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Stamping Tips, Techniques & links

This is continually being changed...come back often

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Some of these come from me & some come from other people.
I'm only taking credit for putting it all together.

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 N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Acetates or Transparencies
Use only permanent ink on them.

Color you images in with permanent markers on the opposite side.

Color your images in with permanent ink paints.

Alcohol can be used to fix mistakes when stamping or colouring in.

Use for window cards

Use in shaker cards

If there is smooth vs. a rough side… stamp your image on the smooth side & colour them in on the rough side.

Stamp a Fish bowl or other container in perm. ink on your acetate/transp. & then layer it over top of a card.  Stamp the card with your images that you want to be IN the container.

Stamp a word stamp onto your acetate & lay it over a card that has a background stamped. (Images, rainbow of  coloured inks, etc)

Use acetate to cover over & protect your teabag folding or dried flowers! (you can spray it with spray adhesive first to hold your items in place… )

Spray adhesive on backside of acetate, lay dried flowers over spray & adhere this layer to card!

Stamp an image in perm ink.. turn it over… spray some adhesive on the back side & cover with glitter, tissue paper, gold leaf, etc… layer it onto a card when done.

Mask sections of the stamped image prior to spraying the adhesive… if you want to use more than one colour glitter or if you want to mix some textures…

Make your self a window card & then line it with a stamped image on acetate. Great for a faux stained glass look.

Cut it to fit over any “glass” stamped image to make it look like real glass. Eg: fishbowl, vase, window,etc…
Apply spray adhesive & stick it to a piece of pretty wallpaper then layer it onto your card for a neat shiny pretty background.

Stamp images on the front & back side of the acetate then layer over gloss CS.

Spray glitter & use as background layer.

Spray glitter & layer tissue over then layer on card.

Stamp background in perm ink then layer on card.

Spray with adhesive spray or glitter spray then layer on small paper scraps.

Spray adhesive. Rub PE over adhesive. Layer on card.

Squirt CL or Dimension on acetate. Add a fewdrops of inkers.

Smear around covering the acetate. Let dry. Use as background.

Squirt Elmer’s glue & sprinkle fine glitter on acetate. Smear around. Let dry.

Elmer’s glue mixed with PE makes a great background!

Draw a few squiggles of metallic markers on acetate. Squirt Elmer’s glue over & smear.

Altered Books
An altered book is just that--a book that's been altered.  An Altered Book (AB) artist picks it up & takes it home to make art out of it.

Anything goes in an Altered Book. That is, AB artists paint pages, rip pages, cut holes in pages, glue things (feathers, buttons, pictures) to pages, rub pigment into pages, sew pages--really anything. Sometimes the AB artist works to a theme, such as "Music" or "Blue" or "Women in the Arts." Sometimes, they just create whatever moves them.

AB artists often play in themed round robins.  Someone hosts (the person who sets the theme & keeps track of players). Everyone has their own book, in which they do a bit of work --then they mail/deliver it to the next artist in line & so on, until everyone's book is home & filled with amazing art.

To start, try to find a book with a sewn binding--you can usually see the thread when you look into the spine (back) of the book.  Books with pages that are just glued together (you can often see a yellowy glob at the spine) can fall apart when subjected to lots of altering. Sewn books hold up better under repeated work & openings & flattenings & such.

The book you pick is up to you. Some people love working in books that already have images in them--others only in books that are pure text. Some people react to the text; others ignore it. It's completely up to you--no rights or wrongs!

Just begin. Whether you have a theme in mind or not, throw some paint on a page, or stamp your favorite image, or glue down a magazine cutting. Just get started!

If the book hasn't been altered yet & its pages are smooth, you can usually stamp normally. But if your work surface is lumpy--let's say you've glued down papers or the pages under the one you're working on are thick or uneven with embellishments--trying to stamp right on the page can lead to a blurred or incomplete image. If that's not the look you want, you might stamp on a separate piece of paper, then glue it onto the page.

Use your stamps in new ways. E.g., if you have door & window stamps, they can become the base for cutouts in our AB. Quick example: You could cut partially around a door so it opens & viewers can see what's beyond it, such as another image or maybe a niche you've cut out. Cool!

Antistatic Pillows
You can make your own.

Get an old pantyhose & cut about at the knee as you're going to use the foot. Put about two tablespoons cornflour (or a heap) in & then twist where you put the powder. Cover it with more stocking & twisting it up the leg... just keep covering it with stocking until when you pat it on a surface you get the smallest amount of powder coming out. Then knot it & you have a very cheap & very effective anti static pillow/embossing buddy.  You pat it on the paper, then don't touch the paper, just take a corner & shake the powder off.  You now have a moisture free surface, stamp & then sprinkle your embossing powder.  Give a light blow on any powder that does sit on the non-stamped area (this happens no matter what..the light blow should remove it). Then heat.

You might like to use a bit of an old tshirt instead of a stocking, a double layer will work just fine.  Sew it up & much cheaper.

A clothes dryer paper - (the tear off sheets you put into the dryer with the clothes to make then static free & sweet smelling) - can be used instead of anti static pillows.  You could probably use it quite a few times then, when finished with, use any number of colouring methods & you have a pretty background paper that could possibly even retain some of it's perfume.  


Baby Wipes
If alcohol free, are great for rough cleaning your stamps during a project & can help reduce ink smudges on your work if you wipe your fingers on them too.  Some suggest that the 'Dove' brand is the best one to get & other people mention 'Huggies' simply because of their carry case.

Backgrounds & Decorating Paper
Backgrounds are as much fun to make as the artwork that you will use them for & there's heaps of different techniqueat to try, such as:  Polished Stone, Webbing & Interference Paints, Monoprinting, Plastic Wrap, Acrylic Paints.  Try some of those listed below.  :-)

Bleeding Tissue Paper
This technique works best with Spectra Art Tissue, but I've heard others work also. Tear several pieces of different coloured tissue. Spray a fine mist of water over a piece of glossy cardstock & lay the tissue pieces on it in a pattern or just randomly. Spray another fine mist of water on top & watch the dye from the tissues bleed onto the glossy cardstock. Remove tissues or let them dry in place.

Taking it one step further?   Use a gold or white pen to draw lines or squiggles around each coloured area. Will turn out looking like a stain glass window!

Another method: After spraying the tissue with water & after it bleeds, take it off & put it on a plain ole piece of computer paper. The tissue will keep bleeding until there is nothing left to bleed or it dries out. Get crazy with colours - you never know what you will end up with.

Brayered Backgrounds
There are a few different brayers out there & all of them made great backgrounds. The soft rubber is the most common & can be used to do any of the backgrounds below using Marvy markers or a rainbow pad.
Here are some tips to remember when using your brayer, don't roll back & forth on your rainbow pad, you will mix colours. When your brayer is fully inked, run the edges of it across a scrap piece of paper. This will decrease your lines. Always wash your brayer right away when using paint or liquid applique. Store your brayer roller up. It if sits too long on it's roller, it could cause a flat spot.

Bubble Paper
What you need:   Glossy cardstock, Shallow dishes for mixing different coloured bubbles, Child's bubbles & wands, Newspaper (very messy!), Coloring - this can vary from what you have on hand. Use dye pad reinkers, food colouring or even Easter egg colouring tablets.

Separate bubbles into however many dishes you need for however many colours you want. Then add your colouring. You can use a different wand for each colour or use the same wand for all colours, but the latter can lead to mixing colours unless you wash it.

Lay out your newspaper & place down several sheets of glossy cardstock. The bubbles will l& somewhere, so why not? Then just start blowing your bubbles. They will l& & pop on the glossy. To get vibrant effects, you must use glossy cardstock. Uncoated, plain cardstock will give you more subtle effects.

Bubble Wrap Background
There are two ways to do a great background using bubble wrap packaging material.

You can ink up your soft rubber brayer with ink from a rainbow pad & roll it onto your bubble wrap or you can apply the bubble wrap directly to your inkpad. The first method gives you a lighter concentration of colour.
Then place your bubble wrap down on your cardstock & using a clean brayer, roll over it to transfer the ink. Glossy cardstock produces brighter colours, but non-glossy can also be used.

Use shelf line instead of bubble wrap for a different texture.

Plaid Backgrounds
There are a couple different ways to create a plaid background using your brayer. One way is to use your markers & draw lines of all different widths directly onto your brayer. Brayer over glossy cardstock & repeat with a different colour after turning your cardstock 90 degree.

Another way to create a plaid background is to use a two-inch brayer. Try a rainbow pad for this method. First use the four-inch or six-inch brayer to cover your cardstock using a solid colour. Make sure the colour is covering your whole background. Then using your two-inch brayer and a rainbow pad, ink up your brayer. Roll across your solid colour background. Repeat every two inches & then again turning your background 90 degrees. Two inches is an example. This can be varied to meet whatever look you want.

Faux Suede Background
This is a great way to create suede looking backgrounds & all you need is a brayer, some liquid applique & your heat gun! You can use any colour, but let's start with brown. Squirt a liberal amount of brown liquid applique onto a piece of wax paper. Roll your brayer through it, getting an even coat. Roll your brayer across a piece of cardstock. Wash your brayer off immediately! It will be very hard to wash off if you wait. Then using your heat gun, heat your cardstock. You will see the texture change before your eyes. The liquid applique puffs up a little & produces a great suede look!

Crystalline Paper
You will need:  High quality white tissue paper, loss medium, Acrylic Paint & brushes, Freezer paper - to protect your working surface.

Cover one side of your tissue paper completely with a coat of gloss medium. It will wrinkle & that's ok. Let dry completely. Lift up corners of the tissue to keep it from sticking to the freezer wrap. When dry, turn over & cover the second side. Let dry completely again.

Spray the dry, coated paper with water, &d then brush or pour thinned (or translucent) acrylic paint on the surface. Let different colours touch & run together for an added effect. Let dry.  Your paper will dry translucent & almost like a stained glass window.  Sprinkle glitter or iridescent glitter into the wet paint before it dries.

Chalk Background
What you need:  Construction Paper, Inexpensive Chalks.

Fill a dishpan or any other large flat pan (needs to be at least 2" deep) halfway with water. Using whatever colour of chalk you like, scrape the chalk lengthwise across a knife blade. You are trying to scrape chalk dust onto the surface of the water. Use several colours & move the chalk around above the water to vary the colour & pattern. *(optional) You can move the chalk across the surface by blowing on the water or by using an old comb or whatever "marbleizing" tool you want to use. Don't play with it too much, otherwise, you'll just make mud. Lay a sheet of construction or plain paper on top of the water to pick up the colour & then immediately (& carefully) remove the paper & allow to dry. *(optional) When dry, spray with fixative to hold the colour.

You can lay down another sheet & pick up the remaining colour if you want to try a faded rendition of what you just made. Sometimes you can get up to 3 or 4 impressions. Otherwise, clean the surface of the water by placing a piece of newspaper on top of the water & removing it before you go on to try more colours.

Wax Paper Resist
You'll Need:  Wax paper, Glossy cardstock, Rainbow Ink Pad (or any inkpad of your choice), Brayer, Iron.

Wrinkle up your wax paper & then spread it out again. Be sure to leave some pretty good wrinkles. This may take a little practice to get it how you like it. Lay your wax paper over a piece of glossy cardstock. Put another scratch piece of paper over all of this to protect your iron. Iron over the whole thing.

Areas of the wax paper will melt onto the glossy cardstock. Lift the wax paper off of the glossy. Ink up your brayer & roll over your whole piece of glossy cardstock.  This could have endless possibilities with colour schemes. Use a solid ink pad or you can even use lots of markers & colour away.

Decorating Corrugated Cardboard
Tired of plain brown corrugated cardboard? Decorate it! Anything you can do with paper, you can do with this stuff!

Use a glue pen to apply glue to the "valleys" of the cardboard. Sailor makes a great ball point glue pen that works great! Sprinkle all kinds of stuff onto the glue. Try glitter, holeless beads, Perfect Fx, etc.

Smear Rub n Buff on the "mountains".  Rub n Buff is sold in most craft stores. It stinks & is hard to come off your hands. Use latex gloves & open ventilation. Try Metallic Rub-Ons too!

Use a toothbrush or any other splattering tool & splatter ink or thinned paint all over the surface.
Don't forget about webbing. You can achieve a stunning effect using gold spray webbing on black corrugated cardboard!

Crayon Paper
You'll need: Crayons, cardstock, an old iron, Aluminum foil

Peel the paper off of the crayons & wrap the face of your iron with aluminum foil.   Heat your iron. The setting of the iron can vary.  Put your piece of cardstock/paper on scratch paper. When your iron is hot, take one crayon & swirl it on the iron in any pattern. The crayon will melt & drip a little. This is when you can change your setting of your iron if too hot or not hot enough. How much crayon you melt on your iron is up to you. Remember this is only your first colour! Now put your iron down on your cardstock/paper. You can swirl or just smoosh or drag or whatever! Be creative. Now do this all over again with a different colour. Layer however many colours you want. Experiment. Try glitter crayons, pearl crayons, etc.

Ink to Paper
This is the easiest of all backgrounds. Any ink & cardstock can be used. Instructions? Well, the name of the technique says it all. Tap your inkpad directly on the paper. Touch the whole surface or maybe just a corner to get a different impression. Use colour combinations that are complimentary or analogous to create the best effect. Glossy paper is good because it really grabs the ink & the colours are more vivid.

Faux Batik
Batik is an expensive process used to decorate fabrics & papers. I have come up with a technique that is similar to Batik. It's much simpler & easy to do. Remember those wax crayons that come in Easter egg dying kits?

You'll Need:  Paas wax crayon from an Easter Egg dying kit or paraffin, Ink pad (solid or rainbow - whatever you choose), White glossy cardstock , Kleenex or other soft tissue.

Using your crayon, draw all over the glossy cardstock in whatever pattern you wish. You will not be able to see it & abstract drawings are just fine. As you practice more, you will get better at getting the design you want. For applying the ink, you can do it several different ways. You can use a brayer to cover the whole surface with ink or you can just use a Kleenex & an ink pad to apply the ink. Press the Kleenex in your ink & smear it on the surface of your cardstock. The wax crayon will resist & no ink will be where you have drawn your design & when you look at it, you will see that the wax disappeared all together!

Taking it one step further:   Instead of starting with a blank white cardstock, brayer or apply ink before applying wax. After wax design is done, apply ink in the same manner as you did in your first application of it. Have you noticed that the background on this web page is batik? If you do this method, your outcome will turn out similar to this. Have fun!!

Baking Soda
Placed in a tight woven fabric pouch it can be used for an anti-static bag when using EP & glitter, used in homemade bath salts.

Make great embellishment on Get Well cards

Beaded Dragonfly Link

Bingo Markers
Make great large dots on cards, collages & homemade gift wrap.

Use Bleach to lighten dark card stock before colouring or stamp with it (be sure to condition your stamps afterwards).

Usually, when you stamp an image, you use ink. But a very attractive two tone effect can be achieved by substituting household bleach for your ink pad. The bleach won't harm the stamp.

You'll need:   a stamp, a paper towel, coloured paper & some household bleach

Saturate the paper towel with bleach (it should be wet, but not dripping). Then press your stamp into the wet paper towel. Stamp your image onto the paper just as you would if you were using ink. In a few seconds, the bleach will cause the stamped image to fade & create two tones of colour on the paper. HINT- use the same stamp & a coloured pad to create two tones of imprinted image & if you're feeling really adventurous, you can emboss a third version of the same image. If you do use another medium to stamp your image after using bleach, make sure that you clean the stamp off first.

Try taking plastic wrap & scrunching it up, dip it in bleach.  Tap off excess & then hit the paper for neat backgrounds like snow etc...

Bleach links

Blender Pens

Using the blender pen with ink pads
Stamp an image using a water based dye pad. Use the blender pen to lightly stroke the outline colour into the inside areas. This will result in an image with several tones of the same colour; for example, a deep blue image with lighter, "watered down" blue inside.

Using the blender pen with markers
Stamp an image by colouring the rubber die of the stamp with water based markers. Pull colour from the outline to the center areas by stroking with the blender pen, as above.

Use a blender pen to apply marker ink which has been scribbled onto a plastic plate, blending the colours just like you would blend watercolour paints with a brush.

Use a blender pen to soften the stroke marks left behind when you have coloured an area with markers.

Using the blender pen with watercolour pencils
The blender pen is perfect for blending watercolour pencil colours, eliminating the need for water & a paintbrush. The colours intensify & blend smoothly, & the paper does not buckle from being over-moistened.

Using the blender pen with chalk
Blend & moisten chalk colours with the blender pen to intensify colours & work the chalk into the surface of the paper.  It will not need spray fixative to remain in place.

Blender pen refill recipe

Use a 4 oz bottle
Fill 1/3 bottle with glycerin (found in the cake decorating section of craft store)
1 tsp of rubbing alcohol
Fill the rest of the bottle with water
Gently remove the pen tip (pull & twist - GENTLY) & lay flat overnight in fluid
Put 3 drops or more in the pen hollow
Place pen tip back in hollow by pushing gently.

Dove Blender Tips
A Blending Medium, specially formulated to make "floating" or blending colour easier. It will enable one to blend several hues together, giving one more variation with their mediums. The Dove Blender will allow one to achieve more variation & depth without using many colours. The Dove Blender works water based markers, coloured pencils, chalks, dye pads & pigment pads. The Blender never has to be replaced; it is easily refillable, & the nibs are replaceable.

     Blending Techniques on Embossed Images:      
With the tip of your water based markers, lay a hint of colour on the actual embossed line of an image. This colour is now sitting on the surface of the ones serve as a palette, making it easier to move the colour, thus eliminating a hard line created by the marker. Working in a circular motion & in small areas, use the Dove Blender to pull out the marker colour into the open area of the design.

When this process is completed, a light application of colour will appear on the image. To prevent the colour from appearing too washed out, continue to add more colour using the marker & the Dove Blender until the desired depth  of colour is achieved. Start with lighter colours & then gradually add darker colours. Limit the colours to be used. Three basic colours differing in intensity, plus variations in value, will give life & interest to a stamped image.

   Helpful Blending Tips:
Place several short strokes of Water Based Marker colour onto a white Styrofoam plate or plastic palette. Using the Dove Blender, pick up the marker colour & apply it to the stamped image.
When working with an intense colour, to lighten that colour, touch the tip of the marker to the tip of the Dove Blender. By touching the tip of the Dove Blender with the tip of the marker, the marker colour that has transferred to the lender tip will be lighter in value.

Apply the Dove Blender to the stamped image first working in small areas at a time. This "preps" the area & allows one to apply various marker colours to blend directly onto the card.

Before changing colours, wipe the blender clean on a scrap piece of paper. Be careful not to pick up too much colour. If there is too much, simply wipe the blender tip on a scrap piece of paper before colouring the image.

For a realistic blended look, layer colour on top of colour. For example: Start with Tombow marker colour #673 (Orchid) & add #636 (Imperial Purple) or blend colours on a palette, then apply to image.

When using Water Colour Pencils, take each colour you are going to use & make a palette by scribbling a little colour on a scrap piece of paper with all the colours, then take your Dove Blender & pick up the colour & apply to your image.

When using Chalks, you can apply a little to the area you are colouring, or use an applicator & take the Dove Blender top to it to pick up the colour, you then apply to your image. When you are done there is no fixative needed because it fixes it when it is done.

When the Dove Blender becomes dry, simply pull the end cap off & add several drops of Dove Blending fluid. When the tip becomes frayed, simply pull the nib out & replace it with a new nib.

When using Water Colour Paints, take the Dove Blender directly to it, pick up the colour & start colouring your image.

Blow Pens
To make your own blowpens reuse your old markers!  Take the lid off, push a pushpin through the center,
replace the lid.  Take the back end of it off & add 5 drops of water.  Fold some paper towels, tap pen on paper to get rid of access water.  Give it a test blow on a paper towel & you only need one lid with one hole.

Brayers - 57 ways to love 'em.

1. Stripes: using markers, make stripes on your brayer (this works best if you lie it on its back & turn the roller while holding the marker) all the way around until the beginning & ending stripe meet. Roll brayer across your paper in whatever direction you desire.

2. Squiggles (technical term): Repeat the same process as for Stripes but make wavy lines instead of straight ones.

3. Confetti/Dots/Raindrops: R&omly make marks on your brayer with your marker (you can use different colours) all over the entire roller. Then roll away.

4. Plaids: Same as with the markers for Stripes except criss cross pattern.

5. Plaids: You could also outline the stripes for your plaids with the smaller tip of your marker to make the plaid/stripes st& out more.

6. Plaids: Rainbow/Kaliedacolour plaids are made with the brayer being rolled over a KC pad several times then brayering over your paper. Repeat as necessary for the desired depth of colour & surface coverage. Then repeat the process in the opposite direction.

