Monday, April 15, 2013

Project:  Stone Stamping

It has been freezing cold here the last day or two, even hailing (darn it spring, you always fool me!) so I thought I would concentrate on an indoor project---stamping on stones and pebbles. This project will require a couple of specialized supplies, but then the stones are basically free, just pick suitable ones up as you see them. River stones are especially good for this project and I found these ones on my river walk the other day:

I do recommend that you choose stones with the smoothest surfaces you can find to facilitate easier stamping, and that you wash them first to remove any loose dirt.

Now, you will also need stamps and ink. I am using this ink here:

and this solvent to clean the stamps when I am done:

This ink is permanent. It's called "StazOn" because it will, indeed, stay on!

Now basically, you just ink up your stamp and stamp it onto the stone. There are a couple of tips to heed here when you do this. Make sure to press down evenly on the stamp when you are stamping. Otherwise, this will happen:

You can see that I didn't quite get all of the stamp down at the bottom. You may need to gently roll the stamp to accommodate the convex nature of the stone. Also, if you are just starting out, and you are going to use permanent ink, I recommend using a simple design, such as this one:

As for mistakes, if you make one when using the permanent ink, it is going to be very hard to remove it. I found the solvent did not take it off the stone, perhaps because the stone is slightly porous.  I had to use sandpaper to remove the design. Bad for mistakes, but good for knowing the design will stay on!

Here is one I made with a very elaborate stamp. It's a mermaid, but as you may be able to tell, not all of the design got transferred. It still looks ok however, and really, you can't expect perfection when working with this sort of medium.

If you are prone to mistakes, I would also suggest working with a water soluble ink that you can wash off when you mess up. You can always do your design with water soluble ink and then spray your stone with something like this, in a matte spray:

It would also be fun to try stamping on tumbled stones, where the surface is more even.

I haven't tried putting these outside yet, but I am going to leave a few of these outside to see how weather, UV rays, etc, affect the design. Otherwise, they make great accents for indoor displays like those little tabletop fountains, or in your planters, or just on your windowsill. Make some to give to friends! I plan on also leaving them around in public places as "guerilla art" for people to find and take home. See here and
here for some info on guerilla/found art. I'm going to detail this concept in some of my posts in the future.
Have a great week!


  1. if I found one of these laying around in public I would definitely take it home and treasure it forever!

  2. I never look at river rocks or stamps the same way!
    This is a fantastic idea that I hope to copy soon!