Thursday, October 22, 2015

It started out to be a masterboard

Quite some time ago, my internet friend Nancy of Quilting Potpourri asked what a masterboard was.  It was at that time, I promised I would share one on my blog and possibly even write a tutorial on it.   However, there are many, many, many other artists who make them far better than I.  Two people I can think of are Helen of Stamping by H (see many examples here) and Angela at Felix the Crafty Cat (see many examples here). I actually first read about masterboards when my WOYWW friend Julia at Stamping Ground shared one she had made.

I'm fairly certain you won't find the word "masterboard" in a dictionary, and if you live in the States, the craze may not have hit in your area or you chose to ignore it.  It's very, very popular in Europe, though, especially Great Britain.   When I think of masterboard, I think of a large multiple layered sheet that is then cut into various sizes, such as ATC, inchie, moo, postcard, tag, greeting card, or other background sizes to which you then add a focal image.

You begin with the paper, and depending on what you are making, you should choose your paper wisely.  Heavy cardstock weight paper is good if you are making ATCs, moos, or inchies.  300 lb watercolor paper is good for postcards and tags, while printer/copier paper is great if you are adding the cut masterboard to a greeting card.  I've started with cardstock weight paper, because I originally had an ATC project in mind.  Of course, my mind slipped its one track and deviated after awhile.  That's when I decided to join Moo-Mania and More for their Autumn Mood challenge.

Since the idea behind the multi-layered background seems to revolve around stamping, stamping, and more stamping, I was hoping for something quick and easy. But right now, the idea I had was to create a few of my own stamps.  After all, I'm not really a stamper, so I was hoping this would cover any mistakes I might make.  Again, I apparently didn't think this part through.

I began with a clean lid from a take out styrofoam container and a stylus.

I didn't want the recycle insignia to be part of or show in the stamped area, so I had to cut around it.

I decided to create designs in two of the styrofoam pieces and leave two plain. 

My fingers don't have much pinch grip, so picking these up after they've been stamped would be a real disaster.   Out came my trusty tape gun and tape.

This is a really lousy photo, but I have folded the tape in half, leaving wings on each end and pressing it to itself in the center.

After pressing the wings in place and centering the "handle" the best I could, I cut the excess wings from the styrofoam stamp.

Now even a klutz like myself could lift and use this "stamp."

Then it was time to repeat the process for the rest of the "stamps."

You might notice that I have returned items to their "homes" as I completed each task and before I took a photo of the next step.  That keeps my very small and limited space as clutter free as possible.

I had an autumn and Halloween theme in mind because of the Moo-Mania and More challenge, so grabbed the only autumn inspired paint I own.  Now most masterboard artists would use ink, such as distress, dye, pigment, or solvent in the form of ink pads or reinkers.  I wanted something a bit different, thus the reason I created the styrofoam stamps.  I don't like getting paint on my rubber or even acrylic stamps, thus my desire to create my own.

I laid out the paint on my tray and placed a paper (kitchen) towel handy to blot off excess paint before I stamped.  I was going for a "dry brush" effect.

No need to worry about the "dry brush" effect, because I liked the effect I got when I squished the stamp into the paint.

I admit this is NOT what I originally planned, but the project began to take on a mind of its own.

Next came yellow paint, which pushed the process even more off course.   At this point, I thought it looked incredibly bland, so I grabbed some of my wax linen thread

and tried to run it through the third paint, although, because of my lack of grip, I dropped the thread in several places, so it made unintended marks I had to live with.   It was time to allow the paint to dry, so I left these pages that originally were to be masterboards, but had turned into something different, to dry.

This morning I began stamping, then remembered to take a photo of the stamp and new tool my internet friend Mo (Mass of Hair) of So Much TO Learn had sent me.  I confess, it didn't help much because my stamping still sucked!  Yes, SUCKED.

I filled a total of four sheets of cardstock weight 12 inch by 12 inch paper with these designs, although I varied the placement of the rubber stamps.

My original plan of creating ATCs had gone out the window 

as did my plan to turn this into a masterboard as soon as the project took on a mind of its own.  I'm not sure what I'll do with these, but they will make good backgrounds for something autumn or Halloween inspired, I'm sure.

Thanks for making it through this far, and, even though I didn't make a masterboard as planned, I was able to make something that fits Moo-Mania and More's challenge.  I hope you also noticed that you can make art out of recycled items for a very little money.  As always, I greatly appreciate your wonderful comments.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

Great idea to manufacture your "stamps" and I think you did great - love the autumnal colours (fall colours I guess I should say!) Thanks for the link!

