Making linocut rubber stamps: Dos and Dont’s

making-linocut -rubber-stamps

Linocut rubber stamps, also known as Lino, are the type of rubber stamps that are popular amongst aspiring rubber stamp designers due to the fact that it can easily be customised. If you are looking to create your own rubber stamps and use it for crafting techniques like block printing, then linocut rubber stamps are ideal for you. Here are some things you should know if you decide to make your own linocut rubber stamps:

Do make Preparations

Despite being slightly tougher compared to other carving blocks, lino still remains one of the most popular carving block options for users who want to customise rubber stamps. This is due to the fact that lino is extremely available- you can purchase it from rubber stamp suppliers or even regular craft stores. Lino is also affordable for most users since they are low cost. To make linocut rubber stamps, you will need to purchase the lino and carving tools. You will also need an acrylic block, wooden block or wooden mount to mount your rubber stamps on after you have finished carving the rubber stamp design. For reference, it would also be best to draw a copy of your desired design before you begin carving.

Do take Precautions

Do be careful to take special precaution when using the carving tools. To accommodate the tough texture of carving boards, carving tools are made extra sharp for easy carving. While it’s true that carving tools generally have a good grip and enables users to carve elaborate yet intricate lines, there may be occasions where you will need to slow down the carving speed since working too fast can result in the blades slipping. To accommodate the ease of carving, you can consider warming up standard lino just slightly.

Don’t forget Image Transfer

If you are customising your rubber stamp in this manner for the first time, you will experience immense difficulty if you attempt to simply do it by hand. To help you gauge the measurements and sizing, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by using image transfer. Simply draw your image on the lino or trace your image and transfer onto it by setting the drawing over and firmly pressing down so that the markings get on it. This will ensure that your design stays in place and won’t stray from your original copy.

Don’t forget to test print

Once you have successfully created your linocut rubber stamps, it would be best to test it out along with ink on other scrap material until you become accustomed to the amount of pressure you need for even ink distribution. You can choose to mount your linocut rubber stamps so that you have a better control over stamping, or use it unmounted. You can also roll a brayer over the stamp so that the pressure is even when stamping.

Combining Rubber Stamps With Digital Stamps in 5 Steps

combining-rubber-stamps-digital-stamps-5-steps

Take the time to make your rubber stamp design more visually appealing through the simple method of combining both your rubber stamps together with digital stamps. When pulled off well, the end result often captures the attention of others in a subtle yet elegant manner. All you have to do is remember and take care to apply these 5 included steps:

1. Preparation

To fully make use of layered effect with your rubber stamps and digital stamps, make sure to prepare the materials you will need first. In this case, you will need your digital paper, scrap paper, water spray, ink pads, digital stamps and a suitable editing software of your choice. Once you have gathered all necessary materials, you can begin with the next stage- Planning.

2. Planning

Planning is essential to all things, especially when it comes to creating layered effects. You are required to know clearly what you are doing and why. To begin with, understand and plan what rubber stamp design elements you want in your foreground. These impressions should be clearer, sharper and darker than the ones in your background. Make sure you identify what design elements you want in the background as well- they should be faded and softer compared to the impression in the foreground. You will need to play around with ink to create the layered effect as well so keep that in mind.

3. Background

You can then make use of digital paper and digital stamps to place a background. Position your digital stamp on the position of your digital paper as required and begin tweaking the opacity of your digital stamp using the editing software of your choice. You want the digital stamp slightly transparent for your background. You can then choose to either place another digital stamp as the foreground using full opaque or move on to use colours for contrast addition.

4. Ink

Using ink and your rubber stamps, stamp on the areas of your background and create a soft muted layer effect by using your water spray. Spray a gentle layer of mist onto your ink and dilute it so that it mingles with the background image you have created. This part will require some practise in order to gauge how much water you need to use to dilute the ink in a way that it looks organic together with your digital stamped background image. Once you are done, allow the results to dry.

