How To Make Custom Stamping Tools For PMC®

Tim McCreight shows you how to make your own stamping tools in any size, shape, or design you desire using hand-formable thermoplastic. Courtesy of the PMC Guild archives.

Last edited: 1/13/2020

Make your very-own stamping tools using these instructions provided by Tim McCreight, courtesy of the PMC Guild archives.

The world is filled with stamping tools—from rubber stamps to leather working, metalworking, and kitchen-related ones. Despite this fact, you (like me) might like to make your own stamps for texturing PMC. Stamps carved from pieces of wood or rubber erasers work well, but here’s a great way to make interesting and meaningful stamps that will last for years.

Jett-Sett is a low temperature, hand-formable thermoplastic that comes in one pound packages; a single pound of plastic will be enough to make dozens of tools. Then you can capture interesting textures by pressing your stamping tool into stones, bricks, buttons, silverware handles, fabrics, lace, ribbons, and coins. Let us know what uses you find for your new stamping tools!  

Pour heated water into a mug or similar heat-proof container and drop in enough Jett-Sett pellets to equal a mass roughly the size of a walnut. As you’ll see, the quantity depends on personal taste.

In less than a minute the pellets, which are white at room temperature, become clear. Scoop them out with a spoon and squeeze them into a lump. The plastic will have the consistency of thick putty.

Roll it between your hands to make a rod about the size of your first finger. Now press the end of the rod onto an interesting pattern. If the plastic is starting to harden, just dip it back into the hot water for a minute.

To make a double-ended tool, repeat the process on the other end of the rod. Allow the rod to cool to room temperature, either naturally or by holding it under cool tap water. Your finished stamping tool can be used for years, but, as they say, "Wait, there’s more!" If you change your mind at any time, simply put the tool end back into hot water, and it will become pliable again. The material is infinitely reusable.