TECHNIQUES AND TIPS: CREATE YOUR OWN MATS FOR 4 x 6” PHOTOS
With this technique, you trim the photo, not the mat. Take a 12x12 paper and cut in half resulting in two 12 x 6 pieces. Take one piece and cut it 4” two times resulting in three 4x6 pieces. Repeat with the other 12 x 6 piece. You now have 6 mats. Next, trim the 4x6 photo 1/8” on all 4 sides or 1/4” on the length and the width. Adhere to one of the mats. Voila! Quick and easy.
TECHNIQUES AND TIPS: STAMPING ON WOOD
Stamp with pigment based (must be heat set) or waterproof ink or paint..
Color within lines after image has been heat set or air dried.
Lightly sand until the surface is smooth.
After coloring, let air dry for 4-8 hours before coating with clear acrylic spray.
Finish the wood with a stain or paint or seal with: olive oil, tung oil or acrylic spray.
TECHNIQUES AND TIPS: RECYCLING BABY WIPES AFTER CLEANING STAMPS
Take the ink covered baby wipe and place it flat onto an acetate sheet. Then wet the baby wipe with Acrylic Floor Finish, but don’t have the baby wipe swimming in the liquid. Next., stipple on various colors of metallic acrylic paint. Last, but not least, sprinkle on some mica powder (Perfect Pearls, Pearl Ex, etc.). or work the powders into the pain. Immediately wash any tools used to apply the finish and/or paint. Allow paint to dry. The baby wipe will be stiff enough for you to trim. Stamp with Archival/Stazon ink before attaching it to a card with double stick tape.
Are there other ways to recycle the baby wipes for creating? Please email/mail the ideas to me.
SCORED WINDOW PANES
Take a small piece of paper (i.e. 4 x 6, 5 x 7, etc.) and using a scoring tool, score at 1/2” intervals. Turn paper 90 degrees and score at 1” intervals.
Ink a closed (mostly rubber) stamp with either dye/pigment ink. Press on the side of paper with the recessed groves. Reink the stamp each time before using because the inked stamp has lines running across the die (rubber).
To add depth to the scene, press the inked stamp onto another piece of plain paper. Then make a secondary impression on the “grid” paper.
This technique can also be done on larger sheets of paper. You go change the intervals to 1” and 1 1/2” --- whatever looks good to you.
GETTING THE BEST CUTS WITH INTRICATE DIES
Intricate dies can sometimes be a challenge in getting the perfect cut (common to many companies’ intricate dies), so here are some strategies:
*Create a spot shim by putting layers of scotch tape on the back of the dieand layer the tape where the die is not cutting well.Then put a layer of paper under the bottom cutting mat to make the fit a bit tighter. Be careful of making the sandwich so thick that it’s a challenge going between the rollers - you don’twant to break the machine.]
*Try a metal adapter plate over the back of the die.
*Before running the die a second time, turn the die so that it’s not facing the same direction or move it to a different location on the mat.
What strategies have you used that work?
TIPS AND TECHNIQUES: STAMPING WITH BLEACH
One of my favorite techniques is stamping with bleach as it provides a variety of fascinating unique results. The technique works the best on dark colored paper, but you can still achieve subtle effects with pastel papers. Please keep in mind that the results will vary depending on the paper and the amount/type of bleach used.
Remember to stamp in a well-ventilated area and away from open flames. I recommend wearing protective eye wear, apron, and gloves. This technique is not recommended for children to do. Also, after each use, immediately wash your stamps, brushes, and stencils with warm soapy water.
FYI: some people cover the stamp with Versa Mark before applying the bleach. This will help you obtain an even coverage when stamping, as well as form a protective layer over the rubber.
Stamping With Bleach
Fold a paper towel to form a pad which is then placed in a plastic container which has a cover (to prevent bleach from evaporating). Pour enough bleach onto the towel to make it damp. "Ink" up the stamp by tapping it onto the damp paper towel and then pressing the stamp immediately onto the cardstock. Remove and then clean the stamp. Within a minute, an image should start appearing. If you want fast results, heat with an embossing gun.
After the paper is completely dry, you can add color highlights with colored pencils or ink.
Painting Inside an Embossed Outline
After heat embossing your image, use a paint brush to paint the bleach inside the raised lines. The raised lines help to keep the bleach contained. You can achieve variations in lightness by applying one or more coats of bleach to the areas. The more bleach applied the lighter the area will become.
Shadow Bleaching Technique
Solid or silhouette styled stamps work very well for this technique. First, stamp the image with ink that matches or closely matches the cardstock color. Make sure the ink is dry before stamping over the inked image with the same stamp that’s been inked with bleach.
Bleaching with a Stencil
Place the stencil (brass or plastic) onto the card stock. Just mist the area, don't saturate it. Let dry. Remove stencil and immediately wash stencil. You can leave design as is or add color by using colored pencils, etc
CREATING A SHIMMER SPRAY
While I sell Glimmer Mists and Stewart Superior’s spritzes, there are times that individuals can’t find the color that they want. Thus, this option.
