The History of Rubber Stamps

Recently, I purchased several hundred rubber stamps at an estate sale.  As I was sorting through all of these beautiful rubber art designs, I began wondering about their history.

Rubber was first discovered in 1736 by Charles Marie de la Condamine during an exploration to South America.  However, in 1770 a man named Joseph Priestly stated that he found a substance that was suited to rubbing out lead pencil marks.  In 1839 Charles Goodyear invented the process of vulcanization, the stabilizing of rubber.  He went on to patent this process in 1844.  About twenty years later, the first rubber stamps began to appear.

According to the United States Patent Office, Fred R. Tannery of New York filed a patent for the rubber stamp on August 18, 1959.  This was a hand held invention with the structure of a rubber stamp that had changeable characters.

Rubber art stamps are extremely popular in the United States.  With their intricate design rubber stamps are used for many different types of paper and ink applications, such as handmade greeting cards and scrapbooks.  They may also be used with other techniques to decorate textiles, jewelry and pottery.

Over the years, many rubber stamp companies have come and gone and many of the stamps have now become collector’s items.  One such company is Personal Stamp Exchange (PSX), which was founded in 1980. Wood mounted stamps manufactured by PSX are known for their high-quality craftsmanship featuring very detailed illustrations.  PSX closed down in the early 2000’s with the licensed images being sold to Inkadinkado.  The scrapbooking company, EK Success then bought Inkadinkado and was in turn purchased by Wilton Industries in 2007.



Floral Heart Wreath Stamp by PSX Rubber Stamps




Rooster Stamp by Inkadinkado



Azadi Earles stamps are known for their whimsical nature.  Azadi Earles Stamp Company was bought out by Uptown Rubber Stamps.



Christmas Gift Tag Stamp by Azadi Earles



One of the original art stamp companies is Uptown Rubber Stamps which was founded 35 years ago.  This company is still in existence today now operating under the name of Uptown Design Company.



Believe Star Stamp by Uptown Rubber Stamps




A truly unique line of rubber stamps is this stamp set of male faces from Alexstamping.  This company was in operation from 1984 -2013.



Male Faces Stamp Set by Alextamping



I would be totally remiss not to include one of my favorite stamp companies, Stampin’ Up.  Beginning in 1998, this home-based company began with two sisters that shared a love for rubber stamps.  In 1997, the company published its first catalog featuring artwork exclusive toStampin’ Up.  The company started with just a few demonstrators and has now grown with thousands of demonstrators selling Stampin’ Up rubber stamps.  Many of their retired stamp sets are highly valued by collectors.



Furnished With Love Stamp Set by Stampin’ Up



Now comes the difficult decision – which of these wonderful rubber stamps do I keep for myself and which go into my Etsy Shop?  To see our complete offering of over 180 rubber stamps visit us at DesignsByCnC.





Etsy Finds – Handmade Christmas Cards

‘Christmas Cards! ‘ by DavidsDesigns

Handmade Christmas Cards!

Green Tree Embossed Holiday …


Snowman Christmas Cards, Emb…


Homemade Christmas Card


Christmas Card Set, Holiday …


Handmade Winter, Holiday Chr…


A reindeer Christmas card. O…


4 Handmade Christmas Cards -…


Christmas Cards Handmade – …


Christmas Card, Bath Salt Ca…


Modern Christmas Card Set – …


Christmas Card


Santa Hat Greeting Card. Set…


Merry Christmas Smiling Deer…


Handmade Christmas Cards #1 …


Christmas Card Set, Embossed…


Let it snow glitter card / c…


Powered By Handmadeology

Black Daisy Birthday Card and Gift Card Holder


My latest project is a  birthday card that also doubles as a gift card holder.  I created this unique design in honor of my daughter’s birthday.


  • For the base, cut a piece of black cardstock 5.5 x 8.5 inches, score at 4.25 inches.
  • For the base mat, cut a piece of black cardstock 4 x 5.25 inches and emboss with polka dots.
  • For decorative panel, cut a piece of black and white polka dot designer paper 1.5 x 5.5 inches and cut inverted notch in each end.
  • For floral panel, cut a piece of black daisy designer paper 2.75 x 4 inches.
  • Attach black satin ribbon along left edge of floral panel.
  • For the Happy Birthday banner cut a piece of white cardstock 4 x 1 inches and stamp the greeting in black ink.
  • Embellish with a black daisy pillow sticker and two white rhinestones.


Inside Instructions:

  • Using white cardstock, cut two medallions at 5.25 inches with a Cricut machine.
  • Score the medallions in half and use a circle punch to create a cut out on one medallion.
  • Glue the top side edges of the medallions together leaving room for the gift card to slide in.
  • Glue the bottom halves of the medallions to the greeting card base.
  • For the inside liner cut a piece of white cardstock 4 x 5.25 inches.
  • The inside message and flower are stamped in black ink.

This greeting card and gift card combo is a very versatile design that can be adapted for many other occasions such as weddings, graduation and Christmas.

My Favorite Etsy Purchases

I first discovered Etsy back in 2011 when I opened my shop DesignsByCnC.  As I began to become more familiar with the site, I soon discovered a world of both handmade and vintage goods.

