November 19, 2008

Handmade Stamps

I'd been wanting to try making stamps for a while, something not too time-consuming or intricate... just some new images that can be used on gift wrap, ATCs, tags, or cards... Today I found a way that was quick and easy.

Using a sheet of foam (sold in drug stores where the crayons and modeling clay is and also in craft stores in a variety of colors) I grabbed a sharp X-acto knife (yes, overcoming my aversion to knives) and some cast-off cardboard.

I cut the cardboard into rectangles no larger than an Artist Trading Card (2.5 x 3.5). I took a pen and drew the shape of a tree on the foam. I cut the tree out and grabbed my old-fashioned hole puncher. I punched holes in the tree for where I figured later I would put dabs of red or gold paint, or perhaps glue rhinestones (on the stamped image).

I then glued the foam tree with holes onto the cardboard with Elmer's glue. Then I gave the stamp a coat of acrylic gloss gel medium and went and ate a really good turkey and imported Swiss cheese sandwich made by Mark.

I also took all the holes I'd punched out of the tree, and glued them onto another rectangle of cardboard. And, I cut a four small strips of foam out with deckle-edged sissors and glued those in the shape of a not-too-square frame onto another rectangle of cardboard. So, now I had three new stamps. All were given a coat of gel medium just to seal them somewhat.

Returning to my craft room for Disk 3 of MI-5, season 3, I found the stamp dry. Now, lunch was over and time to try them out. They worked pretty well, don't you think? (see photo above. The images on white are the stamps on ATC cards. The images on brown are the stamps-on-cardboard I made. Keep in mind these were made quick, easy, and are a first attempt...)

One of the online trading groups I am in (see my blog article on ATC trading groups with the huge list of groups) is having a two-sided ATC swap, and I want to make 9 almost-identical ATCs, so will use the Christmas Tree stamp for that.

Jackie, my Chihuahua, is clamoring for me to make a stamp of her to use as gift tags on the stuffed dogs she wants me to make of her (she never stops). Jackie has set up a Ralvery page and is amassing huge amounts of yarn. No one will be without a scarf this year!

My suggestion with the stamps is:
Go slow.
Use a sharp knife.
Use smallish sissors.
Keep it simple.
Get some metallic stamp pads. That's next on my list.

Have fun!

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