How to Engrave a Design on an Eraser

Have you ever wanted to make your own stamps? Well you can, simply by using an eraser and an X-Acto knife.


  1. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 1
    Find or draw your pattern. It's best that it has wide, broad lines and not a lot of fine details. It's also easier if you make a design without a lot of curves for your first stamp. Your design should be backwards. This way, when you print it, it will be facing the correct way.
  2. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 2
    If you're a good artist, draw your pattern directly onto the stamp. If not, transfer the design. You can do this by drawing your design onto tracing paper and then rubbing the image onto the stamp. Remember that your image will be backwards when you transfer it like this, but when you stamp it will face the right way. If you draw directly onto the stamp, you must draw the mirror image of what you want to appear.
  3. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 3
    Cut carefully around the outside of the design. This works best if you cut deep and at a slight angle away from the design. To remove the edges around the stamp it works best if you crosshatch the area and then undercut.
  4. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 4
    Cut out the interior details of the stamp. You might want to use the sewing needle for particularly fine details.
  5. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 5
    Test the stamp. Use a stamp pad and a piece of paper and see if the image is how you want it. If it's to your liking, continue on to the next step; if not, keep adjusting the carving.
  6. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 6
    Create a mount (if you want). Stamp your wooden block. This will be your handle. You may want to make sure that you use an ink that is water-resistant and seal it either with nail polish or another clear sealant so that the image doesn't run.
  7. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Step 7
    Using wood glue, glue the block of wood to the stamp. Make sure you glue it to the smooth side of the eraser not the side that you've carved and that the image is facing up on the block of wood.
  8. Image titled Engrave a Design on an Eraser Intro


  • Remember, when you look at the design you're carving it must be opposite, or a mirrored image, of the way you want you stamp to look.
  • Another way to transfer the image onto the stamp is to make a photocopy and wet it with acetone (nail polish remover).
  • It's also best if you have something to clean up the eraser shavings with, as otherwise they can make quite a mess. Try carving with a wastebasket nearby and on a board that is not connected to your desk, this way you can lift up the board and tilt it to get the eraser shavings into the trash.
  • At no point undercut any part of your design.
  • This can also be done on a larger scale by cutting a potato in half lengthwise and tempera paint instead of a stamp pads, however the stamp will wear out much more quickly and you need to make the design have even broader lines.


  • An X-Acto knife is very sharp. Be careful.
  • Take your time. You don't want to cut through part of your pattern by accident and have to start over.
  • Make sure that you always cut away from yourself! You do not want to cut yourself!

Things You'll Need

  • Eraser (pink pearl holds the best edge, but feel free to experiment)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Hard surface to carve on
  • Small block of wood (optional)
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Tracing paper (optional)
  • Sewing needle (optional)
  • Other carving tools (optional)

Sources and Citations

  • The original article can be found here, . However, it seems that the last few pages have disappeared or that the links are no longer correct after the first three pages. It also has images which may be helpful.

Article Info

Categories: Stamping and Stencils