7. KC Backgrounds: Same as above just don't create a plaid design. This works great for those scenery/l&scape cards.

8. Reverse/mirror Image: Colour your stamp, rubber side up & roll the brayer over the image several times, then roll over your paper (works great with trees, flowers etc). You can also add this technique to the above KC backgrounds for a great scenic card.

9. Mirror Image: If you have an image that you want to face each other say the Pig from Farm would brayer over the stamp like above &d then roll onto your paper then stamp the original pig image nose to nose with the first.

10. Kissing: Brayer over a background stamp like Pin dot Plaids then use your other stamps like the Seasonal Solid & stamp onto the background stamp then stamp onto your card stock - your solid stamp now has a design & you have just multiplied your uses of one set.

11. Ghosting: Stamp an image on your card several times in clear embossing ink. (DO NOT EMBOSS) Then brayer over your invisible images with regular dye pad & your images will start to appear.

12. Resist: Works best with glossy paper, you will need to choose your resist medium, ink, wax or other. I tried with the metallic pens (looked different) what happens is that you colour on the glossy card stock with the pens anyway, or pattern then you use the same technique as the ghosting by brayering over with a different colour. The pattern that you drew or coloured will not let the brayered ink to absorb through the card stock therefore comes the "resist". (This category could actually count for about 10 different ways to love your brayer as you are only limited by your imagination on what you choose as your resist medium) Others to try:

13. Oil coloured pencils (work best with regular matte finished papers);

14. Crayons;

15. Wax paper;

16. Metallic pens;

17. Ink;

18. Resist ink;

19. Emboss ink (try the emboss pens to write a hidden message);

20. Rubber cement;

21. Masking fluid;

22. White out/correction pen;

23. Gel pens;

24. Wax resist sticks;

25. Deka paint (for fabric - much harder to do).

26. Another "Resist" able technique: crumple a piece of wax paper; iron (on hottest setting/no steam) wax paper onto white card stock (be sure to use an additional sheet of card stock between the wax paper & iron); press for only 2-3 seconds - this will transfer the wax to both sheets of card stock (if you iron too long the wax will be absorbed into the paper) Ink your brayer & then brayer over card stock. The brayer will resist laying colour where the was paper has left its design (makes a great background paper)

27. Another variation to the above is to use your stylus tool & with the wax paper on the card stock use the tip of your stylus to write your own message or draw your own design - brayer over to reveal your design or message.

28. Use your brayer for those big background stamps to get an all over inking.

29. You could also use the same technique as above for those bigger solid images that you want to emboss. Brayer over the image with the emboss pad for an even/smoother finish.

30. Put a piece of cheesecloth down & brayer over the cheesecloth for a different effect.

31. Try the same as above with lace doilies.

32. Lace

33. Bubble wrap

34. Brayer over a leaf (two ways to do this: place card stock over leaf or other nature finds & bring out the textured surfaces below; or use the reverse/mirror image technique to pick up the pattern of your nature find.)

35. Joseph's Coat: Brayer with a KC pad & cover the entire area of your card (glossy works best). Emboss your image with clear embossing powder/ink on top of the area coloured (this technique works best with the more solid image stamps like the tent from Roughin It or the Kids Prints). Then ink your brayer with Black or Navy (the darker the better) & cover the entire card again with this new colour. Let the overcoat of ink dry, & then buff the card with a paper towel to remove excess ink. What happens is that your KC colour will then shine through. Just think of a great l&scape card with stars in the sky & trees) WOW!!

36. Ink up your brayer with embossing ink & roll over the entire card then emboss with clear powder

37. Brayer an intense/brilliant colour on glossy card stock then use a speckle background stamp & clear emboss ink, stamp then emboss with Rainbow Razzle or other multi coloured emboss powder. When you heat it will bring out the beautiful play in colours.

38. Watercolour brayer: Ink your brayer with a rainbow pad or markers, then spritz with a water bottle, then roll out for a very pretty watercolour look. LUCITE/ACRYLIC:

39. Put rubber b&s around your brayer for unique background

40. Wrap saran wrap around your brayer for another unique background

41. Try fabric netting or the netting from bags of oranges or marbles as above.

42. Cheesecloth another unique background

43. Try string

44. Yarn

45. Crochet yarn

46. Try the new Encore pads & rolling it out onto liquid appliqué for a faux suede look.

47. Use your acrylic brayer to roll out paperclay

48. Use your acrylic brayer to make sharp creases in your card stock

49. Crinkle up a piece of Mulberry paper, ink up your brayer with the new Encore pads & give your Mulberry paper that gilded look.

50. Faux Suede - squeeze brown liquid appliqué on wax paper or aluminum foil. Roll the brayer until it is coated & smooth. Roll & even coat of the liquid appliqué on your cut out image (try the gingerbread man die cut) let it set for a minute then heat. This will give you a nice suede feel. Try it with different colours. But be sure to clean your brayer right away.

51. Use your acrylic brayer with pigment ink on glossy (takes a little while to dry) don't roll use a quick sliding motion to brush the inked brayer across the card stock, wiggle if you want (the brayer silly!) You can make some awesome plaids or sunbursts.

52. Try the same technique above but tap the brayer around in different areas for an all over colour burst. FOAM:

53. Use your foam brayer for an all over airbrush effect.

54. Use your foam brayer with your stencils.

55. Use with the KC pads for rainbow effect.

56. Use your foam brayer with markers for an interesting look. I've heard that you can make some great tortoise shell, leopard or gemstone looks on glossy card stock.

57. You can also use the spritz technique with the foam brayer for a watercolour effect.

Use as embellishments


Stamp on them

Yvonne Timmermans says, " I put the CD in a little comb with water, so that the CD is under the water & put it in the Micro wave, if the water is boiling you get the spiderweb effect.  Don't put it in too long or the CD will melt a little.  Just try first with 20 seconds, if it is not good another 20 seconds & so on, till you are satisfied with the result.  If you have CDs from your own burner that are spoiled, you can remove the back by putting on some tape & tear it of again, the back will remove too & you have a transparant blue or green cd, with gold or silver spiderweb effect.   Every CD has another effect, it's just great ro see all the different colors."

If alcohol free, are great for rough cleaning your stamps during a project & can help reduce ink smudges on your work if you wipe your fingers on them too.  Some suggest that the Dove brand is the best one to get.

Make confetti with various shaped paper punches, using different colored paper

Cosmetic Sponges
Wedges & rounds all work great for applying inks & paints to card stock, tins, cigar boxes, altered books etc.

Cotton Balls
Good for applying chalks/eye shadow over large areas or applying wintergreen oil for transfers.

Cotton Pads
For applying ink for the polished stone technique

Cutting Tools
Gaye from Brisbane says, "Hi Raelene,  I have a fiskars cutting system which has a ruler attached (which you lift) & a cutting blade that runs along the ruler!!  I just love it... in fact I loved it so much that I went out & bought another one in a bigger size.   I noticed a few weeks back that K Mart were selling them (around $29.95 I think).  I just couldn't live without mine...  Cheers",

Narelle Cox says, "Hi Raelene.  I recently asked the list about cutting systems - Fiskars vs Carl. I got a lot of replies & all except one said their Fiskars cut crooked but they were very happy with the Carl, so I bought a Carl! It was $80 plus dollars & I got it from Gail Sargent in Tassie, but they are normally around $100 I think. It has a blade running along a strip like the Fiskars one mentioned on the list today. I still need the cutting mat for small cuts, but for cutting A4 into A5 theCarl is brilliant. I haven't had it for long so don't know how long the blades will last."

Tessa says, "Hi Raelene & other interested members.   For a good cutting system I would recomment getting in touch with a local "Creative Memories" demonstrator.  They have a cutting mat that comes with two different blades for about $55.  Then there is a special guide that the blades slot into for about $30.  It's expensive I know, but the cutting mat doesn't end up full of holes - it's almost impossible to tell where you've cut on it.  The cutting guide has three edges - straight, small wavy & large wavy.  It sits over the mat perfectly so that you can't help but cut a straight line.  To make it even better, they have just brought out two paterned blades & have plans for more.  No more matching up patterns with fancy edged scissors - just put down your card, place cutting guide overtop, put the blade into the slots & whizz it across the page.
I sound like a demonstrator, dont I?  Actually I've just booked a party with Creative Memories to try to earn one.  So, I'm sitting here in eagar anticipation, hoping that enough people come to my party for me to get it for free.  Here's hoping.  I had thought about getting a Fiskars paper trimmer, but decided against it.  The main reason I decided against it, is that I don't like having to fold a page in half to get an A5.  The fold line almost always shows up.  With a cutting mat, you can use the grid to measure how wide an A5 page is & use that line all the time.  At the moment, I too use a cutting mat, ruler & craft knife & I prefer that to the Fiskars cutter.  I have used the Fiskers cutters before, & they are a great product for trimming photos & thin edges of cards."
Gail Kirby says, "I've got the big blue Carl Disc cutter & I couldn't live without it. (I can't cut straight with a craft knife & metal ruler). They're not cheap, around $80/$90, but it's got all the measurements on it & makes it really
easy to cut A4 down to A5 size or into square or DL sizes & it can also cut A3 to A4 which can save you a little bit on card costs. It's also great for scoring card as you just hold down the h&le & score along the side with a stylus or something similar. The blade slides up along a mat to cut the card, impossible to cut yourself & you can also buy a deckle blade for it (I definately can't cut straight with deckle edge scissors). The cutting mats themselves you just turn around & turn over into 4 positions until it needs replacing (I've just replaced one after 2 1/2 years use) & I haven't yet replaced the blade but probably should think about it soon I think :-)"

Elizabeth George says, "Hi Raelene - Elizabeth here from Stamping House in VIC.  Regarding your question about cutting systems.  I'd highly recommend you buy what suits YOU.  I looked at supplying the Carl cutters but felt that the Fiskars were better.  The smallest Fiskars you should be able to pick up for around $25 but most of the feed back I've received is that it's not really worth if for our card cutting needs.  It's very portable & has holes in it for storage in a ring binder.
The mid range Fiskars should set you back around $45-50.  It's a little ripper.  It's very light & portable, has an extendable arm which makes it easy to measure & cut to the desired length.  It also has interchangeable scorer or cutter blade.  Disadvantage is that when you swing out the measuring arm - it actually connects at the 105 mm mark (which is half an A4 card) & makes it a bit hard to see that exact measurement.  Big plus is that is has a ledge for you to rest your card on as you cut so you know you are getting a square cut (Carl equivalent doesn't have this).
The biggy of the Fiskars range is very durable.  Has the replaceable cutting strip which can be turned over so you can use all four sides before replacing.  It's not real portable.  Has the ledge like the mid range one for square cutting & can take 12x12 pages in it.  It should set you back approximately just under $90-100.  Advantage of this one in addition to its durability is the blades.  There is an incredible range from plain to scorer & perforater to fancy blades.  I do recommend that if you go with fancy blades in addition to straight ones, use one side of the cutting strip for straight & a different side for fancy.
The Fiskars Shape Cutter is BRILLIANT & extremely popular with my clients but this is for fancy shape cutting etc not just for straight cutting.
If it was for my own use I'd probably get the mid range Fiskars cutter but as I've got the business, I've got the top of the range for durability as I let my clients use it.  If you can afford it & don't need to worry about portability too much, it's the way to go.   Have fun deciding!!!!   Elizabeth :)   P.S.  Officeworks here in Geelong are extremely competitive with the Fiskars cutters I've talked about.  Perhaps check out your local Officeworks rather than an actual stamping place - although I get my Fiskars stuff for clients from either Stamp It or Print Blocks.


Dental Floss
Can be substituted for waxed thread in book binding, as long as it isn't a large & heavily used book as floss will stretch

50 Things to do with Die Cuts    By Pauletta

Use as is, on the page with your photos.

Use the template of the die cut (the part on the outside around it) as a frame or a journal on the page & frame it with the template. Often the die-cuts don't come with the templates, so ignore this one - if so!

Decorate the die-cut with stickers. Put an award ribbon on a trophy, stars on a cowboy hat or boots, ornaments or lights on the Christmas tree, ribbons on the cradle, etc

Dress the scarecrow with gingham paper & use denim clue or denim patterned paper for the overalls

Dress the paper doll using checks, plaids, polka dots, etc... also good for themed. Dress in Christmas paper for Christmas pages, dress in apple paper for school pages, etc.

Make stained glass windows using markers - on a church window for wedding or Baptism pages or Easter pages

Use the Sunglass die cut for the O's in Cool, Pool, or School.

Cut the firecracker die cut in half using a jagged line

Fill a dump truck with hearts, stars, dirt (using brown paper & deckle scissors), etc

Use the camera die cut to frame a photo of you taking a photo!

If you cut the butterfly in half, it takes on the look of flying sideways

Decorate the house die cut with snow on the roof, a Christmas wreath, & lights & use on a Christmas page, or just decorate it to look more "homey".

Overlap the die cuts - Place a pastel circle behind the cross, the sun behind a sailboat, waves behind the grass (to simulate a pond), etc

Use the template (the frame of the die cut) & trace the shape using a pigma pen.

Trace the template onto other colours of paper & make MORE die-cuts!

Trace the die cut onto photos. Use ABC Die cuts to cut words out of photos (zoo, Ho-Ho-Ho, etc), or shapes - use bib to cut out picture of baby in that shape, etc...

Cut the wedding cake into 3 different cakes.

Use the bow die cut & strips of the same colour paper, & "wrap" your page like a present or tie a ribbon around the page

Use the sun die cut & add sunglasses so you can have a "cool" sun!

Combine different colours of the train die cuts. Match your theme.

When using the train die cuts - cut more train cars by using photos as the box of the train, & cut circles for wheels!

Add yellow mounting paper behind a pumpkin die cut to light the pumpkin up

Cut the legs off the cow & move them so the cow is jumping over the moon die cut.

Use a hole punch, & punch a hole in a red apple die cut, to make a worms hole. If you have the piece that you punch out of the basket, this makes a perfect worm.

Use the template part of a die cut as mounting paper behind a rectangular photo.

Use a heart die cut as a picture frame.

For ABC or 123 die cuts, trim the straight edges of the template with decorative scissors & use them as fancy letters.

Decorate the die cut shape with pens, - trace a thin line or stitches, just inside the shape.

When using the fish die cut, draw scales on him.

Add fancy paper behind an ornament die cut to fill in the wavy stripes

Add a blanket to a baby carriage. Use decorative paper for this - it adds a really cute touch.

Mount coloured paper behind the template, mount on album page & then journal or title the page here.

Using a short-h&led scissors, cut an outline around the shape from the template. Just follow the curves &d bends - the shamrock looks really great like this!

When scattering leaves on your page, draw stems & lines on the leaves.

Use the hnad die cut & make a wreath with the hands

Trim a photo & place it "popping" up from the basket, or a box die cut.

Write your children's school name on the side of the bus die cut

Take the scrap from the basket die cut & use it as a pot of gold for St. Patrick's Day or a Halloween Cauldron for Halloween!

For a fall scrapbook page, use a basket die cut spilled over with leaves tumbling out. Also works good with apples

Silhouette a baby picture &d place the baby in the bundle of a stork die cut.

When using the little school house die cut, place the name of your child's school, on the top.

Fold 3 heart die cuts in half, use adhesive & stick the backs together. This makes a darling 3D heart!

Add a gingham scarf to a snowman die cut.

Cut 3 umbrella die cuts into thirds to make a striped beach umbrella

Cut a die cut in half & place at the edges of a page. - 2 sailboats gliding across a page both partially in view

Use the pieces that pop out of die cuts (the discarded pieces) as die cuts themselves. (i.e.. the part that pops out of the bib die cut makes a great speech balloon (like in cartoons))etc.

Cut a template of four acorns, apples or leaves into quarters & decorate the four corners of a page or photo

Add the scrap from the flower pot die cut to a horse as a unicorns horn!

Use scalloped scissors to take a bite out of any of the food die cuts (ice cream, cookie, etc)

Write "BABY" on the bib die cut.

Brayer over Glossy White Card Stock (CS) in a r&om pattern w/ a light coloured dye-based ink. The idea here is to get a lot of "texture" or variance in ink coverage. Using 2 or 3 complimentary shades of dye-ink, hold the pad in your h& & lay the edge of the pad on the CS. Do it over & over again, moving quickly to create a r&om pattern of lines. Move on to the next shade. It is usually better to stamp in black over the top. Let dry thoroughly, if you decide not to emboss. You can try this on matte CS, as well.

Apply colours directly to paper with either Cat's Eye, Petal Point petals, Colorbox or Paintbox2 Option Plates by gently rubbing the pad onto the paper. You can use the entire sponge surface or part of it (tip or edge). The movement of your h& will create a texture or pattern. Try different movements, never press or pull too hard, & re-ink often to avoid damaging the foam. Stamp all the images with a darker colour ink. At this point you have two options: A. Let it dry as is & consider your art work finished. B. Emboss the entire surface with clear powder for an enameled effect. (See Resist Embossing)

Double Stick Tape
For quick layering & assembly that doesn't require industrial strength.

Duo Daubers
Try the metallic set of dauber duo.  Use them to make backgrounds or accents on your cards by dabbing straight on to the card or for dabbing onto the stamp just like a normal inkpad.  Because they are so small, it is easy to pick out different parts of the stamp with particular colours, also good for picking out details of a stamp.  Even though the daubers are little they seem to last for ages.

Try using them on a large stamp to get a bit of a tie dye effect then use the lighter colour first a went "stomp stomp stomp" randomly on the stamp, then the other colour (a bit darker) & finished with the darker colour, then she breathed on the stamp to moisten the ink (pigment?) & then stamped, the effect was quite nice.

About Duo Daubers, Stamping Susan said, "Duo Daubers, they can be use by applying directly to stamps.  However in saying that do not be to heavy handed as the stamped image does have a tendency to smudge & the lines thicken if too much ink is applied.  I think they were intended to use various colours on one stamp.   I have embossed after stamping with them, quite successfully".

Tip: Have you had trouble stamping on your dominos? Is the ink staying the way you want?  Many inks will work on dominos some of the more common are Staz-on, 213, Ancient Page, Document Ink, India Ink, Brillance, Fabrico & Fresco. Once you have stamped your image ALWAYS heat set it. It doesn't matter which of these inks you use you always want to heat set it. Then you can colour in however you wish. Also ensure the colours stay where you want them by spraying with a Krylon Matte Finish. It dosen't change the look of the domino & it ensures that even if exposed to various types of moisture your image is not going to run or rub off.

Duo Dauber Links


Basic Heat Embossing
Undoubtedly, Embossing is the jazziest way to enhance a stamped image. The raised, shiny plastic coating adds a whole new dimension to stamping.

Stamp the image to be embossed & sprinkle embossing powder, quickly, over the wet stamped image. Remove any excess powder from around the stamped image by lightly tapping the paper. Use a heat source to make the powder melt & give the raised embossed effect. The powders melt around 200-300°; some suggested heat sources are an embossing heat tool, toaster, light bulb, hot plate, or iron.

1. Ink stamp & stamp image
2. Pour embossing powder onto image while it is still wet.
3. Tap excess powder off sheet & put back into jar.
4. Heat until powder melts & becomes shiny.

Description of Embossing Powders:

COLOUR Powders: A variety of rich colours which will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the colour of the embossing powder.

OPAQUE Metallic Powders: A variety of opaque colours with a metallic shine. These colours will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the colour of the embossing powder.

OPAQUE Detail Powders: A variety of opaque colours which are a finer grind of powder, allowing these powders to be a better choice for stamped images which have greater detail. These colours will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the colour of the embossing powder.

TRANSPARENT Glitter Powders: A variety of clear powders with glitter added. They will show the colour of ink beneath, adding a glittered look to the effects of clear powder.

OPAQUE Glitter Powders: A variety of opaque powders containing glitter. These powders will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the colour of the embossing powder. The "tinsel" powders contain a greater amount of glitter.

SPECIAL EFFECTS Glow in the Dark: A translucent powder which is applied over light coloured ink. The colour of ink will show through, & the treated area will glow in the dark.

TRANSLUCENT Pearls Powders: A variety of delicate colour powders which can be applied over any ink colour & will show the colour of the ink beneath while adding a pearlized highlight in the colour indicated.

TRANSPARENT Clear Powders: A variety of clear powders, which will show the colour of the ink beneath while adding a raised shine. Clear & Clear Detail are finer ground powders, while Clear Enamel (Super Gloss) & Enamelware are a coarser grind which allows the powder to build up quicker for a heavy, thick application.

Embossing powder will stick to any moist, freshly stamped image, but special slow-drying embossing ink &the pigment ink pads stay wet longer & make embossing easier. Oils from your skin can get on the paper from handling it. If the powder sticks where you don't want it to, use a soft brush to remove it. A quick wipe with a used fabric softener sheet before stamping will also help to prevent static cling. You can also use baby powder.  The best method is to brush off the excess with a cheap paintbrush. When cutting out an embossed image, do not cut into the embossed lines. This will cause the embossing powder to flake off.

