How can I reuse or recycle old rubber stamps?

We’ve had an email from Lise, asking:

How can rubber stamps be recycled? I found a box full in the stationery cupboard from two department name changes ago!

Given the department name comment, I imagine these are custom ones, not generic “approved” or date stamps – I’d put the latter on eBay or Freecycle/Freegle because they’re still very useful in their own right. The former ones will be less reusable but I’d have loved to play with them when I was a kid (my childhood roleplaying was surprisingly bureaucratic; when I used to play ‘school’, I spent the whole time working out class lists & timetables for said classes) (really).

Depending on the construction of the stamps, you (or someone else) might be able to take them apart and reuse them to make new stamps – replacing the stamp itself but reusing the handles or the mechanism if it’s a self-inking one. Again, eBay/Freecycle/Freegle if you don’t want to give it a go yourself. If they’re very nice old ones, a local stampmaker also might want them to reuse as antique stamps.

If you actually wanted to recycle them, you’d have to break them up into their component parts too – all the ones I’ve seen have been mixed materials so they’d have to be split apart and recycled individually.

Any other suggestions?

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One Response to “How can I reuse or recycle old rubber stamps?”


  1. Olia says:

    Use their handles as knobs for the drawers, as towel hangers.
    Cut rubber into pieces and use as mulch for house plants.



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