5. Foreground

Once you have made sure that it is completely dry, you can then decide to add in the foreground using your rubber stamps and your ink pad. Simply use the rubber stamp and ink pad as normal to create a stronger sharper impression onto the layer to create a layered look!

Combining rubber stamps with salt dough in 5 steps

rubber-stamp

Rubber stamps are a worthwhile investment not just for their startup friendly costs but also for their general long lasting shelf life as well as versatility. Rubber stamps can be combined with a wide variety of materials and mediums to give life to greater works of creativity. From name cards to glass, to even material like polymer clay, rubber stamps can be applied with ease. One of these mediums rubber stamps can be applied to are salt dough. If you wish to try out new ideas, here are 5 steps you can undertake to combine your rubber stamps with salt dough:

1. Salt Dough Preparation

No matter if you intend to do this for professional crafting purposes, events or for your children’s crafting hobby, salt dough is easily created. You can do this by yourself as long as you have the necessary ingredients, which includes: Salt (one cup), flour (two cups) and water (one cup). Yes- that’s exactly all you need in order to create salt dough! As long as you keep the proportions and measurements the same, you can actually create as many or as limited batches as you require. Mix the ingredients and knead for 10 minutes to create a strong consistency.

2. Rubber Stamping

Once you have the salt dough ready, you can now use your rubber stamps to decorate the surface. Experiment with different types of ink and colours with your rubber stamps. Press your rubber stamps against the surface of your salt dough so that the impressions are formed, but take care not to press too heavily if you are using soft dough since the dough may stick to your rubber stamps. Alternatively, you can also choose to decorate the salt dough when they are dryer.

3. Drying

You can either leave them to dry naturally for a few days or put the salt dough stamped items into a low heated oven. Make sure the temperature is even and low since you may risk cracks and bubbled surfaces otherwise. You will also want to note that salt dough can be used with either fine or coarse salt depending on the texture you want. If you are using rubber stamps with intricate and finely detailed rubber stamp designs however, it’s best to use fine salt so that the detailings show through. Additional effects can be added to the creations after your salt dough stamped items are fully dry.

4. Cleaning

Clean your rubber stamps thoroughly after you are done with the process to ensure that none of the dough remains on your stamps and compromise it’s quality. Soak your rubber stamps in water and soap before rinsing to remove the salt dough. Make sure to pat dry and leave your rubber stamps on tissue paper or cloth so that excess moisture is removed to reduce chances of molding. When your rubber stamps are completely dry, you can store them away as per usual.

5. Additional tips

For an added effect, you can consider adding different mixtures into your salt dough to come up with different outcomes for your stamped product. Take note that it’s advised that you do so when making the salt dough. Safe options include colour dyes, inks, oil or glitter but make sure to let the effect sink in before you make use of the salt dough to prevent making a mess.

5 Ideal carving boards for rubber stamp making

carving-boards

Carving boards are one of the most essential products to acquire if you intend on creating your own customised rubber stamps. Cost effective, easily available and durable, carving boards are the best option when it comes to carving your own rubber stamp images by hand. However, with so many different brands and types of carving board out there, they can be rather difficult to choose from. So if you are a beginner trying to get a carving board for yourself, here are some recommendations to consider:

  1. Linoleum

Perhaps the most traditional of all carving boards, linoleum is the most commonly picked choice for rubber stamp designers. Due to it’s demand, a wide range of linoleum is currently available in both local and international markets, found easily in craft stores. Developments have also been underway to produce softer lino for better cutting purposes. Soft Lino is currently at a consistency that’s harder than specially formulated soft carving blocks, but are cheaper and sold in large economic sizes so users can split and cut the linoleum down to more pieces. If you plan to use linoleum, it is recommended to mount the rubber stamp onto an even surface like blocks or wooden mounts for better ink distribution.