Embossing Techniques [Advanced Heat]
DOUBLE EMBOSSING - Colour in a design already heat embossed, using markers, coloured pencils or chalks. Brush or sponge clear embossing ink from the pad onto the coloured areas of the design. Pour on clear embossing powder & heat. You have now double embossed the stamped image.

CLEAR ON CLEAR EMBOSSING - Using clear or slightly tinted embossing pad, stamp your image on coloured paper. Use clear embossing powder over the clear inked stamped image & heat emboss it. You now have a subtle, yet elegant looking stamped image that shows through the colour of your paper. The clear outline of the embossed image will catch your eye against the coloured background of the paper you have chosen

OVER EMBOSSING - (For glossy or lacquer finish) Sprinkle clear or clear enamel embossing powder over your stamped & coloured image. Heat from underneath your paper source until the powder has completely melted. Continue steps 1 & 2 until you have built up a shiny, smooth, clear surface that resembles lacquer.

RAINBOW EMBOSSING - Ink up your art-stamp, a clear embossing pad is ideal so the image stays wet longer, as you will be using two or three different powders before heating. Pour the first colour on only a part of the stamped image & shake off the excess. While the ink is still wet, pour a second colour powder on the remaining part of the design. Each new colour will not stick where there is already powder. You won't contaminate your colours. Shake off the excess & heat the entire image to raise the surface. Now you have a rainbow effect with different coloured powders used on the same design.

RESIST EMBOSSING - (Also known as "Joseph's Coat") Apply marker all over area to be stamped. Allow to dry completely. Stamp an image on coloured area using clear embossing ink. Heat emboss with clear powder. Sponge black over design.

Encaustic Art
Glittery metallics on tissue cards ...
Mixing the metallic waxes into other colours gives a pearly result but the shiny glitter of the gold & silver is lost. So try this out :
Take a piece of painting card - an old dirty piece is fine cover it with dark coloured waxes using the iron tear a few small pieces of double ply tissue & lay then on top iron over them until the wax melts & they get stuck to the card put metallic colours onto the iron - gold, silver, bronze, pearl..
Wipe these over the tissue covered card allow to cool, then cut out the nicest part & mount it onto another card
Make dirty old cards into sparkling pieces of attractive work

Crayon on colour to brighten overmixed artwork or touch up images.
You can crayon the encaustic art waxes directly on top of existing wax artwork. This is great if you are for instance doing an abstract that becomes muddied & overmixed. Just let it cool then crayon on top of it with lighter brighter colours to bring back some vitality to the piece. When you polish it up it is hard to tell that you have added the colour this way as the wax adheres perfectly to itself.
You can further hide the application by gently rubbing / smudging the wax with your finger tip.
One note of caution though, don't crayon maniacally in one spot for too long or the friction will make the underlying waxes soft & they will move.
This is an ideal method for adding touches of harmonious colour into skies, foregrounds, lakes & so on without the re-application of the heated tools, which could sometimes damage surrounding areas.
Try making envelopes made from old calendars - with a white label on the front (so the address would have been very clear).

Envelope Glue
6 Tbs. white vinegar
4 packets (1oz.) unflavoured gelatin
1 Tbs. mint extract. (or whatever flavour you want)

Boil vinegar in small pan. Add gelatin & stir until dissolved. Add flavouring & remove from heat. Use brush to spread on envelope flaps. Let dry. Moisten to seal. When leftover glue cools, it will set. It may be reused again & again if you take a little caution when storing it. Place it in a small HEAT PROOF container & you can shoot it with your heat gun to remelt it. Or you can place the small glass jar into a pan of water & heat it that way. Just take caution not to break your glass containers when reheating the glue.   

Eye Shadow Applicators
Good for applying chalks, eye shadow, or ink in detailed areas.

Eye Shadow
Use like chalk, including with the versamark pad, the frost ones give great sheen.

Eyelets: The "in" way to secure your art! Use eyelets to layer & create a clean & professional look to your cards & memory projects. Eyelets come in many colors, & you'll want them all once you see how easy they are to use & how good they look. You might be intimidated by them at first, but don't be. Eyelets are simple to use. All you need is a hammer, a hard flat surface, the hole punch, the setting tool, & the eyelets.


Punch a hole in your cardstock where you want your eyelet to go (use a hammer & strike the hole punch tool). Put the eyelet through the paper. Turn the paper over & position the setting tool into the back of the eyelet. Strike the setting tool with your hammer - this "flattens" out the eyelet. Congratulations, you've just successfully set your first eyelet - now, NO paper is safe!

Where To Use Eyelets: Use eyelets to layer paper - eyelets give a contemporary look to your projects, & offer clean lines. Use eyelets to adhere photographs to memory pages. With all of the different colors available you can find complementary eyelets for your scrapbook! Use eyelets to secure punched-out images. This technique is very fun. Take a flower punch (or stamp a flower & cut out). Adhere the flower to a piece of cardstock using an eyelet as the center of the flower! Use a different color eyelet than the cardstock & your flower will really "punch." Use eyelets as eyes or polka dots in a dress. Anything where you would have a circle, use an eyelet. Use eyelets as a way to bind mini books.

70 Ways to Use Eyelets

1. connectors on paper piecing for moveable parts
2. attaching vellum
3. accents on journal blocks
4. to "hang" things from
5. center of flowers
6. center of letters
7. spell out words (outline letters)
8. corners of picture mat
9. eyes of paper dolls
10. nails in a fence
11. earrings for a paper doll
12. belly button jewel for a paper doll
13. "stone" in a ring
14. buttons on a snowman
15. decoration on a child's ball
16. stepping stones on a garden layout
17. attach a fiber to a brad to make a yo-yo
18. attach elements on a page by wrapping wire or fiber
19. to form "bullets" for a list of things
20. as an accent on the tail of a letter
21. in the hole of a tag
22. white - as stars on a black or navy blue sky
23. white - as dropping snowflakes
24. light blue - as falling raindrops
25. orange - as pumpkins
26. white - as moonbeams
27. jeweled belt on a paper doll
28. brown - as chocolate chips on a cookie
29. toppings on a pizza
30. M & Ms
31. buttons on a shirt
32. decorations on an Easter egg
33. decorations on a Christmas tree
34. purple - grapes in a cornucopia
35. lights on top of a police car or fire truck
36. center of a pinwheel
37. center of tires
38. tires on a toy car
39. end of antenna on a bug
40. center of fiber spider web
41. hair ornament on a girl paper doll
42. the "dot" on an i or j
43. attach h&le to a basket
44. to attach fibers or lacing something together
45. attach a sign to a post
46. rocks
47. center of propeller on an airplane
48. on serendipity squares
49. sesame seeds on a bun
50. jeweled skirt on a paper doll.
51. use as a spider & paint a face on it with the legs behind it or use wire for it's legs
52. dots on a ladybug
53. as fillers
54. use as nails on wood (like haunted house windows)
55. Christmas Bulbs on a tree paper piecing
56. eye on a frog
57. use to embellish the corner of tags or
58. borders or
59. titles
60. Attach fabric, twistel or lace to paper
61. use star brads to replicate a night sky
62. ends of a hammock (saw that on a layout at the lss using Brad-Dazzled brads)
63. use on butterfly wings
64. oval nail heads as Easter Eggs
65. Buttons on a dress
66. shoe buckle
67. dots on a clown suit doll or paper piecing
68. sprinkles on an ice cream cone
69. sprinkles on a cupcake
70. use seashell nail heads on paper torn s& paper to create a beach look


Fading Technique
Fading can be used in many ways to benefit your stamping artwork. It can make one stamp pad colour appear like 3 different colours, make your backgrounds look more 3 dimensional, or even simulate motion. To make your stamp pads more versatile, try stamping the colour on a scratch piece of paper immediately after inking & then stamp it on your project. The colour will be more faded, but you will still get a nice colour. If you wish, you can even try stamping twice on the scratch paper before stamping on your project for an “ultra” muted tone. If you can’t get the colour you like, try “huffing” on it. (breathing on the stamp as you would to clean a pair of glasses, so the moisture in your breath collects on the stamp.) To make your backgrounds appear more 3 dimensional, try this out. Stamp your image on the project, & then without re-inking, stamp it on the project 3 or more times. Continue this process to create a background that appears to have items in the foreground, middle & background. To create the appearance of motion on your stamped artwork, choose an image that would typically move in “the real world”. Ink your image & stamp the 1st image where you’d like the image to appear to have “landed” on your project. Then before re-inking stamp the image 2 or more times in a uniform fashion in the direction you want the object to appear to have come.

Faerie Glass
This is a technique using Faerie Glass with any kind of image, including very detailed ones.       

1 Stamp image with pigment ink (embossing ink is not thick enough for this technique).  Make sure your stamp pad is well inked & that you ink the stamp well.   Vellum-finished cardstock (smooth surface) works best with this technique, but even very textured paper will work as long as the image is well stamped.       

2 Work over a tupperware container, & pour FG onto the  image. Keep the card level while you pour on the glass (keeping the card level allows more FG to stick to the ink).  Pour off excess glass & tap the card lightly to tap off any glass that isn't stuck well to the ink.  Return excess glass to container.

3 Pour clear EP over the card.  It will stick to the ink that isn't covered by the glass.  Pour off excess (do not tap or you will lose a few beads with the EP).   Heat EP.

4 A second coat of EP is necessary to set the glass securely.   Pour a second layer of EP (colour of your choice) over your image, pour off excess & tap card if necessary.  Heat EP either from the underside of the card or carefully from the top (do not hold heat gun too close or it will blow off the EP).  It may be necessary to apply a third coat of clear EP, but usually this is not the case.

You can apply a second coat of EP of r&om colours by sprinkling various colours of EP very lightly onto the card, or pour one colour onto one section of the card & pour off the excess before proceeding to the next colour.  If you try the sprinkle method & get too much in one spot, either pour off the excess or shake your card slightly from side to side & this will distribute the EP evenly.

Try EPs made with clear EP & interference Faerie Dust or Iridescent Scarab Red (4:1 ratio of EP:FD).  Scarab Red is a duo-tone (burgundy/teal) & creates a beautiful look. The interference colours look best on darker papers, but also look good on light papers when used with black pigment ink.       

A spectacular look is to use Interference Gold FD/clear EP for the first EP layer.  Then sprinkle Scarab Red/clear EP across the top of the image, Interference Red/clear EP below that, more Interference Gold/clear EP below that, then Interference Green/clear EP across the bottom of the image. This creates a sunrise scene, lit up with gold.       

Another look is to use white pigment ink, clear beads & one or ore olours of interference FD/clear EP (after the first layer of clear EP).  Set the card a few feet away from you in the light & the glass glows.

Fingernail Polish Background
You'll need: Clear Fingernail Polish, Cardstock (doesn't work on glossy but works well on any colour c/s; can use it after inking paper with a brayer), Water (room temp. works best), Container for Water (large enough to place cardstock in).

Place a few inches of water in your container. Submerge your dark piece of cardstock in the container. Drop a few drops of clear fingernail polish on top of water. Wait a few seconds. Bring your cardstock straight up through the fingernail polish. Turn over & let dry. This background will look iridescent when dry. The back of this background cardstock will look messy, that is why it is used as a background on a card. You can stamp &/or emboss on this background piece; or leave it as is & glue it to the front of your main piece of cardstock for your finished project.

You can also use Nail Polish to create backgrounds in a similar way to the shaving cream technique.  Experiment with different brands & types of nail polish.

Friendly Plastic
Friendly Plastic is a non-toxic plastic modeling material which softens quickly & can be formed into almost any shape by using your h&s. Simply heat Friendly Plastic & let your imagination run wild! No special tools are required. It  cools & becomes very strong in just 10 minutes, but can be re-softened for design changes.

Required Materials:
Hot water (heated in skillet or stove top)
Heat resistant, non-aluminum bowl
Non-stick work surface (Formica or tile countertop, waxed paper)
Cold water
Cooking oil
craft stick
Sharp scissors

Optional Materials:
Aluminum foil
Spatula or egg turner
Paper towels
AMACO jewelry accessories
Beads, sequins, rhinestones, feathers, paint & brushes Any other jewelry accessories

A. Plan your design. Cut the plastic strips into shapes according to your proposed design before softening. You may wish to have several pieces ready to soften.
B. Soften the plastic.
1. Electric skillet. This method enables you to design free-form shapes by crimping, fanning, pleating, rolling or coiling.

a. Heat water in skillet until temperature reaches 140F (60C) to 150F(66C) or less. Most skillets have a low/simmer setting. Test temperature with cooking thermometer. Colors are more brilliant & are easier to work with at these temperatures. Add one or two drops of cooking oil to water to prevent sticking.
b. place one plastic stick at a time in hot water (metallic side down if you are using metallic sticks). Let set in hot water for about 30 seconds to 60 seconds until shiny (metallic sticks will lose their metallic appearance if softened too long. Wet h&s & remove plastic from hot water using craft sticks. TIP: Softened plastic sticks cannot be separate if they are allowed to touch. H&le softened sticks carefully.
c. Shape with your h&s (plastic will be warm, but not too hot to h&le). Softened plastic can be molded or textured for further decoration, pressed into AMACO Jewelry Setting or used to decorate porcelain-like faces. TIP: To create a new colour with non-metallic sticks, soften the plastic & knead them together. The plastic may have to be re-softened & re-kneaded a few times before a colour becomes solid. NOTE: While plastic is still warm, embed beads, stones, etc for positioning only, let cool, then remove.
d. When the desired shape is formed, place in cold water for three to five minutes to set. If piece hardens before desired shape is formed, place back into hot water for a few seconds. Repeat these steps for each piece to be shaped. For solid bonding of two pieces, soften both pieces in hot water until tacky then press firmly together. Place in cold water to set. Note: The above results can also be achieved by heating water on the stove to 140F(60C) to 150F(66C), pouring it into a heat resistant, non-aluminum bowl & following the instructions beginning with step “b” above. As water cools, replenish with additional hot water.

2. Oven. An excellent method for designing two-dimensional or layered designs with plastic sticks.
a. Preheat oven to 200F (94C)
b. Lightly oil a piece of aluminum foil larger than your design. Place on baking sheet oil side up
c. Cut plastic sticks on the aluminum foil in the desired pattern. Note: Intricate designs may require placement & melting of a few pieces at a time.
d. Bake your design for one to two minutes. Plastic will melt together. The longer the plastic is left in the oven, the more inlaid & flat the surface will become. Do not leave in oven too long, or the plastic will begin to bubble & metallic sticks will lose their metallic appearance. Remove from oven (plastic will be warm, but not too hot to handle). Softened plastic can be molded or textured for further decoration, pressed into AMACO Jewelry Settings or used to decorate porcelain-like faces. NOTE: While plastic is still warm, embed beads, stones, etc for positioning only, let cool, then remove.
e. Place your piece in cold water to set for about three to five minutes. Repeat these steps for each piece. NOTE: Two dimensional or layered designs can also be achieved in hot water by placing sticks on a spatula & gently lowering into the water. Do not immerse totally or pieces will float off the spatula. Add sticks as desired to complete your piece.
C.  Decorate your piece
1. Plastic can be coloured with acrylic paint, model paint, spray paint, permanent ink markers or acrylic enamel paint markers. To protect painted surfaces use AMACO Spray ‘n Seal protective sealant.
2. Decorate with beads, sequins, glitter, feathers, etc or attach to AMACO Jewelry Accessories such as pin backs & earring backs by gluing into place using an adhesive/sealant such as E-6000 or Household Goop. Allow to set at least two hours before wearing. Caution: Supervise use by small children. Warm Friendly Plastic will stick to fingernail polish, acrylic fingernails, aluminum, Styrofoam, PVC & certain other plastics. Pieces made with Friendly Plastic will soften or melt with exposed to direct sunlight or similar heat sources. Credit: AMACO & Friendly Plastic - American Art Clay Co., Inc.

Fun Flock
1) use coloured pencils to colour in the area being flocked BEFORE doing anything else. Color the image with the same colour as the flocking.

2) cover area with glue (the 2 way gluepen is good)

3) place your card on a larger piece of paper & dump the flocking onto the wet glue (if using 2 way glue, don't let it dry first, you want the permanent hold effects not the "post it note" effect). Yes, dump it. The whole jar or at least cover in a generous pile.

4) With the pile of flocking in place over the glue area, use your fingers & just press down all over. Doesn't matter if you can't see the stamped image due to the flocking all over it. Good even pressure everywhere.

5) dump off the remaining flocking onto the paper underneath your card & make it into a "funnel" to pour flocking back into container. Mash it down a little...eventually it will fit back in.

The reason for using the coloured pencil underneath is that if by chance you do miss a little on the glue & flocking, the colour underneath will be the same & that will disguise any "thin spots" in the flocking. This way, every attempt looks perfect even if you miss a little spot here or there.

Or Heat stick powder & versamark

6)  when using Fun Flock colour underneath the area you are flocking to intensify the look of the flock.

Fun Foam
This stuff is also know as 'Craft Foam Sheet'.  Heat the foam with your heat tool. It will undulate as it heats up & will be hot enough when you see it gets a little shiny. Push your stamp into it & hold a few seconds. No need to ink the stamp. Highlight the raised areas with a metallic rub-on like Rub n' Buff.   Beautiful!

You can cut around the edges of the stamped piece with fancy edge scissors. Try the deckle edge. Then you've got a neat little piece to mount on a card, box lid, book cover, etc.

You can make jewellery too. Black or dark coloured foams are most arty looking. Brown can look like leather.  Use fun foam instead of the product known as Almost Leather.  

There was a project in an issue of the Australian Paper Arts magazine using fun foam where you just stamp into the heated foam, no ink necessary then paint it gloss black & then with interference paint, then pearlex or fairie dust powder.  It looks stunning.  

Someone said, "I did this just last week & was really pleased with the results! I didn't ink the stamp. You have to heat one side of the funfoam until it starts to curl then turn-over & heat the other side for maybe 20 -30 secs - don't hold the heat gun too close if you use a Milwaulke or similar. Press the stamp into the funfoam immediately for about 15 secs - if you are not pleased with the results, just re-heat & try again! I used black funfoam then rubbed metallic rub-ons over it which really brought out the design (looked a bit average until then). The magazine I saw this in painted the funfoam with acrylic paints I think"

"I find fun foam really easy to use & just zap it with my heat gun until it starts to shrink slightly & then press in the stamp or button etc.  With the paler colours I sometimes use black ink on the stamp to give a better definition line but my favourite method is to stamp into dark foam & then use metallic rub-ons."

"With the fun foam, all I do is heat it up with the heat gun & push the object (stamp or anything) into the foam & it will keep the impression until you heat the foam again."

"Just heat the foam with your heatgun & press the stamp into the doesnt need inking, though you can if you want. then use those mettalic rub on paints to highlight it. You will have to spray it with a sealer to stop the paint rubbing off though.  Guess you could paint it with something like Lumieres too!"

"I made all my Swap pins for SDU on this fun foam. Sometimes it is a bit too thin, just go for the thicker stuff if you have a choice. You heat it, stamp straight into it & hold it there for a while. Remove the uninked stamp. If the image is not clear enough you just heat it again & stamp again. I rubbed rub 'n' buff onto the image & set this with a cheap hairspray as it came off like chalk seems to do on c/st.  I thought my Spider Webs looked O.K. done on black with gold or copper rubbed into the image."

"As far as surfaces go, for things like Funtustic & shrink plastic I cover a plate in foil & use the back (this was recommended to me, & then I saw Janine Anderson doing a demo for StampMania Berry with Funtustic & saw it in practice)."

"For UTEE, i cover the plate with some glad bake... it's the only thing to use as far as i'm concerned. I would imagine that the fun foam might be better off on the glad bake as well? I haven't used it before so it's just a guess."

"Anyway, once the plate is covered in whatever, i rest it on a cork heat tile, then start heating. That way i know if the plate gets really hot (which it does with the foil on it), the cork underneath should absorb some of the heat."

"Heat it & stamp into it as if it were UTEE & you'll be left with an impression. I used rubons to highlight various aspects of it now will try painting it after reading up some ideas after checking the archives. (Remember folks a quick way to get answers is to do a search in the stampahppy archives) Now I do have a question. I seem to remember reading or viewing either in a magazine or on someone's web site using fun foam to make the covers of a book. Does anyone know where I saw this? I'd love some more ideas to use the fun foam."

Barb Porritt said "Hi Raelene,  It is available from places like Riot art & craft, buy it in small or large sheets, lots of diff colours.  Just heat it & stamp into it with & inked or uninked stamp.Then colour with rub on metalics. Fun to make tiles out of or book covers etc."

Linda J. said "You can get it at any craft store.  I especially like to use the tan & then rub metallic rub ons over it.  In my personal experience I have found it best not to try to do too large an area at once because it is hard to keep the foam warm enough to get a good imprint.  If you don't like your imprint, just heat it again & the image will smooth out & you can start over."

