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For Stampers Everywhere

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BG=back ground CS=card stock UTEE=ultra thick embossing powder RP=Radiant Pearls
PE=Pearl Ex PP=Powdered Pearls EP=embossing powder All of the above are stamping related,
the first two are just terms while the rest are products. Hope that helps the newbies!
A Florida Background Tip.....
Afternoon, y'all, I was just sitting here going through some of my BG papers,
when I figured, hey, maybe not all the FL stampers know of a great BG paper
they can make. This is the first BG paper I learned to make, Connie, of Stamp
Street Station in Sarasota, showed me this my very first week of stamping, when
I visited her store! Now, what I do is keep a box with all my old acrylic paints
that I had left over from other hobbies, a spritzer bottle of water, my brayer,
and some paper grocery bags. Cut your bag into workable sized pieces (since I
like tons of different colored paper when I'm done, I usually cut mine roughly
into pieces about 6" wide and maybe 8 inches long.... but that's just what works
for me, you can make 'em any size). Now, take your piece of grocery bag, & crumble
it into a tight ball, then carefully flatten it out again, and spritz it with the
water. Now, open some paint bottles, and using colors of your choice, just randomly
plop some dots of paint over the paper.....not too much, just a few maybe 1/4 dime
size drops......then grab your brayer and work out some of your aggressions! *LOL*
Brayer in different directions, if it feels dry, give it another spritz of water,
and brayer again. You'll find it easier to do it you only brayer AWAY from you,
don't pull the brayer towards you, because the damp paper will stick to it and curl
around the brayer. You'll end up with a damp piece of acrylic marbled paper.
Once it dries, as a BG layer. Don't worry about cleaning your brayer between color
changes, it just adds to the marbling of your NEXT piece! Let your papers dry
overnight, and then you can use 'em.......or, here's why I keep my paper at 6"
wide......NOW you can run them through you paper crimper! They look really cool
before you do this, but because the paper is stiff and coarse, it REALLY holds a
crimp well, and looks a lot better than most of the crimped paper you can buy
in a stamp store! And a LOT cheaper, too!
The brown of the paper doesn't change your colors at all, these are acrylic we're
talking about, they'll cover almost anything!'re going to be really
'rumpling' that paper, so use a good COARSE paper, that's why the paper bags work
so well. Craft paper (like wrapping paper) would probably work, but it's not as
thick as a paper grocery bag, so don't know if it will hold up to the spritzing as
Now, remember, because of the crumpling, this isn't going to be absolutely flat
paper, it's going to look more like a 'leatherette'don't know if the craft paper
will give you the same look, but it's worth a try! But I think CS would probably be
a bit too stiff to work well, it doesn't crumple the same way. And besides, who
wants to waste CS if they don't have to? And paper grocery bags are free! Do what
I do, when they ask you at the check out "plastic or paper bags" ask for paper for
your boxed's easier to pack 'em in the car that way, and you get some
great 'scrap' paper, too!
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Yesterday my order of tea bag folding papers and the book came.....and I spent
the night learning a few of the folds! Oh, this is neat! I think the completed
'stars' are going to look great on cards, and in the book I got, they even show
you how to make a 'window' card, and have your 'star' show from both the outside
AND the inside .....neat, cause each side of your finished creations is different!
But here's a word for anyone that might be considering giving this a try - the
papers are neat, nice designs and stuff, but tonight I'm going to try 'em with
some momigami and some other exotic papers.....I think they'll look even better
with those than they do with the patterned papers made just for tea bag folding!
So, if you decide you want to try this 'art' form, first check the book you're going
to get......some of them come complete with the papers inside. If so, just make
some color copies of 'em, it's cheaper than buying the papers separately! *VBG*
And DO try makin' 'em with tissue paper, wrapping paper, and some of your exotics
(ooo, maybe some mulberry, I've got TONS of that stuff! *VBG*)!. Oh, and the papers
that are made for folding are either 2" square, or 1 7/8" square....these make a
pretty big creation, maybe 2-3 inches across. But if you use your own exotics, you
can cut them in any square size, fold them the same way, and have differing sizes,
from small to full card sized!