  1. Speedy Carve

Produced by art material manufacturers Speedball Art Products, the speedy carve boards are designed and optimised for easy carving purposes. Popular due to the ease in cutting, users can make use of this to create intricate and highly detailed designs. If you are looking for good quality materials to use as a base for your rubber stamps, this is a good option to try out. Just take precautions and make sure to carve slowly since faster speeds means a likelihood that your tool slipping may happen.

  1. Ezy Carve

The Ezy Carve carving board is a special double-sided carving board type that allows rubber stamp designers to produce rubber stamp carving easily. A little more giving than linoleum, this is a good option to look for if you want a good quality carving board that is built for lasting long.

  1. Mastercarve

A top notch international manufacturing corporation known as Staedtler, has also created carving boards that are created from soft vinyl to maximise it’s potential for easy carving. If you are looking for high end results and good quality material, then the Mastercarve carving board is essential for you. While it may be priced at a higher range than most carving boards, the Mastercarve is versatile in it’s range of sizes and qualities.

  1. Erasers

These types of carving boards are also cheaper alternatives compared to others and can be bought from retailers or craft stores. These eraser carving boards are usually created with a variety of materials, so they usually require cutting in different methods. For example- art gum eraser type carving boards are softer and easier to cut but may crumble. One good thing about these materials are that you do not need to purchase special carving tools and can simply use a craft knife since they are easily parted.

Use Rubber Stamps With Chalk Ink Pads Effectively

rubber-stamps-with-chalk-Ink-pads

Chalk ink pads are another interesting alternative compared to regular rubber stamp ink pads. Not only are they simple to use, chalk ink pads also offer a lot cleaner results compared to different stamp ink results. You can combine them with almost all forms of cards/textured paper as well. While the after effects are roughly the same, there are actually some things to note when combining your rubber stamps with ink pads. Chalk ink actually creates soft matte colour effects that can be permanent when set with heat. Here’s how you can create new stamped images with the chalk ink pads:

Techniques

Because of the softness in their look, chalk ink pads are usually used with rubber stamps and layered over to bring about intensity through their shading. You can make use of layering with the same colour to provide different intensify to the general finished product or combine them with different layered colours to come up with something new entirely.

Things to Note

Chalk ink are very susceptible to blending, fusing, merging and clouding. However, you want to pay attention to the colours you are using. Too much and your end colour results can be muddy and unappealing. So stick to colours that either mix well, or give yourself a limit on the amount of colours you are using. Make sure to observe the intensity of your overstamping while working with chalk ink. The more practise you get will achieve better results so don’t be shy when it comes to experimenting with the effects of chalk ink.

Backgrounds

Chalk ink pads are ideal if you intend to create backgrounds with your rubber stamps on account of the softness in their colours that you can achieve. You can achieve quite a versatile range of different backgrounds with the combination of rubber stamps, sponges, cotton buds, and even your fingers. Simply apply the rubber stamps to areas in which you require the image and let the material dry. Once it is dry you can make use of heating tools to heat consistently and lightly so that the chalk ink can be set permanently without smudging and ruining details. You can then proceed to combine your rubber stamps with vivid intensity dye and stamp them on top of your chalk inked background.

Extra tips

While chalk ink is generally softer, you can substitute black chalk ink with colours like chestnut or charcoal instead. Remember to remove chalk ink residue when you can to prevent messy results and use first with scrap paper so you can remove some of the unevenness and intensity.

5 Types of Rubber Stamp Friendly Embossing Powders To Try Out

embosing-powder

Embossing powders make excellent finishing options when done right. If you are looking for ways to upgrade and breathe new life into your name cards or even just add a touch of colour to your crafts, embossing is the way to go! But people sometimes overlook the fact that embossing powders aren’t all just one standard powder. Different embossing powders recreate different design effects, so if you are looking for embossing powders, try out these 5 new embossing powders:

  1. Embossing Tinsel

Embossing tinsel is a type of embossing powder that is created with a blend of fine crystal glitter to recreate a pearl luster sheen for the material. What is good about Embossing tinsel powder is that it can recreate the sheen of metal and is non-toxic, as well as acid free. It can be applied on a variety of material for a luxurious feel to jazz things up- like paper mache, picture frames and more.

