How to Make Kick-Butt Stamped Sandwiches

by Wendy Copley on September 20, 2012

How to make kick-butt stamped sandwiches

You know what people ask me about a lot? Stamped sandwiches.

Stamped sandwiches are a fantastic bento technique because they require minimal work, but they look awesome and complicated. All you need to make them are bread and cookie cutters that include an impression plate. Oh — and sandwich fillings too, of course!

Stamped Sandwiches

I have two basic styles of these cookie cutters in my arsenal: larger cutters with a spring loaded plunger and smaller cutters with a removable impression plate. The Star Wars cutters on top are from Williams-Sonoma (who sells lots of cute cutters in this style) and the smaller blue vehicle cutters are from All Things for Sale. Amazon also features an assortment of cutters in different themes though it’s hard to get a good idea of exactly what they have because they are listed under a number of different names including “plunger cutters,” “stamp cookie cutters,” and “cookie cutters with stencils.” These cutters range in price from about $20 for licensed character sets to $7 for smaller cutters.

So now that we have some cutters, lets get started!

Choose Soft Bread

Stamped Sandwiches

The first thing you want to do is get the right kind of bread. Softer bread works best! This is not the time to use crusty loaves of Italian Pugliese or super grainy hippie bread with no flour in it. My family and I like to eat those kinds of bread, but they make crappy Star Wars sandwiches, so I don’t use them for this purpose.

Instead I look for softer whole wheat sandwich breads. I am not a brand loyalist and I usually buy whatever is on sale. The brand I used when I was taking these photos was Bohemian Hearth, but I’ve also used bread from Oroweat, Sara Lee and Trader Joes. There are probably other brands mixed in there too. You don’t have to use whole wheat bread — white bread works well too if that’s what your family prefers.

Cut the Bread First

Stamped Sandwiches

My second piece of advice is to cut the bread before you make your sandwich.ย  If the cutter has a removable stamp I just use the outside cutter and pop the shape out of it (as I did with the car stamp above).

Stamped Sandwiches

For the plunger-style cutters, I cut the shape out but leave the bread in the cutter.

Press Really Hard!

Stamped Sandwiches

Once your basic shape is cut out, press down on the cutter as hard as you can! Really hard! Lean on the plunger with the palm of your hand and put your weight behind it.

Stamped Sandwiches

When you release the plunger you may need to peel the bread off the impression plate — that’s good because it means you got a really good image. Check out that awesome storm trooper!

Stamped Sandwiches

If the impression plate is removable, center it over your cut shape and again press down really hard.


Wahoo! Look at that cute little car!

Stamped Sandwiches

You’ve probably noticed by now that your bread is super squished and flat.ย  I’ll admit that it’s not my favorite way to eat a sandwich, but the kids don’t mind. And pretty hurts.

Stamped Sandwiches

Once you’ve got a good impression, use the outside of the cutter to cut a second version of your shape and use that for the bottom layer of bread on your sandwich. Don’t stamp this layer — it’s invisible and the thicker piece of bread will help give your sandwich structure.ย  Fill your sandwiches with your desired fillings and then put them in your lunch boxes. Here’s an example:

Big Kid Bento #628

See this technique in action:

Have you ever included stamped sandwiches in your lunches? Have any tips to share?

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  • this is so awesome – thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Good info!

  • Danita

    See, now I have to go buy some stamp cutters!

  • Sorry! I have to confess that I found about 5 sets I wanted when I was looking up the links. Those Halloween cutters from Williams-Sonoma are super cute! And Angry Birds!

  • I love these sandwich stamps/cutters!

    In the bottom picture is that a stainless steel lunchbox? If so, which brand? I LOVE IT!!!

  • Thank you so much for this! I knew I was doing it wrong. I was making the sandwiches first and they just weren’t looking good. Thanks!

  • Yes — that’s the PlanetBox:

  • Be sure to do it on a flat countertop or cutting board, NOT on a plate! And for larger shapes, you may want to trim the crusts off first, so they don’t pull against the shapes when you’re cutting them out.

  • Liz

    You may know this already but ebay has the star wars cutters for cheaper than WS. I paid about $7 including shipping. That’s my tip to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Marie Hui

    Wendy, just another reason to save my bread cutters and stampers. I’ll make one tomorrow and see how it comes out. Thanks for this tutorial! Love it ๐Ÿ™‚


    Soo awesome! I don’t have any of these yet but they may be next on my list! Thanks for arrest tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

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    If you microwave the bread for 10 to 15 seconds to soften the bread it helps

  • For lunch meat and cheese sandwiches (or anything you can’t just spread within the structure of your sandwich) use the cutter so your sandwich is uniform and stuff isn’t poking out the sides b


    Great sandwich cutters ! I love it.

  • Alicia

    No doubt they are super cute, though I’m just wondering what you do with the leftover bread?

  • Hi Alicia — I save any leftover bits of bread (mostly crusts) in a big zip bag in the freezer. I’ll often pull them out to make bread crumbs, bread pudding, stratas, etc. If the bag is getting really full, or it’s been sitting in the freezer for awhile we take it to the park and feed the ducks.

  • Alicia

    Great. All I could think of was bread crumbs. It’s nice to know bento-box Mamas are a friend to the ducks ๐Ÿ™‚

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