Sue Gregory said, "I find fun foam really easy to use & just zap it with my heat gun until it starts to shrink slightly & then press in the stamp or button etc.  With the paler colours I sometimes use black ink on the stamp to give a better definition line but my favourite method is to stamp into dark foam & then use metallic rub-ons."

Fun foam Links

Carol Jeffery said "Hi Raelene, I have used quite a lot of Funtastic over the last 2 years. Just recently, I completed my 144 SDU pins & have incorporated Funtastic on them. I stamped out cowgirl hats & cut them out while hot, then glittered them & mounted them onto black tags. I attend a lot of stamp camps in NSW & have made lots of swap pins with Funtastic. It keeps it's shape & lasts for a lifetime. I gave Cathy Daulman one of these pins at camp. When I saw her next at MPA, I asked if she still had the butterfly I made. Yes Carol, she said, but I left it on my jumper & tossed it in the wash, so it has had a good clean. It was still perfect!  To be truthful though Raelene, I also use Funfoam with much the same results. It is much better for mailing as it is lighter & flexible. Guess it all depends on what your use is. Enjoy Carol"
Rhonda Sadler said "Hi Raelene, I am newish to stamping too, but I've used it some....I found it great for making magnets & stamps well & comes up beautifully with Lumiere paints & metallic rub ons. It does warp with heating some but I like that effect, you can straighten it out in much the same way that you straighten shrinkies & it will go flat.  For using on cards etc I would use fun foam instead.....its lighter & stamps just as well. Hope this helps your friend a little.  Cheers, Rhonda"

Marget W said "I just LOVE the Funtustic!! You do however, have to have the Milwauki heat gun, as the others don't get hot enough.  The other thing to consider is that cut up records do the same job. They are thinner & don't need as much heat. I pick mine up at Good Sammy's etc for $1 per LP. They do pong a bit & I'm not too sure about the fumes so I have my small desk fan on to blow the fumes away while I'm heating them.   Cheers  Marg W"

Cathy Daulman said "Hi all & Raelene & Faye,  Thank you for querying Funtustic.  If you searched the archives you would find a bit, esp if you spelt it FUNTUSTIC, not funtastic (I did want to call it Funtastic, I may even have done so in the beginning...Adelaide SDU...but there is a furniture group called that).  You have to work fast! but... it is fun.
The nice thing is that if you have good scissors you can cut it after stamping.  You can punch it with a micro punch or leather punch, if you want bigger holes.  If you do not have a punch, poke holes in it with a sharp metal prong (?) (to stitch & hang dingle dangles) Then you can turn all you funtustic stampings into little book covers, pins earings ...  whatever! The secret is to always start with a small piece, work on an alcan foiled covered tile, heat it properly ie all  over."

Karen Gillmartin said " Hi all,  When I went to Cathy's open day last week, she introduced 'funtustic' to me.
Cathy showed me how it works, & now I am loving it! You can make all sorts of things with it. It is easy & fun. I think everyone should try it out!!   : -)  Cheers, Karen Gillmartin"

Cathy Daulman said "Hi Raelene, Funtustic all started as a fun kind of product, I wanted a product that did not go as soft as Friendly plastic, & I wanted a product that I could cut after I had heated it.(to punch holes in so that I could make little books etc) It was never supposed to be more than a bit of fun at SDU Adeaide.  Well, 3 years later it is still going strong. It is a black plastic, (black is an invisible colour) wholly Australian. It is made from recycled products & is recyleable. We have found that people who normally get asmha (sp?) from UTEE etc do not get it from Funtustic.  It is very simple to use. It can be cut with kitchen scissors or as I do, score...score again & cut.  It melts as to the heat of our heat gun. The slower the heat gun, the slower it melts.  I use a paint stripper when I am in a hurry! For really interesting, melty results I have used my toaster oven. I nearly named it 'Plastic misbehaving' as some days it just does its own thing. It is not for the perfectionist.  

Future Floor Finish
A great acrylic sealer & can be used in place of diamond glaze in some techniques.


Can be coloured with ink pads & makes a great textural layer on cards

Gel Cards
A Gel card is like a shaker card but instead of using glitter, sand, tea, etc you place a couple of spoonfulls of hair gel into a ziplock bag.  Put a small amount of blue food colouring into the gel to get different colours.Australia

Glass Tumblers
Good to decorate as c&le holders.

Glitter Cards
   Finished glitter cat cards with cat stencil
     3 shades of glitter plus a star sticker for the 3 wise men.
  Glitter with acetate  Acetate Glitter Cards by Kim Score
NEED: Stamp with larger, open areas for glittering Piece of Acetate (window sheets) Ancient Page Pad Crystal Clear embossing powder & heat gun Crystal Effects Glitter DIRECTIONS: 1) Stamp your image with ancient page on the acetate. Coal black works the best but you can use any other colour. 2) Emboss with crystal clear ep. Remember to keep the heat tool moving so you don't warp the acetate. 3) Do one colour of glitter at a time. Pick your larger areas & glitter colour to do first. Apply crystal effects in a thin layer all over your selected areas (on embossed side). Don't be worried about going over the detail lines on the image. Since the embossed image is on the bottom, it will always show on the other side. Pour glitter onto acetate & tap off excess. Continue on to the next larger areas & glitter colour until you are done. 4) To set off your piece, you can layer acetate onto white or lighter coloured cardstock. The side that isn't glittered is the face up side. The glittered side is the face down side. You can also stick your finished piece to a piece of sticker paper (face down to stick side of paper). If you do this, the whole piece of acetate should have glitter on it so the acetate is not sticking to the paper. This technique also makes a beautiful window card with nothing layered behind it.
By Raelene T.

There’s glitter from Crayola, Jewel, Derivan (Kindy Glitz), Art Institute, Faber Castell, etc.   These glues are all colours from chunky to Ultra Fine (Art Glittering system).  Then there’s ‘raw’ glitter, glitter glue, fabric glitter glue, pearlized glitter glue, Fluro glitter glue, etc. Glitter gel pens, glitter nail polish  .......   the list goes on.   Quite often, when making a card, I get rather ‘tired’ of inking, embossing then having to clean the stamps afterwards, etc etc.  So, I’ll make a ‘glitter card’.  That’s what I call them though there may be another name for these types of cards.      There’s a shop near Fremantle, Western Australia & 'the boss' says she started this idea.  Maybe she did & maybe she didn’t.  Anyway, these types of cards we’re making are *always* being demonstrated at fairs so they’re kinda like ‘a-dime-a-dozen’ here, in Perth. On the other h&, whenever I send this type of card overseas, I’m *always* asked how I’ve done it. They're very easy & quick to do, with a minimum of fuss.

You need:   
* card stock or paper                    Card is easier to work with & peel the stencil off from.
* Double sided sticky Jac paper    Jac is the br& name.  Think ‘double sided stickytape’
* 2 different coloured glitters       They need to be FINE.  Chunky won’t work.
* stencil                                         Only plastic stencils.   Brass won’t work.
* scissors                                       Just something to trim you paper with.
* sheet of paper to work on
With your need to think about ‘colours’.  What colour is your card?  What colour do you want your picture & your background to be?   Plus, the type/colour of card & the colour of your glitter PLUS the combination you use will all produce a different effect.
Now, you can either work directly onto your card or onto a piece you can stick to your card later.  The card/paper you’re sticking to needs to be LARGER than your stencil & your jac paper needs to be slightly SMALLER than your stencil.   ie) the picture on your stencil needs to fit onto your jac paper.   When you’re feeling game, you can always cut your jac paper with fancy scissors/corner rounders, etc.
Anyhow, when you’re happy you’ve got the jac paper just the right size, you need to peel of ONE SIDE & stick it onto your card/paper.
Look at your stencil.  There should be a ROUGH side & a SMOOTH side.  You’re going to put the stencil onto your revealed sticky jac paper ROUGH side down.
* Usually, there’s a tiny round hole at the top of the stencil (look at the pictures the top of this page). It has to be covered with a bit of sticky tape or part of the jac paper otherwise, when you put your glitter onto the ‘picture’ it’s going to go into the tiny round hole too, & we don’t won’t that.
** I’ve been told that you’re supposed to wash the stencil first.......poppycock.  Doesn’t matter.
Anyhow, before you peel of the 2nd layer of jac paper I should warn you.  Anything floating around will STICK to the jac paper.....  I mean...  dirt, hair, snot, dust, work in a clear space.
When you’re ready, peel off the layer of jac paper & stick your stencil ROUGH side down.   Pat down your stencil.  The more complicated the stencil & lines in it, the more you want to make sure the WHOLE stencil is sticking to your paper otherwise the glitters will ‘bleed’ into each other & the lines of your picture won’t be clearly defined.  
Keeping your hair out the way (!) pour on your glitter.  ie) pink fairy?.  When you've completely covered your picture with your glitter, brush/dust/wipe away the excess.  I use an old makeup brush to brush away the excess glitter.  Be rough!  You'll probably find a lot of glitter will stay on your stencil.  ie) the glitter will cling to the stencil due to static electricity.  Brush it all off.  The jac paper is pretty tough stuff & quite strong.  Put your glitter you've brushed off back into its container....& close the lid!     ;-)
When ready, peel off the stencil.   If you've been working on cardstock you can be a bit rough when peeling off your stencil.....with paper you need to be a bit more gentle.
If you use a brass stencil (I did once) the jac paper will stick to your brass stencil.  If you’ve put the plastic stencil WRONG side, then you’ll have a buggar of a time getting the stencil’ll rip the paper.
If done right, you’ll have a glitter picture with a sticky ‘background’  ie) the rest of the jac paper.  This is now the time to pour on other coloured glitter for your background.  If you're doing a scenic picture you might like to sprinkle one colour on the bottom half for the ground & another colour on the top half for sky, etc.  Then, again, brush off........& FINISHED!    

NEED: Cardstock Sticker Sheets Lace Dark shade of glitter Light shade of glitter INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Cut your sticker paper into 1/4 sheets. Pull the protective backing off to reveal the sticky area. 2) Stick a piece of lace to the sticker paper & smooth down firmly. Make sure the whole surface of the paper is covered with the lace. 3) Pour a dark shade of glitter all over the lace. Make sure the whole surface is covered. Lightly press the glitter onto the sticky parts of the paper. Tap off excess. 4) Pull lace off sticker paper 5) Pour light coloured glitter all over card. Tap off excess. 6) Spray seal glittered paper with hairspray. 7) Tack sticker paper to your card for a beautiful background.

Glorious Glitter  ~ other tips
Here are some other tips/tricks from other people.

Run a quarter sheet of cardstock through Xyron, then take a cut out image & put it down on sticky side, then glitter all around. This is the only way to get glitter everywhere your image isn't. It works best with the medium or fine glitter, coarse seems to leave to many open spots. You don't have to worry about glue & it is the least messy way.

Why not make a mask of your image, then you can use it to protect your image from getting glue on it? Mask the image, put the whole thing through the Xyron upside down, then glitter.  Or use it to protect your image from glue. If you are doing one it is the same amount of cutting. But with if you do this multiple times with the same image you would only have to make one mask. Especially if you make it out of something you could scrap excess adhesive off. (like the stuff that the Xyron uses under the sticky? Wax paper?)

I have just started using Jac paper & love it. A S/H friend sent me a card on which she had put lace over the jac paper, sprinkled fine glitter over & then removed the lace.

When I do the glitter & lace technique I find the best glitter to use is the Special effects glitter & I use this technique a lot as well.    

Take a piece of Jac paper & stamp an image on the backing paper. Let dry. Cut out the entire image, in any shape you like (round, square, oval, etc), peel off the unstamped backing paper & stick down on card stock. Take your craft knife & carefully trace around all the lines of your stamped image cutting through the backing paper. When done, decide what glitter colours you want to use, then begin lifting off the cut sections of the backing paper, one at a time, applying glitter to the revealed sticky surface as you go. Using a stamp with simple lines that are easy to follow (eg: a stained glass image or similar) might be best to begin with, but this technique should easily accomodate any complicated image you fancy (but would, of course, take a LOT longer!). Once you have completely replaced all the backing paper with glitter, trim the card stock to suit, then assemble your project as desired.    

Loose Glitter
1. On a previously stamped image, use the Two-Way Glue pen to apply glue where you want the glitter.
2. Sprinkle loose glitter on the image, pour off excess glitter, putting it back into the jar. This technique adds glitz to any card.  eg) you could squiggle glue lines, put on your green glitter & there you have seaweed!

Glitter & Lace Background
For a basic card:
Cardstock * Sticker Paper * Lace * 1 Dark Shade of Glitter * 1 Light Shade of Glitter
1. Cut your sticker paper into 1/4 sheets. Pull the protective backing off the sticker paper to reveal the sticky area.
2. Stick a piece of lace to the sticker paper & smooth it down firmly.
3. Pour a dark shade of glitter all over the card, making sure the whole thing is covered. Shake off extra.
4. Strip lace off of card.
5. Next pour light shade of glitter all over card. It will stick to the areas that do not have the dark glitter.  Shake off excess glitter.
6. Spray seal your glitter with hairspray.  Tack down onto folded cardstock or whatever your project may be.
Glitter Window
* Clear Window Sheet (1/4 size postcard size)   * Black Pigment Ink  * Open Image - eg: Stained Glass set
* Glue with small nozzle on end
1. Stamp image onto the window sheet with black pigment ink, heat set the ink!
2. Fill in an area in the image with glue & do one area at a time.
3. When area is filled with glue, put glitter on & dump off the excess glitter.
4. Continue to fill in each area.  When dry put the card together. The card should have an opening to create a window frame. Glitter side should be facing down.

Glitter ~ Candle Stamping
1. Pour Dazzling Diamonds glitter onto a sheet of paper...spread it out a little.
2. Take a rubber stamp (bold outline, like Flutterbys) & stamp into the glitter.
3. Check to make sure stamp is evenly coated, tap if there is too much.
4. Heat your c&le with hair dryer or heat tool until just warm.
5. Stamp directly onto the c&le using even firm pressure. You might have to roll the c&le a little to get the entire image on. Raise your stamp & admire!!

Apply spray glitter.
Spray paint through lace, abaca, fish net, or over leaves, cut outs, or other found objects.

Glitters... I have to admit glitter is something I 'collect', I have quite a bit of the ultra fine... now, how often do I use it?  It depends!  It xmas time I use quite a bit because its just naturally 'glitsy'.  How do I use it?  I cheat.  The easiest thing I learned to do was to run a stamped & coloured in piece of cardstock through my xyron UPSIDE down (picture side down) so that the picture gets all sticky, remove the film cover & yep, just dump on the glitter!  You want to use the see-through kind of course, otherwise you will have just covered up your entire image ;) but it really is simple & easy & the results are quite amazing!

I have just "discovered" an old trick that I find fun with glitter, I run a quarter sheet of cs through zyron, I then take a cut out image & put it down on sticky side, then I glitter all around. This is the only way I have found to get glitter everywhere your image isn't. It works best with the medium or fine glitter , coarse seems to leave to many open spots for my taste. You don't have to worry about glue & it has been for me the least messy way.

I love glitter! My house sparkles long after I put it away. It is my way of getting a sparkling house without having to trade stamping time for cleaning time.  Seriously, I have a quick fun thing I like to do with glitter & punches.  I take a layer of cardstock in a coordinating colour & punch all four corners with a punch that goes with the card design. My favorite is a butterfly punch with floral designs. I then put a piece  of scotch tape across the punched opening with the sticky side of the tape to the front of the layer & shake on some glitter. The tape underneath is hidden when the layer is mounted. Then I like to put a dot of clear drying glue here & there, perhaps on a couple of flowers, & shake on the same glitter. It gives a really finished look. Don't forget to save those punched out designs for the inside of your card as an accent. You can also glue one to your envelope. If you are sending it to someone whom you "owe one to", just leave the punches inside the card loose, like confetti. Also, little ones get a kick out of opening cards with things that fall out on the floor.

Glitter Colors
Ultrafine Opaque
Ultrafine Transparent
Microfine Opaque
Microfine Transparent

Quality, quality, quality! All ultra-fine, highly luminescent colours, are designed to coordinate with each other. We have a beautiful selection of glitter colours on the menu: opaque, transparent, hologram, & one glow-in-the-dark! It's been said they are "Color treats for the eyes".

Ultrafine Glitter sparkles! Ultrafine was designed to give you the highest amount of brilliance with the most amount of sophistication. It is the perfect glitter for rubberstamp cards, a must for glitter lace paper, for writing names & other projects. We started out with twelve colours in 1984 & now have 175+ transparent, opaque & opaque hologram colours to choose from. They are all unique in tonal quality, hue & personality to satisfy your individual tastes.

Ultrafine Opaque glitter, like acrylic paint, is heavily pigmented. The "jewel" tones are intense, bountiful & full bodied. Heavier in nature than transparent glitter & saturated with colour, it is the glitter choice for rich reds, nugget golds, butterfly blacks, Christmas greens & luscious purples. Work on any colour background. It will not affect the colour of the glitter. Always use Designer Dries Clear under opaque glitter. Never use Dries White Adhesive under opaque or it will dull out the colour & look like milk between the glitter flakes. As a general rule (not including butterflies & bugs), with opaque glitter, less is more!

Ultrafine Transparent is like the watercolours of our glitter world! Use Dries Clear Adhesive to give them their translucent quality. With transparent glitters & Dries Clear, the lines of your rubberstamping will show through. Likewise, background ink & paper colours will affect the colour of the glitter, so you might want to stay on white or high pastel cardstocks. Just know that a dark blue background will change a pink transparent glitter to purple, a black cardstock will change a transparent yellow glitter to green & an orange paper will change green glitter to mud. Most of the time you'll want the sheer quality because it compliments without being overpowering. Transparent glitter is like sheer nylons (as opposed to opaque tights). If you want them to be opaque & solid looking, switch to Designer Dries White Adhesive. With Designer Dries Clear & "Crystal" white glitter, you'll get ice, rain, tears, frost, water & shimmer. Switch to Dries White with "Crystal" & you'll get snow, Santa's beard, popcorn, marshmallows & "white" writing. Transparent glitter is dynamic!

Microfine Glitter shimmers! It is velvety, satiny, less glittery, more sophisticated & used by artists to enhance watercolours, borders, calligraphy, paintings etc., It is fabulous in collage with embossing powders! Use in h&made papers & on other paper artwork.

Opaque glitter is the acrylic paint of glitter. The "jewel" tones are intense, bountiful & full bodied. Heavier in nature than transparent glitter & saturated with colour, it is the glitter choice for rich reds, nugget golds, butterfly blacks, Christmas greens & luscious purples. Work on any colour background. It will not affect the colour of the glitter. Always use Designer Dries Clear under opaque glitter. Never use Dries White Adhesive under opaque or it will dull out the colour & look like milk between the glitter flakes. As a general rule (not including butterflies & bugs), with opaque glitter, less is more!

WRITE 'n' RUB A product from England.  It's a pen that holds glue - the same type of glue used on the back of stickers.  The pen is guaranteed not to clog for 2 years.  It writes very very smoothly.  You write with this pen, & when the glue dries (takes about 3 minutes), you rub a polymer foil on it which transfers the foil to the glue.  They also have a glitter that is NON-MESS!!  You dip your finger in the glitter jar (comes in 9 colours) & "massage" it onto the dried glue.  When you are done, just tap the paper upside down to remove the very little excess & you have no glitter mess on your fingers or the paper.  It's fantastic!

Kindy Glitz is a glitter glue, there at least 10 colours... (will last you forever!)  The crystal one is the most beneficial as you can apply it over other colours & therefore it is very versatile as you get more than one colour effect for the price of one bottle of kindy glitz....

Ice Stickles  The colours are mind blowing.. they are really gorgeous... about 10 or 12 colours....    

Two Way Glue
There are 2 ways to use it   ie. permanent or temporary.  You usually use it straight away to make a permanent fix.  To make a temporary bond you put it on one piece & let the glue dry a bit (ie not blue anymore) & then use it.  It can then be lifted off the other item a bit like post it notes.  I've tried this a few times & haven't found it very successful.  it, it sticks too well.

If you put it on the card, paper, whatever & stick something to it straight away it is a permanent bond...if you put it on the card & leave it be for a while it actually will never dry but just go tacky, & then it's great for glitter, foil, fun flock, won't be strong enough to hold beedz, or rox or anything heavy, but it's PERFECT to just put in certain spots on an embossed image for a bit of embellishment.

Try using Sailor Rolling ball glue pen or Zig glue pen & just use prisma glitter. It is elegant & doesn't require lots of work. Some says that the Art Institute glitter doesn't lay flat & has a 3D dimension to it & it isn't the 3D glue they have just the regular one.

Creations Unlimited carries transparent glitters, opaque glitters, pearlescent glitters & holographic glitter.

