Category Archives: Mark Making

Mark Making Ideas 5

Today I have a great tutorial for you on how to make your own rubber stamps for mark making. These are so quick and easy to make and VERY inexpensive. I love carving my own stamps and I think you are gonna love these ideas.

I carved this stamp a while back and you can see it is well used. I find it very useful for adding marks and it appears in lots of my work.

Mark Making Stamp

Round stamp

But since deciding to share these mark making tips with you I have carved myself some more and I can’t wait to use them.

You can buy this Stamp Carving Kit very easily on Amazon.

Stamp Carving Kit

And this is what you will get.

Speedball Stamp Carving

It is very inexpensive and I would definitely recommend you buy the stamp carving tool, which you can also buy separately I believe (with different shaped blades too).

But as you can see I haven’t even opened the Speedy Carve Rubber yet. And that is because I use these.


Yes that’s right. Just everyday erasers. These were all very cheap erasers. Just pennies really. And they are perfect!


You will also find a craft knife very useful. Indeed you could do the entire carving with a craft knife but the Speedball Cutting Tool does make the job easier I find.

Craft Knife

So, let’s carve our first rubber stamp then, eh!

First of all I draw my design directly on to the eraser. I use a very fine marker pen for this. I don’t choose elaborate designs, just simple shapes. They are purely to add interest to my work.


Then I use my Speedball carving tool to begin the carving. Here is my first cut.

First cut

I continue in this manner just cutting the outline of the shapes.


Then I continue to carve with the tool, making sure that the background to the shapes is well carved away. It needs to be a significant depth so as not to attract paint or ink when applying to finished stamp.


If the design is more intricate then I use the Craft Knife for the tricky bits as I can get into the nooks and crannies more easily with this. Make sure to carve a little at a time in order not to make any heavy handed mistakes in the cutting. !!! Do remember you are working with very sharp tools, so be careful not to slip and cut yourself !!!

When I am happy with the cut aways I then use an emery board (nail file) to sharpen up all my edges to complete. When you are happy with the shape and cut aways make sure to brush away all the loose crumbs of rubber. I do this with a small dry paint brush.

Next, ink up your completed eraser to make sure you are happy with all of the carving. Make sure that no parts of the eraser are picking up the ink that you don’t want to. I just press mine on an ink stamp pad.


And then test it out on a piece of paper.


If you are happy with the stamped design your eraser is ready to use. If you are not happy with the stamped image go back and re-carve until you are satisfied.

Here are the other stamps that I carved.

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Can you believe how easy it is? I have stamped these carved rubber stamps here and there on to this painted background purely so that you can see the effect.


They are cool, aren’t they?

You can use them with ink pads or any of your paints. I use mine a lot with acrylic paint. I do give them a bit of a scrub with water and a small scrubbing brush after use. You will never get all of the paint off but you don’t want to get the grooves clogged up with too much paint.

I do hope you have a go at carving some of these yourself. They are so easy to do (each one took me about 15 minutes to make) and there are infinite possibilities for designs.

I will save my Speedy Carve rubber mat for a more intimate design I think. But for the moment I can’t wait to go and try out these new rubber stamps that I have carved for you today.

Happy Carving!




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Mark Making Ideas 4

Today I am going to hopefully inspire you to look for implements around the house that you can use for mark making. My eyes are now finely tuned to look for shapes in everyday items and I come across new mark making implements all the time.


The kitchen is a good source of supplies for me. How about a spatula?


Who would have thought!


Or a plastic pizza slicer…….. not sure how good it is for slicing pizza.


But it glides across my artwork beautifully to create erratic lines.

Pizza Slicer

And a basting brush, which I actually use a lot in the kitchen, (not the same one I use for painting I hasten to add)

Basting Brush

Makes some good random marks.

Basting Brush

Then we have paint scrapers.

Paint Scrapers

I use these a lot to add painted lines.

ScrapersNow let’s go to the hairdressers. These combs were cheap and cheerful

Hair combsI drag them a little across the page


And …… not sure what you call this but it is the plastic brush that you use to pull hair conditioner through your hair.

Hair brush

I like this one because I can creat circular dots like this.

Hair brush

Or if I twist it as I print it makes this nice twisted dots design.

Hair brush twist

Then finally…… and I use these a lot!

Doggie poo bags!

Dog bags

But not the bags but the inner roll that the bags are rolled on to. (already used, hence the paint)

Plastic tube

I always save these because they are useful for printing circles.