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
MAKING PAPER ON THE COMPUTER: I use Corel Draw or Print Artist to design blocks, then I print them
out. In Print Artist, I can design a square block, and print it tiled so that I can get them any size I like and the
page prints out as many as fit on a page, i.e. I can print 1.25" squares out 6 across and 9 down. In CorelDraw,
I make it the size I need and duplicate them on the page. I have another program that I can use too that prints
any *.bmp file out as postoids which basically is what you have when you print out a sheet of teabag papers.


To make a shrink plastic ruler you would take a regular ruler and measure out about 6 or 7 inches on
the plastic. I made mine 7 inches long and 2 inches wide (before shrinking). Then you would make the
ruler marks on the plastic (sand the plastic before you mark it). Then shrink it in the oven according to
the oven directions form the manufacturer. When it is shrunk you will seal it with Krylon sealer spray or
any other sealant you choose. When you want to use a stamp on the plastic you just measure it on a
regular ruler and then look at the shrink plastic ruler and you will see the size that stamped image will
shrink down to. Always use a ruler made with the brand of shrink plastic you are shrinking. Different
brands will shrink differently. I use and sell Lucky Squirrel brand PolyshrinkT . I chose this brand because
I found it to be the most consistent in its shrinking.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I make my own charms with shrink plastic. I use either the opaque plastic or the black plastic
and stamp a medium to small stamp, cut it out with deco scissors (making sure to leave enough
room on it to do a hole punch if I want to do it that way), I use a regular size hole punch for this.
Then I color it with pencils, shrink, then seal with Krylon clear acrylic spray. I make a bunch at
one time then I have them already to use.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The first thing I do before I stamp on my plastic is sand it lightly to remove allllll the shine off it.
Then I use my dye pad and stamp my image (some people use Fabrico. I don't have any so I make
do with what I have). Then I blot any excess ink off with a paper towel. Careful not to rub. I color the
image with pencils and I shrink with my heat gun. It will curl up a lot , but it isn't done shrinking until it
uncurls. Then I seal it with Krylon clear acrylic spray. It is cheaper than EP and it goes farther .
I saw somewhere that someone uses a cardboard box to put the plastic in when they are blasting it
with their heat gun. This keeps it from blowing all over the table. I thought this was a good idea.
Also, if you are going to emboss, do it AFTER you shrink. LOL I found this out the hard way.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I love to work with shrink plastic soooo. I use a deep glass ashtray to shrink it in (I use my heat gun
to shrink it). Using the deep ashtray helps to keep it from blowing all over the place. Plus I heat from
straight above the plastic instead of at an angle. I blot my ink with a paper towel to be sure there is no
wet ink left before I color in my image.


I use a accordian file folder to store my CS in. This keeps it nice and neat and I can find my
Colors really quickly and it is compact for storage. I also make a little index tab to put over the
slot to see what CS is where.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Stamp and supplies storage - Where and in what do you store all this stuff! I stole this idea from a
scrapbooking list - pizza boxes. They make the perfect stackable storage for wood mounted stamps.