If you want to use glitter with a stamped image, then you need to use Stamp'n'Bond (or whatever name the individual company happens to call it!). Stamp it in clear, add the powder as you would normal EP, then heat very gently - just until it goes clear - sprinkle on your glitter, tap off excess & hey presto, you have a glittered image.  Alternatively you could use a glitter ep? OR the foil glue which is for foil, gold leaf, beadz, glitter, etc. OR glitter glue if you're glittering inside the image! Depends on what you want, exactly.

The glitter is Crystal colour & is ultra fine glitter sold by Print Blocks.  I use this glitter on everything & just love it. The gumnuts were just coloured the normal way & then I used Dimensional Magic over it or you can also use a product called Crystal Kote too.  They both are a thick liquid & you just pour onto where you want it & it just sits there & you have to leave it to dry.  It's really good stuff, the Dimensional Magic is available from most good craft stores.

My favourite way to use glitter is to cut Jac paper into a strip about 2" wide by about 6" long, lay a piece of lace (curtain remnant) on the Jac paper then sprinkle one colour glitter onto the lace, then tip off the excess. Take the lace off the Jac paper then sprinkle another colour glitter onto the lace again. tipping off the excess again. I like to use gold glitter first then opal glitter for the second lot. I then stick the strip to the front edge of a card & add a greeting on the other edge (Happy Birthday etc). I also spray the glitter with sealant just to make sure it's secure.

Another way I like to use glitter is on the back of cold laminate or acetate to highlight an image.

Works great to condition stamps, is in the refill recipe for the Dove Blender pen, can be used as embossing ink, is great to add to homemade bath salts.



VersaColor is different from VersaMark. VersaMark is a watermark pad, & VersaColor pads are Pigment inks. (They have to be embossed.) You can also use them for DTP techniques.

Monica said "Versamark is probably one of the best inkpads to come out in a long time. It can be used as resist ink, a toner-type ink on coloured cardstock (turns a slightly darker shade of the colour that the cardstock is), it can be embossed, & I have found that you can stamp it, & leave it for a LONG time.. when you get ready to use it, brush on some chalks, or Pearl Ex, & you have a wonderful piece of paper, or whatever. (I use it a lot for backgrounds, too)

I have also heard NOT to store the pigment pad upside down, that they will separate. (The ink from the glycerin.)"




Liquid Appliqué
You cover the complete area where you would like it.  If you heat it right after applying it, you end up with a very puffy result (like popcorn). If you wait overnight & heat it, you get a more "rough texture" look. If you let it completely dry & do not heat it at all, you end up with a "smooth shiny" surface.

A beautiful thick bodied paint, comes in small pots, fantastic for backgrounds, can also use direct to rubber, the colours are to die for!  You can cover paper mache boxes in one coat & if you spray the cardstock with water first, the colours have this luminescent quality that is really hard to describe.


GLITTER/MAGIC LEAF CLASS        Taught by Linda Jackson


      *Transparency or sheet of acetate
      * double sided sticky sheet (remarkable sheet, wonder sheet, incredisheet, whatever)
      *Magic leaf flakes
      *glitter - assorted colors
      *stained glass stamp or framed stamp - not too detailed
      *Permanent ink pad (black) - Memories, Ancient Page, Ranger Archival
      *stiff brush or foam brush

First of all, pick your stamp. This shouldn't be too detailed or too small.  We will be glittering the main part of the image. To give an example, my card was made using a rose stained glass image. I knew I wanted to use red & green glitter.   Next stamp your image with permanent ink on the non-glossy side of the backing of the double sided sticky sheet. Remove the backing & cut out the parts of the image that you want to glitter. These are your masks. ake sure you put your sticky sheet in a safe place since one side is now exposed.

Keep these masks even after class. I have a zip lock bag full of masks for various projects & use them over & over again.  First of all - credit for this technique goes to Amy Harpool who is responsible for the magic leaf flakes. I've seen her demo this technique at conventions & at Trifles. She has a sheet of instructions so when you buy it, ask the vendor if they have the instruction sheet.

First of all stamp your image (Stained glass or design with a border) on a transparency or run it through a copier. After this has dried, cut around the outside of the transparency.  Next, Stamp the same image on the less glossy side of the double-sided sticky paper (I like the Remarkable Sheet that Amy sells - it doesn't seem to have the wrinkles that other sheets sometimes have). Cut around the outside of the image.  If you haven't cut out the parts of your image to mask (glitter), do this now by peeling off the stamped backing from the sticky sheet. Cut out the parts of the image that you want to glitter.  Now this is the tricky part & where most people have the most difficulty. And I goofed by not telling you - don't use stamps with words.  ou will be working on the same side you stamped - unlike most of the time when working on transparencies when you work on the opposite side. You have to do this so the masks will match the stamped image.

Apply the double sided sticky sheet cut out to the transparency image. Make sure the entire image is covered with the sticky sheet. Trim any excess sticky part. Peel off backing. You now have the sticky part exposed. Apply the masks (stamped side up) over areas to be glittered. Anything not masked will be covered with magic leaf. Once your masks are in place (make sure they're stuck all the way around), you will apply magic leaf to the exposed areas.  Store your magic leaf in a plastic s&wich container & work over it so you don't waste any of the leaf.  Apply magic leaf all over the exposed areas. I use a lot - don't worry - you'll be brushing most of it back into the container. After you've covered the entire area with magic leaf, rub it to cover any small areas you missed. Brush off the excess with a brush with stiff bristles or a foam brush (this is what I use). Afterwards check to see if you missed any areas & apply more magic leaf & brush off again.  Now you're ready to glitter.Peel off the masks for one color of glitter at time. On the sample I used two colors. So let's say I'm doing the roses. I peel off the rose masks to apply cranberry AIG.Apply glitter & press down (you can use a bone folder for this). Remove excess glitter by tapping. You may need to apply more glitter. You can see through this. But once you apply it to a backing you won't. Repeat this step as needed to cover all glittered areas. That's it! To mount this piece I used double sided tape, though I have used rubber cement.

You can see this example at the shared files at egroups. The piece I am doing is the small square in the upper left hans corner. You won't be using glitter for this one.Choose a stamp that has solid & open spaces. Stamp the image on a transparency in permanent ink. I use the Ancient Page coal pad for this. These pads are very juicy & give a nice black image.Cut around the image to the desired size.You will be working on the opposite side from the side you stamped on. Apply double sided sticky sheet to cover the entire area.Cover with magic leaf. Brush off excess.  Very easy! This can be very dramatic with a larger stamp.

Magic Leaf Tips
1- Stamp image in perm ink on acetate. Spray adhesive on the backside. Cover with magic leaf.
2- The acetate can be the same size as your card front or. Cut it to the image size then layer it!
3- Add a double-sided sticky sheet to the backside of the stamped acetate image.
4- Cover a piece of acetate with magic leaf & cut in strips. Use the strips to create frames around cards. Or images on a card front.
5- Stamp & emboss words. While the embossing is still sticky… stick the magic leaf onto the words.
6- Stamp bold images using GLUE on your card front. Let dry till sticky/tacky. Cover with magic leaf. Brush off excess.
7- Using double stick sheets of acetate… Punch out images. Expose one sticky side… adhere the magic flakes. Brush off excess. Stick to card fronts as embellishments.
8- There is a STICKY EP that you can get to use with magic leaf
9- I have heard that you can use “equal” powder to emboss with & then adhere magic leaf to it. It’s sticky!
10- You can make 20+ cards out of a single 3-gram bag of Amy's Magical Leaf Flakes. Remember to always save all the little "bits" you rub away from your image when you are using the flakes. .
11- Mix tiny flake bits with glitter & seed beedz. Emboss with this mixture! It’s pretty.
12 - Add ML over top of magic mesh!

Marvy Metallics
These waterbased, pigmented inks come in 7 metallic colours- gold, silver, copper, pink, purple, green & blue. The pens have a wide chisel tip, which according to the packaging, allows you to draw three size lines with one marker. In very hot weather, store them in the fridge or they become too runny. There are so many uses for them & each person seems to have their favourite technique. These are basic techniques:

Colouring the Stamp- You can apply the MM directly to the rubber & then stamp with it, but I find that it does stain the rubber.

Basic Sponging- Spritz a gloss card (white & black gloss work the best) with a fine spray of water. Blot a few different MM colours onto the card & then use a sponge to blend the colours together. Wait for the card to dry. You can then stamp & emboss over the background, or use it for layering. Try & experiment with different textured sponges- steel wool looks fabulous. Don't waste the ink on the damp sponge that you have used on the damp card- sponge that onto a dry card & get 2 backgrounds for the price of one.

Cling-Wrap- Lightly spritz a gloss card & then squiggle gold & copper over the card. This technique looks best on black gloss. Lay a piece of cling wrap over the card & pinch the plastic in various places. Leave the card to dry. This is my favourite technique with MM.

Use "Wet Ones".. (they are the most moist btw).  Just wipe them across your glossy cardstock then dab your MM's on, put another piece of c/s over the top, pull apart & you have some awesome effects.  

If you are careful in pulling the tip, you can reink the Marvy markers & the LePlumes. In time the tip will loose its shape & slip but I've managed to use them a little longer this way.

Use Marvy markers, metallic & pick a couple of coordinating colours (silver & blue are my favorites). Press each pen down on the glossy black cardstock til a "blob" of ink pools out. Make several blobs all over the paper, then spritz lightly with water. The inks will run together into gorgeous patterns.

Alternatively, once you have your blobs of ink down, you can do "polished stones" by taking a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol on it & "polishing" the blobs into cloud-like formations.

Marvy Metallics Links

Marvy Metallic Marker Dragonfly Card
Begin by using a white glossy card stock. Ink a stamp with silver ink & stamp 3 times before re inking & stamping more images. Emboss with silver embossing powder. Grab a Metallic marker & a cosmetic "wedge sponge" begin by depressing the tip of the maker to create a small puddle of ink. Smear with the sponge.Work fast so the ink doesn't make a spot. Keep adding colours this way. When you get to a wider part of the card you can quickly add a few more puddles of ink & smear with the sponge. After a few colours are used they begin to blend & create a very interesting back ground. Cut out a "window" just a tad larger than the Magenta Dragonfly stamp & then stamped the image on black paper. Glue that to the underside of the card, use a silver marker for the frame & add some black photo corners. You can add a bit more depth to the card by inking the stamp & stamping & embossing the image ontop of the finished background.

Paint with Marvy Metallics by putting some on a palette & use a fine brush to paint your stamped image or for accents on an image. Be sure to clean the brush immediately after use with warm water & detergent & keep this brush just for Marvy's.  You can also mix in a little water to give a metallic "wash" or "float" effect.  Sign your name with the metallics using a long thin brush.

Scribble onto black gloss card with a good amount of ink, place gladwrap over the top & scrungh it around moving the ink to the outside edges of the card at the same time.  You can either leave the wrap on it or take it off to dry.  If you take off the wrap, lay it on a piece of white gloss card stock & leave it there until it dries.  Don't throw away the wrap either, it can be used as a background too!

Alison C said "You can also use them by scribbling on black shiny card, then spritzing with a fine water spray & using a scrunched up piece of dry paper (hard paper, not tissue) to create a pattern.
Leisa said "I didn't realise they were marvy metallics- I've only ever used mine to make the marbled backgrounds where you spray the card with water then drip the pens on- something else to try :))  I use the Marvy Metallics that way also but I also use the white glossy & instead of wadded up paper I take the plastic cling & lay it loosely on top & kind of slightly & gently swirl/twist it or slightly pull up in the  center & let dry.  It takes it a few hours maybe to dry, I tend to leave  overnight.  When dried you pull the cling off it leaves a tile like effect."

Dreamer recommended this to me a while back & I tried it out - it looks v good, I also have a variation where if you pick up the middle of the cling film & pull it up slightly before leaving it to dry it ends up looking like a space type black hole thingy!!!

Masking Tape
If low-tack enough is great for laying out grids for doing the stained glass technique on paper or shirts & to tape down watercolour paper for stretching

Magazine Links
VampStamp News -
Expression -
Rubberstamp Madness -
Stamping Arts & Crafts -
Rubber Stamper -
Stamper's Sampler
Somerset Studio -
Belle Armoire -
Paper Arts -
Stamper's Anonymous (?)
Stamping & Papercraft (no website. Search for the title to get magazine subscription info.)
Craft Stamper -
The Studio -
Artitude Zine -
The Gleaner a Zine -
Bead & Button - www.bead&
Dog eared magazine -
Artist's Sketchbook (?)

Metallic Rub Ons

"Gayle Page-Robak said, "Using white glossy cardstock, randomly color the sheet with your choice of colors of the metallic rub ons. You don't want to use so many that you will get a muddy effect (smile). Then using a Kleenex tissue, gently remove the color....most of it will come off, leaving a very light marbled glossy paper.  The effect is lovely. Then stamp your sheet with Black Memories, or use the sheet as a delicate background paper."


Nail Polish
Often is small bottles & fairly cheap, they can be used to create unique backgrounds in much the same way as with the shaving cream technicque or you can paint in images with them.

Nerf Balls
Cut apart they make great backgrounds with inks or paints



Papers For Stamping
120 lb. plain, non-coated cardstock, sturdy enough for folded projects as well as greeting cards

80 lb. weight cardstock comes in a variety of textures, & is excellent for making cards, folding, etc. (The textured kind is not as easy to stamp, but makes great background paper & cards.)

65 lb. cardstock o.k. to use, & is the most common. Sometimes you can see through it, & it doesn't emboss well, the EP soaks into the paper, depending on the type.

Glossy: coated, high gloss index weight cardstock, very smooth. Dye inks work best on this cardstock.
Gina Steddar said "Plain old dye ink goes well with gloss, & dries pretty quickly. You can also colour with your markers, the result is a bit different than if you used matt cardstock.....have a go, a bit of an experiment ! If you are using pigment ink or ultimate metallic, it will not dry on gloss unless it is embossed. Use a non stick pad before you stamp to ward of any stray specs of powder (if you have one, if you don't, I believe a used tumble dryer sheet works well, too)

Matte: coated, dull finish index weight cardstock, ideal for stamping, colouring & heat embossing.

Vellum: (also called drafting paper) this translucent paper is excellent for stained glass techniques, & is suitable for heat embossing, colouring from the back with markers, & mounting behind a window opening in your card.

Clear Transparency Film: (clear acetate, laser, inkjet & copy machine compatible transparent material) This material is able to withst& heat from the embossing process without shrinking or buckling. Perfect for many stained glass techniques & "window" cards.

Mulberry Paper: This beautiful paper is made out of fibers from the bark of a mulberry tree. Ideal for rubber stamping & heat embossing

Tips: When stamping on coated cardstock, pigment inks will not dry because they cannot be absorbed into the paper. If you use pigment ink, it must be heat embossed. If you do not wish your coated cardstock project to be heat embossed, stamp with permanent waterproof dye-based ink. Either heat set it with your embossing heat tool, or allow enough drying time to cure the ink so it won't smear.

For stamping, avoid porous papers such as construction paper or lightweight typing paper. Most inks will bleed or feather into the surrounding paper fibers.

Specialty papers such as deco film, metallic, mulberry paper, drafting vellum, clear acetate, or sticker paper can be used to add layers, textures, dimension & special effects to your work. Most specialty papers can be stamped on, if you are aware of which inks work best for coated & uncoated papers. When using clear acetate (overhead transparency sheets) be sure to choose one which is marked for laser or inkjet printer or copy machine, so that it will withst& the heat needed for embossing.

Matte finish coated paper is often the best choice for blending & shading colours when using chalk, oilsticks or coloured pencils.

You can determine the colour of your cardstock! When you can't find the colour you would like for your card, begin with a white or light coloured card. Glossy, matte or textured papers will each produce a different look. Roll on ink with a brayer. Choose a solid colour or a multi-coloured pattern. Sponging techniques work well for background colours as well. For very intense solid colours, choose matte or glossy coated stock. Using permanent, waterproof, dye-based ink, turn over your pad & rub it directly onto the card surface. Once it has dried, it can be used for any decorating techniques, since the background ink will be permanent.

Use freezer paper for gift bags or gift wrap. Stamp & decorate the paper side, leaving the wax-coated side for the inside.


Marika said "Yes, parchment is vellum, but a heavier weight than the regular vellum. The regular comes in something like 90-110 g, & the vellum I use for my cards is at about 140-150 g. It's just better to work with it because when you 'dry' emboss it the lighter vellum gets torn very easily & then the card is ruined."

Pearl Ex & Perfect Pearls

Pearl Ex
For the newbies, it is an embossing powder that once you heat it, it is tacky.  I use a small stencil brush & apply the colors in.  Beautiful with leaves for the fall, or any type of image actually.  

You can also use your versamark pad instead of the sticky embossing pwlder, & tap in the colors with your brush as well. As frugal as I am, I do not apply alot of color at once.  As you know it is easier to add then take away. Best of all, you use a "Swiffer" sheet to wipe across the cs & it magically removes all of your excess that is hanging around & possibly "blurring" the image.  .

Another wonderful way I use my pearl ex....there are watercolor brushes that actually have a water reservoir which makes it look more like a pen.  Rather than fill it with water, I fill it with Dove Blender solution.  

Take your image & stamp it on black (or dark cs) with an embossing pad & clear embossing powder.  I dip the tip of the brush into the bottle of pearl ex, tap it onto a piece of scratch paper, squeeze just a little of the solution out to make it moist.  I then do a wash with a "rainbow of colors" over the stamped image.  I choose two or three & just r&omly paint them & repeat them.  I then at the end, use the micor pearl & do a wash over the whole image to blend in the various colors I have used.  What happens is as you are laying in your colors, like a rainbow, the move from color to color is very definite.  This "wash" tends to blemd them naturally so it flows.

Kay E said, "I mostly use my Versamark Watermark Pad with the Pearl ex. You just put your stamp on pad & stam  the image then use a brush dip it in the PE & wipe off--I wipe with those Swifter cloths.
Rae said "Here is a technique that comes out great on black glossy card stock. Using any of the white glues that dry clear (like elmers), spread a couple of tablespoons across a sheet of glossy black card stock, lightly sprinkle several different coloures of pearl ex into the glue. Now us any tool you want an swish it around all over the card. Now take your emobbossing heat tool & heat the glue. It will bubble & blister. Keep your face at a distance in case a bubble should burst. Set aside to cool & dry. Makes great background. Sometimes you can "see" something special in the pattern it makes. Ours looked so much like an underwater scene we stamped seahourses on tissue with permanent ink & glued them to the background for a great effect. I wish I still had some to scan & show you!!! It pays to play around with different amounts of glue & different colour combos to see how different each turns out. P.S. it doesn't make any difference if you eat this from above or below so give each way a try."

Dawn said "You can mix PE with gum arabic & make a paint out of it. it will harden & you use a brush & water to paint with it. I like to stamp my image with versamark & then dust PE over it on dark cardstock. You can also do heated pearls backgrounds, add it to clay, paints, paste, just about anything you want to shimmer."

Nancy said "The nice thing about Pearlex is that you can play with its consistency.  The same jar of pearlex can make a light sparkle all over a piece of background paper or be made as thick as an opaque paint.  It's not an exact science - if you want it to be more opaque, add more pearlex to your mixture, less opaque, less p-ex. I've had the most success when adding the most success when using pearlex with a binding agent like a sticky ink, a glue, or gum arabic, not just water by itself.  My favorite mediums are Diamond Glaze (or its competing product Crystal Lacquer) & Perfect Paper Adhesive. The p-ex really sticks well in this stuff so there's not a lot of rub-off, & there's less mixing than with water & gum arabic."

PEARL-EX WASH - Similar to Chaeli's technique with gum arabic below. Use water, with just a touch of gum arabic & a touch of pearlex, to make a thin, milky, wash.  Then simply paint it all over a background sheet, looks great on dark paper.

BRAYERED P-EX - Cover a dark piece of paper with diamond glaze or PPA, using a brayer to smooth it out so there's adhesive all over the place.  Sprinkle several colours of p-ex onto the background & spread quickly with a paintbrush to cover entire background.  For extra texture, spritz some black, silver, or gold sprayable webbing over the top.

STIPPLED P-EX - Mix p-ex with PPA or diamond glaze to make medium-opaque.  Starting with light colour first, stipple on a dark background.  Leave a bit of blank space so there's room for other colours.  Add a second, third, & fourth colour as desired. Between each colour, allow to dry for a few minutes so you don't end up with pearlex mud.

PEARL-EX STAMPING - Mix p-ex with PPA or diamond glaze so it's fairly thick.  Using a foam brush or stamping sponge, soak up some of the p-ex paint & dab it onto your stamp, just like ink.  Stamp with it.

P-EX AND COLD LAMINATE / ACETATE - You can use cold laminate, acetate with adhesive on one side, contact paper - anything that's clear on one side & tacky on the other side.  Paper Parachute has some great clear stickers that are good for this.  Since there's already adhesive on the plastic, all you have to do is paint dry pearlex on with a paintbrush, if you want to make a specific line or design. Or you can r&omly sprinkle & spread with a paintbrush."