Tube close up

Tube dots

I should point out that for all my mark making I first spread my paint with a brayer on to a piece of heavy duty glass that I keep on my art worktop. (the glass was an idea that I got from Flora Bowley). Then I press my mark making tools into the paint spread to gather up paint.

Well that is al for today. Although I suspect I could come up with endless more ideas if I started rummaging in my drawers. What Ideas can you come up with for implements that will make interesting marks? Go and have a search around the house and see what you can find.

I will be blogging again next week with some more mark making ideas and I think you are gonna love them. So do remember to stop by again next week or in case you forget you might like to subscribe to my blog posts on the top right of the Home page.

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Mark Making Ideas 3

Today we will be using fun foam again to make more mark making tools. We are going to make a stamping tool.

First of all you will need your fun foam.

Fun Foam

And an old credit card or Hotel room key. Often these types of card are used as advertising gimmicks too. Never EVER throw these away. They are so useful for many things in art. I will give you more ideas for these another time.

Credit cards

Cut yourself three small oblongs about 4″ x 3″. Layer and stick these together with quick drying craft glue.

Fun Foam thickness

Cut out some small shapes of your choice from the craft foam. I have cut out triangular shapes for my stamping tool. I have purposely cut these to odd shaped sizes for the usual randomness that I enjoy. (You can see they are not perfect and that works well for me). Then I have stuck them to one side of my old credit card.

Credit card stamper 2

Next you will need some old wine (or champagne) corks. Once again, always save yourself a little stock of corks. They are so useful.

Mark Making Corks

I have cut down a wine bottle cork to make myself a small handle for my credit card. You can use a craft knife or scissors. This handle is not essential but makes the credit card stamp easier to use.

Credit card stamper 3

Now add paint and begin stamping.

Credit card stamper 4

It does add some more interesting marks to your artwork.

Foam Stamp design

If you don’t have a credit card you can use the same technique to add foam shapes to strips of cardboard. Here are two of mine that I have stuck to an ordinary piece of thick card and a corrugated piece.


You will probably notice that for these cardboard stamps I only used one layer of foam. And I also carved some lines into them for more texture. They also do not have cork handles. These two stamps I use a lot. I find these marks very useful in my work.

I also use the edge of my corrugated card stamp to make marks too.


You see I am always thinking of ways of making marks. Just add paint and stamp.

Card edge stamped

These cardboard foam stamps were the original way that I made my foam stamps. Since then I have progressed to the credit card type. Why?

  1. Because they are easier to wash off the paint (being plastic).
  2. Because the cork handles make them easier to place and lift off my work
  3. Because the three layers of foam add height and prevent the edges of the plastic from gathering paint and adding hard edges to my design.

But both methods work so just make use of what materials you have.

Here you will see glimpses of the stamps being used in my work.

Foam stamp idea

Foam stamp idea 2

Foam stamp image

Now it’s time for you to make some foam stamps. Let’s see what you come up with. Please leave me a comment below to let me know how you get on.

There will be another mark making post here tomorrow. I hope you are enjoying my ‘Mark Making’ series. Remember if you would like to follow this series it may be a good idea to ‘Subscribe to Posts’ in the top right hand side of the Home page or follow me through your RSS feed.


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Mark Making Ideas 2

After showing you the Mark Making Roller yesterday I thought I would continue on the rolling theme today. So, here is another simple rolling tool that you can make.

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As you can see I have cut some small random oblong shapes from the craft foam. I have purposely made these odd sizes as I do not want this tool to print a pattern that is too uniform.

Then I have stuck them all around the rolling pin with tacky glue in sort of continuous lines going around the rolling pin.

Rolling Pin Tool

When rolled onto my artwork they do make an interesting design.


You can choose to only add paint to portions of the roller if you do not want your pattern to be too uniform.

Mark Making

If you decide to make a ‘rolling pin mark making tool’ think of the endless possibilities of designs you could come up with. Just cut some different shapes from the foam and make more rollers. The rolling pins should be pretty cheap (mine only cost pennies). I think circle shapes in various sizes would work well. That’s what I am going to try with the next one I make.

What shape ideas could you come up with?

Look out for my next mark making post tomorrow. I will be moving away from rolling tools but have some more ideas for fun foam. And after that even more ideas in the days to come. I hope I am inspiring you to create. Please do leave me a comment below to let me know if you are enjoying this ‘mark making’ series.



