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Category Archives: Stamps for crafting

The rest of the scrapbook for my sister

I was finally able to get pictures of the rest of the album I made for my sister. Here it is!

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They’re not the best pictures, but you get the idea!!

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Changing it up a little bit

We all get stuck in a rut sometimes. Lately I feel like every project I work on has been coming out the same way. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. It could be that it’s the style I like to do work in. However, I felt like it was time for a change!

I decided to try to change things up a little. So, I needed some inspiration. On YouTube I subscribed to a website’s videos called TwoPeasInABucket.com. They have different designers, challenges, instructional videos and also happen to sell products. I visited their page and they have past classes (for free!) so I thought I’d watch some and see if I could gather any new techniques for some inspiration.

The videos were monthly and featured stamping techniques and ideas and then you could submit a layout from either the sketch that the presenter gave or your own design, as long as it featured what the topic was. For example, one of the topics was to create an all stamped title. The instructor used stamps from different collections and in different colors to create a vertical border. I thought this was different because you usually see horizontal borders.

While watching several of the videos, I got an idea. I wrote down some of the techniques she taught and found that my list was quite extensive. Then I wanted to challenge myself. For the next couple of projects I do, whether it be cards or scrapbook pages, I was going to incorporate something from that list onto each project.

Tonight I decided to start by making a Valentines Day card. One of the suggestions in her tutorials was to use stamps from a different collection or themed pack for an occasion that the stamp wasn’t meant for. I looked through my cling and wooden block stamps and found a pack of “Thank You” stamps. There was one that said “you’re so sweet”. Even though it wasn’t meant for a Valentine’s Day theme, I thought it would work.

The next element I decided to use had nothing to do with stamping. There are another set of videos on this website where the instructor picks a thread from their “Help” site and answers a viewer’s questions. This weeks particular video had to do with layering to make a more complete looking background. I don’t do much with this technique so I thought I’d try it out on the card – you know, start small! I took a bunch of different sized pattern and plain papers and cut them to fit on the card. I also punched out 4 squares from a double sized patterned paper to use as a border between two of the layers. I used Perfect Pearls mist on a piece of plain red paper to give it some shine. I also used border scissors to create a small border on which to stamp my sentiment. I laid the pieces out to make sure they were in the order I wanted and then decided that the piece of pink paper I had at the bottom looked too plain. So, I stamped that with Worn Lipstick distress ink on a dots background stamp. It still didn’t look right to me so I used a heart punch to cut out a shape and then a piece of dark pink paper to go behind the cut out. Finally, I added red stickles around the heart to make it stand out a little bit. Here is a picture of the card:

I will post more pictures of the other projects I have worked on. Challenging yourself is always a good idea, especially if you are stuck for new ideas and you feel like your work all looks the same. It’s also a great way to learn new techniques. Hope that this inspires you to try something new in your layouts!

Wooden or clear stamps?

Now that you have the basic materials, my next suggestion would be to acquire stamps. I started off with the wooden ones – since I already was familiar with those ones! They are just like the ones your teachers would stamp on your papers in school. They come in all sizes and designs, perfect to use on backgrounds for your layout or to add to embellishments or tags.

But what about those clear stamps? Until recently, I stayed away from them because I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. Did they really just stick to the clear block? Wouldn’t I have to replace them often? I decided to give them a try and I realize that I love them just as much (if not more!) than the wooden stamps.

First, they are very simple to use. You just peel them right off the clear plastic sheet and stick them on to a clear plastic block. I have found that if you are trying to use stamps to write a title to your page, clear stamps are much easier to use. Since the stamp is adhered to the clear block, you can see exactly where the stamp will be on the page. And if you need to continue a design (for a border for example), you can tell where you left off, unlike when you use a wooden stamp.

Clear stamps are just as easy to clean as wooden ones (I use water in my Mini Mister – a small spray bottle that you can travel with – and a paper towel to clean). They also give you more value for your money. Most often background stamps can cost up to $20 – and that’s just for one stamp. For around $17, you can get a variety of stamps with a similar theme in the clear stamps.

When I pick my stamps, I keep in mind stamps that are going to be more versatile. Background (or larger) stamps are good for that because they are often a pattern. Just because the stamp is huge, doesn’t mean that the space you are stamping it onto has to be. If you have a certain theme that you know you are going to scrapbook about a lot (like vacations to the beach or Disney, birthday parties or weddings), try finding stamp sets. They are often more cost efficient because you get a couple of stamps in a pack and you will use them more often. I do have holiday ones that I can use season after season. Stamps that are swirls or a design are good choices because you can use them on many different layouts.

But what kind of ink do I use? I have recently found Distress Inks by Ranger and I love them for many different projects. When I stamp, I do use them. I have found that they tend to leave a smudged look if you don’t push the stamp straight down and pull the stamp up. Sometimes I rock my stamps or press to hard and it makes the ink bleed a little outside of the lines. I don’t mind that look, but just be aware if you want a clean look. Otherwise, I use the cheap inks that were at ACMoore. They are $1 a pad, so I have a bunch of colors.

If you are tired of just using black ink for the outline of you stamp and then coloring the image in, there are markers that are designed to use like ink pads on stamps. Because they stay wet longer, they are perfect for intricate stamps or stamps where you want to do lots of color. They are on the expensive side – I only buy them when I have a 50% off coupon at ACMoore or Michael’s! They have a thin tip for coloring in little spaces and a larger, brush-like tip to ink your stamps or color a larger area.

If you already use the wooden stamps, I’d suggest giving the clear ones a chance. It took me awhile to come around to the idea, but I am glad that I did. There are so many options for stamps. Have fun!