- Make sure the stone
is clean and completely dry. Tape will not adhere
to a wet stone, and the dampness will make the paper
fragile and liable to tear. Besides ruining any
chance of a rubbing, this may cause you to
accidentally damage the stone with your rubbing
- Cut a piece of your
paper or other rubbing material to a size slightly
larger than the stone. If possible, write any
information on or about the stone, inscription,
date, location, etc. on the back of the paper before
doing the rubbing so you don’t smear your rubbing.
Or, carry a small notebook, write the information on
a page, tear out and roll up with your rubbing.
- Tape the paper to
the stone. Make sure that it is secure so that it
won’t slide as you are rubbing and cause a blurred
image, and that it covers the face of the stone
completely, so that you won’t get marks on it.
- If only doing
lunettes, please be sure that a large enough area is
covered to protect the stone.
- With your fingers,
press the paper lightly against the stone. This
will cause the paper to indent into the carvings,
resulting in a clearer image, with less rubbing
medium accidentally transferring into "blank" areas.
- Using rubbing wax, a
large crayon, charcoal, or chalk, gently start to
rub along the outside edges – creating a "frame" for
your rubbing. Using long, even strokes following
the same direction, fill in the "frame".
- Rub lightly to start
with, and then apply more pressure to darken in the
design if it suits you. Be very careful and gentle.
- If you used chalk
for your rubbing, then carefully spray the paper
with a chalk spray such as Krylon. Be very careful
not to get any on the tombstone. It is
best to remove the paper from the stone and lay it
flat on the ground in an area away from any stones
- When the rubbing is
done, carefully remove it from the tombstone and
trim the edges to suit your liking. Remove the tape
from the paper, being careful not to tear the edges
of the paper.
Image: waynesville K12