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Mark Making Ideas 1

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I will be posting a series of posts here over the coming days with ideas of mark making tools that you can easily make for yourself. I hope you find it useful.

Since beginning my voyage into mixed media art I have been continually in search of different ways of mark making. Flora Bowley, Alisa Burke and Tracy Verdugo have all inspired me to use mark making in my work. Mark making produces such interesting elements into a painting. There are endless methods of introducing exciting marks into your work but I thought I would share some easy ways that I have found of making my own mark making tools. These are tools that I constantly dive into when trying to introduce exciting elements into my art. I mostly use items that are knocking around the house or if I buy something it is never anything expensive.

Today I will show you my home made mark making roller. This is so easy and inexpensive to make and has endless possibilities. It is one of my favourite tools.

Mark making roller

First of all you need to buy yourself a cheap foam paint roller. You will find them in DIY or hardware stores. They are usually used for small or difficult areas of painting around the house, like for radiators or tight spaces. Here is the one I bought. I think it was around 4 Euros.


Then you will need the cardboard inner of a paper kitchen towel plus some bubble wrap (used for packaging delicate items) for your first roller attachment.

Paint Roller Materials

You may want to check that your cardboard roll fits over the foam roller nicely. Mine was the perfect size! Cut your kitchen roll inner cardboard into lengths the size of your paint roller.

Cut kitchen roll cardboard

Now cut a piece of bubble wrap the size necessary to cover one cardboard roll. Glue in place. I used tacky glue. Here you have the first roller attachment for your paint roller.

Bubble Wrap

Now let’s make some more. The next two I have made are using non slip matting. The rubber type that you buy for putting underneath items that might slip. This comes in various designs and is inexpensive. I had two that were different so I used one of each. Attached with glue, same as before.

Paint roller with attachments.

Here you will see three more ideas for your cardboard rolls. Sorry, I forgot to photograph them before I used them.

Mark Making Roller

The two in the bottom middle are just rubber bands stretch wrapped around the cardboard. No gluing necessary. The top one is made up of two wide rubber bands and the bottom one has several thin bands wrapped around. Make sure to overlap the rubber bands here and there to create more interest. Then bottom left you have the clingfilm (food wrap) wrapped roll. Again, no gluing necessary. just wrap around and let it cling to itself. Make sure it has lots of lovely wrinkles in it.

To use them just roll them in your acrylic paints. I squeeze my paints out onto a heavy sheet of glass that I have on my workspace and clean it up at the end of the day with a paint scraper.

Now shall we see what types of marks these roller attachments produce?

Bubble Wrap
Bubble Wrap
Roller 3 marks
Non slip rubber matting – type 1
Non slip rubber matting - type 2
Non slip rubber matting – type 2
Roller 4 Marks
Rubber bands large
Rubber bands small
Rubber bands small
Food Wrap
Food Wrap

They have created some pretty interesting marks and textures, huh? And all of the cardboard attachments are interchangeable as you paint. I don’t wash my cardboard attachments in between use or after, so they really are maintenance free. And of course easily and cheaply replaced when they wear out.

And here I have just used the paint roller with the attachments shown above to create a textured background. A quick easy way of creating an interesting first layer for a piece of artwork. Notice how I only used small sections of the roller in order that the designs were not too uniform. Little short bursts of the roller randomly here and there.


Well, I hope this post has inspired you to make your own paint roller. Do leave me a comment below to let me know what you think and if you use the idea, let me know how you got on. And also let me know if you come up with some more ideas for covering your cardboard rolls to create interesting texture. I am always keen for new ideas.

Tomorrow I will be posting an idea for another mark making tool and more during the coming days.

If you are enjoying this series and would like to make sure you don’t miss future posts may I suggest you subscribe to posts in the top right hand corner of the Home page or follow on your RSS feed.

Happy Mark Making.


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Mark Making Series

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As from tomorrow I will begin a mark making series of posts for the coming days. I will be showing a selection of mark making tools that you can make very easily (and cheaply) for your artwork, with details on how to make them. Mark making is fun and can produce interesting aspects to your artwork.

If you would like to follow this mark making series and don’t want to miss any of my posts may I suggest you either ‘subscribe to posts’ in the top right corner of the ‘Home’ page or follow me in your RSS feed.

I have some great ideas to share with you. I hope it will inspire you.

See you tomorrow with some exciting ideas!


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