If you have Perfect Pearls powders, put a small amount into a spritzer/misting bottle (what you can get on the end of a knife). Then an entire dropper of distress ink. The next step is to add water until the mister is about 75% full (need room to shake the mixture). Shake until all ingredients are mixed and then spray. Each time you use the spray, you’ll have to reshake the mister as the powder will settle on the bottom.
You can use other mica powders (i.e. Pearl Ex), but you’ll need to add a binding agent (gum arabic, for example) so that what you’ve sprayed won’t come off when it dries.
I recommend the distress inks because they are designed to maintain the integrity of the colors when in contact with water.
TIPS AND TECHNIQUES: TYPES OF PAPERS and PAPER WEIGHTS
Navigating the world of paper vocabulary/terms is a frustrating one as 80 lb paper can be text paper or cover paper. The following is a summary that I hope you’ll find useful.
Paper weight = paper thickness. The higher the number, the thicker the paper. Each paper type (see below) has its own “basis size” from which to calculate its weight. The weight is determined by weighing 500 sheets of that basis paper (i.e. offset, cover, etc.) . As a result, there can be 80# offset/text paper and 80# cover (cardstock) paper. If possible, before buying paper, handle it to make sure it’s the weight you want.
TYPES OF PAPER
OFFSET (known as book or text paper) can have a coated or uncoated finish and is thinner and lightweight. It’s frequently used for letterheads, brochures, flyers, and publication interior sheets. Common weights are 50#, 60#, 70#, 80, and 100#.
COVER is heavy in weight, rigid, and not easily folded. These papers are usually used for publication covers, business cars, greeting cards, folder, and post cards. They have have coated or uncoated finishes. Common weights are: 65#, 80#, 100#, and 120#.
TAG is a dense grade of paper that is strong, durable, and generally water resistant. It is frequently used for store tags.
INDEX paper is stiff, not too thick, inexpensive and has a smooth finish and generally used for index cards and folders.
The finish is the surface texture. Uncoated and coated paper have different surface textures.
Wove or Smooth = a smooth uncoated surface.
Laid = paper with textured lines on its surface (i.e. business
Linen = has finer and more regular textured lines than the laid finish.
Laser = paper compatible with laser printers.
Coated = a paper with a wax finish (shiny or matte). Can be coated
on 1 or both sides.
Uncoated = paper with an untreated surface that is dull and
A SOURCE OF GREAT INFO
I have an extensive list of bulletin boards, blogs, and websites that I visit on a regular basis. One of my longtime favorites is Gingerwood (www.gingerstamp.com). I have found this stamping bulletin board an excellent source of information. In addition, the board features scrapbooking info, stamping techniques, and links to other websites.
The Versatile Baby Wipe
*Put baby wipes in a plastic container. As you use your stamps, put them face down on
the baby wipes. This keeps the stamps moist so that they can be easily cleaned at the
end of the stamping session.
Creating Stripes or Plaids:
*Fold the baby wipe several times so that you have a wide “spine”. Using several different
dye reinkers, put a row of dots onto the spine. Then run the spine across glossy paper to
create a striped background. Turn the paper sideways, and run the “spine” across
the paper to create a plaid background.
Impromptu Ink Pad:
*Fold the baby wipe into fourths. Then apply 3 to 4 drops of various reinkers on the front
of the baby wipe. Take the baby wipe and swipe the inked side across the glossy
cardstock. Make several passes to blend or until you get the desired look. Now you
have a background on which to stamp a message.
Creating Rainbow or Multicolor Stamp Pad:
*Fold another baby wipe into fourths. Apply 3 to 4 drops of various reinkers closely
together on the folded baby wipe. You have now created a unique rainbow/multicolor ink
pad. Press the stamp on the colored baby wipe and then press onto the paper.
A special thanks to those who’ve expressed their appreciation for this part of the newsletter. I want this newsletter to be informative/helpful so I’ll continue to offer these tips.
I also encourage readers to submit tips/techniques to be shared.
RECYCLE SODA TABS FOR RIBBON BUCKLES
Save SODA TABS and use them as "buckles" on your ribbons or paper strips. I recommend that you first sand the rough edge down. Then color the tab with alcohol inks or embossing inks/powders. Another option is to lightly sand the tab and then paint it to match the color of your ribbon.
KEEPING YOUR STAMPS LOOKING LIKE NEW
Put clear nail polish on the wooden mount part around the rubber to help it stay clean from ink and other stains. It helps your stamps continue to look new! Just make sure that you do not get the polish on the rubber.
REINKING INK PADS
When reinking the ink pad, it doesn’t take much ink. Regardless if the ink is dye, pigment, or alcohol, apply the ink along the perimeter of the pad and then make an X in the middle. The next step is crucial. Take a credit card or scrapper and work the ink into the ink pad. If you don’t do this step, the ink stays on the top of the pad resulting in a) too much ink on your stamp and b) pad wil