D.I.Y. Dice Stamps
I love writing, but I also love crafting. So, I decided to combine the two and bring you a fun DIY project that should soothe any crafty cravings. Today I’ll be teaching you how to make d20 dice set stamps!
- A pencil
- A lino toolkit
- A spoon (optional)
- An utility knife
- An ink pad
- A self-healing board or a piece of cardboard - something that will stop you from cutting up the table you’re working on.
- This printout
- Eraser or multiple erasers (mine was 12x5cm and in the end I used one and a half to make all my stamps). Note: It is very important that you get a smooth/gummy eraser, don’t get anything that looks too sandy or crumbly. If you get what is called a ‘plastic eraser’ you should be good. Here are a couple of good ones: Amazon & Michaels. The reason I use erasers is they are cheap, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on crafting. You could probably also get a stamp making medium, but why spend the money when you can pick up a few cheap erasers at the euro store?
Cut out the first die from the printed pattern you want to work on, leaving roughly a centimeter border, then trace over all the lines with your pencil. Make sure to be heavy-handed with this so that you get enough pencil on the lines. You should also decide whether you are going to do numbers inside your dice or not. Doing numbers is more difficult, but not impossible. It is up to you!
Place the cut out die paper upside down on your eraser and then run the back of your spoon over what you have just traced, applying pressure. Or scribble over the back with a pencil, making the entire traced area grey. Once you have done that over the entire image, you can lift up the paper and you will see that the image has transferred to your eraser. You’ll also notice it is inverted, but don’t worry; it is meant to be that way!
Get your lino cutter and insert the small V head. Now, begin cutting in your eraser! The idea behind this is you want to gouge out all the eraser inside your image, except the black lines you have just transferred. Don’t worry about the rest of the eraser on the outside. We’ll get to that later.
Start with the outside of the die and then work on the inside. Always cut away from yourself! Protip: Instead of pushing the tool through your eraser, apply pressure and then turn/push the eraser instead. This will keep your tool from jumping out of the eraser, because you won’t be fiddling with how much pressure you are applying, etc.
When you come to a corner stop, remove your tool from the eraser, and place it back on your work flush with the perpendicular(ish) edge and continue. This will give you a nice, sharp corner.
Once you have outlined your entire piece with the small V tool head, put the small U toolhead in and trace the outline again. Once you have done that, gouge out any spaces that are left.
Now, take your utility knife and cut out your stamp flush to the edge. Don’t try cutting it out all in one go. The best thing about making dice is that they have straight edges, so make sure to cut one edge at a time.
Ink up your stamp and make a test print. What is nice about doing this is you can see any spaces where you may have missed a bit of eraser that should be removed. Remove any mistakes necessary. Don’t be too critical of your work. This is a handmade project so there are going to be imperfections - that is what makes it cool. Trust me, I’ve ruined a lot of stamps by telling myself I just need to remove one extra sliver.
And you’re done! Do this with the rest of your stamps and you have a cool dice set to use all over. :D
Liz Chaipraditkul is a writer and game developer. She is the owner of Angry Hamster Publishing, a company that develops and publishes tabletop role playing games. She dabbles in illustration and other crafts, but her true love is writing. You can read more of her personal ramblings on her blog epicxcloth.blogspot.com, or follow her on Twitter as @epicxcloth.