Perfect Pearls
Julie Alexaander said "The shop here told us Perfect Pearls dont need to be sealed & Pearl Ex does. But after playing I would seal both to be safe. The Perfect Pearls mix with water beautifully using my aqua brush & I have seen pearl ex mixed with an aqua brush with a touch of gum arabic in it with the water. I must admit I have been having fun playing with them both & use both as I have different colours in each."

Monic said "For Pearl Ex, you can use almost anything wet. I prefer VersaMark, or a blender pen, but you can also use them with regular markers. I would seal them afterward with hairspray (Aerosol, cheap) or a workable fixative. I hope this helps!"       

Easy to cover with polymer clay or with the industrial double stick adhesive sheets & the small holeless beads or decorative papers

Plastic Glasses
Good to decorate for pen/pencil/marker/brush/scissor holders

Playing Cards
Fun to alter (makes great invites for Bridge or Poker night) & to add to collages


Some Not so Square Ideas for the Square Punch
Compiled by Diane Sellers

1) The punch-outs are perfect as background blocks for small sayings, images, & alphabet letters for cards or scrapbooks. Show them in a diamond shape or off-centered squares...they look very cute. You could sponge around the edges, mount with dimensionals, or on coordinating colour cardstock. This is an especially great way to make a title, because if you make a mistake with your lettering, you can just flip the square over & stamp again, or punch another square.

2) The square punch is great to make a "window" in the front of a card & stamp your image in the square opening -- your image shows inside a & out! Put clear contact paper behind the window, sticky side showing through the front of the window. Dump on glitter, then shake off excess. Now you have a sparkly window!! Make an offset punch & stamp in the open area. The image peeking out doesn't have to fit the window perfectly either. The giraffe from Wild Things or the mummy from Spooktacular Greetings are two good ideas of larger images.

3) Create the perfect opening for a tiny frame by punching out the middle of a larger square. (Cut outside dimensions last for flawless centering.) The frame can be stamped or sponged as desired. Great to put around a smaller image. Try "hanging" your frame on your card from a brad with wire works!

4) It is the perfect size to punch squares around Frames mini. The Little Shapes square fits just inside the shape of the punch - fun for shape on shape design (kind of a matting effect or an alternative block).

5) Use them to make a block type background such as you would stamp with Little Shapes, but have perfect control in positioning & use up all your little scraps.

6) Great for making a quilt card! Very cool using squares or cutting the squares into triangles - hit your quilting books for design ideas (cool effect using our background papers - a no-stamping card!).

7) Stamp two & cut them each apart diagonally for creative corners. (You could probably even get four little corners out of one.)

8) You can also use the square punch for borders. Either make a border of punched squares on top of your cardstock or punch openings & layer coordinating cardstock behind the openings.

9) Use other punches like the snowflakes & punch them in the middles of the squares.

10) You can make a star with more then one punched piece laid over one another.

11) You can use them for sidewalk squares. Use them as marshmallows & use Liquid Applique on them to make them puffy. You can use it to make slices of cheese with a hole punch, cupcake bottoms with your own decorative tops, crackers, or ice cubes with chalked details. How about a snowman or square pumpkin? They make great birthday presents, envelopes, b&-aids, & flags with a little help from stamps & markers. You can also trim your punched squares out into the following pieces: an ice cream cone, a diaper, a piece of bread, jeans pockets, fingernails or toenails.

12) If you have small pictures of people in the background you can punch them out after you've cropped what you wanted. Those smaller pictures look really cute run down the side of the page! You could make a sort of "film strip" by punching out squares & putting pictures behind it.

13) It is also great for making a template for dry embossing. Try making a four-windowed template to use for masking.

14) Sets that are especially suited for the square punch are any smaller sized sets like Little Somethings & Bitty Bolds, Tree for All Seasons, Kanji, Frames Mini, Anytime Greetings, Little Shapes square, all alphabet sets.

15) And saving the best for last-A paper saving technique...if you scrapbook or layer your cards, use your punch to punch out a square (or circle or other punch!) from the cardstock where it will be covered by the top layer (cardstock, picture, whatever it may be). It will make your scrapbook/card lighter, will save your paper, & will give you a supply of shapes ready for when you need them! Now isn't that neat!?

CP1 is available in 1/2" 1/4" 3/16" 1/8"
CP2 can be found in 1" 7/8" 3/4"
CP10 (Longreach - which I think are awful) 1/2" 1/4" 1/8"
CP11G is available in one size: 1 1/8"
CP20 has one size 1 7/16"
CP21 has a 2" circle
HP01 (plier or h& punches) 1/8" 1/16" 1/24" 1/36"

Having trouble with your Punches?

Punch through a few layers of wax paper.



Radiant Pearls

Color Chart:
There are 76 colours each belonging to a family blend - 44 belong to the Translucent Luminescent Silks (made up of the Neutrals & Vibrant colours) & 32 belong to the semi-translucent Satin Pearls (made up of the Frosts (16) & the Satins (16).  Our first project for this class is to create a COLOR CHART.  This will provide you with immediate information pertaining to actual colour.  You will be able to see the colour families & learn how to apply the paint with a light touch.  For a colour chart see:

Paint Brush - For detail painting, you should use a fine round tip paintbrush made with natural bristles such as sable.  A brush specially made for Radiant Pearls is the Kattrax dTail 3. I highly recommend it. For stipple effects, you should use a stipple brush, which has bristles of uneven length, rather than a stencil brush that has flat even bristles.  A stipple brush will give optimum blending of colours.  Try all your brushes, you may find one that gives you the effect you desire. The key here is to play!

Swiper tool - This tool is for removing excess Radiant Pearls from images that were masked (covered with a layer of neutral colours for protection while applying background colours).
Kewl Tool - This tool looks like a scrubbie brush on the end of a wooden dowel.  It can be used to create a wide range of effects when applying RP to your piece.

This is a wide & varied subject, & there are many possibilities.  A few of the basics to remember are:

Stippling - Lightly pounce a stipple brush lightly coated with Radiant Pearls on paper, use 2 or 3 colours for dramatic effects!  Overlap the edges of colours for superb blending.
Kewl Tool- you can create dots, dashes, swirls, squiggles, etc. etc. Play, play, & play some more!!!

Detail painting:
is just that - painting detailed images.  However, the application of the embossing powder &/or masking can provide totally different results.  Start with a detailed image embossed with fine line black or clear embossing powder.  Fine line EP will allow you the best image for painting:
Style # 1; Detail paint your image with your choice of Radiant Pearls.  Remember to go light, if you can see your brush strokes you are using too much paint.  For shading, use a light colour or neutral, then pick up a darker colour for the shadows.  Pull the dark colour into the light & the light colour into the dark for subtle shading.  Wipe your brush dry in between strokes with the Klean Sweep pad or a paper towel.  After completing your painting, emboss your image with clear embossing powder.  Now you can apply the background.  Your embossed image will resist any RP that you may apply over it.  Use the stipple brush to apply your choice of colours around your image, blending as you go.  A light colour applied directly surrounding your image will give you a halo effect.  When your background is finished cover your piece with a paper towel & pat to absorb the excess Radiant Pearls. You may stipple some more to further blend the colours or apply more effects with the Kewl Tool.
Style #2: Mask your image with a thick layer of a neutral colour.  Cover your entire image.  Apply your Halo colour around your image(light colour) with the stipple brush & then stipple your other colour choices to complete your background. Remove the mask with the swiper tool, wiping it clean with each sweep to prevent any accidental application of RP on your image.  Detail paint your image.  Let it dry overnight for an elegant shimmer effect.

** Remember Radiant Pearls never dry on plastic. CDs & their cases make great palettes! You do not need to stir RP. Do not use water (if you need "something" to ease blending, use a neutral colour).  Using a dry brush, paint with a light application of colour.  If you can see brush strokes, you are using too much RP.

This technique is fast & yields beautiful works of art!  You will be applying RP to your image going over the lines by applying "blocks" of colour.  Use an image stamped with waterproof dye ink.  Apply 3-6 colours with your stipple brush.  Be sure to overlap the colour edges for beautiful blending effects.  With your detail brush, apply dark colours for shading & light colours for highlights. (Stippling - Lightly pounce a stipple brush lightly coated with Radiant pearls on paper).  At any time you see an over abundant amount of RP on your artwork, place a paper towel over the area & press to soak up the excess then continue your work.  Let dry.

This is a variation of the detail painting methods learned in Class #1.  Use an image stamped with waterproof dye ink.  Detail paint sections of the image with Radiant Pearls.  Emboss with clear powder.  Use blocking method to apply colour to remaining image.  This technique makes your embossed areas really st& out!

DIRECT TO RUBBER - use your Stipple brush to apply RPs to a stamp.  Stamp on your cardstock.  Using three colours applied to the rubber will provide ample variations.  Let dry & layer on complimentary paper; or emboss with clear powder, then stipple complimentary colours over the entire piece using the blocking technique, let dry.
HINT: With your Kewl tool you can create dots, dashes, swirls, squiggles, etc. etc. directly on the stamp surface before stamping image on paper.

Use the new shadow stamps for a palette - stamp on your paper.  Try a light pastel colour on the inner part of the stamp & a darker colour around the border blending edges.  Press onto your cardstock.  Any areas that have excess paint or are not fully printed can be corrected with your stipple brush.  I've had good results with a base colour from the Luminescent silks family.  Apply darker, contrasting RP (use a Satin colour for best results) to an open image stamp (not too detailed) & stamp over your "Shadow box" - WOW!

MARBLING CUBE (stamp by Stampendous) - use to create awesome backgrounds.  Blocking technique is used for background colour.  Using the direct to rubber method, stipple RP on the cube & apply to cardstock, over & over - using 3 colours provides ample variations.  Sprinkle on a pinch of metallic embossing powder for a gilded look.  Emboss with clear powder.  Stipple contrasting colours over entire piece.  Wipe off with paper towel to reveal a wonderful background piece.

Rubber Band Ball
Can be used for a great texture stamp & the rubberb&s can be removed & added to your brayer to create great plaid textures

Rub n' Buff
"Heat the foam with your heat tool. It will undulate as it heats up, & will be hot enough when you see it gets a little shiny. Push your stamp into it & hold a few seconds. No need to ink the stamp. Highlight the raised areas with a metallic rub-on like Rub n' Buff. Beautiful! You can cut around the edges of the stamped piece with fancy edge scissors. I like to use the deckle edge. Then you've got a neat little piece to mount on a card, box lid, book cover, etc. You can make jewellery too. Black or dark coloured foams are most arty looking. Brown can look like leather. In fact, I use fun foam instead of the product known as Almost Leather.


Shaving Cream
Find something to spread a layer of shaving cream in or on. Take re-inkers or food colouring, etc & drip one colour all over, then take 1 or 2 more colours if you want & do the same. Then take a knife or anything thin & "swirl" your ink around making a marble look. Lay your cardstock face down & press lightly. Lift up & wipe off with spatula for a marbled look!

Sheer Heaven Vellum
Pam Yee said "Raelene, First of all, I love your name. Now, to your question - I love Sheer Heaven!! Plain & simple... yes, it is expensive, but I only use it for occasions when it FITS. You can heat it, fold it, computer generate text on it, water colour, yes, water colour it, dye it with coffee, tea, inks & it can standup to all of this."

Shrink Plastic Techniques
Shrink Plastic, for the uninitiated, is plastic that shrinks. It's usually used to make jewelry & other "trinkets". Shrink Plastic shrinks about 50%. The fun part about shrink plastic is watching it shrink. When you heat it, it curls all up (you don't want any parts to touch though, or they may become stuck together forever), then it flattens out & gets nice & thick & solid.

Free Shrink Plastic Hint:

Any plastic that has the number 6 in a triangle (the stuff we are supposed to separate from our other trash into the recycle bin) is shrink plastic.

It is the plastic on the clear lids of grocery store take-out containers & restaurants, water bottles & so many other containers we get 'for free' when we buy food. So, whenever you're recycling plastic, you just might want to recycle it to your Stamping Studio. Just cut out the usuable portions & recylcle the rest.

This is an ideal way to play with shrink plastic to find out if you like it before you buy & it's also ideal on a rainy day to use with children who are so sweet that if they go outside they'll melt & you want to entertain

Notes about Inks:
You must use permanent ink on shrink plastic. If you use permanent ink markers on your stamps, you will need to use solvent based stamp cleaner to clean them. They will probably be permanently stained, but this will not affect the colour of stamped work in the future. ColorBox Crafter's Ink Pads & Fabrico Ink Pads are great on shrink plastic, they clean up using water or regular stamp cleaner, & usually will not stain your stamps. Be aware though, that these inks will not dry until they are heated. So, if you want to colour in your design before you shrink it, you can dry the ink by heating it with your heat gun, but be careful not to shrink the plastic. (This is tricky!) The new watercolour ink pads (ink that won't run or smear when you watercolour or colour in with markers) will work on shrink plastic. If your plastic is not pre-s&ed, you will need to s& it lightly with a fine grade of s&paper to give the ink something to hold onto. S& in at least 2 directions (up & down & back & forth).

Choose your image:
You do not usually want a highly detailed stamp, as the detail will be lost to some extent when it shrinks. If you will be attaching anything to the piece (i.e., dangles at the bottom or a jump ring at the top to make it into a necklace), punch the holes using an ordinary hole punch. Be sure to do this before you shrink the piece! Permanent ink dries extremely fast, so you may need to "huff" on your stamp to reactivate the ink before stamping it on the plastic. Because this ink dries immediately, you can colour the image immediately, using coloured pencils or permanent ink markers (like Studio-2). Remember, the colours will intensify as the plastic shrinks. You can cut around the image, or just cut a square, rectangle, circle or oval around it. Heat the plastic to shrink it. You can stop here if you want to, but there are so many other things you can try!

Adding Color before Shrinking:
Cut the shrink plastic (in a square, rectangle, circle, oval, etc.) that is large enough for the image you've selected. Hint: If you have square corners, use a corner rounder to smooth them. If desired, colour the background. I apply my Crafter's inkpads directly to the surface of the plastic. Sponges, tissues, etc. can be used to move the ink around, create texture, & blend colours. A variation: Instead of, or in addition to, applying colour directly to the plastic, ink up "background" stamps with light colour(s) & stamp on the plastic. Now ink your main image in a darker ink & stamp it.

Shrinking the Plastic:
There are 2 ways to shrink your piece: In an oven/toaster oven, or with your heat gun. If you have trouble with the plastic flying across the table when trying to shrink it, put it on cardboard or watercolour paper & put it in the oven to shrink.

Adding Color, Glitz, & Shine After Shrinking:
If you used Crafter's or Fabrico ink & didn't colour your image before you shrank it, all is not lost! You can colour it now with permanent ink markers (like Studio-2), paint with acrylic paint, or even dab Crafter's or Fabrico colours on using a sponge (you will need to heat the ink to set it.) One very simple way to make your piece look more "finished" is to apply a thin coat of clear embossing ink to the front of your piece, then dump on clear Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel or clear embossing powder. Dump off the excess. Heat this in the oven, as the embossing powder doesn't blow around & makes a nice smooth, glossy coating. Try sprinkling a tiny bit of Spellbinder, Psychedelic, or other iridescent embossing powders in with the clear to give your piece an overall sparkle. Take this concept one step further: Apply clear embossing ink to an area that you want to be a certain colour. Dump on embossing powder of that colour & dump off the excess. Heat. Let it cool, & repeat for as many different colours as you want to use. Metallics & tinsel/glitter embossing powders look especially striking. Note: You can use a small paintbrush & embossing ink (refill) to paint the ink just where you want it.

A Totally Different Approach:
Make a "tile" out of shrink plastic. Cut your plastic in a square, rectangle, etc. Round the corners if desired. Apply colour/image if desired. Shrink the plastic. Lightly coat with clear embossing ink then clear Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. Heat. Rub Pearl-Ex or rub-ons onto the surface. (Hint: embossing powder sticks to rub-ons!) Add another layer of Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. Repeat as many times as you like. Ink up a stamp with clear or coloured pigment ink. Heat the tile one last time. While it's still warm, press the inked stamp into the tile. (The ink on the stamp will keep it from sticking.) Apply Pearl-Ex, rub-ons, or acrylic paints to highlight & decorate as desired

Finishing Touches:
If you punched holes in your piece, attach beads or other jewelry findings. If you're making a pin, attach a pin back using E6000 adhesive, duct tape, packing tape, or whatever works for you.

Silly Putty
Can be used as temporary molds for casting UTEE shapes

Soda Ash
Soda ash (also called sodium carbonate, or washing soda) is a mild alkali. Papemakers cook plant fibers in a soda ash solution (usually 1 tbsp to 1 quart of water) to remove non-cellulose elements in the plant fibers. It can be neutralized with vinegar for disposal.

Spray-on Webbing
See 'Webbing'

Spritzer Bottles
Can hold water for activating watercolour crayons/pencils & alcohol for the polished stone technique

Stippling is done with a special brush, usually, that has uneven bristles. You get ink, or paint, or whatever you're using on the brush by tapping it into the ink or paint. Then you "pounce" it onto the cardstock, or whatever, in kind of a straight up & down motion. It creates some wonderful backgrounds!

Stippling in painting is a series of tiny dots placed adjacent to one another that, when viewed from far away, gives the illusion of colour flow from one section to another...does that make any sense at all? lol...picture tiny dots as opposed to sweeping brush motions.

Styrofoam Plates
Can be painted & heated with heat gun & stamped into while hot to make pins & embellishments (fumes may be toxic)


Make great daubers for ink or paint

Various kinds work as embellishments

Tea Bag folding
Tea Bag folding is the art of folding beautifully designed papers! Well, they don't even have to be that beautiful but once you have them folded & assembled you end up with a beautiful design somewhat like a medallion.

Useful in bookbinding or paper pricking

Tissue Paper
Good way to add colourful layers to cards without adding a lot of weight, stamp white tissue paper to make gift-wrap (rollographs are quick & easy with great results)

Good for making splatters & of course help get that sticky pigment ink out of detailed stamps

see A for acetate

Tyvek Envelopes
When painted with acrylic it makes a great substitute for bookcloth & can be used for tear-proof accordion books


Unmounted Stamps
Judy said "I have seen many of the types of unmounted stamps you described.  As long as I have storage room, I prefer to mount my rubber to wood.  To attach the rubber to the wood, I used all the self-adhesive foam I bought & then I started using fun foam & Rubber Cement.  And I think this has worked very well.  I have attached several images to one mount - to save on space.   I also use acrylic blocks for the images I haven't mounted yet.  I prefer to use double sided tape to attach the rubber (no foam) to the acrylic & stamp with a foam stamping mat underneath my paper."

Diane Carroll said "I use acrylic blocks with double sided tape. Simple, clean & quick! Use
the same tape until it just isn't tacky anymore, then replace. I stamp on top of a full size pad of newsprint."

Janet Pryce said "I use mine the very same way. I store mine on sheets of glossy card stock inserted in notebook page protectors & then kept in notebooks."

Diane Carroll replied “Janet, that's funny. I put the tape on the blocks, not the UMs. I store my
UMs in envelopes with the image on the front along with purchase info. These envelopes are stores in photo boxes.”

Char said “I mostly use UM's....& I used to use Tack it over & over....but now use
the EZ mount system & acrylic blocks.....I love UM's....they are the BEST.”

Debbi B said "Now this is close to my heart so I have to reply!!  I don't know much about the differences between types of unmounted but I can talk about using them!  While I love the look of mounted stamps I find the expense & storage issues to be more than I can cope with so I now only buy mounted stamps when the image isn't available mounted & is a "must-have".  I was using on & off glue on the back of all my unmounted stamps until recently but I am currently just using double stick carpet tape on my acrylic blocks which avoids having to do anything to the rubber at all (means as soon as you get them you only have to trim them before using them!).  You just stick them straight on the block & stamp (using either a mouse pad or pile of paper underneath for cushioning if necessary).  To store, just pull off the block, clean (means they can be washed easily under the tap if you want to!!) & stick on a piece of firm acetate that has strips of double-sided tape stuck in rows along it.  These sheets then get stored in plastic sleeves in ring binders.  Makes storage a cinch.  I keep my stamps by company & have an accompanying file stamped with all the images (again by company) so that I can flick through whenever I am looking for inspiration or need reminding about what images I have (or don't have!).  If anyone is thinking about trying unmounted stamps I really suggest you give them a go but don't try & mount them permanently or it will work out costing as much as buying mounted in the first place (unless of course they are only available unmounted & you prefer mounted!).   

If you are looking for some stunning arty images, a great place to start is with the fantastic Lazar Studiowerx stamps that Elaine Powell (Scrapbook Designs) emailed about this morning!  They are just gorgeous - I have some & they stamp beautifully (I'm not affiliated with Scrapbook Designs but love the stamps & Elaine is a lovely person).  Lots of big images & wonderful collage elements.  If anyone wants an arty Lazar D(eliberate)AK to be convinced, send me an email & I'll make you something."

