Rubber Stamps for Your Polymer Clay Projects – Shopping Smart

Rubber Stamps for Polymer Clay

The Dollar Store Can Sometimes Be Your Best Friend:

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been picking up rubber stamp sets at my local dollar store (see photo). They only cost a buck per set… so as you can imagine, my collection is growing fast. How can I resist at that price!?

Similar word sets and alphabet rubber stamps sell for $15 to $22 at the big box craft stores. Sorry Michael’s. I love ya but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Rubber stamps are really handy for using with polymer clay. You can dust them with cornstarch and press them directly into the clay. Click on the following link to see a photo of how I used them in a faux stone polymer clay project: Dog Tags Jewelry

There are also some other really cool techniques as well. I’m currently working on an extremely awesome graffiti bead technique using these word stamps that I can’t wait to make a mini course on. So stay tuned for that.

A quick tip for when you are buying rubber stamps is to salvage some of the plastic packaging for storing your stamps. What I do is cut around the ‘plastic bubble’ that the stamps are packaged in, to make a nice little open top box for them. This allows you to keep everything organized with the tops easy to see at a glance.

Hopefully you’ll be able to find some of these nifty rubber stamps in a dollar store near you. If not, you can also a discount coupon next time you go to Michaels.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Cindy Graveline, 23 May, 2009

    I bought three of those stamps sets at my dollar store last week!:) I’ll buy more next time :)

  2. Kelly, 23 May, 2009

    I wonder if they have them at my local dollar store! How exciting!

  3. Denise, 23 May, 2009

    Oh ladies, my local Michaels has recently put up a discount bin for their ‘old’ stamps and in all kinds of themes. So if your Dollar (tree, store, etc) is low on the goods, take a spin through your local craft shops discount areas (those dismal areas that looks like no mans land are a gold mine for fun stuff.)I went recent to the Hobby Lobby’s den of doomed materials and came away with some fab stamps, crazy feathers, jump rings (for my hair sticks), and a ton of “aging” paints for around 8 bucks. Bargain shopping heaven.
    .

  4. Cindy Lietz, 23 May, 2009

    Thanks girls for the comments and tips! Hope you all can find some great deals! Will have to check out the discount bin at Michaels when I go there this week!

    BTW Michaels is having a polymer clay sale in the Canadian stores this week. Any brand 4 for $5!! Spread the word!

  5. Catalina, 23 May, 2009

    Michaels does sell those tiny alphabet sets for only a dollar. I, too, had been looking for very small lettering and finally came across them at Michaels. I bought 6 different sets. Now, maybe it is only a US store that carries them but check the area near the registers in round tower baskets. Most stuff in there is a $1. But, I will look at my Dollar Stores, too. I’m looking for unusual patterns, scrolls, flowers, etc.

    I thought about making my own stamps but I haven’t come up with anything really cool to make stamps from. Any ideas?

    Hurray for Canada and their clay sale!! I went bonkers this week for clay in the US. But, I have been too busy to make anything.

  6. Ken H., 23 May, 2009

    Cindy, It wasn’t just the Canadian Michaels that had the sale, mine did also, here in steamy Philadelphia. I brought almost all of the colors needed in Premo to do your color cards. I mixed and formed the chips for all the Red category tonight, and will bake them tomorrow. The sale ended today.

  7. Cindy Graveline, 24 May, 2009

    I played with my mini stamps tonight, and at first they left a reddish residue on the clay. Did that happened to you as well?

  8. intothedawn, 25 May, 2009

    I’m going to have to check out my dollar store for stamps– I’m looking for mini alphabets just like these, love to get for a buck.

    Michael’s craft store does have dollar stamps, I usually find them right up by the cash register area. I’ve gotten some great ones with simple, deep, bold patterns, excellent for mica shift.

  9. Susan, 27 May, 2009

    Which dollar store? I have never seen rubber stamps there. Are they in the craft section? AC Moore has a bin of rubber stamps for a dollar. A lot of holiday stamps.

  10. Denise, 27 May, 2009

    Cataline…

    Making your own stamps is a breeze. one of my favorites is to use really niffty buttons i have saved over the years or taken off old style clothing. I have to admitt that i like the finished look and it saves me the creative headache of making pretty edges/finishings since i stink at it.

    hope that helped.

  11. Catalina, 28 May, 2009

    Denise:
    Buttons! That is a great idea! Thanks! Now, I have to go find some button. :-)

  12. Denise, 28 May, 2009

    your welcome. I had forgotten to add in vintage hardware like hinges, handels, edge ornimentations, etc, and old spoons, fillegree jewelry findings, blablabla… i am a texture nut.

    update: i went to the Dollar Tree and found niffty tin scrapbook embelishments that i will be making in to clay molds shortly.

