Art and Craft News / creative corner - stamping

How to Trim Darkroom Door Stamp Sets

How to Trim Darkroom Door Stamp Sets

I love Darkroom Door stamps! There are so many ways to use them - as backgrounds of cards, featured in journals, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), on mixed media, part of a canvas, used on a scrapbook page - anything at all.

This photo shows my ATCs featuring the pair of love birds and type from the stamp set "Love Birds". The background was created using the "Feathers" stamp set.

The quality of these stamps is superb. Every image is easy to ink up and prints beautifully every time, just as designed - not squashed or missing fine details like some clear stamps do (for me).

I may appear a bit biased as I sell Darkroom Door stamps, but I do love them (which is WHY I choose to sell them).

Gorgeous handmade greeting card by Godelieve for Darkroom Door

The gorgeous green card above is by Godelieve Tijskens of Stamping Mathilda, talented artist and designer for Darkroom Door. Big thank yous go to Godelieve and Rachel Grieg for the use of this image :)

The only thing I've heard is tricky is trimming around each image or word. While the quotes, background and eclectic stamps by Darkroom Door are ready to use straight out of the packet (apart from taking off the paper backing), the stamp sets require a little preparation before use.

Click this link for my FREE Stamp Trimming Service!

How to Trim Your Darkroom Door Stamps

Step 1
I prefer to use my Tim Scissors (Tim Holtz Tonic Serrated Scissors). They are sharp and strong, great for the stretchy rubber - plus the serrated blades grip the rubber as you cut, allowing you to cut closely with precision.

Tim Holtz Tonic Studio Scissors with trimmed African Tree stamps by Darkroom Door

Step 2
Leave the paper backing on and with the image or stamp facing you, cut carefully around all the elements or just the element you require.

All the stamps from the African Trees stamp set cut apart, ready for use

Step 3
The excess I find quite useful as it can be cut into shapes like squares, triangles, circles, polygons and anything else - shapes are great to use either featured (with doodling) or in backgrounds. Let your imagination be your guide!

Trimming Darkroom Door cling rubber stamp sets gives leftovers for mosaics

Step 4 ... Using your newly trimmed stamps
Next, peel off white backing paper and place stamp onto a clear acrylic block of a similar size.

Colour the image with Distress markers, ink, stains, paints or press into texture paste or gesso. Be sure to wash straight away so the texture pastes, gessos and other mediums do not dry on the stamps.

Store your stamp set in the handy storage case provided with each set.

Click here to see all stamps by Darkroom Door
Click here to see the Tim Scissors aka Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors

Example of trimmed stamps

Read more →

Stamping with the Tim Holtz Platform

Have you used your Tim Holtz's groovy gadget or seen it in action yet? I used mine the other day for the first time. 

I've had it unpacked for a couple of weeks but it's been sitting on my couch looking at me while I used my Dylusions journal block.... ooooh! Did you see the new one? Its a fantastic size - long enough for all Dyan's new long stamps and Darkroom Door's border stamps.

Anyway... back to using the Stamp Platform...

I placed the stamp in position then took it off again and flipped over the lid - works much better when its the right side! Thankfully, I hadn't inked it up yet :)

image showing the rubber stamp with the word rubber facing upNote from the wise (me! lol), if the lid doesn't close flat, the stamp is on the wrong side of the lid. There are words on the lid (see pic) but I wasn't sure which way up the words should look.

This pic of the dragonfly stamp shows the lid for rubber stamps the correct way up... see how the word "rubber" is the right way round?

Its also smooth on the rubber stamp side too, whereas on the clear stamp side, it has a grid marked.

The phrase I've used is from Tim's Stuff to Say stamp set. Given how it is such a fine typeface I thought it might get a double effect with stamping it twice but I'm impressed. It just went darker, not even a blurry line! AND it didn't give me those inky lines around the stamp like I usually get when stamping with words :) Yay!

closeup of my ATCs showing the stamped wording

The magnets were so useful. Being so thin they didn't interfere with the stamping at all and held down the card so well it didn't budge a millimetre. 

I ended up using 4 magnets to hold it down anyway because the card was so buckled from the amount of ink and water I'd used. I'm a bit heavy handed with ink sometimes! I needed to stamp it twice because my ink pad was dryish and the paper was a tad damp.

I highly recommend buying additional magnets. Alternatively, if you have thin fridge magnets or magnetic sheeting in the craft cupboard, put them with your platform.  

Links to buying in now (or window shopping) :
- the Platform ... Tim Holtz Stamp Platform
- the Storage Case ... Tim Holtz Stamp Platform Storage Case
- the Magnets ... Tim Holtz Platform Replacement Magnets

If you need more information or help with anything, please ask anytime :)

Have a happy day!

Read more →

Pumpkinhead Shrinkies

Pumpkinhead Shrinkies

Making tiny plastic charms is easy when you know how!

To make teeny tiny Pumpkinheads for Halloween I used Tim Holtz Stamps - Pumpkinheads, Shrink plastic (like Shrinkie Dinks), StazOn ink pad, Watercolour Pens, sharp scissors and a heat tool.

Basically, place your favourite Pumpkinhead (or 5) onto an acrylic block, ink the stamp and print onto the plastic. Trim around the image, add colour and then heat to shrink. That's the short version!

Always follow the instructions on the pack of the shrink plastic. While most instructions say to use an oven, a heat tool can be used for small creations like these. Always be careful when you're using heat :)

Pumpkinhead stamped on clear and sanded shrink plastic

Shown above from left to right: Pumpkinhead stamp, clear shrink plastic and presanded shrink plastic.

Pumpkinheads stamped and trimmed

I used StazOn black ink then trimmed the pumpkins with sharp scissors before colouring. 

Pumpkinhead trimmed and coloured

The clear plastic is best coloured with permanent markers (Copics, Chameleon Pens), while the sanded plastic is great with anything including pencils and watercolours.

I used watercolour pens on both :) It beads on the clear plastic but still adheres to the plastic when shrunk. The colours blended well on the sanded plastic.

I also added white Sharpie to the eyes :)

About to shrink with the heat tool

Pumpkinhead is shown above on presanded plastic waiting to be shrunk.

Both pumpkinheads shrunk

Here are the finished pumpkins... they shrink to about a third the size while atthe same time, the plastic gets thicker.

The top pumpkinhead in the photo is the clear shrink plastic, while the orange one is the presanded shrink plastic.

Shrinkies next to the stamp and full size image

This photo shows both tiny pumpkinheads next to a full size untrimmed Shrinkie and the original cling stamp. Aren't they totally adorable :)

Sing out if you need help or have questions.

Happy Creative Day!

Read more →