Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WOYWW 51: A stamping tutorial

What's on Your Work desk today? Well, it's Wednesday, so most of my visitors will be stampers. It's no secret I'm not a rubber stamper. I'm not good at it (you have to practice, for one thing), and I don't like wasting money on images you can only use one way. Although several companies now allow digital reproductions of their rubber, some still won't permit any manipulation at all, even though you have paid your hard earned money for their rubber. So, in an attempt to extend the number of my stamps without trying to carve a reverse image, or buy a mirror image stamp, I decided to see if I could do it myself without violating any copyright infringements.

Now I realize, if I want an image reversed, I could stamp on transparencies, but sometimes you don't want a transparency. I'm also pretty sure I am not the first person to come up with this technique, but since I've not seen it before on my limited circle of blogs, I am going to take credit for coming up with it.

Here is what I call "Reverse Stamping."

Supplies from lower left, clockwise:
Card stock or your favorite substrate
Clear blocks used for unmounted rubber
Mouse pad (I got mine last Wednesday at the thrift store)
Rubber stamps, various
Ink, various dye based (Staz-on is probably not a good choice, since it dries so quickly)
Wacky Tac or other repositionable glue of your choice
Rubber gasket material (found at any big box home improvement store)

This package contains two sheets of 6" X 6" X 1/16" (15.24 cm X 15.24 cm X 0.16 cm) red rubber gasket material.

Cover one side of the gasket material using your repositionable glue. Allow to dry overnight.


Affix to the best size clear acrylic block you have for the rubber. Alternately, you may cut your rubber to fit your block size.

Ink your stamp as you normally would. I used lime green vintage ink. I used what I had available, because I wasn't sure this would work, anyway.

I practiced stamping the image using my practice sheet of card stock. This step is optional.

Ink your stamp again.

Stamp onto your rubber gasket that is stuck to your acrylic block.

Remove stamp. Check your image.

Turn your new "rubber stamp" over and stamp onto the card stock.

OOPS. I have a problem here. I didn't get good coverage, but I partly blame that on the fact that I stopped to take photos in between each step and I believe the ink had dried.

Not to be deterred, I tried again. Closer, but no cigar.

Would a stamp that was not as dense work better? Well, I had also forgotten the new mouse pad I wanted to use underneath the card stock. Would that help?

Didn't seem to improve it that much.

I was getting ready to give up when I accidentally stuck the rubber to the plastic container the mouse pad had come in.

So, I stamped the bird again, this time replacing the hard acrylic block with nothing but the plastic sheet to back the rubber.

Although it isn't perfect, I see it can be done. I feel I am getting closer to the result I'm looking for. I might also try using paint instead of dye ink, which will provide better coverage to the stamp and the gasket rubber. I believe if I add the other piece of rubber gasket material that came in the package to the first one, I will get a better impression. Of course, that means adding repositionable glue to the other rubber gasket and waiting for it to dry. If you try this and get this technique to work, please let me know. I'm not disappointed with the results because the reversal technique works as I hoped it would. I just wish I could get a brighter, clearer stamped reverse image.

That's all the experimenting I have time for today. I'm off to visit Julia, who has the links to the other WOYWW participants.

Today's blog is known to many WOYWW participants, but I met Nicks when I taught my beginning altered book class (in which I started my Hands AB). She is so talented, she could have taught the class herself. Her art is fantastic and she doesn't stick to any one medium. She makes me want to get out my paint, inks, gesso, and polymer clay and play. I know you will love her blog, aptly named Nicks Arty Stuff, too. For those of you who are in Tea Tuesday, check out her tea cup she made. Like she said, it may not be functional, but it is gorgeous.

47 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

I have a stamp which is just a piece of rubber, for reverse stamping. I never use it!! Its a great idea though.

Spyder said...

ohooo your reverse stampng looks fabulous, and I will come back later for a better look! I'm soooolate for work!!! oh...Anne has been hiding googly eyes onher work deskover the last couple of weeks.... thats what not really hiding there!!