I also like the idea of storing unmounted stamps in one of those jewelry holders that hang up and have
Those clear vinyl pockets on them. Saw that at Artful Journey at one of the vendor's booths. I also
bought 2 small plastic crates from the dollar store recently and tie wrapped them together. I carry
all my ink pads and tools in there. It can be turned on its side while I'm stamping and I can stick
my scissors and pens in the individual holes
.Lynn G.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I have a iris storage and several other plastic storage holders, I have a wood file
box that keeps my card stock neatly arranged in colors. I keep a plastic container
on my table to throw the card stock pieces into for further use. I use photo albums
to keep my images in and cards that I receive in swaps.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Well, my 'studio' is in the upstairs kitchen...not being used and fridge is I store my papers
in the pull out veggie drawer, and all my boxes of stuff on the shelves of the fridge or freezer!! :)
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I have several 3 ring binders that my ums will be stored in. I keep all my accessories in a
roll about cart. And I have several other plastic shoe boxes that also have accessories. I use an
accordion file folder to keep my CS in. It is really easy to keep my paper nice. Also, my paper
is stored according to color and shade. I have a 6' table set up to work on and a card table that
I will be using for finished projects or ideas. My supplies are all organized in the roll about cart
according to what they are for (all cutting tools are in one drawer, tapes and adhesives and glue gun
and glue sticks are in another, EP and glitter and all other embellishments like that are in another,
Misc. things like coffee filters , bags, postcards, etc. are in another drawer). I have a book shelf
that all my magazines and cattys are on.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I have several literature sorters full of paper and cardstock and a few picture frame trays
of small mounted stamps and stencils. In/Out baskets contain tools such as brayers,
acrylic blocks, crimpers, rub-ons, laminator pouches, color pencils, and like. A literature
sorter on the stamping table has more tools and supplies - confetti's, charms, glue guns,
baby wipes, punches, liquid applique, and other assorted "stuff." Most of my stamps are
on HALOS, (tore 'em all off the wood a while back),and are filed in hanging folders in two
big plastic tubs on wheels which I can drag around the house as needed (my stamp room
doubles as a guestroom from time-to-time). I have a loose leaf book (I call it my personal
catalog) where all my unmounted stamps (on HALOS) are indexed. They are filed in the
catalog and also in the hanging folders according to subject, and I can pick out any one I want
in seconds. I keep a plastic basket near at hand to put used ones in, until the end of the session,
when I put them all away again, so that I can always find what I need. Since the big "tear off the
wood" party, I have purchased about 200additional stamps on wood (I'll probably take most of them
off the wood too eventually), and they are scattered about on shelves. In the part of the room that
doesn't show in the photos: Over the sofa-bed I have two 6 foot long 2 inch wide shelves - they're full;
on the wall near the door I made a pegboard wall, with 8 - two feet x 2 inches shelves, for my house
mouse stamps (I painted house mouse designs all over it), but it now holds all my house mice and a few
other stamps as well. I also have two large bookcases which contain 5 years of RubberStampMadness,
and Vamp Stamp News, all issues of Somerset Studio, The Rubber Stamper and Stamping Arts &
Crafts and a few other magazines; a couple shelves of books relating to stamping and paper arts, and
one shelf of quilting and cross-stitching books & mags. the rest of the shelves contain another literature
sorter of paper and several shelves of wood mounted stamps. My work space starts out each session
about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, but soon after I start working that usually shrinks to about
3 inches by 3 inches. I have a very large closet that is shelves all the way around 3 walls and is full
of all kinds of crafting, cross-stitch and quilting stuff. Don't do much of other crafts anymore
but can't part with any of it because much of it can be used in one way or another in my stamping
and paper craft work.


You are right about the difference between the two, mounted and unmounted (um). The main reasons
for buying um vs mounted are: *um stamps are less expensive *um stamps take up less storage space.
Yes there is a way to mount them temporarily. I use and sell an acrylic, static cling vinyl mounting system.
The way I do it is apply Alene's Tack It Over & Over (TIO&O) glue to the back of my ums and let it dry
clear, then I stick the um to the static cling vinyl, trim the vinyl and leave about 1/4"around the edge of the um.
Then I stick the um with the vinyl on it to the acrylic block. I have vinyl on the back of all my ums so I can
use them with the acrylic blocks. The blocks come in several different sizes. I store my ums in a 3 ring binder
inside sleeve protectors. So, this is a great way to go for those that have a ton of stamps. There are other
methods for temporarily mounting the ums but this is my preference. It costs the least and is the easiest to use.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I use basically the same method.....but with the Tack It Over and Over, you don't NEED the static cling,
just the acrylic base to mount it to! Save your money, girlfriend, and spend it on STAMPS!*VBG* In fact,
I usey HALOS blocks, just place my glued up UM on the back of the block and stamp! I started out with
my UM's using HALOS (Hook and Loop on Stamps, or something like that) but it just got so expensive,
buying all that loop tape, so I started using the Aleenes and never looked back! It's easier to use, doesn't give
you the stripes that HALOS can give you on large images, and have you ever dropped a strip of loop tape on
a rug that your dogs lay on???*ROFLMBO* It's almost impossible to get all the dog hair off it! But if you do
that with a UM glued up with Aleene's, just rinse it under the faucet! All the hair comes right off, allow the UM
to dry, and you're right back in business, the glue is still perfect!