Joy from Bumble Bee Crafts said "I have a collection of both Mounted & Unmounted stamps.  I do like both but it came to a stage due to space that I started using Umounted stamps more.  I demo & teach classes with Unmounted stamps as well & have never had any problems.  I always suggest to customers to use a cheap mouse pad underneath them when stamping to give that little bit of extra cushion.  The systems I use are M.U.M.S Loopy  ( which uses the heavy duty Velcro & Hook... I personally prefer this system ) & another system which is the On Off or Sticky M.U.M.S....( you use On Off glue with these acrylic blocks)

I sell a huge array of unmounted stamps from various companies including Non Sequitur Theme Plates, Stampsmith, PhotoArtStamps, Chapel Road Art Stamps, Time To Stamp/ Moe Wubba & Painted Turtle, Lazar Studiowerx,, Post Modern Design, Collections, Buzzz Creations & more...

I also sell a range of Mounted stamps as well so that customers do have a choice in which they prefer  to purchase their stamps.  Some of these Unmounted stamps are sold in sheets of rubber which you cut out then mount with a system of your choice or some are sold as singles Unmounteds.

A hint when cutting out your rubber & then placing on your Velcro ( if using the Loopy M.U.M.S) put a small amount of embossing liquid on your blades of your scissors ( I use the Kai scissors too...just brilliant) & this will stop any gunk sticking to the blades."

Elizabeth Merrilees said "An unmounted stamp is just that, a regular stamp that hasn't yet got a h&le.  Usually stamps are mounted on wood because it is relatively cheap, easy & attractive.  they have foam cushion between block & rubber, to make some allowance for slight surface imperfections on rubber or paper.  Unmounted stamps are ready to be mounted.  it is your choice whether you use HALOS (my choice, it works on a velcro type system, with one set of acrylic h&les), other temporary mounting sytems which use acrylic h&les with restickable glue or static cling vinyl, or mount them permanently on wood or acrylic.

The advantage with a temporary sytem, is you need infinitely less space (only slight exageration), & your stamp collection is totally portable (no exageration).  The advantage with a permanent mount is the stamps are always ready to go, & they look so nice :)

Whether you use a temporary or permanent mount, it is always recommended you use cushioning between stamp & mount. Tthis gives a small margin for error in rubber, surface or your technique.  I know some of our memebers who use their um's with just a piece of heavy duty double sided tape & a piece of wood but they are also stampers who could pull art out of my rubbish bin, so i don't try & compare myself.

The stamps with a thin foam or sponge backing on them already, are precushioned, adn can be mounted on a temporary mounting sytem that utilises reuseable glue (like tack it over), or special static cling vinyl (which, unsuprisingly, clings to an acrylic block using static cling).

The ones with a sticker type paper on the cushion are self adhesive, so you can stick them onto the cling vinyl or onto acrylic or wooden permanent mounts.

Adhesive & foam will sometimes curl over time. as long as they are placed firmly on a flat hard mount (temporary or permanent kind)  the stamp should work fine.  some companies actually sell a lowercost range of stamps mounted on stiff foam, rather than a wood or acrylic mount.  many people find it worthwhile to remount these, with either a temporary or permanent system."

Sharon Rdy said "I don't know much about the different types of UMs, but i can tell you that they're all sometimes more trouble than they're worth. If it weren't for the fact that they're cheaper, i wouldn't even bother myself.  At the moment, i've got both the Sticky MUMS & Loopy MUMS systems going.

Thoughts on Sticky MUMS: They don't call them sticky for nothing... on/off glue is amazing when you first use it, but once you're wearing it it's another story. I've also found that the glue tends to stick to the mounts as much as to the rubber.

Thoughts on Loopy MUMS: When sticking the rubber to the loop tape & cutting around them, don't use your best pair of scissors. The glue on this stuff is really fierce. Also when you're first sticking the hook tape to the mounting blocks, i've found the backing paper never came off easily.

I don't know about others, & i'm sure there are people out there who are quite happy with either system... but to be honest i don't like either. One day soon, i'm going to go to the hardware store & stock up on mounting wood... count up all my um's & go through the process of wood mounting them. I get more satisfaction from using my wood mounted stamps than my ums."

Shelley Lewerke said "Raelene, Mounting the stamps is sooooo easy & so is using your stamps unmounted. I'm far too impatient to use the vinyl cling method or the halos (velro) method.  So to use my unmounted I just smear the back of the stamp with my Avery glue stick & slap it on an acrylic block.  Stamp on a mouse pad. The stamp will pull right off the block even if you let it sit for a day or two (or longer). I wipe the back of the stamp & the block with a baby wipe. My method of mounting on wood is the same as previously mentioned. Ink the stamp with permanent ink. Stamp the wood. Clean the stamp, slap it onto double sticky foam & mount it on the other side of the wood.
Good luck with whatever method you decide to use. You won't need luck though. Once you've done it you'll be surprised how easy it is."
Barb D said " I have both mounted & unmounted & find I equally enjoy them both.  Mounted are aesthetically more appealing to look at if you have your stamps on display.  I have my PB, HM & Teddy Bear, not to mention all my mounted pears on three narrow shelves above my computer.  I just like the look of them.

In unmounted I have several different types.  I have my rubber ones with both the Velcro on the back & the on again off again glue.  I find both work well.  I also have quite a few acrylic stamps & I have them stored on plastic sheets & cling them to the acrylic block when I use them.  Stacy at Studio Astarte & Lisa at H& Print both have similar systems for this.  It's great especially for positioning stamps as they are see through.

I find they both work well even though I can still stuff up when stamping, usually the last think you need to finish the card it the one I tend to smudge, not stamp evenly, not ink evenly, you know how it is.  One thing I have found is that I have a thin sheet of rubber under my card now when stamping. This seams to stop the incomplete images especially when stamping very large or highly detailed stamps."

Jenni Sofjan said "Hi Raelene,  I try to buy UM as much as possible.  I use Alene's Tack it Over & Over glue, spread thinly on the backs, & when dry--24 hours later--store them over cardstock-inserted plastic page-protectors, in a big notebook.  (You can stamp the image on the CS so it has a permanent place, if you like.) You can use this method of attaching with acrylic block (s)--I just use one large one, but most people have different sizes  You can also slap it on back of a similar-sized wood stamp to use it, & replace it on the sheet-protector later.

As to the foam cushion on the backs, it's not usually necessary, but a convenience with large stamps.  If it's hard & crunchy, it'll come off.  Heat with a heatgun to release the glue easier.  I have bought with cushion, without cushion (which I prefer), & have even unmounted foamies from SU, & wood-mounts.

You can permanently mount cushioned stamps to wood mounts of your own (pine is fine), using the sticker-paper or Alene's tack-it or whatever.  usually better to have cushion if permanently mounting, & it has none.  Rubber Tree stamps used to crry it at a good price."

Elaine Norm&y said "Raelene,  f the foam mounted stamp curves, I would very gently see if I can detach the rubber die from the foam & remount it.    A lot of us do mix & match ums with mounts.  There are several systems.  The easiest is to get a few acrylic blocks (you can also use wood, but it is nice to be able to see through the acrylic.)  Trim the die as close to the image as you can st&, beveling the edges so that the die background does not undercut the image itself. I can be a nervous trimmer, so I might make several prints before I feel I have trimmed it close enough for a good print. Here in the US, we have a product called Scotch Poster Tape.  Use this on the block, & affix your die.  Since you are not cushioning the die, stamp with a slightly padded background, like a stack of newsprint.  Much to my surprise (since I had been fooling about with other temporary mounting systems for years) I can usually get a good print this way.  The block &d tape is reusuable, until the tape loses its "stick".  When tape loses its stick, pull it off & start again.

The two main systems of temporary mounting is static cling & HALOS.  HALOS uses a special velcro, & the fibers of the loop tape provide the cushion.   Static cling vinyl uses cushion as well:  cushion with double sided adhesion.  One ends up with a s&wich of vinyl, cushion, die."

Marilyn Wiley said "Then there's others that have the rubber attached to foam.  Some of these have a backing paper (think stickers) & others have the rubber with thick foam ~ My very first stamp was like that ~ a Penny Black with the letter 'R'.  The foam is quite thick & seems to have hardened & the whole thing seems to have curved, if ever so slightly.

Are any of them meant to be mounted on wood?  I STICK THEM TO THE FUN FOAM ALSO.  WHY  because if you use the acrylic block the gray foam is so fragile that it can tear & leave some foam on the block then you will have a whole in the foam & not get a good impression the second time you use it.  Here is my instructions as to how to mount rubber.  I have been stamping for over 7 years &d have never had to reapply glue to the backs this is the most cheapest route you can go.

This is how i mount my rubber i believe it is the most economical way to do it.  If you have any questions just ask.


Unmounted Stamps
Ross Rubber Cement found at Targets (it works way better than Elmer's) Fun Foam White & Brown  found at JoAnn's it is in a big sheet 8½ x 17" sheet the reason i use this is because it comes thicker (3ml thick) & white & brown is the only colour that thick. the regular sizes are only 2ml thick. old scissors to trim old brush to apply glue

First trim the rubber closely. Apply Ross rubber cement to the back of the rubber & also to fun foam. (Let air dry for a few sec then lay rubber on top) Apply weight to the top & let set over night. (if you got patience) Trim the foam around the rubber & apply a thin layer of Aleen's Tack-it-over-over glue to the back of the foam. I take one of those cheap advertisement flimsy credit cards that come in the mail for a scraper to spread the glue one the foam back. Let dry over night.  These will stick to any acrylic block when you need to use them.

I have a 3-ring binder & one of those old photo pages that have the plastic you peal up to slide the photo under lay the rubber after all done on top of the plastic on the other side of the page i take one of those plastic protection sheet from Walmarts & a piece of paper & stamp the image on it also while i am doing this with every stamp i purchase i write down the stamp number-price paid & the company name under that image & keep it in the protector so i can see the images on the opposite page. I tell everyone that when i die  DH will be able to get his money back out of them by looking he can tell what i paid for each stamp (example D123-000)  those that have the -000 were freebies) This is just my way of bookkeeping & cataloging. If a person ever done the Page Sage software way at least you will have the stamp number & price part for uploading.

I have several binders for different topics so i can categories them.

Acrylic blocks can be bought almost anywhere now days when i first got mine they were hard to come by.  Good Luck hope this helps."

Dawn said "Hi Raelene & all. I think what you are talking about with the thick foam are foam mounted. What I have done in the past is removed the rubber from the thick foam & remounted them onto the thinner foam &d then onto
 wood.  Some places sell their UM's just as the rubber & some sell it already on the sticky foam for mounting.  
There are three things you can do.  You can either get wood mounts & mount them yourself, or you can use the vinyl cling or the halo system(velcro).
There are a few different places where you can get the acrylic blocks &vinyl for mounting(remountable) that way, & a few places where you can get wood blocks at a reasonable price."
Norbu said "Well, being a Gal with 95% unmounted stamps I am pretty expert on this subject & the options available. I mainly use the M.U.M.S system with the clear acrylic blocks (with the hook tape on two strips on one side & blank on the other). You can get these blocks from many sources but I purchased mine from Purple Kitty Stamping. You trim the red rubber (being careful not to undercut), put the rubber on the sticky side of the loop tape, trim again & you are ready to stamp! The hook/loop tape is basically a velcro system (through stronger than velcro) & so the rubber with the loop tape sticks to the loop tape on the acrylicblocks & then is peeled off & can be stored in A4 folders (again with strips of hook tape to hold them on) & indexed. I have found this system of stamping to be very successful, easy for storage, easy to see where the image is going (through the clear blocks) & clear impressions much improved by using an upside down mouse mat. This is also a much cheaper system of buying stamps & purchases from overseas a cinch. Purple Kitty have a website so you can view this system online then support Australian stamping buying from Bumblebee, Collections Art Stamps, Studio Astarte, Stamp Mania & many others....

Using the back (tops) of the same M.U.M.S blocks you can also use the Polymer Stamps innovation named ' Jellie's (polymer stamp) & Ice (Acrylic blocks)' developed by Stacey at Studio Astarte. Stacey also sells clear blocks with no recessed hook strips. The stamps are see thru & clear & remain sticky so will just tack on to the acrylic block with no other prep needed other than initially trimming the stamps. They can be washed under the tap if they get fluff stuck to them & still stay sticky. The great advantage to these is that when you stamp you can clearly see where the image is inked up & so it is a cinch to position. Stacey is the organiser of MPA (in case anyone on this list doens't know) & this system will be viewable there. She does have a website too at so you can check it out there.

Of course, this passion for unmounteds doesn't mean that I don't buy mounted stamps. Of course some designs are not available unmounted so it doesn't discourage me from buying them too - just makes my storage better & saves me a few pennies & also saves waste/the environment by consuming a volume of wood. Makes visits to stamp club easy as if I wanted too my whole collection would probably fit in a couple of wide A4 folders & more shopping money of course. As with any stamps do though ensure that the quality of the image is intact before you buy & that the rubber/polymer has a deep impression so that you get a clear image. Just because a stamp is mounted doesn't always mean that the quality of the impression is superior to UM stamps - this is one of those urban myths. As with any manufacturer check the quality of the product, experiement with a company if you are unsure perhaps buying one
 stamp to 'test'.

UM's though do mean that more imagery is available to you & this can only be a good thing** :-))"

Beth or Madre said "Raelene:  I use my UMs with acrylic blocks.  These can be bought through many different suppliers or, if you have access to a plastic store you can buy them there.  I mount mine to the acrylic block with double stick tape.  I store my UMs in the cases CDs come in. I have UMs that are just the rubber image without the foam backing & some have the foam backing.  Both seem to work fine with the acrylic blocks.  I even unmount stamps that are either mounted on wood blocks or foam mounts, trim them & use them as UMs.  Sometimes I re-mount them permanently on wood blocks that have been cut to size.  Since my UMs are not on the shelves, out in the open, I sometimes tend to forget the images I have in the UMs.  I know other people store them in the clear plastic page protectors &d store them in binders.  It's just a matter of what works well for you.  Hope this helps."


MUMS (Mounts for Unmounted)
wood mounts

HALOS is a br& name & stands for hooked & looped on stamps. It's a mounting system of acrylic blocks & hook & loop tape. It's American & was available before the MUMS system became available in Australia. HALOS also has a web page & they sell ums from different companies.

Monica said "I store mine in Zip-loc bags in categories. I have tons of stamps, though, & don't have sticky stuff on the back of my foam. I use Double-stick tape to attach them to my blocks, & wax paper to cover my tape when not in use. I have thought about using the containers TAC uses, (AND I have found new uses for them! LOL) My demo for them uses CD Crystal cases? I THINK that's what they're called, to store her UMS in.

About the Unmounteds... I use Fun Foam as my backing (single sticky side), use rubber cement on the wood & the foam (let it dry before sticking them together AND get regular rubber cement, NOT CRAFT cement, it never worked for me), & then they're mounted. Actually, I don't mount mine anymore, but that is how I USED to do it."

Susan Brantley said "I store my UM in a binder. (I can't take credit for this idea, I think Beverly told me about it) I make an index for the stamp (my stamps have the cushion on them) & stick the index to the cushion. Than I take Wacky Tack & put it on the index & let it dry. (Wacky Tack is a repositional glue) Once dry I put it on a page protector in a binder. I have them separated by company. But as you flip though the binder you can see what each & every stamp is. I also have a smaller binder with every stamp image I own stamped on a page with the company it's from & where it's located. I have the pages divided by category. (Christmas, Fall, Flowers etc.) so if I am looking for a certain stamp I don't have to look though every draw & binder I have. It sounds more complicated than it is. but if you devise a system that works for you & start it early on! You won't spend weeks organizing them later! (like I did!)"

Jackie McClement said "After messing with HALOS for ages, I finally got tired & just slapped on a couple swipes of repositional glue stick & stuck the stamp to my acrylic block.  I put a large mouse pad under the paper to compensate for lack of cushion & voila'!   Then I take the um that still has the glue on it & stick it to a sheet of plastic in a notebook with the stamped image behind it & it's organized & easy to store.  You could just wash off the glue & store yours in envelope with the names or the images stamped on the outside of it.  Whatever works for you. Make it simple so you can spend more of your time stamping instead of storing!!"

Stampin Cat said "I've repositioned one of mine that was upside down by zapping it in the microwave for 15 seconds on high. It didn't hurt the rubber or cushion at all. You can zapp again if necessay in 10 sec intervals till it pulls off easily. It softened the glue & you can reposition the image (mine was upside down) sometimes without adding more adhesive. I use rubber cement spread on wood & cushion. allow both to dry till tacky then stick together. Tip: I wrote a little reminder "selfmounted" on side of wood after I did this to remind myself I many need to use a positioner if using in scenic stamping & needed it "just so"."

Umounting & Remounting
Monica said "To unmount them, stick them in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then IMMEDIATELY peel them off the block. If the foam tears, go ahead & take it off, & use Fun Foam to re-apply it. You can, at this point use rubber cement, (on the foam & the rubber, applying to BOTH sides, & letting it dry a little). Then, use it again, on the foam & the block. It will remount your stamp, & you can align it before you place it on the block. (Use regualr rubber cement, I have found that the Crafter's cement doesn't work very well.) if you have double stick cushion (foam) you don't have to use the rubber cement!

UTEE - Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
It's basically an embossing powder but with larger granules.  You use it differently from normal embossing powder by covering a whole piece (small part of a CD, cardboard piece, domino, jigsaw piece, etc) with pigment ink of some description (Versamark pads are really good for this) & then dipping it in the utee. Then reheat & redip & reheat etc - about 3 or 4 times. You can put extra colour in as you go (pearlex, lumieres, etc) add beads, or other embellishments as you wish. On your last layer, apply a stamp over the top of your utee & press down & leave for about 30 seconds to cool, & then remove your stamp - the design will be pressed into the utee.

Take a piece of heavy book board & cut it into the shape that you want then swipe it with any pigment ink across it, dip the piece into the utee & then place it into a shoe box to prevent the utee from flying & heat it.  It will develop a bumpy texture & then dip it again & then heat again.  Do this at least 4 times & then you will develop a molten look.  Before you get to the 4th layer take a stamp that you want to press into the molter tee & put a pigment ink across it as this will act as a release when it is time to remove the stamp from the utee.  Then make sure that 4th layer is good & hot.  You will see it look like lava & then press the inked stmap into it. Wait about a minute & then lift off. Voila, you now have this wonderful image.

Ordinary clear powder works perfect for enamelling, you just need a couple of extra layers is all, but having said that, I once tried clear UTEE & didn't like it as the layers where too thick for my liking.

If the first layer goes cold, you can simply reheat it & then apply second layer of utee. In order to achieve the first few layers quickly, I hold the cardstock that I'm UTEEing with a pair of tweezers & use a container lid
(like a tupperware lid or even a plastic take-away lid!) filled with UTEE. So I stamp the card, turn it upside down & plonk it in the the UTEE. Heat it with the heat gun, then turn upside down again & plonk into the UTEE, & so on. I add beads etc. to the third layer & by this point, you'll want toreheat it to "seal" the additions in anyway.

Embellishing & Effects

As you put on layers of clear ep powder you can sprinkle in beads, glitter or coloured eps in between the layers & use the clear ep to seal them in. I love sprinkling in those itty bitty know the types? Try the brand known as 'accent beads'...most craft shops carry this brand.  They come in one colour per pack or these wonderful packs with loads of different matching colours together.

An aged look can be achieved by deliberately cracking it by bending after a few layers, inking the cracks & then
adding a last layer of ep to seal.

Use ordinary ep for utee & if I don't have the right colour i use nail polish to paint it the colour I want.

Different Surfaces

Shrink Plastic
It looks good on shrink plastic: tear a large piece of shrink plastic from the sheet, stipple or swirl paints over the surface. Heat with an heat gun to shrink it, flatten the shrinky with the wooden h&le of a stamp, then immediately throw it into your tub of clear ep to get a good layer of powder on it, heat to melt & repeat several times to get a high raised enamelled surface.

Try it on cd pieces too! Cut a piece from a cd & swipe it using embossing ink or versamark inkpad & place into a tub of embossing powder (any colour) & heat. When heated, place back into the powder tub while it is still warm to get more powder, & heat again. Repeat this for approx 4 layers. Then have an inked stamp ready (I usually ink it with pigment ink as it releases better), then when you have heated your final layer gently place your stamp into the hot ep & leave there for a couple of seconds. Dont press it as it can take off half the ep with it. Remove stamp to reveal an enameled cd!