  13. Catalina, 28 May, 2009

    I got to go to the Dollar Store! I like the scrapbook embellishments idea, too. I think I’m going to stop by a Dollar Store tomorrow.

  14. Gypsy, 29 May, 2009

    Gotta rush to a dollar store nowwwww, My close to home Michaels has a dollar stamp bin but not the kinds I like to use, so I always end up buying the expensive ones, also a good idea is buying the unmounted rubber stamps on the internet or ebay, some of the sellers offer shipping free and you can get good deals like $3 2″x2″ stamps….Impression obsession has on their clearence a lot of good stuff too and their stamps, if unmounted get you 30% off…..Those are the places i tend to visit most, and now to the dollar store, thankssssssssssssssss my tutorrrrrrrrr u roxxx (^_^)

  15. NanjoDogz, 31 May, 2009

    Cindy – I have found some great rubber stamps at the dollar store and even one time Michael’s was offering those alphabet stamps for a dollar and I bought a set, they weren’t in the greatest shape, but for a buck, they worked good enough! Love your blog!

  16. Cindy Lietz, 01 June, 2009

    @Catalina: There are a lot of cool ways to make your own stamps. You can cut them out of erasers. Make them out of polymer clay. Carve them out of linoleum. Make them out of hot glue. And there even stamp making kits out there!

    @Ken: That is excellent to hear. Hope you got lots!

    @Cindy G.: There was a residue that came off of mine to. Maybe there were the kind that were supposed to be pre-inked but were just crappy quality because there was so little of it the would come off. It wipes off the clay with rubbing alcohol. Cornstarch on the clay also helps to keep it from getting on the clay in the first place.

    @intothedawn: I have seen single stamps in the dollar bin at Michaels, but never the big sets like these.

    @Susan: I don’t know if this chain is in the States but the dollar store I got them from was Dollarama.

    @Denise: Great idea! There are so many cool buttons that would make great stamps! Same with all the vintage stuff you suggested. The ideas are pretty much endless, aren’t they!

    @Gypsy: Great point! I also love the unmounted stamps just because they are easier to store! Thanks for your sweet comment!

    @NanjoDogz: I agree, you can’t complain for a buck! Thanks for the compliment. I love your blog too!

  17. Catalina, 01 June, 2009

    Thanks Cindy! Linoleum! I forgot all about that. I couldn’t find any dollar store around here that has any stamps, so, I guess I’m going to make my own. I remember when I was in college and I studied ceramics, I never had a hard time finding things to make patterns. But, then I knew they would just burn off in the kiln. I liked to use food, cereal, noodles, rice, beans ect… So, I guess I could use those things to make my own stamps right out of clay – polymer clay that is! I have a neat project in mind and if it comes out well I’ll share it with you all.

  18. Cindy Lietz, 02 June, 2009

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with Catalina!

  19. Lynne Kropinak, 11 June, 2009

    Thanks! I’m going to keep my eyes out for those sets. I just got an old belt buckle at the flea market and pressed into clay and it was a great surprise! Flickr – charmedbynature.

  20. Norma Baggs, 12 June, 2009

    @ Catalina,
    Hi, Why not make them out of clay. You can roll the clay as flat as you like carve the design, bake clean and glue them to a small dowel. I would get some floral blocks to stand them in. Hope this helps. Thank You for giving me the Idea. Hugs\, Norma

  21. Cindy Lietz, 15 June, 2009

    @Lynne: Great idea! There are lots of things you can find around to make great texture on clay.

    @Norma: That is an excellent idea as well! You could even bake them to a polymer clay handle instead of the dowel if you want.

  22. Rita G, 19 June, 2009

    Also lurk around the clearance aisle and the dollar bins at Michaels!!! Alot of $1 clear stamps to be found in the bins near the register!

  23. Diane Hawley, 21 October, 2009

    Just new to polyclay or should I say I haven’t started as yet. I have seen a bead that has inspirational wording. Can you get these as moulds or stamps. Or can you by stamps for beads. If you have resources that relate can you please let me know. Great site. By the way I live Safet Bay Western Australia. Thanks Di

  24. Cindy Lietz, 21 October, 2009

    Hi Diane,

    Oh yes I can for sure help you with this. The link by my name will take you to some information about a members video tutorial that will show you how to do what I call graffiti beads. And here is the link to where you can purchase this video if you are interested: Graffiti Beads Back Issue

    The library videos “assume” you know the basics of working with polymer clay. But if you are still a beginner, the best place to start is with my Polymer Clay Basics Course.

    Hopefully these links help you out.

