How to Use Rubber Stamps For Card Making
Learn how to use rubber stamps for handmade card making and “wow” your recipient! (This is definitely on my to-do list for the next upcoming birthday or whatever occasion!) Scrap paper, lace, and ribbons all have their place, but if you really want to add that special something, in the form of more dimension or texture, stamping can really make an impression like no other (pun intended!)
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You can incorporate different stamping techniques alongside any decorative addition to your handmade cards, whether through sketches or templates, or your own design from scratch. Let’s look at the many ways rubber stamps can be used.
Where to Get Your Own Stamps?
If you’re the DIYer type, I recommend this tutorial on carving your own designs. Craft stores would be the obvious next best bet, there are the kind made of foam (I had a few of these way back when), the most commonly seen wood block mounted rubber stamp, which are very popular and have been around a long time.
Polymer acrylic blocks are excellent, as they are transparent, so you can make precise placements while working as you can see right through them. Scrapbook.com has the best selection I have seen online for stamping materials.
These blocks below have built-in grids which will really help you to make precise placements which is a must for card making .
There are also a good bit of ready-made stamps (be sure to look for the sticky backing material with which to attach them. ) Don’t forget to check out some of the tutorials and articles on the site too; you may get a lot out of them when carrying out your endeavors.
Use Rubber Stamps to Create Texture in the Background
Whether you’ve got a heart, flower, or single leaf imprint in your stamp collection, the application of that imprint multiple times on a card can produce some really unique effects. Ever stared at the background of a card in progress and felt it looked too “blah” and needed something, but you weren’t sure what?
That missing element could be added dimension.. I’ve seen it plenty of times in my own life….I could easily turn something bland into something bold just by layering designs onto it to create a more dimensional effect.
By dipping your stamp into different shades of ink in one particular color (say, light green and dark green), or using multiple stamps with similar patterns, you can make the design “pop” more without a ton of effort.
A raised effect also looks really smashing on a greeting card. The addition of embossing powder heat-set, will make the stamped design really stand out..There are different colors and clear transparent inks that will enable you to emboss with mica powders or glitters.
Most importantly, embossed designs need to be heat-set for permanency.
Test Out Your Stamps First
Try to have some regular printer or scrap paper nearby to practice on first before you apply the design to the card as it’s a finality when it lands. Sometimes impressions don’t always go the way we hope, even for the pros. Getting some ink and doing a test impression, or two, before hand, is a good way to avoid a potential mishap.
Painting Your Stamped Designs
You can also paint stamped imprints on cards too…just filling in various spaces within the design can add a more appealing look. I got to view a really good course on Bluprint in which the instructor used a simple watercolor approach to add a little splash of color to some of her stamped imprints. These were, like the oval-shaped watercolor pans I used to work with as a child when I first learned to paint.
Another excellent tool to use are brush markers. They have flexible tips to color in your stamped impressions. You can also take them and color directly on the stamp cutout itself, too, before making a print, as they have great flow to them. Best kind is the ones that have dual tips, as you can use the fine tips for writing on your cards.
Prefer a “drier” approach to color? You can also shade in white spaces with colored pencils which would also look very well! For that, I recommend this colored pencil brand (thank me later 😁✏️)
When the paint dries you can later on affix your stamped designs onto the card using tape runner or dots – which can create a slight raised appearance. Cards with raised designs are really interesting to look at.
What Kind of Ink?
The type of ink you use when you dip your stamps can alter the effect on the finished card. Not all inks are created equal! Pigment based inks dry more slowly, giving you leeway to adapt the imprinted design further, such as through the use of embossing.
Inks that are alcohol or solvent based dry more quickly, which can be a real boon if you plan to do some additional work on the imprint like coloring in the open white spaces. Inks come in different colors too, so you are not relegated to just black.
And did you know you can dip your stamp in lemon juice and apply an imprint on your card and then apply heat…the design will appear and take on a vintage-y look. Remember the days when we would write on paper with “mystery ink” and hold it over a candle to reveal the message?
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Stamps Too!
Be sure you clean your stamps properly, one thing that you can use is some of those baby wipes. There are also spray stamp cleaners too, you may also want to include a sponge to keep on y our workspace so you can give it a good swipe or two. Find one that will let you get into the grooves of the stamp where some of the ink gets trapped in.
So here is a whole host of ways you can use stamps to make great designs on cards 😁
Don’t forget, bling, bling, bling…ribbons, glitter, teeny rhinestones…..you can still go to town with your stamped designs, and the lucky recipient to get this will love you for it!
Creative Commons Photo Attribution: Images courtesy of: Etsy Ketsy