Making a Rubber Stamp Shelf

Ever get frustrated because you cannot *see* what stamps you have? I do, all the time, mostly because my collection of rubber stamps have been sitting in a rubber tub for the last year. (Due to my move to Canada and now because of lack of living space while I wait for the purchase of my condo to go through.)

So I started looking for a more practical way of storing my stamps. You can't use what you don't even remember you have, right, and its best to be able to SEE what you have. But there isn't anything ready-made on the market for exactly what I needed: a large shallow shelf suitable for small to large rubber stamps, maybe two deep, that displays things so that I can SEE them. So I decided to make my own shelf.

In my research I cam across this, which was primarily the idea that I have worked off of, except that I added a backing to this design to that it would not wobble back and forth.

[I have very limited woodworking skills. ( I made a birdhouse once when I was a kid, and helped to take a fence apart , but that's about the extent of my woodworking abilities. Saws scare me - consequently I took metal shop in high school, much preferring the stick welding to possibly loosing my fingers!) So I enlisted David, a good friend, to help me with the planning and execution of this project. (AKA: I got him to do it for me. :) ]

First, I showed him my plans and we went to Home Depot to price out lumber. David found two 10 foot boards and a Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) backing for around $30.

We also purchased picture clamps, pictured below

wood glue, screws, and three screw bits to the same size as the screws.

First, we measured the backing, which was 48" across by 24" down. and cut one of the ten foot boards to  length so it was flush with both sides.

Holding it with the picture frames (which, as I learned, essentially gives you two extra hands) David then drilled pilot holes at six inch increments.

We then took the picture frame clamps off, applied wood glue along the edges, put the clamps back on and drilled the two pieces together. After, I wiped up the excess beaded-out wood glue with a damp paper towel. Then we finished the frame of the shelf by measuring and cutting the two pieces for the sides, minus four inches, two on each side, so the side pieces will fit between the top and bottom boards. Follow the same method of clamping, pilot drilling, gluing and screwing from the MDF backing. Note: the corners of this piece are the weakest link. Reinforce these joints with two screws from the top and bottom of the boards with two screws on each side.

How many shelves do you want? We added three shelves (after running to Home Depot and purchasing another length of board) with the space between the bottom shelf and the first board being 6 and 1/4 - enough space for the larger stamps.

The next spacing up, measured from the base and not the previously inserted shelf, measures 5, and the next two measure 4 and 1/4 on the top.

And here's the finished product!

I'm looking forward to being able to hang it!


  1. This is absolutely fabulous, and I want one too!

    1. Chris, you should! I might have to make a second one so I can buy more stamps!!


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