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Hand-Carved Rubber Stamped Book

Learn how make your own rubber stamp to use in a sketchbook with this project.

Project by Rachel Fontenot from New Orleans, La.

Rachel is a painter who expanded her artistic skills to include book-binding. In this project, she creates a hand-carved rubber stamp and then stamps a sketchbook.


card stock
decorative paper
tapestry needle
artist carving block
tracing paper
4B pencil
dye-based ink pad


1. For the book: Cut five 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" sheets of card stock. Individually fold each of the five sheets of card stock in half to make a 4-1/2" x 5-1/2" folio. Nest all five folios together to make a signature and set aside.

2. Cut a piece of decorative paper to 5-1/2" x 9" and fold in half to make the cover for the signature. On the inside of the decorative paper along the fold, mark a point exactly in the middle. Mark two other points, 1 inch in from the head and 1 inch in from the tail. Do the same to the signature grouping.

3. Take a brad awl and punch the three holes in the signature grouping and separately punch the three holes through the decorative paper. Nest the decorative paper cover on the outside of the signature.

4. Cut a piece of ribbon four book lengths long (four times 5-1/2 inches in this example) and thread through a tapestry needle.

5. Sew the cover and signatures together, entering from the outside of the center hole leaving a 5- to 6-inch tail on the outside. Sew through the top hole from the inside to the outside. Skip the middle hole, going from the top hole to the bottom hole, and sew back to the inside. Sew back through the center hole from the inside to the outside. You should now have two tails sticking out of the middle hole on the outside of the book. Tie them in a bow to complete the book.

6. For the stamp: Draw your design on a piece of paper. Cut a piece of artist carving block (approximately 3/4-inch thick, similar to an eraser, but softer) larger than your stamp design. Set aside.

7. Overlay the drawn design with a piece of tracing paper and trace the outline of the design using a 4B pencil. Lay the tracing paper on top of the carving block, graphite side down, and rub the back of the tracing paper to transfer the graphite design to the carving block.

8. Using your carving tool, carve away everything you don’t want to stamp while leaving your design remaining on the carving block.

9. Ink your finished stamp using a dye-based ink pad and stamp onto the cover of your book.

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