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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Big 20/20 Event: Day 13: Making Your Own Custom Stamp

Welcome back to “The Big 20/20 Event” - I am so glad you’re joining us again! We will be sharing 20 fantastic tutorials from a host of awesome contributors, for 20 days.

If you enjoy the tutorials, make sure you sign up for my newsletter, as all my newsletter subscribers will receive a beautiful PDF eBook at the end of the event, showcasing all 20 tutorial projects to keep and peruse at their leisure!

Here we go with our Day 13 tutorial.


Making Your Own Custom Stamp

Welcome to today’s tutorial, brought to you by the lovely Candice.

I’ve spent many years enjoying the quick and easy method of using rubber and polymer stamps for creating cards, scrapbook layouts and mixed media layers. Sometimes I’ll see a button, charm, flocked wallpaper, cut glass and other textured items and admire their qualities as potential stamps. You could certainly create a mold of many of these items or parts of them, and make them into a permanent stamp using resources such as clay. I wanted a fast and easy method so this is what I do.

I don’t always want to make or purchase a stamp that will take up permanent residence in my studio, so craft foam becomes a wonderful source for preserving an old button or charm, that you don’t want to ruin by using it as a stamp. The foam can be stored once the impression is made, or you can make the impression magically disappear. Follow along and be sure to leave a comment or send an email to me if you have any questions.

Most of all…….have FUN!

Products used in this tutorial:
Buttons from my mother’s collection
Embossing Folders Sizzix (www.sizzix.com), Cuttlebug (www.cricut.com/Cuttlebug)
Texture Plates – Fiskars (www.fiskars.com)
WaterfordCrystal Dye Ink - Close to My Heart (www.closetomyheart.com)
Project for stamping – card, scrapbook layout, mixed media background
Heat gun
Craft Foam
MyBlendAll™ (MyBlendAll.com) – comes with craft foam and felt (for alcohol inks)

Alternative – use craft foam and cut into whatever shape you desire before making impressions into it.
In this demo I attached the craft foam discs to each end of MyBlendAll™. The craft foam and MyBlendAll™ have a hook/loop system for attaching. Choose a button, charm, embossing folder, large stamp – anything that you like that is large enough to use part of it to make an impression into the foam.

With the heat gun, heat the craft foam carefully so that you do not burn your fingers or the foam….if the edges curl up, it’s too hot. After a few seconds – approximately 5, press the foam on the object you want to use and hold it until you feel the foam has cooled.
I press fairly hard. If the impression is clear, then you can go ahead and stamp with it. If it’s not to your liking, reheat so that whatever image is on the foam disappears and try pressing it again. (It’s so easy to erase a mistake and start again!)
I’ve reused my one foam disc a quite a few times. You can keep the foam piece as a permanent stamp, or reheat it and impress another image. I did leave one image overnight and it took a bit longer for the image to disappear.
To clean the foam, I run it across a damp paper towel until the ink is gone, then dry it on a dry paper towel. If there is some residue, it won’t hurt the next image. The foam will deteriorate after awhile if you keep reheating it, but I have done it at least 10 times to one piece of foam, and it’s been fine. The edges may start to curl after awhile and then you’ll have an edge of ink around your image, so just replace it.
Have fun – there are soooo many textures you can use to impress into the foam…experiment and PLAY!
My name should probably be Curious Candice - curiosity keeps me thinking that I don't have enough hours in the day, or years left in my life, to see and do everything I'd like . Of course, as I've gotten older, I realize that sleeping is a must, so my late hours aren't as late as they used to be. I miss those quiet hours.
My latest new product - a tool for artists and crafters: MyBlendAll™ has been in the works for more than a year. I was delighted to finally make it available this past January. It seems to be evolving with new uses!
My biggest dream is to be around to see what future my very young granddaughter will have. In my art life, I want to become more focused to one or two specialized area. Curious Candice always has a difficult time narrowing the focus…….there is SO much to explore!
My brothers georgiaed the musical ability in the family and although I used to do some singing, I realized about 35 years ago that some form of art relating to paper, inks, paints, and pens are NEEDED in my life. So I let my curiosity take me wherever it wants to go so that I can learn as much as I am able as a student. That curiosity also helps me teach, something I truly enjoy.
My faith, family, friends, birds, butterflies, letterforms and music inspire me - hmmmm…I guess that translates as "life is an inspiration." Working on projects often becomes a springboard to a new idea but other teachers and my students inspire me as well.

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Birgit Kerr