supplies: craft sheet, cut n' dry felt, distress reinkers (or any waterbased reinkers), distress ink pad/brushed corduroy, archival ink pad/jet black, glossy accents, perfect pearls mist/heirloom gold, ink blending tool, alcohol ink/red pepper, ink applicator tool, #8 kraft tags; kraft core; festive greenery die, christmas background & border texture fades; CMS117 seasonal silhouettes stamp, grid-blocks; sanding grip; paper distresser, scissors; twine, bell, bling-on-a-roll
step 2: ink stamp and stamp on to fabric side of felt giving firm pressure. once you lift the stamp you'll need to clean the ink off of the stamp (or whatever your definition of cleaning a stamp is - we won't even go there now) *note: what i love about using grid-blocks to stamp with is not only the ability to see through them, but the etched grid lines allow me to stamp my image straight. if using a wood mounted stamp for this step, trace around the block with a pen before removing it from the cut n' dry.
step 4: select your assortment of water-based re-inkers and prep them by unscrewing each lid since we have to work rather quickly for this technique. i love to use distress for this technique not only for the color palette, but also for the eye dropper applicator. *note: it's important to use water-based inks for this only (not alcohol inks or pigment inks).
step 5. begin "coloring" the stamped image using the reinkers by gently squeezing out ink over the black stamped area. it's not necessary to stay in the lines, but you do not need to "color" in any of the white area.
step 10: with a clean stamp place the stamp over the inked pad. using a grid-block it's easy to line up. *if you were using a wood mounted stamp you would simply stack the 2 shapes together since the felt would be cut to the size of the wood block.
step 13: stamp the image on to a piece of white cardstock for your "test" sheet. now check that out - our image is now custom colored! you've created a custom stamp pad for that stamp. this pad can be used over and over again (usually 30-50 stampings off 1 inking). i love creating these pads for those stamps that i like to use, but don't like coloring over and over each time.
*so before we get into the actual making of the tag i wanted to share a blast from the past with all of you... in 2004 i made my final appearance on the famed carol duvall show with the iconic carol duvall herself for her holiday live show. i shared this technique for making custom stamp pads. this was a big deal because her regular shows were never in front of an audience. since this was the final show i brought along my mom and mario of course and they are both in the audience (if you look real close as the camera pans across, you'll see their smiling faces). i sure miss this show! i mean you can't even find re-runs or the shows online, but luckily i saved this one for a very special occasion and 7 years later here it is...i've left comments open on the youtube video so please post a special message for carol as i'll be emailing her to tell her to check them out...thank you, and enjoy!
step 14: since this technique allows us to make "dozens & dozens", i have this trick to not only use this big background stamp on a tag, but to stamp 2 tags at once. i'm stamping on kraft tags (which i LOVE), and i begin by placing one tag on my craft sheet and place a piece of removable tape along the top edge of that tag (i use tissue tape). next i place my second tag on top of the first one and here's the trick...place the edge of the top tag against the reinforcer of the bottom tag (it has a little edge that will guide the top tag), and slide the top tag all the way across until it's reinforcer catches the side of the bottom tag. place a piece of tape on the bottom edge of that one.
...confused yet? well they say a picture is worth a thousand words so look at the photo. it's basically reinforcer to reinforcer and it's perfect for this stamp.
step 15: ink stamp on your custom stamp pad and line the word "JOY" along the bottom left corner of the bottom tag and press firmly to stamp both tags at the same time. *note: this is where the grid-blocks really come in handy since you can use the grid line to line the stamp up horizontally and vertically.
step 17: carefully lift the tags off the craft sheet and switch positions making the top tag the bottom now, etc. also be sure to move the tape, taping the bottom tag on the top, and top tag on the bottom.
step 19: lift them both off the craft sheet and zippity-doo you've stamped 2 tags at once! here i show the difference between types of tags to stamp on (left is manila, middle is the kraft, right is the kraft stained with picket fence distress stain).
step 21: once you're finished stamping, place your custom stamp pad in a zip-loc bag and adhere the test stamped paper to the bag. this way you can store your pad for months and months this way to use it again and again.
step 23: run the tags through the vagabond or your embossing machine as shown. we are only embossing the top half of the tag! *note: i also have a video showing this technique for stamping and embossing in more detail in a video. check it out here...
step 34: separate the cut pieces into 2 piles (since we stamped 2 tags at once, we can embellish 2 at once also...see i told you this technique was efficient). i snipped the pine, mistletoe, and juniper in half and had a flourish and 2 holly leaves per pile.
step 36: for a little accent to the tag i'm using "bling-on-a-roll" that i find at michaels. i've yet to see it anywhere else and love this stuff. it comes in so many different styles and colors, but of course i always buy the white since we can ink them ourselves.
step 39: since the inks dry fast and translucent, you can see the shine in the bling and the pearlescent in the pearls. my favorite part of this stuff is that everything is connected so no fussing with little pieces and tweezers!
the details: as you can see i'm a huge fan of the festive greenery die and my kraft core paper. i love the way you can create little clusters of greenery in whatever color you want and it keeps it's shape. i also love the autumn gatherings die which has leaves and twigs...
bonus 1: i really wanted to share with you the other cool thing you can do with the scraps of your cut n' dry felt since after you create more and more custom stamp pads you'll have little piece of felt that don't fit any stamp - don't throw them away, just cut off a little chunk.
bonus 2: using various coordinating tones of reinkers, drip and drop the colors on to the cut n' dry until you fill of the entire little square - don't think about this step at all, just drip and drop...
bonus 4: stamp the image on to cardstock and since your pad colors were random drips and drops, your image has a very organic coloring to it - not your traditional rainbow pad by any means (i really like using the back part of glossy cardstock for this since it's matte but smooth unlike bumpy watercolor paper).
bonus 10: that the strip of small snowflakes in the previous photo were designed to be cut apart? yep, by leaving them as a strip the stamp set was about $8 cheaper so just cut them yourself...go ahead you know you want to. (and you can also do that with my grunge leaves set).
wowza! today's technique really inspired me to just keep on creating, but since i have a deadline to meet, i thought i better stop and get this blog post finished. i hope you try this out for yourself, it really is easier that you might think and you'll find several uses for this year round. now get out that stash of re-inkers and put them to good use...t!m