details on sand dollar stamping...

Hello my fabulous friends!

It's my turn to share another fun LDRS Creative project!  

I love making stamped sand dollars! I'm lucky enough to live only an hour away from a beach that is littered with sand dollars! I love spending time there. 

Paper: Tissue paper
Stamps: LDRS Creative Blooming Bugs
Ink: LDRS Creative Ravin; Copic V12, V15, V15, Y26, E44, YG11, YG25, YG67
Other: LDRS Creative Stamp Masking paper; Ranger Multi-Medium Matte; glitter, twine, ribbon

To read the FULL step-by-step tutorial I wrote on the LDRS Creative blog, click HERE... 
This post is a simplified version of the tutorial with added info here and there...

Step 1: clean your sand dollar and drill a hole...

If you are like me and collect sand dollars from the beach, you will notice there is an incredible amount of sand inside them... You can shake and shake, and still sand comes out! It's amazing! To clean my sand dollars, I dump them in a bucket of fresh water, swish them around, then take them out and shake them... Sand comes out with the water.. I repeat this multiple times...Then  I set them out in the sun to dry... once dry, I shake sand out AGAIN...  Now they are ready to work with.

Hand drill for the hole... Like I said in my tutorial, sand dollars are fragile, and it takes about five seconds with a hand drill... 

Step 2: Stamp your image on tissue paper using an alcohol friendly ink.

I generally go with the cheapest tissue paper I can find... Each brand is slightly different... some have a bit of a glossy finish on one side, others don't... I've never been too fussy about which tissue paper I use....

Step 3: Color with alcohol markers....

Ok... I'm not allowed to talk about specific brands on the LDRS blog, so let me share what I've found here... 
1. Test your tissue paper with your markers. Your paper might act slightly different than mine. Your markers might play nicer if you go light to dark instead of dark to light... do some test coloring off to the side!
2. While I have a healthy collection of alcohol markers, I'm don't have very many brands... Here is what I can say... Fine point brush is nice. (the bullet point Bic markers are hard to work with in small areas, and they don't like to blend... at least on my tissue paper). Copics are great for controlled details, but blending is hard because you can't just keep going over an area to blend. Chameleons give you a very smooth blend (because you blend in the pen and color it out) but are hard to control and get detail (because you blend in the pen and color it out). For very simple images where developing shadows and highlights isn't as important, I like Chameleons for the smooth blends... For images that need the detailed shadows, I go with Copics.... Any other brand marker, and you just have to try for yourself...
3. Always color with a scratch paper under the tissue paper to catch the bleed through. And move your image to a clean spot to see what the blending really looks like.... When you are seeing the bleed through under your image you aren't getting an accurate idea of what the coloring actually looks like. Usually it looks a TON better when moved to a fresh spot.

Step 4: cut it out. 

Sharp scissors with a nice point are helpful at times like this.... but it really is a rough cut so if you want your kids to join in and use their safety scissors... you'll be fine. 

Step 5: cover the front of the sand dollar in collage glue, place image on, and gently cover with another layer of glue. Let dry.

I have used Mod Podge and Ranger Muli-Medium Matte... Both work perfectly well. Other brands probably do too, I haven't tried any other brands. 

If you aren't planning on adding glitter, take into consideration if you want a glossy or matte finish.. I like the matte finish if I'm not adding glitter... It looks more natural. 

Also take into consideration that while glitter is messy, it also distracts from any imperfects... like wrinkles in your tissue paper, or the tip of a petal that tore off while glueing... that sort of thing. 

Step 6: decorate.

If you are adding glitter, simply cover the sand dollar with another layer of collage glue and cover with glitter.. It looks awful at first. Just let it dry for a while. Once all the glue is dry, brush off extra glitter... It looks a lot better after you have removed the excess!

If you are making these as keepsakes of a vacation, consider writing the place and date somewhere with a  fine point Sharpie before covering with glitter.

Have fun with this... There are so many possibilities!