(Lyn) byeeeeee!

Mummylade said...

that's a clever idea, I will have to give it some thought...

Darcy said...

I have several 'blank' stamps, just plain rubber on a wooden block, all various sizes. I have them just for this technique, never use them though as it rarely gives a good impression. Maybe I need more practise ...but life is too short and distracting lol

Joanne said...

My tip for reversing stamps is to ink the stamp then go over it with a brayer and then transfer it to your card. It should be reversed. Like your idea though. Luv Joanne xx

jude said...

Love the reverse stamping .Have great wednesday hugs
jude:)

Linda Elbourne said...

Great piccies today ... Have a good day!

Hels Sheridan said...

Fab way of reversing stamps..thanks for sharing :O))

joey said...

Hiya

I would never have thought of reversing stamps! great idea thanks for sharing. I am afraid I have an addiction to rubber stamps lol, and cannot stop buying, I have far more than I am capable of using! lol

Have a lovely day
Joey.xxx

Julia Dunnit said...

It works - I think the ideal would be to stick the rubber to the mouse pad...and if you use a water soluble ink, even if you get a partial impression you can move the colour around with a brush. OK, whilst you're in the stamp zone (and by the way, if I lived near you, I would drive over and HUG you for considering all of us stampers) - do you have a brayer or other sft ish roller?!

Gez said...

Wow! what a great idea. Look forward to seeing more of your reverse stamping.xx

Healing Woman said...

I so much appreciate the fact that you took the time to create this amazing tutorial. I know I will refer back to this technique often. Wish I could take you to lunch as a thank you!

Handmade with Love said...

What a clever idea! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to do the tutorial. Have a great week! Tracey x

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Sometimes people advise running some sellotape over new rubber stamps to get a better image first time, it takes some finish off the top, but once they'be been cleaned this helps ink adhere better. You may find that now you've cleaned it it may be better, or you could try the sellotape trick. Also if you have a brayer that would work :)
Anne xx

Diane said...

What a great technique--I think its just where you have to keep practicing to get it to where you want it, but I like the idea of it.

Angie said...

This all looks very interesting ...will pop back for a good read later.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi again Elizabeth, meant to say earlier I love the stamps you've been using :) It was cotton fabric :-/
Anne xx

Bettythebaglady said...

Hi Elizabeth-I've tried reverse stamping with a brayer and got results a bit like yours-wish I could find that gasket stuff in the UK. Something struck me though-the reason it is not satisfying is the discrepancy between the two images and it might be worth trying a couple of things
1Non reversed image- try the second time stamping ie stamp off first image on a piece of scrap that way you get a lighter non reversed image
then do your rubber bit
2 Are results better using pigment ink or versafine which stay wet longer?
I have seen this technique used very successfully by Barbara Gray of Clarity Stamps in the UK and also by Lavinia Stamps in the UK
Hugs BettyXXX

Milliesmarvels said...

Interesting technique, a very educational WOYWW!
Thanks for sharing.
Jane
x

Marilyn Rock said...

Very clever; lots of steps but great results! You are persistent and that always produces results - kudos to you!

Cardarian said...

Thank you for sharing the technique - I will try it and see how it goes!
Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!
Hugs,
Cardarian

Halle said...

Great tutorial...glad you showed your mistakes. Proves that it's not always as easy as it is in theory.

Great pick for the blog of the day as well.

Spyder said...

I'm back now...and I think I would cheat!! Stamp it...scan it....and then reverse it on the computer! but I will still have a go, nothing beats reallll 'craft' ink or paint!! Have a crafty day!
((Lyn))

Terri Kahrs said...

Judging by the number of comments, it looks like you've struck a nerve with this post, Elizabeth! I kind of like the grunge look you've achieved with your reverse stamps. It'd be great for art journaling. Hugs, Terri xoxo

JoFY said...

hhhmmm interesting - I like how you've tried different ways.
Its got me thinking....