Valerie-Jael said...

´Looks like you had great fun!! Lovely idea to make your own stamps, too. I use most of stamps with paint, ink, glue at various times, and it doesn't damage them at all if you wash them off afterwards. I am looking forward to seeing what you create with your masterboard. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

My name is Erika. said...

I think your tutorial is quite nice. I love seeing how your masterboard came along and how you made those background stamp quite easily-and they look so cool. I am going to try that with the styrofoamy material. And thanks for leaving such a nice comment on my blog. I always appreciate when people stop by. Have a great day!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I am in love with your masterboards..they are such a fab design... great!
Well done with the Elizabeth DIY stamps - they are fab!And a fantastic low tec and recycling and no costs supply!
Thank you for the links to your blogfriends as well..
so I now have a lot to!
And the BEST OF all -- you are with us with this super project at Moo Mania & More!
Looking forward to what you will come upt with the boards.
Thank you for sharing your process.. I always love to read it .. just makes me happy to read that we all have the same kind of troubles with our!
Good to hear that you are a good girl and rest with the shoulder!
Have a great day Elizabeth!


Darla said...

I like the way you used the styrofoam to create stamps. I'm not quite sure I understand the masterboard theory. Is it like a background and then you cut the ATC's or whatever you want? I'll have to look at some of the links you provided.

Nan G said...

Great start, E! Love the colors. Cool idea to make a stamp out of to go packaging! Love the effect of the string in the paint. You shouldn't try to control everything....I really like where the string dropped. You should add more of that unplanned dropped imprints. Remember it's all about layers n layers n layers...on top of each other. - the Girls and I are still busy sorting and organizing my new studio. They run off with all the bits of fabric and ribbon :) And of course claim any size box empty or not that's within their reach. ;) Hugs to you Bleubeard n Squiggles from me and the Girls. T got all gussied up when she heard I was visiting Bleubeard's mum. :) :)

Divers and Sundry said...

I've never heard the word "masterboard" but saw similar ideas when I was researching how to make ATCs. I didn't try doing it that way, but it would be a good way of getting backgrounds. Your stamps are impressive! I'd never have thought of using styrofoam!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love how you made your own stamps and how successful they were! I looks as though you had a lot of fun as one thing led to another!! I love the colour combination! I do use paint on my stamps but have to remember to spritz them with water straight away so that the paint doesn't dry and clog them up! Looking forward to seeing what you make with them! Hugs, Chris

Halle said...

What a smart way to make handles! Even though our stamping may not have turned out as you wanted, the overall effect of the backgrounds really works for me!

Meggymay said...

A great step by step and fantastic stamps made by yourself. You have some wonderful boards to use now.
Yvonne xx

Doug Carey said...

very all the doodle pages I make with watercolor and drawings and then cut up for collage could be called a masterboard?! (if I used them for backgrounds?) you are the first to introduce me to the term. Guess since I'm not a stamper either, I haven't seen the right blogs! I really like the way your homemade stamps and string created a pattern! and love the raven stamp will be fun to see what your masterboards end up as!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks for sharing your techniques--the styro stamps and their handles are a great idea! Also like the string drizzled through.

Angela Radford said...

Hi Elizabeth, hope you're both well. Thanks for the mention that's really kind. I actually first heard about Masterboards in a Stampington Stampers' Sampler magazine. It's not a very common magazine in the UK but a few craft companies have them. I was so surprised that I hadn't thought of the idea before and from then on was well and truly won over. That must have been around 2010 and I have been making them ever since. I normally work on A3 but any size is good, we don't like rules anyway Lol! Great stamps too, I must give that one a go. Take care and happy crafting, Angela x

Corrine at said...

So creative with your foam tray. What a fab idea. I use them for paint palettes, but this is better!!!! Fun. xox

~*~Patty S said...

Great masterboard you created E (such a good idea! it's been awhile since I've done one)
AND fun use of the styrofoam.
Funny enough I played with some pieces from all of our vacation take out food (since I was hold up in the beach house with my toe on ice). I cut stencils out of the styrofoam...need to get myself organized and share that.
You have been busy as ever creating and doing such a nice job of sharing about it too.
I am floundering a bit here and have lots to catch up on.