Creating your own custom Chinese chops

December 2nd, 2010 in Uncategorized

Creating a traditional Chinese chop. A chop or Seal is a stamp used usually by East Asian artists as a signature of authenticity for their work. I will show you the steps to making your own traditional Chinese seal.

1. What you’ll need – Chops can be made from a multitude of materials, normally from stone, wood, or ivory. What I have here is a small wooden Buddha statue, you can find one of these for $1-2 and a tin of rogue (red ink for the stamp

2. I took my statue and outlined the bottom of it – I have what I want my seal to say above that.

3. I divide the base of the statue’s outline and divide it for each of the characters I want on my seal.

4. The seal should be engraved backwards so that it will appear right when stamped. So what I did was flip the paper around, take some tape and traced the now backwards design onto the tape.

5. I took the tape and placed it onto the bottom of the statue, I will use this as the guide for my design and engraving.

6. This is just a view of a couple tools I’ll be using to engrave the statue. All you will need is a Dremel tool or a Wood carving set.

7. This is the design after it has been drilled by the Dremel and further refined by wood knives. Next to the seal is a file, you will want to file down the base of the seal so that it will have a flat and even surface, which is important for stamping.

8. With my seal filed down and even, I can now apply rogue to the base and stamp


  1. I was in London, Ont on a family 6 mnth trip and the police seized my zi tao rooster chop i am looking for another

    Comment by Trever Irvine — July 27, 2011 @ 9:43 am
  2. To Trever Irvine: I hate it when cops take things from people just because they don’t know what they are. It hasn’t happened to me, but it bothers me that you lost yours.

    I’ve been trying to find a blank column of wood or vegetable ivory to use for my own chop. I have a good source of scrap wood from my former husband. And this tutorial puts me closer to knuckling down and buying that Dremel tool that I’ve been wanting for a long time. Thank you, James Then, for this.

    Comment by carol — August 27, 2012 @ 12:56 am
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