If you’re a regular reader of the AE Blog, you’ll know that I love experimenting with different ideas for creating your own stamps. Today, I’d like to share my latest (and favourite so far) method of creating a stamp for using with ceramic, polymer & metal clay.
They’re quick and simple to make, long lasting and heavy duty, can hold lots of detail, and give a great impression. I found the materials to make them by accident. My daughter had been watching youtube videos about customising your My Little Pony dolls and she asked me to buy her some polymorph plastic. I found some on Ebay, about £4 for a 250g bag. After doing some modelling on her ponies, I wondered if the leftovers would be suitable for making stamps.
It was! So I’d like to share with you just how simple it is. All you need is the plastic pellets and something to take an impression from. I’m using an ammonite fossil. I’ve only tried this on hard items so far, you have to press quite firmly to get a good impression. But I think if the item won’t crush too easily, this would work for pretty much anything.
The plastic is activated using hot water. Just add some to a heat proof bowl and pour on some hot tap water, or slightly cooled water from the kettle.
You’ll see that the white plastic turns transparent once it’s ready to use.
It should all stick together, so carefully take it out of the water using a fork or something to save your hands.
After a few seconds, it will cool enough to work with your hands. Be careful as it does hold a bit of water which will still be hot. You might want to wear rubber gloves to be sure. I rolled it in to a ball and then stretched it in to a skittle shape so that I could make a handle for the stamp.
Press the plastic down on to the item you want an impression of, leaving the top section in shape for the handle. The ammonite didn’t stick, but test other things before embedding them in to the plastic.
Remove the stamp and check that you’ve got a good impression.
Then leave the stamp to cool. You can speed this bit up by running it under the cold tap. Once cool it will turn white again.
Test it out! I tried on ceramic clay (which needed a bit of baby oil on the stamp to stop it from sticking clay) Also I think my clay was a bit wet for taking a good impression, letting it firm up a bit would help with it coming out more clearly defined.
And also on polymer, which gave a really good impression.
If the stamp isn’t what you were hoping for, just pop it back in to boiling water, wait for it to turn transparent again and remake it. (Thicker pieces will take longer to heat up again compared to the smaller pellets.)
I think this is the easiest and best way I’ve found so far to create unique impressions from homemade stamps, and they’re really solid so I think they’d last a long time compared to silicon which will perish in time.