DIY Stamp Pads and Stamps

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DIY Stamp Pads and Stamps

Hi Kid Lab! Sarah here.

My favorite type of art to make is printmaking so I love making homemade stamps. This month we’re focusing on weather in our Play Labs so I made a set of stamps with weather shapes for all our Kid Lab kids to explore. You can make your own stamps and reusable stamp pads with just a few materials.

I often save the plastic tops from jars or bottles (after getting clean in my dishwasher) because they are great for small hands to pick up and use to stamp. To make the stamp, you can use foam stickers to stick onto the bottle top or you can use hot glue to attach a cut out shape from craft foam or even a slice from a pool noodle! I also love using bubble wrap to make a unique stamp texture. If you raid your recycling bin you will probably find something interesting to try as a stamp! I usually use a low temperature glue gun so that the bubble wrap and other materials don't get too hot as I'm attaching them to the bottle top.

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My stamps include a slice of pool noodle, bubble wrap, foam star stickers, and foam scraps my children cut up.

For the stamp pad, you will need a tray, some upholstery foam or a sponge, and a glue gun. The foam can be purchased at a craft store and can be cut into any size. An easy and affordable option is to use a cellulose sponge as your stamp pad since the upholstery foam is often sold in a large roll. Here is a link to the foam and trays I used. I was able to cut my large trays in half to make two stamp pads and then I cut my foam to fit in the tray. Hot glue the foam to the tray and you are ready to add paint! For these stamp pads, I use washable tempera paint so they should not stain the way some stamping ink can. Perfect for messy artists! The first time you add paint to the foam it will take quite a lot and you may want to dampen the sponge or foam to help distribute the paint. A spatula or spoon can be used to press paint all over the pad. Then you are ready to stamp! In between uses I let the stamp pads dry completely and store them in Ziplock bags. Add some more paint and a spray of water to reactivate the stamp pad. Please share any stamps and stamp pads you make with us!