How To Make Your Own Stamp

In Issue 2 of Side Project magazine we showed you how to create your own etegami – Japanese style watercolour postcards. Here’s how to complete your artwork with your own initial stamp.

We’re out of printed copies of Issue 2, but grab a digital version or visit one of our stockists to learn how to create your own etegami paintings.

You will need:

  1. An eraser, preferably are square as possible. This will be used to make the stamp!
  2. Scalpel, to cut your design into the stamp.
  3. A pencil, to draw out your stamp design.
  4. A piece of paper to transfer your pencil design onto the eraser.


  1. Cut your eraser into smaller pieces so you have a block which is approximately a 1cm x 1cm base and 3-4cm in height. If your eraser has rounded edges and is not perfectly square, you will need to trim the rounded edges off.
  2. Find out the first character of your name in Japanese. The Japanese language has the different alphabets – foreign names are usually written in the “katakana” alphabet. H to find out your Japanese name. For “Sabrina” the first character is katakana “sa”, but other names may have less intuitive first characters, eg, “Skye” becomes “sukai” so the first character is katakana “su”.
  3. Put your eraser stamp onto the paper with the 1cm x 1cm base downward, and use your pencil to draw around the base of the stamp. Lift out the eraser and within the square, draw the first character of your name in katakana. Make it as bold as possible and go over it in pencil several times.
  4. Transfer the character onto the base of your eraser stamp by lining up the base with your previously drawn square and pressing down on the paper. If your letter does not transfer, you may need to go over it in pencil again. The reason we are not drawing the character on the stamp directly is because you want your character to be flipped horizontally, a mirror image.
  5. Using your scalpel, carefully cut out the character, digging deep into the eraser. Be careful, this is the step where you can easily get injured!
  6. Once your design has been cut out of the eraser stamp, you can test it by coating it with paint or using a stamp pad. If it does not look quite right, you may need to further refine your design by cutting deeper with the scalpel.
Etegami stamp tutorial steps

Good luck!

About Sabrina

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I work as a medical professional to fund my creative passions; photography is my one true love but I also dabble in hand lettering and watercolour. When I'm not working on my side projects, you'll find me curled up on a couch with my cats. I help out with social media, photography and editing for Side Project magazine.

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