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I use unmounted stamps with the Halo system. It it's a set of acrylic blocks that you use hook and loop tape
with. You can also use the static cling, You can buy clear vinyl at Walmart for about 2 bucks a yard, put your
Allene's Tack it over and over glue on the back of your stamp and let it dry, trim and then place it on your
mount and stamp away. The vinyl and the acrylic stick together. Other than the price factor, storage is the
reason that I try to buy unmounteds whenever possible. I store my unmounteds in a 3 ring binder, Baseball
card protectors work great, you can stamp an image, slide it into the spot and then place you unmoumted
behind it. So all you have to do is flip through your binder when you are looking for stamps.
Diane F.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The reason I use the static cling is because I am EXTREMELY fussy about the way I do things.
I DO NOT like to have to pick dog hair or kids stuff off the back of my ums, I HATE having to wash
them over and over (and the TIO&O glue does not come off all too easy with just soap and water - I tried)
because of that, I HATE getting sticky on my fingers, I don't like the idea of having to reapply glue or tape to
my ums and using the vinyl gets that out of the way one time, I don't like to have to cut through the velcro.
I do things as easy and inexpensive as I can. I have kids and inside pets and I have found the glue and tape to
be too messy and a magnet to animal hair and all sorts of things. I have been stamping for 6 years now and stil
l hate to get perm. ink on my ums because I don't like the stains. So, yes I am kind of fanatical with my
stamping supplies. But I like neat, ease and cheap. That is why I use the vinyl on my ums. A roll of vinyl is
only $2.50 so if saving money is a big factor vinyl really isn't all that expensive. And if you figure all the glue
and tape you use over time in reapplication it isn't any different.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I already had TIO&O here--got some "blocks" at the Stamp store and some cushioning there too.
(I realize that most do not use cushioning on their stamps, but use a magazine or mouse cushion under
what they are stamping...More research--decided that cushioning the rubber was better for me comes
if it was on the top rather than the bottom. Also bought a pair of Kai scissors. Scissors have always been
a very important part of my life so realize the need to have the correct scissors to do a good job. They are
incredible--don't get the big ones, no need for the long blade, the smaller $15 are perfect. Sat down for a year
and cut out rubber, cut out cushion, rubber cement glued rubber to cushion--put aside let dry. Next day, put
TIO&O on the back of the cushion. Let dry overnight. Next day, I put a cushioned rubber on an acrylic
mount, looked good, stayed very well, stamped very well, came off the mount very easily. What do I think
of TIO&O?? I liked the way it felt when I stamped it, almost like an already mounted stamp, no slipping,
level--very nice. I did not care for the depth of the acrylic--but that might be because I am use to the feel of
wood mounted stamps (seeing as I have 500+ of those and this is the first acrylic mount I have ever touched
I was not real wild about the sticky part of it....I too have a thing about things sticking to my "rubber".


For those who do not know what it is, UTEE stands for Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.
It's the same as embossing powder except that the granules are larger. The basic technique involves
heating multiple layers of the powder and then embellishing it with special FX beads, foils, Pearl Ex,
glitters, etc., then pressing a stamp into the molten powder, and then more embellishments including
Pearl Ex and Rub 'n Buff. The end result is a piece that can be layered onto a card or made into a piece
of jewelry. If you like "artsy" and/or "messy," you'll love UTEE! It's a lot of fun, and everyone's
turned out beautiful. Do I sound like another commercial?!!!!
