Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stamped Stamps

Last week I got some new supplies and I am hooked on making these die cut stamps. The craft die was more expensive than I would have liked, but as long as I can continue to find ways to put these stamps to use, I'll happily keep making them.

I've got step by step photos sharing how I created this set, but working with Distress Inks in this way is new to me, so if you have any tips, please don't hesitate to share in the comments section.

There is a stencil that can be purchased along with the die and using washi tape, I adhered it to my paper. Starting with the lightest inks, I used a foam blending tool to apply color to the paper. Some of the ink pads are more wet than others, so once I had ink on the foam applicator, I would place the ink on the stencil first and then in a circular motion, I would pull the ink onto the paper.

(Note - For the very first set I made, I used a make-up sponge because I didn't have a blending tool and got much more saturated colors. For this set, I kept the colors soft and only applied a minimal amount of ink with the foam tool.)

Then I repeated my steps with the next color, but only adding it to various areas of the shapes.

And then one last application placed very sparingly in the darkest colors I was using.

Once the stencil was removed, I used a small paintbrush to flick some water onto the inked areas. It has a subtle effect, but I like what little it does add.

I forgot to take a photo of the die placed over the inked background before running it through my Big Shot, but it lines up very easily. After going through the manual die cutter, you are left with a LOT of little dots of paper. I have a pencil with a needle stuck in the eraser for poking out all the little bits that get left in craft dies.

Here are my stamps, all cleaned up and ready to be stamped.

I've already experimented with regular stamping in dye ink and also heat embossing my images so I wanted to do something different this time. Again using Distress Ink, I inked the stamps I wanted to use and alternated between stamping as-is and also spraying the ink with water before stamping. As you can see, some stamps took to it better than others. This isn't something I'd tried before and I'd like to practice some more with it.

Something else I bought when I purchased this die set was yet another alphabet stamp set. Because apparently I can't have too many. When I stamp, I have a piece of paper to stamp on first to make sure I'll get a clear impression before stamping on my actual project. Since I hadn't used the alphabet stamps yet, I very quickly stamped them to see if they would fit in the space I had. Since there is a stencil, it was easy to see that the word summer would fit if I stamped it on two lines. Another technique I saw and would like to try is stamping with the stencil still in place so that the image goes right to the edge.

If you have any tips for working with Distress Inks or stamping in general, I'm all ears!

craft die and stencil - Memory Box Postage Assemblage - Simon Says Stamp
Distress Inks for background - (left) Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough, Peeled Paint, (center) Antique Linen, Old Paper, Pine Needle, (right) Spun Sugar, Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo - Michaels
Distress Ink for stamped images - Walnut Stain
stamps - Jet Set and Spring Break - Christine Herrin for Kelly Purkey, Luggage Tag Alphabet - Hero Arts
manual die cutter - Sizzix Big Shot


  1. I don't have any tips, I'm a perpetual learner. I use Distress pads similar to a watercolors palette, with a small brush sometimes. I can tell you that May Flaum is a wonderful wealth of info on anything Distress, her you tube channel is a must. I love these you did Elise. I don't have a die cut machine, but you certainly make me want one. Great job! Michelle t

  2. These are awesome Elise! I think you should sell them as die-cuts with the cool background and unstamped... just subtly suggesting an interest here ;)

  3. They look great! I really like the subtle bg you've created with the distress inks ---- I use them a bit, but not a lot..... I'm sure with you tube you'll be an expert in no time:):)

  4. This looks like a fun set and your stamps look awesome!!!
    I am impressed with the stamped letters using the Distress inks as they normally don't stamp well, distressing and such excellent, but not stamping.
    And who ever has enough letter stamps, teehee

  5. I would use these on every single project I made. I love them! :)

  6. That's so cool! They came out so neat! Love them. I hope you have a great week, Elise!

  7. These look great Elise! and sometimes a little splurge is a good thing.

  8. Absolutely LOVE this Elise!
    Thank You!!


Thank you so much for taking your time to comment, I truly appreciate all your kind words!