Found Stamps

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

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

Found stamps are everyday items not designed for stamping but can be used to make marks on paper, fabric or another surface.

Potential mediums for making marks:

Stamping ink
White or black gesso
Block printing ink
Acrylic paint
Espresso or coffee
Ink

Examples of found stamps:

skeleton key
office stamps {i.e. FAXED or RECEIVED}
outdated date stamps
cookie cutters,
clay shaping tools
metal screen
cake decorating shapes
metal jewelry-making stamps
bubble wrap
buttons
wine cork
medicine cup
lid
saucer
pen cap
spool {roll sideways or stamp edge circle}
tennis ball
leaf/petal/twig
old headphone
edge of a plastic gift card

Circles stamped with thread spools with dioxazine purple fluid  acrylic paint.

Circles stamped with thread spools with dioxazine purple fluid  acrylic paint.

lower right corner, Espresso stamped with a medicine cup.

lower right corner, Espresso stamped with a medicine cup.

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Search your garage or basement for flat things that have an interesting shape.

  1. Stamp the same pattern in different colors to create a layered look; make a stamp for page corners by making L-shaped or V-shaped patterns.
  2. Find an expansive & extensive list of examples & ideas about hardware stamps in the book Print & Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers.
  3. To make hardware stamps, I walked the aisles of Home Depot and selected an inexpensive assortment of metallic stuff, sprinkler system connectors, washers, etc. Then I found some small blocks of wood scraps in our garage and used ordinary Elmer's glue to attach them to the wood. I let them dry overnight and used them to stamp acrylic paint, white gesso, black gesso and stamping ink. 
Circles stamped on canvas with large bolt and white acrylic paint.

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

Circles stamped with washers and white acrylic paint.

Circles stamped with washers and white acrylic paint.

Here's a video tutorial for carving eraser stamps to use in your art journal or on mail art.