  1. Gold Embossing

Gold embossing powder is made to recreate the lustre of gold material. Smooth, consistent and easily combined with other materials, the gold embossing powder is a useful and good option if you are looking to give your name cards a powerful revamp. When combined with rubber stamps, they give a authoritative yet modern attractive design.

  1. Embossing Pearl

Embossing pearl is recreated with the shimmer of pearl gems in mind. Smooth, soft glowing and gentle, the embossing pearl powder reflects light with a texture close to silk. The shimmer strength is affected and adjusted with the base colour of the embossing powder and strongest when printed with black.

  1. Colour Blend Embossing

Colouring blends are embossing powders that are in between embossing glitter and embossing powders. Depending on what you require, there are different colour blends that are built for embossing purposes. Some of the embossing powder blends come inclusive with a smooth silky pearl effect or metallic sheen with an opaque base. When you’re looking for colour blended embossing powders, a good recommendation would be smooth glossy depth ones with strong finishing colours.

  1. Embossing Enamel

Embossing enamel powders are a clear type of embossing powders that are versatile to use. Embossing enamels are usually created with large granules so they can be spread out and heated, which will form a smooth, glassy thicker surface. You will need to apply a thin embossing ink over the surface for it to be treated and sprinkle on the embossing enamel. Tap off any excess and apply heat to it. Bear in mind a single layer will offer a slightly bumpy texture, you will need three coats and heat it from under to make it completely smooth.

Here are just 5 of all embossing powders that are currently available in the market. Don’t be afraid to try out different embossing powders and see the outcome on your designs! As an added recommendation- make sure to clean your rubber stamps after you finish using them so that the embossing powder doesn’t stick to your rubber stamps. You can either use rubber stamp cleaners, or run your rubber stamps under water with soap.

5 Rubber Stamps and Paper Type Tips To Know

tips

Different paper types can affect your rubber stamps and the stamped images differently depending on their material. If you wish to experiment around with different materials for your stamping purposes, then here are 5 paper type and rubber stamp tips you should know about:

  1. Vellum Paper

Popularly known as drafting paper, Vellum is a translucent type paper material that is most effectively used when heat embossed. Drafting paper is ideal for stained glass techniques and combined with various different types of paper along with rubber stamps to achieve multiple different effects. If you are looking for delicate material that provides a strong glow, you can consider embossing Vellum paper with pearl powder for a shimmery finish.

  1. Card stock

Durable, somewhat resistant to folding and dense, card stock is most commonly combined with rubber stamps to create name cards because of their long lasting quality. Card stock are also the easiest and best paper type to apply different finishing options on so if you are keen to experiment with finishing options, card stock is a good “base” to invest in. However, do keep in mind that if you are using coated card stock materials, certain inks like pigment inks are slow to dry. Sometimes they won’t dry well since they cannot be absorbed so you may have to consider heat embossing to set the ink.

  1. Parchment

Parchment paper are made from wood pulp and ideal for crafting since they are durable and well suited for crafting with their long archival life. When it comes to stamping, parchment paper are capable of mixing well with a wide variety of inks in rubber stamps. Depending on the type of parchment paper, the end results are always different. Parchment paper are also good for finishing options like lamination, embossing, debossing and others!

  1. Clear Transparency Film

Much like vellum paper, clear transparency film also comes with a translucency. This type of paper is specifically built to withstand heat embossing and will not shrink or buckle so if heat embossing is something you require, you can combine this paper type with others to form a new effect.

  1. Specialty Paper

Specialty papers like deco film, metallic paper, clear acetate and other types are often used together with rubber stamps to recreate special effects and textures. When used well, it can give form to better designs and crafts. But keep in mind to do research on what kind of inks these specialty papers can accept. Especially when it comes to coated and uncoated papers, just in case., For example some acetate papers do not do well with heat embossing while inks like pigment ink often require heat embossing for the ink to set. You want to pick the right combination when using your rubber stamps with your crafting paper.

