Basic tools to DIY stamps

Get into stamp making by equipping yourself with the essential tools to get started on the craft.
I've listed down options on which tools you can save or splurge on.

Pencil

Different pencil lead grade gets your different results when you draw your pattern. I use a mechanical pencil with an HB lead. Sometimes I use a 7B drawing pencil to give my patterns thicker outlines.
Save: 2B lead on a mechanical pencil via National Bookstore
Splurge: 7B (or higher up to 10) Drawing pencil via Deovir or National Bookstore

Tracing Paper

Pre-cut tracing paper is starting to get harder and harder to come by. National book store sells "tracing paper" by the roll but what you're getting is actually close to Pastillas wrapping paper. IFEX has pre-cut tracing papers in 80 and 90 GSM. You'll always want the one with lesser GSM so you can see through your pattern.
Save: SM Department Store Stationery Section
Splurge: 40 gsm tracing paper from Loft or Tesco (import fees not included)

Lino Cutter

Not to be confused with wood carving tools, the lino cutter is made for carving linoleoum instead of wood. This is usually the most expensive tool you'll spend for making stamps but its absolutely worth the investment. Avoid wood carving tools if you're carving erasers. Wood carving tools often have broader tips and can leave you with jagged edges when you carve.
Save: Lino Cutting tools set via Deovir
Splurge: Speedball Lino Cutter Set via Common Room, Hey Kessy and Deovir

Craft Knife


There are plenty of craft knifes out there. When I started I used a full sized craft knife (the ones you can get in Daiso that come in a set.) Now I use NT Cutter's D-401P with a resin handle which makes it lighter than the ones us can find in Daiso. The set comes with two blade angles a 30° angle blade and a 45° angle blade.
Save: X-Acto Knife or craft knife set at Daiso or Japan Home Center; Morn Sun cutter via Deovir
Splurge: NT Cutter via ArtWhale (available only in black)

Cutting mat

Don't go cutting other people's tables while making stamps. A cutting mat protects the surface you're working on. My students often forgo the cutting mat but its actually pretty useful since you can use it for other projects. More importantly it saves you the trouble of cleaning up when you're done carving.
Save: cutting mat via National Bookstore
Splurge: Carl cutting mat via SM Department Store Stationery Section, or small square cutting mat via Gourdos

Carving Blocks / Erasers

Check out this post for a complete list of eraser blocks.
Save: Erasers via National Bookstore or CraftAvenuePH at IG or HelloManila Store
Splurge: Speedball Speedy-Carve via Deovir, See carving block selections from Hey Kessy, Craft Carrot,

Inks

There are so many kinds of inks to choose from. There are also different variants such as pigment (my personal favorite), chalk (which is good on Hobonochi planners), distress inks and dyes. If you want a no-frills ink go for the pigment ink because you can use it on most surfaces although. Dyes on the other hand give you more vivid colors compared to pigment inks (which can dry out fast in our humid weather).
Save: any generic office supply ink pad National Bookstore
Splurge: pigment, dye, chalk inks via Gourdos, Scribe, or Sqooid via Common Room PH


Now that you're equipped with all the tools you need to make your stamps, you can book a discounted one-on-one introductory course to eraser stamp making or intermediate eraser stamp carving course when you bring your own tools. For inquiries you may reach me at info[at]marzren.com

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Who is Marz



Name: Marz Ren | AKA: 認馬摯
​Marz is a handmade stamp artist based in Quezon City, Philippines. This one-person team takes pride in making handmade stamps as mindful way of printing.

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