I enjoy supporting my fellow Etsians and often purchase both supplies for my shop, as well as gifts for myself and family.  Today, I would like to share some of my favorite Etsy purchases!

My top favorite is this awesome Healing Skin Salve from Flaherty Naturals.  I love the way it glides onto the skin without feeling greasy.  It works wonderful for dry skin during the winter and the sting of sunburn in the summer!


Healing Skin Salve


A great gift for a coffee lover is this Sampler Set from The Coffee Nook.  I tucked this into my husband’s Christmas stocking last year and it was a big hit!


Coffee Sampler Set


Every Christmas each member of the family receives a new ornament.  This whimsical Snowman Ornament from Townsend Custom Gifts made the perfect gift for my daughter that enjoys riding her motorcycle.


Snowman Motorcycle Ornament


The perfect gift for the son-in-law that loves to hunt is this Natural Camo Soap from FreshAsaDaisySoaps.



When creating my handmade greeting cards, I use high quality cardstocks.  I love the wide range of colors of the Parchment Cardstock from The Envelope Store!


The Parchment Collection Cardstock


Etsy Craft Party


Etsy Craft Party 2016 – June 17 – 19
Every year, the Etsy community comes together to create and connect. You can join the fun by organizing a creative event or starting a project you’ve always dreamed of doing. Find an event (or three if that’s your style) by searching “Etsy Craft Party” on EventBrite.

Setting Up Calculated Shipping In Your Etsy Shop


With the start of the new year, I took a hard look at how I could improve my Etsy Shop, DesignsByCnC.  I began this process by taking inventory of both my supplies and inventory in my shop.

I soon discovered that my overhead was way too high.  With over 300 items for sale in my shop, I began to look for ways to reduce my inventory.  The most obvious solution was to have a large sale.  I decided against this and instead opted to look at my listings to determine why some of them weren’t selling.  Was it the item itself, perhaps change the design in some way?  Maybe it was the photographs, possibly update the older photos to give a fresh new look.  What about titles and tags, certainly could use some work in this area?  Possibly my pricing, are my items under priced or over priced?

Then the thought came to me, How about the cost of shipping?  When I am shopping for an item online,  I always check the price of the item and the shipping cost.  If the shipping cost is too high, then I usually don’t make the purchase.  So I wondered how many of my potential customers were just like me?

I went back through my shop records and discovered that several times, I had to refund part of the shipping cost because I had overcharged my customer.  Also there were times that I undercharged as well.  In addition, trying to figure out the correct cost for international shipping was rather confusing.

So what could I do about this?  I began to research Etsy’s calculated shipping and came across this great tutorial put together by Melissa Kaiserman of ATime4Everything:

This two part tutorial explained step-by-step how to set up the calculated shipping, which turned out to be rather easy, but time consuming.  Every item has to be packed up, (just the same way that you would send it to your customer) weighed and measured so that you could enter this information into the calculated shipping system.  In my case, with so many items in my shop, this took nearly an entire day.  My greeting cards were fairly easy to do since they all weigh about the same amount.  However, my rubber stamps vary greatly in both weight and size.

After I finished getting calculated shipping set up, I noticed a huge difference in my shipping charges.  I was really overcharging on the shipping costs for my rubber stamps, both domestically and internationally.  The shipping costs for my greeting cards were correct domestically but not internationally.

Calculated shipping has been in place for a month now and I am very glad that I made the effort to set it up.  I have found it to be a great time saver because it tells me exactly what type of packaging to use so that I can get my orders processed quickly.  More importantly, my shipping charges are accurate and I can pass this savings on to my customers.  And yes, I have noticed a slight increase in my number of orders during the past month.




The Importance of SEO For Your Etsy Shop

lifeblood-clipart-dblog_seoI have taken some time off from my blog to just focus on improving my Etsy shop, Designs By CnC.  This past spring, I was brainstorming ways to make improvements to the offerings in my shop.  I had already improved my photographs and gradually been increasing the number of listings.  However, I just felt that this was simply not enough.  My shop was just not being found amongst all of the other Etsy shops.

I began reading articles on how to improve SEO.  Just what is SEO?  Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.  While reading different posts from my teammates on the Helping Etsians Promote Team,  I kept seeing the name of  a shop that offers SEO writing services, The Write Assistant

I noticed many recommendations about the quality of services from this shop, so I contacted Kateland Kelly of The Write Assistant.  She reworked three of my listings, completely rewriting the titles, tags and descriptions, all of which greatly improved the SEO.  Based on what I learned from this experience, I completely reworked all of the listings in my shop.  All 300 of them, which only took all summer long!  My shop has certainly experienced an increase in views up from 5,633 for August – September 2014, to 8,195 for August – September 2015.

My suggestions for improving your SEO are:

  1.  Try it on your own first.  Do your research by reading up on SEO, there are a lot of great articles out there.  If you find it rather confusing like I did, then consider consulting or hiring someone to help.
  2. If you do decide to hire a writing service, get references.  Talk to former clients to see if they are pleased with the results they received.
  3. Look over the website or shop of the writing service.  How well is their website put together, is it well written and professional?
  4. Ask to see samples of their work.  Does their writing style match the image of your Etsy shop?