Try using a small random area from a large stamp to impress a wad of clay
...or try impressing the clay repeatedly in different directions with the same corner of a stamp.

To make a candle holder (votive) you can cover a glass with clay, then stamp into it - the image will be thinner than the main areas of clay, so the candle-light glows through the lines. Crafty Owl

I was imagining a nice cane (say a simple white and champagne checkerboard) as the BACKGROUND for a stamped image which you could backfill with color after baking, or antique with paint... seems like cool effects could be possible.

~Before baking your stamped item you can leave it flat, curve it over a rounded index card, or curl the edges, etc. which can look very nice for a single leaf stamping, e.g.

mousepads can be cut into different shapes to use for rubber stamping...using either side of the pad. Michelle

I've mostly been working on making texture plates with (the snakeskin you sent). First I glued some down on a piece of foam core. I painted it with black gesso- to strengthen it. Then I made a reverse print of some skin with some mold making rubber (see Molds/Other Materials). That gave me a nice piece of flexible rubber that will print a positive of the skin. Again I can use that rubber piece to texture... or even use it to print with! Kathy

raw clay surfaces can be drawn into with lines and curves, etc., with other tools as well
...a ball point pen, needle tool, non-sharp tapestry needle, ball ended stylus, etc.
...however, Wayne uses a piece of plastic wrap over (Saran, sandwich bag, freezer bag, etc.), his raw clay to "draw" lines of hair or other things onto his sculpts ...lift tool between each stroke... the thinner the plastic, the finer the details
.......the plastic keeps the lines clean

You can use the fancy-edging scissors to cut very thin, baked clay. These could be cut into shapes, strips, whatever, after baking, or possibly before (?). Punches can also be used with this thin clay for stars, hearts, etc., but make your sheet really thin for use with those little square punches!! (see Inlay & Mosaics). Wavy rotary blades work great before baking and the clay doesn't have to be thin. Also those three-different-edged triangles that are used for making patterns in icing are fun, but the scale may be too large for the small items you want to make. They can also be used to cut raw clay for a decorative border around your stamped image.

I accidently rolled some (of the pattern from the silkscreened ink) onto my work surface. Then I used blank raw clay to pick up the ink of the design (this is the way "offset" printing works) and it transferred perfectly. Soooo, perhaps you could screen onto scrap raw, then pick up the raw, and offset it onto the baked. ?? Maureen
Seems like this should have other applications too . . . for example, applying a stamped image to raw clay so that no indention from the stamp is created?


for the books on stamping and polymer, see Books and Videos...then just do a Ctrl + F search and use the word stamp to find them all

Rubber Stamps and Polymer Clay
with Terry Lee Czechowski. "... lesson for rattle pendants on our (website's) lessons section, so you know that she's got some great ideas. This video shows you a lot more of them in rapid-fire succession (plus other things). Four different projects and lots of techniques and hints along the way - 1 hr. 20 min., (first of The ArtWay Studio Videos)
...Just received the new clay video from (great service as usual!). It's by Terry Lee Czechowski on rubberstamping. I must say that compared to several recent clay and PMC videos I've purchased, the sound and picture quality is excellent. The speaker was very relaxed and knowlegeable on all the subjects she covered. The projects really gave me lots of ideas and a jump-off point for other variations. Dave
...I want to add to the chorus of approval for the new Terry Lee Czechowski video from Polymer Clay Express. I like everything about it. It's full of helpful details, many new to me. The projects are attractive. Ms. Czechowski is a most agreeable personality. And it has a brisk pace that allows it encompass lots of projects and ideas. Marcia Peterson
....sound and picture quality is excellent. The speaker was very relaxed and knowlegeable on all the subjects she covered. The projects really gave me lots of ideas and a jump-off point for other variations. Linda from Long Island

Marriage of Materials: PolyShrink, Rubber Stamps and Polymer Clay with Mari O'Dell ...mixing PolyShrink Art Plastic, Liquid Glass Embossing Powder and inks with polymer clay to create little pieces of wearable art. ...faux "export porcelain" - a bat gargoyle guards a piece of this "porcelain" in a pendant with matching accent beads.... "pewter" and faux lacquer


*Tyra's large general stamping website, covering polymer and *many* other stamp-related things, lessons
(click on Mini Tutorials and Tips&Techniques especially)
lots of info on rubberstamping (history, types of inks, surfaces, etc., etc.
Stamp Guide's
huge number of rubber stamping links of all kinds
Silver Fox's huge number of stamping links --loads of links to things about rubberstamping

Ruth Ann's lesson on very easy stamped disks of clay, some with metallic powders

Bunny's stamped things
Tonja's many beautiful journal covers using component pieces added on top of base fronts (stamped and powdered, etc, some are lcut with Shapelets) stamped frame (clay rope?)

PCC's Rubberstamper's swap (various uses)
Cheryl's lesson on making set of wind chimes from 1 whole CD plus 4 cut-up CD shapes
....rubber-stamped (StazOn) on shiny side; covered with clay and dry-stamped then Pearl-Ex'd, on label side
--summary of lesson, Covering > CD's
...for indoor mobiles, see Sculpting > Misc. Items)
Gerri's many stamped vessels, frames, etc. (look around)
Gera's stamped/carved then antiqued or not, boxes

*Dotty McMillan's many uses of metallic powders with textures, stamping, etc. on the "clothing" of her kaleidoscope women (click on each for larger view & more)
Susans' Fimo Page--lesson
Polymer Clay at Delphi (Crafty Owl’s)
Barbara McGuire’s stamping website (explanations & photos)—website just getting started?
Sue Heaser's lesson on making a leaf stamp (& ornamental trees) (now at
*Winter Solstice swap (various) (now at
Sarajane’s stamping swap
Sarajane's stamped-molded, powdered buttons & barrettes

Arlene's deeply stamped barrette
*Rebecca N's onlaid, textured,mixed media, gold Premo necklace architecture
Singing Clay's stamped, antiqued, faux leather, horse-theme, switchplate, with frame

Robin's stamped things and suggestions

*Cheryl's multi-powdered stamped items (some powders painted on with brush?) (website gone)
*Cheryl's everything else (website gone)
Kathy G's many metallic frames around stamps (website gone)
PCC's rubber stamp swap (at Emily's) (website gone)
*Faun's MANY photos (some with partial explanations) of MANY topics (takes a while to load, but chocked with stuff!) (website gone)

Ann’s faux raku with stamping (website gone)
fatbak's stamped,molded,antiqued box, sandstone too gone?????
~*fatbak’s many-techniqued, tiled, frames & clock
(website gone)

Tory Hughes’ video on molds/stamps

see Books for many books dealing with polymer and stamping

order your name (or any letters/words in cunneiform letters)
Clearsnap's Colorbox inks, stamps, rollers, etc.
Cloud 9's comprehensive stamping site