  25. Jon Williams, 23 January, 2011

    Hi Cindy,

    Hoping you can help me with something very important. PLEASE help. Can you advise me on what brand of rubber stamps of the alphabet are best for stamping into Polymer Clay? So many Ive found are not deep enough or open enough to get a good clean, deep impression into the clay. Any places/brands you think are better than others for this? ALSO, I need to know what you product you recommend for using with Pearl Ex powders on clay….as far as a adhesive in a spray…..one that I use to coat clay before I apply Pearl Ex powders to make them stick well AND best product to spray on after using Pearl Ex to REALLY seal the powders on AND give it a nice sheen? I use a mixture of the various colors in the P EX powders so I want to be able to spray on without disturbing the powders but want to make SURE they are adhered for GOOD. ANY help you can provide will be so greatly appreciated. Thanks a million!!

  26. Cindy Lietz, 25 January, 2011

    @Jon Williams: How deep do you want the impressions to be? I have found most brands of rubber stamps are fine.

    If you’re not finding what you want, you could try the Alphadisc Stamp from Cool Tools. They now have an updated version with several interchangeable fonts. This tool was specifically designed for precious metal clay so they work beautifully for polymer clay. If you do a search at the top of the page, you will be able to find the article I wrote about them awhile back.

    As far as protective sprays for polymer clay, you can’t get better than PYMII (Precious Memories II). It will seal in those mica powders wonderfully. It is a fairly matte finish though and not a high gloss. For more info on that you can click the link by my name or do another search for even more on PYMII.

  27. Jennifer T., 26 January, 2011

    @Jon Williams: You said you wanted a spray adhesive to make P Ex stick to clay. That makes me wounder if you are trying to add powders to baked clay ienstead of raw. I’m sorry if I misunderstod, but I wanted you 2 know,. The easy way to use mica powder is on raw clay, than bake. It stays on real good after that. Last step add top coat like Cindy said. The P Ex will stay on.

  28. Jon Williams, 27 January, 2011

    @Jennifer T.: Thanks Jennifer and Cindy. Appreciate your help so much!!

  29. Jon Williams, 03 February, 2011

    Hi Cindy, So sorry to bother you again but I desperately need your help. I have been commissioned to make one of my special boxes for a Valentines Day Gift. What I do takes an enormous amount of time and I’m already pushed for time, hence the urgent request. Per my previous post, I have always used Pearl Ex Powders and applied them AFTER I bake the clay. At this point, based on my production process of how I’m doing these, I HAVE to apply my “paint” finish AFTER I bake the tiles. Ive always used Pearl Ex powders because they look so much like real metal. I usually mix a variety of colors so that I get that aged metal look. What I do is that I make clay tiles in various rectangular/square shapes and then glue them to a wooden box. Because I put the Pearl Ex on after I bake them, I’m having trouble determining HOW to make the powders adhere best and then seal it in a way that the powders/color want peel off later. SO, that brings me to my main two questions. Given that I’m applying my colors to baked clay, what should the process be for using Pearl Ex. Secondly, is there any better product on the market that looks as good as or better than Pearl Ex..something that will look like real metal…another product on the market like this that would be better to use given that I’m putting it on to baked clay and want it to adhere really well? HELP…I need any suggestions you can give me. I just want the final finish to look like real aged metal but I want to use something that will adhere very well. THANKS A MILLION FOR YOUR HELP.

  30. Cindy Lietz, 05 February, 2011

    @Jon Williams: You’re very welcome for the help Jon. It must be very stressful to be still trying to figure out the mechanics of your project, so close to the deadline!

    I just sprayed my baked sample with the PYMII, then sprinkled the Pearl Ex on with a brush. Then waited a few seconds and rubbed over the surface to spread it out smoother. I then sprayed the surface with the PYMII again. It sealed the powder right in. You could add a few more coats for extra protection.

    If you want to try a different mica powder that has a binder in it, you could try Rangers Perfect Pearls. It has an adhesive pad that will help the product stick and a resin it it to make it bind with the surface. I don’t find it quite as shiny as the Pearl Ex though, but that is a personal choice. Good luck with your project!

  31. Jon Williams, 06 February, 2011

    Hi Cindy,

    Thank you SO much for your prompt reply and help. You will never know how much I appreciate you helping me. I’m not near as stressed now that I have your information!! :-) I am THRILLED beyond words that this PYMII is going to work EXACTLY how I need it to work. What a HUGE relief!! lol Again, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to help this amateur poly clay artist. I LOVE your website and have learned so much from you. You are so talented and a wonderful resource for so many of us out there. Bless you and thank you again. Hope you have a great weekend.

