Saturday, June 22, 2013

a dangerous pastime...

"LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking"
"A dangerous pastime"
"I know."
"Now the wheels in my head have been turning... and right now I'm evolving a plan!"

~Beauty and the Beast
(yes, I am singing the song out loud, and yes, it is stuck in my head. LOL!)

It's summer, and I have been thinking... thinking that today I want to celebrate by sharing not just one, not even two,  but THREE tutorials with you!  How's that for fun!  Ready for a long & picture heavy post?

The first 2 are kinda similar in that they are both ways that you can 

MAKE YOUR OWN STAMPS!


Technique 1: Fun foam texture stamps

Die cut or hand cut cheap fun foam. You now have a stamp. LOL. That was easy!

Ok, so I won't leave you there!

Use your heat gun to warm the foam until the surface becomes slightly shiny. It may also begin to curl. 

Quickly press something with texture (like a rubber stamp, clay texturizing plate, embossing plate, stencil, wicker chair... anything with texture) into the hot foam and hold until the foam cools. It won't take long. Remove to foam, and you will see that it keeps the texture!

Don't like the texture?  Simply reheat and try again!

Like what you have?  Cover the back with a thin layer of a temporary adhesive like Aleene's Tack-it Over & Over.  

Once dry, you can stick it you an acrylic block and stamp your totally awesome texture! 


Store on a sheet of acetate or in a CD case. 


Technique 2: Cricut stamp sheets 
(don't worry if you don't have a Cricut, you don't need one to do this!)

This is a Cricut cuttable stamp sheet.

If you don't know what this stuff is, it is a flat sheet of a material similar to what your acrylic stamps are made of. It is made to be cut in the Cricut machine by Provo Craft, but it doesn't have to be. Although I have gotten some good results with the machine, it can be somewhat finicky just because of the nature of the material. You can get at Amazon  HERE, or check out your favorite shopping sites!

If you are good at free hand drawing, feel free to go for it! I'm going to stick with tracing! All you need is a regular ball point pen. It is really nice to draw on!

For my card today, I use a stencil I made with my Silhouette, and I wanted some stamps to match so, I'm going to use that same stencil to make my stamps!

If you are good with scissors, you can cut it out. However, for straight lines, I like to use a blade. I also like to put down something with a flat edge to guide my blade and keep the stamp material from shifting. I'm using a palette knife. 

Hand cutting this with scissors or a craft knife is super easy, and a great way to make custom stamps without a machine! 

Now, I have two stamps! And, depending on your design... you can actually end up with 4 stamps! The material is the same on both sides, so it doesn't matter which side you stamp with! So if you cut out a shape of a bird, it can face either direction with 1 stamp!!!! Super fabulous!!!

Now, simply stick it onto your acrylic block and get ready to stamp! 

You may notice that because the stamp surface is smooth, some inks tend to bead up leaving behind splotch images. Not good. However, it is somewhat fixable! 

Use a nail file to gently rough up the surface. Now, ink up the stamp in Ranger's Jet Black Archival Ink, and just let it sit for a little bit.... Weird, I know. (I have no idea why this works, but I learned this trick about conditioning stamps to hold dye inks from a class I took from Tim Holtz. He said he had tried it with other inks, but only the Jet Black Archival Ink works.)  After letting it sit on there for a minute or so, stamp it off, then wipe off the extra ink with a little water. Your stamp will be stained, but that is not a problem. (you can now see it better!)  Now try stamping it with dye ink. If it still isn't stamping well, try more filing. Unfortunately this material isn't the BEST for dye inks, like many clear stamps. They work great for paint though!  

 Happy stamping!

Now, on to 
Technique 3: Custom epoxy embellishments!

Remember how I said I made that honeycomb stencil with my Silhouette? Well, I cut my stencils out of acetate... and it left behind all these cute little clear hexagons... I couldn't just throw them away!

Start out with die cut (or hand cut) acetate shapes. Then stamp them with Staz-On or Archival ink. Let that dry. 

Now, add color... you can do this either with alcohol ink/markers, or, for more glitz, paint it up with Creative Inspirations Paint!

*If you color with alcohol based products you need to color on the reverse side you stamped on!

Not in the mood for clear?  You can make epoxy embellies with paper too! Simply cut out your shape, then coat the front with a layer of Mod Podge. After it has dried, flip it over and coat the back. Don't forget the edges!  This way the resin won't seep in and ruin the paper!

Start adding Creative Inspirations Resinesense to the center of your embellies. After you have a puddle, use the nozzle of the bottle to pull the resin towards the edges, letting the surface tension keep it on the cut out. Once you have pulled the resin to all the edges, you can continue adding drops to the center to get a domed effect. Don't over do it though, or your surface tension will brake, and you will end up with a mess!  If you want a big dome, I suggest doing it in layers!

*If you painted your embellie, you are going to want to flip your embellie over and add your resinesense to the unpainted side... this way the paint is BEHIND the stamped image instead of covering it.

**notice I moved my all my pieces onto a piece of clear plastic. This allows me to easily move all my embellies into my uv lamp while keeping them all flat, and without the risk of touching any of the edges of the pieces. I just slide the put the whole thing... clear plastic and all under the lamp.*

Put your embellies into the sun or uv lamp to cure... 

WOW!

Anyone still with me??????

LOL!

Well, if you are, a huge THANK YOU! for sticking around!  It's always nice when I'm not just talking to myself. :D

Here's my card using 2 of the 3 techniques I shared today.

You cans see how fabulously awesome the Resinesense epoxy embellishments turned out! Super fun! It gives that bit of dimension without being so bulky that it is tough to mail, and the shimmer of the CI paints underneath... yeah, BEAUTIFUL!

And the stamps.. absolutely perfect! I love stamping with CI paints... so much shimmery goodness!

Ok... enough of my gabbiness!

Enjoy!
~Kassi







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