Sunday, October 16, 2016

Technique Corner: Stamps as a background.

Hi, I am finally back to my regular scheduled programing,  I think.  Over at Club Scrap we need to create a personal blog post to go along with the kits.  I am going to use my "time" to discuss stamping and techniques.  Lets look at the cards I created for this post and them will discuss the process and issues.

I love the idea of simple one layer cards.  They are easy to mail and should be fast.  Well, I struggle with them.  I don't like the flat look,   I want my image to pop,  and I love all the embellishments.  And well, they rely on perfect stamping.  

I saw a posting by Jennifer McQuire, where she demoed this very technique and as a result made these phenomenal one layer cards.  My first thought, was Perfect.  I have the perfect stamps and I need a bunch of thank you cards.  They look easy and simple, and in one afternoon I can scratch Thank you cards off my list.   So I set about to recreate her technique.  Well lets, just say I did not get the results that she did.  My stampings were messy, nothing was lined up and well they just stinked.  

I am not one to let defeat get in the way of a phenomenal learning experience.  So that is what this blog posting is about.  The rest of the story, or at least my version. 

What did I learn.  Start big and cut down.  Even the most careful placement looks different in the card form.  Find ways to compensate and cover the messes.  I have a garbage can of trials and errors, so I hope to save you come of the grief.  

This started out as an A2, but after I trimmed it up to get everything centered, it is a bit smaller.  
I first stamped the image and the black saying and heat embossed.  I like to emboss, it gives dimension and texture.  I was planning to watercolor and the embossing helps everything stay put.  But it can warp the paper just enough to make alignment an issue. I countered this by using a lot of magnets on my Misti.

Alignment is everything.  Take the time and get it perfect.  Trim your stamps if needed.  I stamped everything on a sheet of plastic with a grid, and checked and doubled checked placement.  Still was off, oh well, that is what trimmers are for!!

Once I was sure I had it, I removed the images and started to repeat stamping the words.  I used the stamping on the plastic to guide my placement.  Lesson 1, wipe off the area around the stamp after inking, and don't forget, or you will need to start over.  Also, use a very light ink for the background words.  I also created a mask to cover up the images.  After it was all done, finally, I colored the images.

By adding shading around the images, I was able to add dimension and helped overcome that flat feeling.  

I did not add any embellishments.  Theoretically, you should be able to reproduce this over and over again.  But in reality, one card was enough for me!!!  To cover up the messy areas that was not eliminated with trimming, I just inked the paper and spritzed with water.  Now it looks like I meant to be "distressed"

I learned a lot from the first card.  One, use the wording as a background, create a panel and trim!!  Still one layer, no embellishments but I saved a few hours by not having to worry about symmetry and by separating the image from the card blank.  This was created the same way.  Stamp the image, mask and then stamp the background.  Look close,   I used different words in the background.  Finally, I distressed the heck out of it.

Here is booked ready to start adding the words.  See that I masked off the words as well.  Note the paper towel.  I learned early on that it is very hard to get stamps perfectly clean.  I did not remove the booked stamp, just covered it with the paper towel and placed my words elsewhere on the Misti.  This is a time saver, if you have to start over, and believe you me I did, many many times.  The paper towel helped keep my paper clean.  Should have tried it on the first card.  Again I stamped in a very light color.  Both cards, the words  were stamped with Hero Arts, Soft Brown.  

The images were colored with Copics.    This card is slightly bigger than an A2, I let the wording dictate the size of the panel and then worked upwards.  The card stock is fun.  The card blank was cut from one of the book papers in the kit.  When you turn it over, Alice in Wonderland is on the back.  Matches the theme very well.

To recap.  Think through the process.  Do a dry run to see what you might have missed.  Be aware that most of us make ink marks on our paper, just figure out how to cover it up, relax, remember this is suppose to be fun.

Until next week, when we present our Team Challenge. Mark the date: October 19,
Happy Crafting

Club Scrap

Literature Stamp Set

Garden Shed Stamps


  1. Gorgeous, those images really pop!

  2. Thanks for sharing your crafting adventures in the making of your beautiful cards!

  3. These are just much dimension for single-layer cards!

  4. I'm always afraid to do one layer cards. You mastered these! Well done.

  5. I LOVE these cards. They are just beautiful.