    Warm regards,
    Jon Williams

  32. Natalie H, 11 May, 2011

    Just read about you buying rubber stamps at the dollar store. AI just bought by grandaughter hierprgphic (not great at spelling)stampers from the Meusuem of Natural History sold at FIVE BELOW and you gave me a great Idea for using them on metallic polymer clay. I got it for her to write stories but it will work great with clay.

  33. Marion K, 11 May, 2011

    I wonder if i can use all stamps? Rubber stamps are very expensive and i can find some dlear stamps and acrylic stamps (are these the same?) which are a little cheaper. You are so lucky to have something like a dollarstore, overhere
    its very hard to find stuff for this hobby anyway and if you do find something its very very expensive.
    Ivebeen looking for floral stamps like Cindy used in faux dicroic glass (did i remember that right?) for instance but cant find them. And some stamps are so big, like 4″x 8″. i cant use that can i?

    Maybe im not looking for the right sites but i searched for stamps and stamps for clay. I have to order all of the stuff from the US anyway.
    BTW, at the resin section i read something about posting a photo of work with a flower imbedded in FB. What is FB and where can i look at this pic?

  34. Cindy Lietz, 12 May, 2011

    @Marion K: Great questions Marion! You don’t need to use stamps only made of rubber. Any kind of stamp whether it is clear, or cling, or even metal will work. Some techniques call for stamps that are deeply etched, but it isn’t necessary in all cases. The stamps do not need to be specific for clay either. Any stamp used for stamping on paper will work as well.

    You can also look for images and patterns that will impress into clay, from other sources. Old jewelry, belt buckles, carved wood, and even cut glass patterns could be used for techniques like the faux dichroic glass technique.

    FB stands for Facebook. We have a Polymer Clay Facebook Page where you can post pictures of your creations so that everyone can enjoy them.

    As far as mica powders go, you don’t need to add anything to make it stick to the clay. The clay is sticky enough on it’s own. You will want to protect it from rubbing off after baking though with a protective finish such as PYMII, Future Floor Finish, Sculpey Glaze, UV Resin or Minwax. (Just type any of those words into the search box at the top of the page to learn more about them.)

    Hope that helps.

  35. Marion K, 11 May, 2011

    oh, i forgot….if you stamped something and put micapowder on it, do you need to put something sticky on it first?

  36. Marion K, 13 May, 2011

    Thank you Cindy, glad to learn a bit more everytime!Im still not finding my way around the blog yet. I guess ive got to tick the notifybox with every question i ask ? And if i forget to do so, i have to remember which word i used when i asked the question to find it?
    I think i already asked how much clay is needed to make a cane, i think i use too little all the time as mine get much too thin. But i thought maybe there is a guideline for starters….anyway, maybe i only thought of this question as i cant find any answers when i type in cane in the searchbox.

  37. Cindy Lietz, 14 May, 2011

    @Marion K: Any time you have asked a question in a thread, it is a good idea to check the ‘Notify me of followup comments via email’ box. This way if you have been answered by either myself or another member, you will know about it.

    As far as remembering where you asked the question, if you ask them in relevant threads, it will make it easier to find them, if you haven’t checked the box. For example, if you have a question about using rubber stamps with polymer clay, this would be a good thread to ask it in.

    As far as the amount of clay needed for a cane, that varies. There are people who have made canes that are over 13 lbs of clay. (Not me though!) I generally keep my canes smaller than a 2oz block of clay, and usually more like 1oz (or 1/2 block of clay). That means when I use 3 or 4 colors, I may only use about a 1/2 a section of each color.

    You’re right about canes that are too small, being difficult to work with. If you are finding yours too small. Use a little more of each color, the next time you build that cane. I try to give you a good idea of the amount of clay to use, when I am teaching any cane tutorial. So try and follow the amount I used in the video, especially for your first attempt at a new cane.

    Hope that helps.

  38. Marion K, 14 May, 2011

    Tjanks for both answers Cindy. I guess i put the questions in the right section than?
    Hahaha, so hard to learn several things at once…my brain is not as it was !!

  39. Marion K, 15 June, 2011

    What is PYMII??? I have baked items i would like to try pearl ex on. I think it is an adhesive reading the above, but is it a special type of adhesive?

  40. Rebecca (Becky) Chisenhall, 16 June, 2011

    @Marion K: Marion, that is Preserve Your Memories II, a spray that is safe to use on polymer clay and metal. It is mentioned a lot in the blogs, so if you search for that or PYMII, you can find out a lot about it. I just got some and I am going to use it to try to seal a brass channel bracelet as the metal turns my arm green without some sealer on it.

  41. Marion K, 17 June, 2011

    ThanksRebecca, i typed that in but must have missed the meaning of that “shortened word”
    Ive got the turning green with gold,brass and silver!!
    Marion

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