Sunday, 15 July 2012

How to become a Stamper {instead of Stamp Collector} - Donna Salazar Designs

This month here at Donna Salazar Designs we're featuring Donna's fabulous stamps.   They are all soooo cool.  Textures and Vintage Images, Script and Butterflies... such beautiful designs, but to feature them means I have to USE them, not collect them!   Yep, the look on my face was priceless... USE the stamps, seriously?  Gulp...

Hi, my name is Mistra Hoolahan and I'm a closet Stamp Collector.   There, I said it... it's out there!!

I love stamps... I have a huge collection!  They all look so pretty in their packaging.  But the thought of stamping on a perfectly good layout terrified me.  What if I stamped wrong?  What if it looked silly?  And so... I start my stamping journey here and now with you all, with some tags... which ended up as cards. 

I'll show you the finished products first, and then I'll share my step by step journey from 'Stamp Collector' to 'Stamper', with 3 simple techniques that any of us could do.

Happiness Is...

A Friend is...

Side by Side...

Growing Up...

I loved stamping on the tags!!  It was easy... true, I'm not kidding.  And it wasn't scary.  I think starting with a simple tag helped.  I feel I can move on now and actually get some stamped images on a layout without having a panic attack before hand!

Simple Stamped Tag {Happiness Is...}

Art Gone Wild Stamp - Bubble Wrap
Mix'd Media Inx - Truffle, Black, Patina, Honey
Clearsnap SmoochSpritz - River Mossy
Large Shipping Tag
Acrylic Block

 Place your stamp onto an acrylic block and ink it with Black Mix'd Media Inx.  I use a Colorbox Stylus and Foam Applicator to transfer the ink from the ink pad to the stamp, I found I got a more even coverage and less waste.

 Position and stamp, using a firm even pressure.  The Mix'd Media Inx are nice and wet and full of pigment so you don't need to press hard {it messes it up if you do, yep, been there done that!}.  I practiced on some messy stock first to get used to how hard I needed to press.  

I found the Mix'd Media Inx usually have enough pigment in them to keep stamping without reloading the ink... so I stamped in 2 more positions to achieve a fading effect.
Do the same again with the Truffle ink and then set the ink by drying if off with a heat gun.

Ink the edges of tag and over parts of the stamped image with Patina and Honey Mix'd Media Inx.  Spray with water to allow the ink to blend and dry off again.

Distress the edges and add a quick spray of River Mossy Smooch Spritz.  Dry it off and it's ready to use!!

Simple Resist Stamping {A Friend Is...}

Art Gone Wild Stamp - Crackle
Mix'd Media Inx - Jasmine
Mix'd Media Inx Embossing - Jasmine
Clearsnap SmoochSpritz - River Mossy, Olive Vine, Caramel Latte
Large Shipping Tag
Acrylic Block

Ink your stamp with Jasmine Mix'd Media Inx and stamp onto a shipping tag.

While the ink is still nice and wet, sprinkle on Jasmine Mix'd Media Inx.  You have time, that's the great thing about Mix'd Media Inx... they stay wet for a while so you don't have to rush.  Using the Mix'd Media Inx also means you don't need to use a clear embossing ink, love this ink so much!! 
Shake off the excess.   I do this on a piece of plain printer paper so that I can easily pour the excess back into the pot.

Activate the embossing powder with a heat tool.  You'll know its done when the powder turns nice and glossy.  Don't over heat it though, the embossing powder can bubble and burn off then!

You can also add more images over the top of the original if you want to, using different colours.  I have done this for "Side by Side" and "Growing Up".

Once the embossing is cooled, distress the edges of the tag.

 Spray the tag with River Mossy, Olive Vine and Caramel Latte Smooch Spritz.

Give it a light spray with water and allow the colours to run...

Dab off excess colour with a baby wipe to allow the stamped and embossed image to show through.   Dry the tag off and it's ready to be used.

Faded Edges {Growing Up...}

Art Gone Wild Stamp - Woodgrain, Butterfly, Branch
Mix'd Media Inx - Jasmine, Truffle, Wisteria
Mix'd Media Inx Embossing - Jasmine, Truffle
Clearsnap SmoochSpritz - SeaKiss, Olive Vine, Caramel Latte
Large Shipping Tag
Acrylic Block

This little technique works well if you want to use your stamps which have a defined squared 'finish' to the edges of the image as a 'floating' image on your project.  

First, ink up your stamp with Truffle Mix'd Media Inx. 

Using a baby wipe, gently take away some of the ink from the edges... so.

And stamp away!  The edges are faded, leaving a softer finish.

I've embossed the woodgrain image and then added more resist style stamped images, sprayed with SeaKiss, Olive Vine and Caramel Latte Smooch Spritz.   Lastly I added some isolated colour to the butterfly with Wisteria Mix'd Media Inx.

I hope this helps get other stamp collectors out there stamping!  Now I am over my fear of "huh, how, why... what" I'll be off and running.  There is certainly something satisfying about adding ink to a stamp and having it appear perfectly on your project.  I could say it was latent talent coming to the fore that made these look good, but I'm pretty sure {ok, I'm positive} the quality of the stamps, the fabulous designs and the awesome Mix'd Media Inx were really the key to success!   Now to go learn some new things... I know there's a whole world of stamping out there to be inspired by!!

Until next time, take care and be true to you!

All Products used:

Patterned Paper:
GCD Studios Storybook- Army Men
GCD Studios Antiquities 8x8 Paper Pad
GCD Studios Spring in Bloom 8x8 Paper Pad
GCD Studios Crafty Chronicle Vol.2

Dusty Attic Mini Ornate Frame

Green Tara Silk Flowers with Swarovski Crystals
Green Tara Paper Roses
Green Tara Heirloom Fabric Flower

Want 2 Scrap Swirls Finesse LeCreme

Want 2 Scrap BYOB

Art Gone Wild - BubbleWrap, Woodgrain, Crackle, Cotton Lace, Branch, Butterfly

Clearsnap Mix'd Media Inx - Jasmine, Truffle, Patina, Honey, Wisteria, Black

Embossing Powder:
Clearsnap Mix'd Media Inx Embossing - Jasmine, Truffle, Honey

Clearsnap Smooch Spritz - Caramel Latte, River Mossy, Olive Vine, SeaKiss

Clearsnap Fairy Dust - Sugar Shimmer

Spellbinders Rose Creations

Spellbinders Grand Calibur
Zutter Distrezz-It-All

Zutter 5x7 Corrugated Board
Green Tara Lace
Green Tara Coloured Jute Ribbon
Green Tara Cobweb Ribbon
Green Tara Mesh Ribbon
Green Tara 2 Tone Trim
Green Tara Skeleton Leaves
Green Tara Decorative Spray
Gauze, DMC Embroidery Thread


  1. wow wow wow I am speechless ....this is full of magic xoxox

  2. HI.. these look beautiful.. thanks for the inspiration.. and I have 2 drawers of stamps.. I must get them out more!

  3. You have inspired me to use my vast stamp collection some more, instead of, as you say, just collecting them. Thanks Mis. Cheers Di xo

  4. Well, dear lady...looks like you took to stamping like a duck takes to water! This is a very impressive collection of beautifully executed projects. Just gorgeous! Have fun getting inky!

  5. Fabulous textures Mistra, and I'm still so very envious of your deeply layered and luscious flowers.

  6. I surprised myself today when I realized that I was not a follower of your blog. Just was catching you on other people's blogs. This situation has now been remedied. I subscribe to your blog now so I won't miss any of your wonderful ideas. Thanks as always for sharing.