There you have it, these are the 5 paper types that can be combined with rubber stamps and what you have to know while trying them out. Have you tried any of these paper types with your crafting just yet? What can you potentially use these to create? Go ahead and experiment with different paper types to find out the answer!

5 Resist Techniques To Apply With Rubber Stamps

resist-techniques

In the world of crafting, ‘Resist’ is the term used for substances and objects that can help resist effects and colours of other substances/objects when applied. For example, the fact that water and oil do not mix. Wax is often used to repel water based applications. With this concept, create new works of art together with your rubber stamps by merging their effects with these 5 resist techniques. Stand out amongst the rest with these additional little efforts here. This is what you should try and what you have to know:

  1. Embossing Resist

This resist technique requires at least two types of embossing powder or embossing powder and coloured substance, as well as glossy card stock and dye ink. Stamp and emboss your image with rubber stamps onto your glossy card- make sure this is done with a clear/white embossing powder. Once you have done so, sponge the card stock over with your dye ink. Now wash your rubber stamps and dry it so that you can stamp it again with either your plain colour substance or another embossing powder. You can experiment with different embossing effects and colours to achieve different results. If you brayer before the first embossing process, the colours will show through the different layers.

  1. Wax Resist

As mentioned earlier, wax resist is most popularly done with water-based substances like water-based ink. You will need a white candle/white wax, an ink pad, rubber stamps, sponge, and a spare towel. You need to decide which areas you want to remain untouched by colour and make use of the wax to provide a cover so that no substance gets on them. You can then use your rubber stamps to stamp where your images go on the material. After this process, you should sponge or brayer/stipple the stamped image with your dyed ink. Remember to leave it to dry completely before you polish your image with your cloth in order to remove the wax cleanly. If you want a distressed effect, use your sponge and chalk ink. Rub some wax (recommended beeswax) in between layers when sponging so that there could be uneven streaks and patches for a natural distressed look.

  1. Joseph’s Coat Resist

For this technique, you will need dye ink (pigment ink or chalk ink can be used too), clear embossing powder, antistatic bags, rubber stamps, black dye ink, tissues, and sponges. Now brayer over your material with your brayering ink and leave it to dry completely. Next, in order to remove static, swipe antistatic bags over your material. Once you have done, it is safe to begin rubber stamping with clear embossed powder. Proceed to cover your material with black dye and leave to dry. Then wipe your embossed areas with tissues so that the colours underneath will reveal itself.

  1. Clear Ink Resist

For this, you will need clear ink, colour ink, a sponge, rubber stamps and card stock.
Now, stamp your image with your rubber stamps and clear ink before leaving them to dry. After they are dry, make use of dye ink and other ink colours to apply over your stamped image with sponges. If you want colour mixes for your card stock, you can mix different colours with your layers. Cover the card thoroughly with the first colour layer and wipe off excess ink. Stamp again with different colour layers and remove spare ink when you can. Allow the colours to overlay and watch the end results!

  1. Object resist

You can also incorporate other objects as part of your technique- for example, leaves, shells and other small textured items. Make sure to use your rubber stamps and stamp them onto your card stock. Once you have gathered the items, place them on slightly wet card stock. You can then spray dye ink or other substances like water colour, metallic paint and the like over the paper withj the objects. When done, leave it to dry and examine the effects when you are done.

With these resist techniques and rubber stamps, designers and corporate owners can recreate many special results. Look forward to experimenting and what you can come up with!

5 Important Tips To Heed When Combining Rubber Stamps and Acetate

Combining-Rubber-Stamps-and-Acetate

Acetate is another out of ordinary material that can be combined with rubber stamps during the stamping process. However, some precautions and knowledge has to be understood before doing so. Here are 5 important tips you are going to have to know and listen to when it comes to combining these two materials:

  1. Safety precautions

When using rubber stamps and acetate, always make sure to ask what finishing options the particular brand of acetate is suitable for. For example, not all acetate are compatible with heat embossing and it could be risky to do so while others are built for heat resistance. Clear acetate folders are an example of material that are suitable for stamping but not embossing.

