Found Stamps

Bolts, wine corks, spools & washers can be used to create interesting marks on your art journal pages. 

Circles stamped with spools {from thread} using purple acrylic paint.

Purchased inexpensive assortment of metallic stuff and sprinkler system connectors from the hardware store and glued them to small blocks of wood from the garage. These are washers glued to block of wood. 

Lock washers glued to PVC pipe with Elmer's glue.

Circles stamped on canvas with large bolt and white acrylic paint.

Circles stamped with washers and white acrylic paint.


  1. Ideas for "found" stamps include outdated date stamps or office stamps {i.e. RECEIVED}, the inside of a roll of tape, wine corks, pen lids, cookie cutters {don't put it back in the kitchen after using with paint}, plastic play doh or clay shaping tools, a metal screen, spools, cake decorating shapes, metal jewelry-making stamps, bubble wrap, buttons, skeleton keys and almost any lid! Whew!
  2. Create a larger stamp or an interesting pattern by gluing various items to a block of wood.
  3. Use found stamps & hardware stamps with stamping ink just as you would a rubber stamp.
  4. Use a brush to paint the found stamp or hardware stamp {with white gesso, black gesso, fluid acrylic paint or block printing ink} and imprint your paper.
  5. Stamp the same pattern in different colors to create a layered look.
  6. Stamp repeatedly along the edge of a page.
  7. Create a stamp for page corners by making L-shaped or V-shaped patterns.

Once I got started I got really into the process and was ultra curious to see what each shape looked like when it was stamped. The hardware stamps that I created were inspired by the book Print & Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers.

Learn more tips & tricks for working in your art journal...