There are so many varieties of rubber stamps that you couldn’t ever really say there are ‘common’ uses for ‘rubber stamps’ as that would be far too much of a generalisation. Of course, rubber stamps are often used in an office setting to mark incoming mail as received or stamp invoices as paid, but stamps are used in plenty of other applications and in a variety of settings.
Stamps are used in schools as motivational tools, stamps are used to make wedding invites and create arts and crafts designs, stamps are even used to mark clothing. But there are plenty of other uses for rubber stamps that you might not expect:
- Temporary Tattoos – historically, Native Americans would use rubber stamps to mark patterns on their skin that they would later properly tattoo with a more permanent ink. Some people in modern times have been known to use washable inks and rubber stamps to mimic this temporary tattoo technique. We wouldn’t recommend it though as stamps are generally flat in design, while your skin isn’t so you won’t get the best impression. Plus if you use the wrong ink it could cause all sorts of problems!
- Faking important or historic documents – memorabilia necessarily has some monetary value. For example documents from World War 2 are often going on sale on Ebay and other auction sites. Some people have taken to using rubber stamps to fake these kinds of documents e.g. using Swastika/Iron Eagle stamps for German documents or ‘Eyes Only’ and ‘Top Secret’ style stamps for fake secret documents. Similarly, people have even used stamps to ‘age’ the documents with discolouration, multiple overlaid stamps (to imply multiple owners), time and date stamps from that era and more. Creating fake documents could obviously be a good bit of fun to have with rubber stamps, but not to profit from, so we wouldn’t encourage it, but it certainly is an unusual use.
- Stamp your child’s lunch bag – lunch time can be boring and not every child enjoys going to school, especially in the first days when it’s all new and scary. Some parents have used stamps to send messages to their children or just make funky designs on their paper lunch bags or sandwich boxes.
- Stamping with bleach! – this is an unusual one. Imagine using a rubber stamp but replacing the ink with bleach! The stamp can then be applied to colourful fabrics and other surfaces to create patterns and unusual bleached colours. We’d say this is a practice best avoided unless you have plenty of rubber gloves and practice material you are happy to waste.
- Soap stamps – if you can think of something unusual, there’s usually a hobby surrounding it and a whole host of people who find it enjoyable. Apparently handmade soaps is quite a common hobby. Who knew? In this case rubber stamps are used to mark the handmade soaps with pretty patterns or other markings to make them stand out and presumably to look nice on the bathroom basin or other washroom area.
- Stamping plain lamp shades – we all know that rubber stamps are often used for arts and crafts projects. They’re a great tool for creating all sorts of weird and wonderful pieces of art by hand. But some people go even further and use stamps (and various coloured inks) to transform boring and plain household items into funky works of art or unusual décor pieces.
- Stamping a plain necktie – as if décor wasn’t enough, people have even gone as far as making their own fashion. With a plain designed piece of clothing (e.g. a necktie) you could use a textile ink and some stamps of various designs to create something more special for a low cost. If you were feeling brave you could even use this technique to breathe new life into dated clothing.
- Leaving your thanks – most people would just leave a tip or say it in person, but some use rubber stamps and small bits of card (business card sized) to leave little notes that say ‘thanks for an excellent service’ at their favourite restaurant, shop or other place of business. It’s certainly a nice way to spread the cheer!
If you know of any other unusual uses for rubber stamps, why not let us know about them in the comments? And remember, if you need a stamp for a special task, we can make almost anything that you can think of.