Use teflon sheets with Utee & enameling techniques, this is one of my favourite techniques! You get a sheet of teflon, the types you use with cooking in the oven. Sprinkle on a layer of clear embossing powder, apply heat with your heat gun, working from quite a distance & slowly moving the gun nearer & nearer so you dont blow away the powder. When the powder is melted, start sprinkling in different colours of ep, I love using gold, silver & copper together, & also glitters & beads & flakes. As you melt it let the liquid embossing powder move across the surface of the teflon, you can manipulate its movement by tilting the teflon sheet to get little rivers of liquid embossing powder. When you are happy with how it looks let it cool. When cooled, gently pull off the hardened enamelled ep to remove it from the teflon, it should come off in one big peice. If it doesnt, dont panic you can still use it. Next place the hardened ep onto either dark card stock or a handmade background & balst it with a heat gun. This will melt the ep again, as you are heating it starts to stick itself to the card, & shrinks a little to form an interesting art deco embellishment for cards. If you have any broken pieces of ep you can use them all together to make litlte patterns & puddles of ep. I like to use the above teflon technique using just clear powder & then placing it on a water theme collage to create the illusion of a splash of water.

Maggie Petrie said "UTEE is Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel & is like a coarser form of embossing powder.  It comes in several colours. Can be built up to around 4 layers for an extra glassy look.  You can stamp into the final layer to leave an impression, using a clear ink for a release agent or a coloured ink if you like that look.  My favourite is the clear UTEE & an example of how you can use it is:

Take a piece of heavy cardboard & cut it to the desired size (I like a square piece about 2.5x2.5cm).

Add colour to the card by either swiping directly with ink cubes or colouring with pencils, markers etc. I like to colour hard with different coloured watercolour pencils in different areas & then smoosh the colours together a bit with a wet paintbrush. I also like to add little lines & patterns with gel pens. You can stamp onto this layer too, if you like.

Ink up with clear ink  (I like Versamark) & add a layer of UTEE, shaking off excess, heat.  While it's still warm, spoon over some more UTEE, making sure you've paper to catch excess to use again.  Heat.  Repeat up to 4 layers.

You can add things to the layers, eg. pressed flowers, coloured ep, punchies, small beads, Beedz, small gemstones (I love this look, especially with a marbled looking base), whatever takes your fancy.

You can reheat the final layer & do other things, like dipping the edges in another colour of UTEE or ep or glitter."

Deb Gray said "Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE).  This specially formulated embossing powder was designed to create textures that range from a bumpy "linoleum tile" to a "smooth as glass" finish on your rubber stamped cards.

To create Linoleum Tile (& the most exciting & structural results), stamp your entire card filing most of the background with lots of colour. After it dries, use clear embossing pad & glide over entire card coating evenly. Cover entire card with one coat of UTEE. Use heat gun but do not overheat. Powder will spread as it melts.

Two coats produce a smooth tile finish which you can gently crack after it has thoroughly cooled creating a Cracked Glass effect. Three coats gives you a Smooth as Glass finish. Use clear embossing pad between each process.

This can be a very frustrating product when you first start using it because as soon as you put a heat gun anywhere  near it, the powder (about sugar crystal size) blows all over the place. That's exactly what happened to me & so the UTEE ended back up on the shelf for 12 months before I thought about giving it another go. This time however, I had a different heat gun & guess what? It made all the difference. I went from a narrow mouth gun to a wide mouth gun & the powder didn't blow around anywhere near as much.

Changing that heat gun started a new love affair for me, EVERYTHING was UTEE'd - I'm serious! The first thing I noticed is that you don't have to apply embossing ink in between each layer. If you set up your work area with two pieces of scrap paper, you can ink an item, pour powder over it, shake off the excess & put it on the second paper. Pour the UTEE back into the jar & leave the lid off (be careful when doing this with multiple colours open!). Heat the UTEE & while still hot & molten, pour on the next lot of powder. Repeat the process until you have as many layers as you wish.

If you are going to press a stamp into the last layer of hot UTEE, don't "push" it into the UTEE. Place it on the hot UTEE & let the stamp settle in to the UTEE, with maybe only a teeny weeny little bit of pressure. Hold the stamp there until the UTEE hardens then pull out stamp. The heat from UTEE will not hurt your stamps, however it will leave you with a nasty burn if you stick your finger in it! If you make a mistake, just reheat the UTEE & try again.

Although the number of colours available are growing, there is an inexpensive way of colouring UTEE. Apply two layers of UTEE then on the third layer use normal embossing powder of your colour choice.

I've put UTEE on paper based products without any problems at all, however I have found that it doesn't like acrylic painted timber surfaces at all. After a couple of weeks the UTEE lifts off, cracks & peels away. So, I'd suggest that if you want to do a box or tissue box, buy a cardboard one."

Barb Porritt said "I love UTEE too...& for a while I used it constantly!  I did a class with its creator Suze Weinberg at SDU in Brisbane a few years back...very inspiring session ! One of the main things I got from this session was "dont be afraid to experiment.  And from someone else ..sorry I can't remember who I was inspired by....try stamping onto your tile before you add the UTEE. Use permanent ink or you may find the colours run, but this in itself is a different effect that may appeal to you.

Make a collage on your tile before adding the UTEE.

You can add charms & small beads etc in your final layer of UTEE, or in the first layer...for a totally different look. Becareful if trying to add confetti to UTEE as it melts !!

If you want a more abstract look with your UTEE....PUSH the stamp into the UTEE & shmooosh it as Suze says...makes the UTEE ooze over the edge of your tile.

Cathy Daulman showed me how to use UTEE without any backing tile, ink up a piece of gladbake(or similar product) pour UTEE straight onto this,heat & add more UTEE,  as many layers as you wish. You will get an irregular shape that can be stamped into. While still hot you can fold the piece over on itself to make it a bit thicker etc. EXPERIMENT!!"

Megan Shields said "Well i have had some disasterous experiences with htis stuff! But have now got the hang of it & love it as an embelishment. My favourite thing to so is create a tile & stamp into the last layer with no ink - then when cool paint the image with metallic paints, now i used to use the plaid folk art metallics & they were great they are cheap & redily available at most craft places but now have discovered lumieres......Yum Yum! Shame you cant eat them! LOL so everything is lumiered! I have also mived my UTEE sessions into my husb&s shed - much to his disgust as the fumes are gross & you need room to move gals, when the production line is happenin you gotta get space & if you make a mess int he Dh's shed it doesnt really matter does it!!! ROFL."

Elizabeth Merrilees said "I love my utee!  like deb, i utee'd everything in sight for a while.  I find I use utee &  dimensional magic almost interchangeably.  I feel I can do more interesting things with utee, but sometimes it is easier to use the magic than pull out the heatgun & burn my fingers (again).

One of my favourite projects is to spray paint the inside of a small box (like a business card box) with gold, adhere fabric or flock to the base, & then utee the flat of the top, & give it as treasure box.

One of my favourite boxtop designs is to paint half the top with blue ink, half with gold, put on 2 layers of utee, then sprinkle white & sparkles ep across the inks' meetingline in a jagged shape, put on another layer of utee & then press in a sealine scape stamp (from wubbastampa, there are several with fingers of water & scattered shells) inked up in dark blue.  so I have s&, sea, shells & seafoam.

I never use ink for more than the first layer of utee.  I find otherwise it tends to go cloudy, & even weep sometimes.    I also use a single layer of utee over water scenes occasionally to give it a wet look."

Elizabeth Merrilees said "If you want colour the tile, something i like to do is paint thickly with metallic or pearlescent paint.  make it an unven, even lumpy finish.  Stick the utee straight to the paint & heat. After the second or third layer of utee, you will find when you look into the tile, the paint has moved up & around with the melting utee & given the paint a swirling, moving appearance.

2 tips Iwas given: place your piece in or over a shoebox to stop too much utee granule flying around.  If you place the piece inside the box you will burn your finger less.  if you line the box with a piece of gladbake you can collect the loose bits & melt them into an embellishment (perhaps that's just miserly, but i like it :).  remember not to point the gun directly face down into the box, otherwise it will overheat & stop.

Rather than shaking your utee over your piece repeatedly, pour some utee out onto a plastic picnic plate, or foil tray.  then as you add layers you only have to put your piece face down in the tray.  just put away the remains at the end, & remember not to heat your piece over the plate :{"

Juliann S said "...Ink our stamp well with a clear (or tinted) inkpad to protect the rubber - if the utee is too hot it may damage the stamp otherwise.  After I have stamped the tile, I love using a small amount of Pearlex on the tip of a paintbrush to go over the stamped image - it looks great!

One suggestion I have heard for those with the sort of heatgun that blows the utee around is to place the tile or card in a small box before heating - this way the utee is contained & not all over the carpet!

I do love creating my tiles - as yet I haven't tried anything else.  I find that UTEE is quite expensive & the jar doesn't last for long if you do two or three coats on each tile, so the cards I create with this technique are "extra special"."

Deb Gray said "Raelene, if you are getting bubbles around the stamp after you put it in the UTEE the stamp is going in too hard & too fast.  Gently place the stamp in the UTEE & let the stamp settle into the UTTE with maybe only a very slight amount of pressure to push it in further.  If the bubbles are forming before putting the stamp in (usually very tiny bubbles) the heat gun is too close to the UTEE & it is being overheated.  The idea is for the heat from the gun to melt the UTEE rather than the air from the gun."


Tessa said "Vellum is great stuff.  I love it.  Here are a couple of things that I've done with it:

Stamp & emboss a basic design onto, then colour with felts.  Cut a hole in the front of your card, then mount the picture behind it.  Cut the same hole out of another piece of card or paper to cover the edges of the vellum. This creates a beautiful stained glass effect.  Try holding it up to the light.

If you're working on pastel colours, a black outline can look quite harsh. So stamp & colour your design as usual, then mount a piece of vellum over the top.  This softens the image to match the pastel background.  Try enhancing with a feather & a brad.

To bring out an image more, cut a hold out of the vellum & position over your picture to bring out a feature, or the picture.

Don't throw away your scraps!  If you've got a small "Happy Birthday" or Thank You", etc, stamp & emboss onto a small piece of vellum.  Press the edges of your "scrap" into the same ink pad & emboss that as well. Position this little piece onto a card & see the stunning result."

Linda Greenaway said "I did some wedding stationery using vellum & took it to Queensl& to finish it.  I had to attach the vellum to card & secure it with pins.  I did them all up there, where it was very humid, & all the vellum went "wobbly".  But by the time I got back to NSW out of the humidity the wobbles went & the vellum was smooth again.

Always store vellum in a sealed wrapper to keep moisture out.  You will also find that when you stamp & emboss, the heating takes moisture out of the paper & will give you a wobbly effect.  Leave the vellum out overnight before attaching it to your project & it should reabsorb moisture from the air & return to it's usual flat shape.  Then you can go ahead & attach it without any wobbles!"

Print a short poem in fancy lettering on the computer onto plain vellum & put it over a scenic photo. It would look nice with the words just on the part the covers the sky so the rest of the photo shows softly through the vellum.

Emphasize a special feature on a picture. Put plain vellum over the photo & cut a circle out over the object you want to emphasize. This would work well for a photo of a new engagement ring with the h& on the pillow. The
 rest of the picture would be in soft focus but the ring would be very visible! Use the same concept for a picture of a child. Cut the circle in the vellum to accent the child's face making a cute smile or funny face.  This would be great to emphasize a baby sleeping capturing the innocence of the face.

Dry emboss the vellum. After dry embossing, colour the picture with chalks on the backside. The chalk will softly colour the embossed item. You could also use watercolour pencils to create the same effect.

Wet emboss the vellum while using your rubber stamps. The vellum will curl slightly from the heat but will go back into shape. If necessary, place a towel on top of the vellum & put a medium-weight book on the towel.

Journal or create a beautiful page topper on the vellum in your own h&writing or from your computer. Print your words on translucent vellum (almost clear, a little white in it) it & place on cloud or other paper.   You will still be able to see the clouds or other image visible underneath the vellum paper. Special Note: Let piece set at least two hours to make sure ink has dried thoroughly

Embellish your pieces with chalk to add a special accent.

Use with your punches to make creative punchies.

Trace your alphabet templates for a creative touch to your page!

Cut your vellum the same size as your card. Fold the same way & glue the vellum to the card by  running a thin line from a glue pen right down the crease in the middle of the card & slightly towards the back side. This way, your glue won't show!!!

This looks beautiful on patterned vellum... like the columns... Stamp your image in COLOURED pigment ink & emboss with clear EP. No need to colour the image. I just looks wonderful the way it is. Now pick a nice coordinating colour for your cardstock behind... & see tip #3 for more ways to enhance that card!!!

The nicest property that vellum has is that it is SEE-THROUGH. So use that to your advantage!! Stamp a tone-on-tone pattern on your cardstock so that it will show through the vellum ever so subtly. Also, try wallpaper under there! Some of the most striking vellum cards I have seen used a rich colour wallpaper underneath. The bold look of the wallpaper is softned by the sheerness of the vellum.

Add a touch of softness to your vellum cards by using fancy scissors to cut the edge so the card  underneath peeks through. Corner punches in lacy patterns also look wonderful!!

This looks best with regular plain white vellum. Stamp your image in clear ink & emboss with white EP, giving you a white on white look. Now, turn the vellum over & colour with bright markers. It's easiest to see where to colour if you place the vellum on a dark piece of paper. The white lines show up real well. Best of all, you don't have to worry about "staying in the lines"!!!  A favourite to use with this technique are the PSX Botanicals. I would have to admit that my most used stamp is the Hybrid Rose botanical. I only use 2 colours on it, red & dark green. The effect is stunning!! And when I want to add just a touch more ooomph, I add a drop of glitter on top of the petals. Gives it the appearance of a dew drop glistening in the morning sun.

Gold & Silver look brilliant on Vellum....& so elegant, too!

Vellum Adhesive Answers
If you have used vellum before, you've probably experienced some frustration with the adhesive showing through. Vellum is not as porous as your other scrapbooking papers, so adhesives & inks won't be absorbed as quickly;
 instead, they tend to "sit" on the vellum. And because vellum is so transparent, most adhesive will show through.

There are ways to avoid glue-show-through. Be sure to apply adhesive, whether it's liquid, tape tabs or a glue stick, very sparingly for best results. Rather than applying adhesive to the vellum, apply it to the paper you're layering the vellum onto instead, then placing the vellum on the glue. The company, 3L, now makes photo tabs specifically made for use with vellum paper.

A Xyron machine is great for gluing vellum. If you do not have access to a machine, you can still use your regular acid-free adhesive. Try a glue stick when attaching vellum to light-coloured paper & Zig 2-Way liquid glue with dark paper. Before gluing vellum to paper, look for ways to use a non-permanent mount, like photo corners & ribbon. Punch art, Punch-Outs, stickers & journaling can also disguise any glue that happens to show through.

The best option is to apply adhesive only behind the photo - this is usually enough to secure an entire sheet of vellum to the background paper.

As with adhesives, ink takes awhile to dry on vellum, so be sure to allow a little drying time before working with the piece you did the journaling on.  Try using Zig Writers, Sakura Permapaque, Zebra Jimnie Gel Rollerball pens & Pentel Milky Gel Rollers.

White Vellum: When selecting paper to place under a white vellum overlay, remember this: "The Brighter, The Better!" Bright colours & bold patterns will be muted by vellum; pale pastels will look washed out & very dark colours will look muddy.

Coloured & Painted Vellum: Colored vellum transforms solid & patterned paper-just slip a few different papers under your coloured vellum sheet to discover just how many dramatic looks there are. Now try this with painted vellum, & watch the borders & patterns on the vellum change colours. And yes, you can layer patterned vellum on top of patterned paper, whether the vellum is coloured, painted or white. Experiment with different combinations & see what appeals to you!

Make These Items From Vellum To Add A Special Accent To Your Page:

 Princess dress
 Snowman / snowballs / snowflakes / snowfort
 Frosting on a cupcake / cake
 Windshields for cars
 Glass front for an oven door
 Lenses in glasses (use brown for sunglasses)
 "Rose" coloured glasses
 Mermaid tail / scales (green)
 Pool / Lake / Beach water
 Waves (layer three blues - cut or tear)
 S& (layer three browns - cut or tear)
 Raindrops or puddles (light blue)
 Leaves (spring or fall colours)
 Flowers & flower petals, d&elion
 Fish / fins for fish
 Wings: Butterfly, bee, dragonfly, fairy, angel
 Squares for ice cubes (white)
 Flame for c&le (orange)
 Circles for bubbles (white)
 Light bulbs
 Christmas lights / Christmas balls on trees
 Lamp shade, window shades
 Sheer curtain / shower curtain
 Table cloth
 Bug jar / flower jar
 Aquarium glass
 Baby bottle
 Wedding dress / veil
 Confirmation or baptism gown
 Blue birds
 Rose petals
 Bruises on paper dolls for boo-boos (purple)
 Critters: Frogs, caterpillars, snakes
 Hearts (pink or red for Valentine pages)
 Cupid's wings
 Rainbow (use all kinds of colours!!)

Amanda Clark said "Raelene, You can run vellum through your printer & it looks really nice as an insert for your cards. I also like to put the printed pieces over a piece of card of  similar tones & this gives a simple & really soft effect.

The other trick with vellum is that most adhesives are visible through the  vellum so you need to "hide" your adhesive by strategically placing it under another layer.  There is a new product out that is available at any good scrapbook stores for sticking vellum, but I am unsure of the cost.  I mostly put the vellum into my scrapbooks though."

Floral Coral said "Dear Raelene, There are various thicknesses of vellum each with a different use (the same with paper & card I suppose).  Thicker vellum is good for dry embossing to highlight an image as the embossed part goes white.  Thinner ones are great for overlays to soften the images underneath.

I used thick vellum on some xmas cards last year with a bear wearing a santa suit. I gold embossed the bear, coloured the suit red & dry embossed where the fluffy part of the suit would be. They came up really well. I use the thinner vellum to lay over my images to soften the look, rather than lots of sponging etc. It is also great for printing on (eg. an invitation or poem) & then laying it over your stamped background.  I have also seen the patterned vellum rubbed with chalks etc over the raised bit to highlight the dry embossed parts."


Good for backgrounds

Wax Paper
Works great for protecting your work surface & parts of books you are not working on & as release sheets between glue pieces that need to be weighed down, or can be crumpled & used to apply ink & paint in a texture, can be used for wax paper resist backgrounds- Cling Wrap - creates a softer texture than wax paper when crumpled & used to apply ink & paints, the cheapest stuff can be used as a heat activated adhesive in layering papers for handmade envelopes etc.

Spray on Webbing
This can be used for a variety of things. You can create your own paper using Lumiere & webbing spray & glitter & then use it as a background. You can just spray the webbing onto a piece of card stock & then place coloured foil against it & rub to have the coloured foil come off onto the sticky webbing. You can have anything stick to it.. just using your own imagination.

Chris G says, "Buy it at craft stores, cheaper at Spotlight, cheaper still at K Mart or Big W in the paint section - when they have it! Give the can a good shake, take some card stock outside, & point the can at the card & spray the webbing over it. Just move the can a little & do lots at a time. Don't do this in an enclosed space."

The 'WOW' Factor
In 2003 I've posed the question, "What creates the WOW factor?"    Here are some of the responses from different Yahoo craft groups.

Debi says, "Softly applied Pearl Ex."

Lisa says, "The right combination of color. Color is amazing in that it makes us feel & sense things without us really knowing it. There's a painting in my dining room that more than one person has made them feel nostalgic when they look at it. It's a very abstracted depiction of people in a bar listening to a band. Having stared at it for some years now, I truely believe it's not necessarily the picture that creates the feelings of nostalgia, it's the particular uses of blue, purple, red, & yellow (among the other colors).  The particular tones of the colors & their placements.  But I'm an English major. Maybe I feel this way because I spent so many years looking at little black specks on white paper."

Tamara says, "I think it depends on the person "the eye of the beholder.  I have seen somethings that I thought were just junk. And watched other people oooh & ahhh over it.Then I have seen things that I love & people stick their nose up & curl their top lip.   Color is a great factor in WOW. But then again I love black & white. Something about black & white photos that have a WOW factor.

But then again maybe WOW is more of a feeling then a sight. Maybe what something makes you feel when you look at it is WOW feeling inside.  Hmmmmm.... "

Billie says, "Since I bead, it's all about the WOW & the beauty of the piece. The biggest thing I have to consider when I am putting together a piece is color. One wrong color can ruin a piece. I have spent hours just on getting my beads together for a project. Next I look at finish. Since I can't really work in different textures, I can create a similar affect with the finishes of my beads. Add in the design for the piece & you have what creates the Wow in my work. If you haven't looked yet, I have posted pictures of my most recent bead work in my file, Designs By Billie. Check it out, you'll see what I mean."

Dominostamper says, "Oh I like this question....Geeze there is so much that can be a "Wow Factor" If someone sends me something & I have never done it before they I say "WoW" for example Debi sent me some homemade glass & that did it for me to say & think "WoW" I'm hanging on to them & trying to think of some ways to incorpoate it into some of my stamping. The work people put into their creations make it a "WoW Factor too!!

I also think the added embellishments that people use to create their works of art. It's all so "Wow" excellenct job & a lot of people here are so very talented in different areas of their creations."