  1. Compatible ink material

Acetate material can be tricky when it comes to being compatible with materials so check to make sure that they are before you use them. It’s good to have an expectation on what you want to do before you use acetate with rubber stamps. For example, if you intend to use foiling as a finishing option then sticky back acetate or regular acetate and dry pearl powder will be a good mix. Acetate surface is a lot more slippery compared to normal paper or card stock so a lot of inks may be unsuitable. Acetate surfaces also happen to be more static compared to other material so you may have to use anti-static pads first to get rid of the static nature. Types of inks you can try are: Pigment inks, archival dye, and fluid chalk dye.

  1. Compatible colouring material

Colouring material can be used on larger surface areas on acetate and rubber stamps. Suitable material for colouring are- Solvent based glass paint water, acrylic paint, pigment ink and reinkers, pigment or acrylic paint mixed primers, fabric paints, and nail varnish. Take note that you have to leave some material to dry since acetate does not absorb things as quickly as normal cardstock does so leave it to dry in order to prevent smudging.

  1. Technique

Using your rubber stamps, gently stamp the acetate surface to avoid blurring or smudging. Make sure the inkpad of your rubber stamps are drier when you need to use more pressure. Keep your fingers away from acetate as much as possible since oil is easily transferred and can potentially ruin your rubber stamped images. You can however, flick or tap your material to get rid of excess powder materials.

  1. Additional advice

If your stamped/coloured image does not turn out as well as you hope it to be (discoloured portions etc), you can actually turn that into a good thing by overlaying with the same stamped image. Metallic effects like gold or silver embossing can turn the imperfection into something more beautiful and hide away undesirable portions.

How To Rubber Stamp on Unbaked Polymer Clay

unbaked-polymer -clay

Not many people realise this but unbaked polymer clay is actually a very popular source material to combine with rubber stamps. With unbaked polymer clay and rubber stamps, you can actually produce interesting crafted pieces. Here’s what you should know about combining rubber stamps and unbaked polymer clay:

One of the best things about stamping with unbaked polymer clay is that the malleable material gives users more options for texturing compared to other material. When you stamp on unbaked polymer clay, you are able to rock your stamp back and forth to create deeper impressions compared to material like paper where rocking your rubber stamps are generally discouraged to prevent smearing. The deeper grooves your rubber stamps have, the better your stamped image will be. In order to keep your stamped images consistent and clean, you will be required to clean your stamps using either stamp cleaner or water at regular intervals to prevent clumps of clay from sticking into the grooves. For stubborn material, you can make use of tooth picks to gently scrape your rubber stamps clean.

Stamping with Ink

Unbaked polymer clay is compatible with most inks, but you want inks that can be permanent to retain it’s intensity after baking the clay. A good recommendation for the procedure would be StazOn ink. You can stamp on unbaked polymer clay after applying ink to your rubber stamps. Stamping is relatively easy since there is little you have to take note of- it can essentially be treated the same way you stamp on paper. Just remember to clean your rubber stamps and you will be set!

Stamping with Pearl powder

If you are looking for a fancier effect, you can choose to stamp your unbaked polymer clay with pearl powders as well. Pearl powders are useful for creating a certain texture when combined with your polymer clay, what’s more, it can also give your baked clay a delicate sheen and glimmer. You will need to lightly mist your rubber stamps with water and apply light dustings of pearl powder on your dampened rubber stamp before stamping onto the clay.

Dry stamping

Of course, stamping with ink and powder are only optional. If texture is your main focus points, simply use your rubber stamps together with the polymer clay. Stamp all over it as you see fit and after you are satisfied, you can simply bake the clay until it’s done. Leave it to cool and consider highlighting textures with pressing paint into it’s crevices or giving your clay surface treatment (dry brushing).

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