7 Carving blocks you can use to make stamps

Creating your own stamp is really fun especially when your carving block is easy to carve. If you find yourself limited to erasers at the local bookstore know that you have other options available locally. Here are reviews and comparisons of carving blocks I have tried and tested.

Rubber eraser

A rubber eraser is the easiest to find in any local bookstore. Just be mindful to carving on a rubber eraser and not a plastic one. Rubber erasers are easy to carve because it is softer compared to plastic / vinyl erasers. Rubber erasers may melt when left in hot places, rubbed or stamped on textured surfaces which dulls the detail on the stamp.

Block sizes are limited to what is available at your local supply store. I personally have a favorite kind sized rougly at 2 x 3 inches which you can buy online or at Hello MNL. This brand in particular melts when placed in hot places. If left unused for long periods of time it becomes tough like stone. Care should be taken when storing stamps made from eraser to preserve its design. This carving block is ideal for beginners.
Ease of cutting: 4/5
Durability: 2.5/5
Price: Php 50++
Available at: @craftavenueph via Hello MNL Store & any local bookstore.
What it looks like when carved:
A photo posted by Karla's Crafts (@kraftkart) on

A photo posted by Hey Kessy (@heykessy) on

China Carving Block

A durable and bigger material that measures 4 x 6 inches and around 1 cm thick, meaning you can use this without mounting it. What I like about this block is that it is multicolored. Its a layered carving ideal for indicating how deep you're carving into the block. The downside of this block is its toughness that dulls craft knife blades faster.

Ease of cutting: 2/5
Durability: 5/5
Price: Php 200+
Available at: Craft Carrot, @craftavenueph via Hello MNL store
What it looks like when carved:

Speedball SpeedyCarve & SpeedyCut Blocks

You can tell these two apart from its color: SpeedyCarve is in pink, reminiscent of old school pink rubber erasers while SpeedyCut is cream in color.  You can easily glide a craft knife on the SpeedyCut making it ideal for fine details, its downside is that it will require precision carving because of its crummy texture (If you bend it hard enough it will break like bread.) Not exactly the block for beginners or wobbly hands. SpeedyCarve on the other hand is a standard quality block in terms of texture and ease of carving.
Ease of cutting: 4/5
Durability: 4/5
Price: Php 267+
What it looks like when carved:

Speedy Cut
Ease of cutting: 5/5
Durability: 3/5
Price: Php 250+
Both Available at: DeovirHey Kessy
What it looks like when carved:

Moo Carve 

Moo is a brand that offers carving blocks in all sizes. This is your next go-to brand that is available locally next to the Speedball brand. The upside of using this block is that its super easy to carve and not as crummy as the Speedball SpeedyCut block. I've noticed from my experience that transferring your design onto this block doesn't register as good as it would come out on a SpeedyCarve (most likely because of its grey color) or other blocks that I've used. You may want to use a fine tip marker to touch up on the design once its on the block. Just like the China carving block, Moo Carve can hold your design even when its bent or ran through water if you decide to clean it.
Ease of cutting: 4/5
Durability: 4/5
Price: Php 140 - 940 depending on size
Available at: Craft CarrotHey Kessy
What it looks like when carved:

Thin Carving block

This thin carving block (the one in photo) is only available at Hey Kessy. A block this thin measuring at 0.5 cm in thickness means it has to be mounted for a better grip. Like the Japanese carving block this material can take really fine details when you carve it. It closely resembles the thickness of the rubber sole available at Deovir.

Ease of cutting: 4/5
Durability: 5/5
Price: Php 120 a piece
Available at: Hey Kessy and Create Crafts PhMrs. Graham Cafe
What it looks like when carved:
A photo posted by Marz Today! (@marzren) on

Seed Brand Japanese Eraser block

Another personal favorite is the Japanese carving block. These are quite pricey because they are imported but nonetheless the ideal carving block for eraser stamps. Its designed to have two colors to help you see how deep you're carving through the block. The blocks are thick measuring a little over 1 cm which means you can use it without mounting it. The downside to this material is that its unusually powdery-to-the-touch surface makes design transfer faded. To counter it, clean the surface with a kneaded eraser and use a lead holder pencil or 7B drawing pencil when you transfer your design onto the block.

I prefer this over the regular rubber eraser because it is dust free and more durable. The Japanese block (Seed brand) usually comes with tracing paper, design sheet you can trace and a guide making it ideal for beginners.
Ease of cutting: 5/5
Durability: 5/5
Price: Php 300 - Php 600
Available at: medium ph, Rakuten Market
What it looks like when carved:
A photo posted by Mei (@craftermei) on

A photo posted by mizutama (@mizutamahanco) on

Tips in choosing your carving block

  • How to tell rubber and plastic erasers apart: plastic erasers usually promise to be 'dust-free' and are made from tougher latex-like texture. If it withstands bending or if you can't bend it at all (unless its a thick eraser) its most likely a plastic eraser. 
  • To get a better idea of what the readily available eraser are like read this and this
  • Chinese carving blocks are cheap alternatives to the Japanese type of carving block. Its price usually starts at Php 250+.
  • Daiso in Japan also offers eraser blocks that come in smaller sizes sometimes these are more expensive costing at Php 300+ 
  • How do to know if you need to mount a stamp? If your carving block less than 1 cm thick its going to be difficult to stamp your carving block without a handle.

Have you tried other locally available carving blocks or brands to make a stamp? Let me know in the comments section of your experience in using them. Happy carving!


Post a Comment


Makers' Hangout

We celebrate every Maker's journey. Subscribe for updates to Makers' Hangout

Events + Stockists

The Wander Space PHSociety6

Name: Marz Ren | AKA: 認馬摯
​Marz is a handmade stamp artist turning things and people into stamps since 2013

Content License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://blog.marzren.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://marzren.com.
Become a Patron!