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Actually I prefer imperfect stamping and so i kind of like your results! I also like carving my own stamps, if it's crooked, that adds character! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Penni said...

Great tutorial, thanks for sharing.

Hugs
Penni
X

minnie_mac said...

Love the effect you have got with the reverse stamping.

Marilyn
x

Foil Play said...

Interesting idea - thanks for sharing!

Twiglet said...

Sounds a clever idea to me and Wipso!!

Nicki (LittleTed) said...

Great tutorial, thanks for sharing your experiment, afraid I can't offer any advice as I've never tried this technique.

Nicki, xx

Diana said...

This looks amazing.
I'm not a stamper either, but I love buying them and I love seeing what others do with stamps. I just don't seem to have it in me to get stamped images to look decent.

Nicks said...

hello, thanks for the mention on your blog, you are too kind xxx

kiwicarole said...

The fun is always in the discovery :)
Great blog post!
Carole :)

Paper and Ribbons said...

A good idea, I might have to give it a try!

The Paper Princess said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I will file this away in my head for future use!

Ramona
http://create-with-joy.blogspot.com

Marlynn said...

Impressive, Elizabeth. I really like this tutorial! Thank you. I think you are on to something with the paint, I really do.

Nikki said...

Very Kewl idea I can see what you mean about having to try it a few times first. love how neat everything is on your desk too :)

~*~Patty said...

I wonder if having a nice cushy, like a foam or mouse pad type under what you are stamping?
I think it's great how you jump into projects!
oxo

Galaxy Girl - my Stamp Galaxy Blog... said...

Great tutorial. Try using a brayer too, that works.

Hugs
Kay
Toodles and Binks

ScrappySuzanne said...

I am going to have come back again and re-read your tutorial.....I like the sound of it! I love the bird stamps...would be perfect in my round robin journal all about ravens.....you have a great blog

mckinkle said...

Great idea!

Keryn :)

Handmade with Love said...

Thanks for your suggestions on the uses for my little wooden trug, they are great! I have just worked out what you are asking about with the round thing behind my desk, its a cupcake stand and I have two of them on either side of the dresser with glittery bits on them, you can see a close picture on this post http://handmade-cards-with-love.blogspot.com/2010/03/whats-on-your-work-desk-wednesday.html. Have a great weekend! Tracey x

Hazel (Didos) said...

Hi Love the desk and your stamps are brill. Thanks for the tutorial. I am the same as Betty and have seen it done by Clarity Stamps in the UK with amazing results. Hope you have a great weekend, Hazelxo

Paula Gale said...

Hi Elizabeth - I love how you shared you playing and experimenting with us... thank you ... the colour ink you used was a great colour too...

Anyway - i'm congratulating you on getting the 500 points at the end of my blog post for WOYWW - you and all the others that read the mammoth post certainly deserve the points LOL - perhaps thats why it takes me about 3 hours to do the post...

Paula x x x

Cindy McMath said...

Elizabeth, a stamping tutorial? I had to double-check to make sure I was in the right place - LOL Very clever idea. Of course I have a reverse stamp but I admit to rarely using it. :) Be very careful with paint on your stamps to wash it off right away - would love to see what else you come up with. Pigment ink would probably work well too, as it stays wet longer and doesn't tend to "pool" like dye ink can. Of course it goes without saying that Stayz-on wouldn't work very well as it would dry up way too fast!

Actually you could try your Twinkling H20s too!

Cindy :)

Mixed Media Martyr said...

Another idea if you want a reverse image would be to stamp the image onto a rubber stamp and then carve it out yourself. It would only be possible with bolder images (like the bird), but it might work to get a clearer reverse. Thanks for the tutorial, I think that it would be a cool way to transfer more markmaking like a monoprint too. Wipe on paint to the rubber and then draw and stamp into it before transferring to card or your journal page. Mmmmmmm... might go looking for some gasket rubber!!! Leanne.