Happy stamping! Fran
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
You can also put extra layers of the UTEE onto a piece of cardboard and it
comes out neat, Just use your embossing pad, put on the card board, put UTEE
on it, heat it and then quickly put more UTEE and repeat this as many times
as you wish, then the last time quickly stamp your stamp into black ink and
stamp onto the UTEE, makes a really good imprint. Then you can either put a pin
on it and wear it or put it on a card.


Ok, first, you can deboss, or dry emboss them, using a light table and
some stencils. These look GORGEOUS layered over dark CS, and all the
debossed areas show up super white (even if you use colored vellum! *VBG*).
Next, try embossing it in black on the front, then turn it over and color
the image in ON THE BACK, using markers. The markers will look VERY dark,
and very ugly, actually, but when you turn that baby over, the vellum will
'mute' the heavy colors, and you'll love what you see! *VBG*
Now, you can also just emboss it in gold, or white (sounds kind of
monochromatic, but truly gorgeous once completed!), deboss a design
around the edges, and then mount that to your CS.
Also try trimming the edges before you layer it onto your CS, using
decorative scissors......the CS will show around your vellum, giving a
very elegant look to it.
You can also use your vellum for punching and cutting using the two above
mentioned forms, it kind of transforms your vellum into a piece of lace work!
Truly beautiful, but very tiny work, and very time consuming!!!
Now, once you get your vellum worked to your satisfaction, you're going to
have to attach it to your can use a folded A-2 sized piece, lay it
over your CS, and then tie a ribbon around the card, going from the outside
to the inside fold, then back out again, and tie in a box on the front.
But this is a kinda 'loosey goosey' type mounting, so I use it sparely.
You can just use a piece of vellum the size of the front of your card, and
glue or tape it in place....but a few words of warning here.... tape and glue
will BOTH show through to the front, and look like a dark line under your
vellum! So if you use this method, try only applying glue or tape in areas
where you've colored the image in first, that way the coloring will hide the
glue. Or, you could use my favorite method of attaching vellum....punch a
hole through the vellum and the CS, then thread a piece of ribbon through
both, and tie into a bow on the front! No glue needed this way, and you can
place your bow where ever you like, top corner, top centered, side centered,
bottom.....anywhere it looks good! *VBG*
Now, your vellum with gold inclusions.....that would look lovely as
Christmas cards, try using a nice angel image (Rafael's angel comes to Mind)
embossed in either white or gold, layer it over.....gee, it would look great
over white linen CS, or Gold CS (mirrored or matte, or even momigami), dark
or light blue CS, forest green Card Stock.
Now, just a quick word about the differing weights of vellum..... the
lightest weight, about 16#, is fine for layering and embossing, but unless
you've got a very light hand, I wouldn't suggest that weight for debossing,
it tends to tear too easily. For debossing, IMO, the 29-39# weights seem to
work the best, but again, that's for ME!*LOL* And the heavier weights, 45#
and up, are perfect for cutting arts, like Pergamano, and for the debossing
techniques used in this art craft.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I have a couple other ways to attach vellum - Cut vellum the same size
as the front of the card/cardstock that you are going to attach it to,
add 2 inches to the left--unless you want to cover the back of the card
completely-- Fold the same size as the card. (the extra 2" will go to the
back of the card--I like the idea of only vellum on the front. Sometimes
I will make a lace affect on the edge of the 2") Put vellum over the card.
put three very small holes in the fold through both cardstock and vellum--space
them about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the top, same from the bottom and the third
in the middle of the two. I use small size cord, but you could use ribbon,
thread, etc. Now from the outside of the card go down through the middle hole,
up through the top hole, down through the bottom hole and back up through the
middle hole and tie in a bow, knot whatever you want. Sometimes I add a bead,
charm or something to it. It is done the way that you would sew a "book"
together. A little confusing, but really very easy and gives a very elegant
look--I do love vellum....Okay here's another way I do it. I have a punch that
has two "slots" in it. Or two slashes close together. I punch each corner of
the card/cardstock, then just insert the vellum down one "slot" and up the
other. Gives an album type look. Sometimes I decorate the corner edges of the
vellum or punch the corners with a corner punch.
Sandy O.

This page updated 7/16/06