Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY - Hand Made Stamps

I've been working on a little project lately and I wanted to share it with y'all.  I've been making my own stamps...

These are not traditionally carved stamps, but they are burned stamps!  Yes, I did say burned. 

I've used white 6mm thick craft foam found at a local craft store for 99¢ (for a 9x12" sheet) that I drew a design (or just free handed) on with a [red] sharpie.  I then used my wood burning tool to burn my design.  They turned out very well and were much more inexpensive than purchasing stamps.

I love that they're not perfect - that there are bits and holes in them, and they haven't stamped perfectly.  I love the no (or few) straight lines.  I'm still getting used to using the burning tool and let me tell you... it get's HOT!!!!

The tips after a bit will pick up a white residue from the foam which can leave jagged little bumps and make it difficult to get a clean line.  If you like it, leave it.  If you're going for something a bit cleaner though, let your burner cool down and just wipe off the residue.  It comes off easily with a dry tissue.

You can use these stamps any way you want.  You can mount them with an adhesive to another piece of foam (which I'll be doing with some of the smaller ones).  You can use them with plain old stamping ink, acrylic, dylusions, anything you can think of!

I highly recommend the 6mm thick foam sheets because they're thicker than the usual.  They hold up better and you can get varying depths.  I like that I can make a row of circles without having to connect them in any visible way.

I've had tons of fun making these and can't wait to use them in my work.  Go out there yourself and get some craft sheets and a wood burning tool (I picked mine up at Michael's for under $12 with a coupon.  It came with 4 different tips) and go make some of your own stamps!  They're you're own designs and so much fun!

Word of warning:  when burning the foam, a bit of smoke does come from it which is not particularly pleasant.  Have you ever burned plastic?  Same thing.  I recommend doing it outside or in a well ventilated area.  I sit next to my window (with it wide open) while I do this!  Also, a little face mask (like the kind doctor's wear and can be picked up in a drug store) wouldn't be amiss.  I'm not sure what the long term effects could be from inhalation, but I'm sure it's probably not good!

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