Carved Rubber Stamps: Storage & Care

A few people have asked how I care for and store my hand-carved rubber stamps, so I thought I’d share what I do.

Cleaning:

1. After using your stamp, stamp any excess ink off onto a scrap piece of paper.

2. Rinse stamp off under running water (room temp), with or without mild soap. Be careful not to rub while rinsing. Small pieces of detailed carving can be lost this way.

3. Gently blot water off with soft cloth. Many inks will leave your stamp stained, especially dark inks. This is okay and won’t affect future stamping. Test stamp on a blank piece of scrap paper to make sure it is completely clean of ink.

Storage:

1. I store my stamps in a plastic covered, storage bin. This keeps them safe and in one place.

2. Carefully stack larger pieces making sure they remain flat. Any bending or overhang will eventually lead to cracks and breakage. I lost one of my favorite stamps by carelessly tossing it in the bin without giving it a flat surface to rest on. Smaller stamps don’t bend very easily and are less worrisome.

3. Keep stamps away from extreme heat and cold. I keep my stamps in a covered shelving unit, in controlled temps, protected from sun and dust.

Pretty basic stuff, but it makes a difference. These stamps won’t last forever and can eventually harden, crumble or crack. I spend a lot of time carving my stamps and want them to last as long as they can. Many of my stamps are over 2 years old and still work great. Some inks can affect their longevity, but as long as you stick to craft/scrap book quality inks, you should be okay. My favorite inks are VersaCraft and VersaMagic Dew Drops.

Hope this is helpful :)

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15 Responses to Carved Rubber Stamps: Storage & Care

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh, I just love looking at all your hand-carved stamps. They are amazing. Thanks for all your tips, have you tried ColorBox inkpads? I’m wondering if those are good for your stamps, since I use a lot of that brand. And I like your see-through storage. I store my stamps in those wooden Ikea drawers (lots and lots of wooden Ikea drawers…) but I always end up opening like 5 or 6 drawers before I find the one I’m looking for.

  2. ismoyo says:

    Thanks for this great post and all the tips you are sharing. I just started carving some stamps and didn’t even thought about how to store and care for them yet. thankyou!

  3. Regina says:

    Your stamps are so lovely! I have not carved my own – but have quite the collection of purchased stamps in a combination of plastic tubs and a wooden drawer with shelf liner in it. I use a painting edging pad with water on it to gently clean the stamps and blot off on a paper towel – seems to work well.

  4. Robin says:

    Very helpful – thank you! I love how all of your stamps look together…so inspiring!

  5. Expat Mom says:

    Now I want to make stamps! I wonder if I could find the stuff here in Guatemala to do it . . .

  6. cindy says:

    Those stamps are exquisite. I have one that I am working on. I love the graphic look of the carved lines. The stamps themselves are more beautiful to me than the images they produce.

  7. Emma says:

    I really appreciate all this info–thanks!

  8. I think the stamps themselves are works of art. The vine stamp on the left in the picture of the two storage bins is very lovely. They would make great Moo cards :)

    I want to try my hand at stamps. I want to be able to make some custom fabric with them. I also intend to use them for my ceramics too. Endless possibilities. Thanks for the advice!

  9. jen says:

    i’m very protective of my stamps. i’m glad to hear what i’ve been doing is exactly what you recommend. stamps will last forever if you treat them right, those wonderful little works of art! i love your designs – that cup of coffee one really speaks to me.
    thanks!!

  10. Caley says:

    Thank you, this is perfect! I just wrote a step-by-step article on making homemade stamps for our new crafting website and then stumbled across your wonderful tips for caring for them. I mentioned you with a linked image as an addition to the article (linked from name above). I hope that’s ok (do contact me if you’d like anything changed and I will respond promptly)! I look forward to reading your blog!

  11. hjhnor says:

    I just admire your stamps. They are so amazing. Actually, I’ve been thinking of creating my own rubber stamps but could not think of how to start as well as the basic material for it. I know it’s rubber, but how do I get it???Thanks anyway, for your handy tips in rubber stamps storage. Mine are very disorganised.

  12. Mr. Robert Peloquin says:

    I found your site and was tickled pink with your clear precise instructions on making ones own stamp. I have been stamping for several years and making my own note cards only to be greatly disappointed in being able to find verses on stamps for sale. I have written many myself but would appreciate knowing where I could send a verse to be made up into a stamp? Should you know of someone that does offer this service and approximate cost for same I would be delited to know. I am 76 and enjoy making up note cards using my own photos.

  13. Mr. Robert Peloquin says:

    I have come to a stand still now because as you may have noticed people do not use note cards as much as they did in years past. Thanking you in advance for any help you may be able to give me in this matter. Sincerely, Robert Peloquin PS Should you want a sample of my work I will be most happy to send something on to you.

  14. henny says:

    Thanks!… and wow, your stamps so amazing… great collections!

  15. I’m also interested in rubber stamps.. they are so amazing..

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