Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WOYWW 61: A tutorial of sorts

I tried to get to everyone last week, but sadly didn't make the last few on the list. It's the first week in awhile that has happened. My deep apologies. I will try to get to everyone this week, since it's too hot to go anywhere.

Take heed about today's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday post.

Remember a few eons ago (actually WOYWW 51) when I tried my hand at reverse stamping? After doing an extensive internet search, I found a company that sells reverse stamp blocks. Here is what they say:
Images stamped from the reverse stamps are mirror images of the original. Also they will be lighter and less sharply defined than a first stamping.
There was no photo available. Their web site is Their cost: Reverse Image Rubber - 6" x 6" @ $12.95. If you recall, I paid $4.95 for two sheets of the same size gasket rubber.

Next, I found this at

  1. Stamp your image onto your cardstock or other paper. Use a freshly inked pad, or one that is more wet. (NOTE: Several of you also suggested this)
  2. Ink the image again and stamp onto a transparency or wax paper. Special stamps are also available for this technique, from companies such as Rubber Stampede. These stamps are basically a flat sheet of rubber. (NOTE: I got the exact thing I needed, which was the rubber gasket material)
  3. Use an image positioner to stamp the image on your card (I had to improvise, not being sure what a stamp positioner was).
  4. While the ink is still wet, flip the paper and use it to stamp your mirror image. Rub slowly with your fingertips, or use a brayer to transfer the ink, being careful not to shift the paper. This image will be slightly faded and not as crisp an image as the original. If the reverse image is too much lighter for your design, stamp your reverse image first and without re-inking, stamp your image onto cardstock. With this method, both images are second generation and they match more closely. (NOTE: I like the idea of starting with both images being second generation stampings as was suggested)
  5. Enhance the image with color ink, chalk or other medium.

So here I am once again trying my luck at reverse stamping.

Why today? Because I though all you WOYWW participants might want to see what I learned. I really DID listen to you and read all your thoughtful comments.

Supplies clockwise from upper left:
Rubber stamps
Gasket material
Mouse pad
T-square to be used as image positioner
Sheet of glass or plexiglass
Pigment ink
Substrate (I used cardstock)
Not shown: Packing tape and eraser

Before I begin, I just want to say, I remember MANY of you suggested using a brayer. I have one, but it really doesn't turn properly and I seem to be brayer challenged. So no brayer will be harmed used in this post.

I began with the eraser which I somehow cropped out of the above photo.

I erased and erased as some of you suggested. After cleaning the eraser pieces away,

I added packing tape (Anne aka Liverpool Lou provided the hint and called it sellotape) to further take some of the shine and newness off the rubber.

Next I marked the outline of the stamp because I figured I'd need it for positioning.

I'm ready to stamp.

Gold juicy ink was added to my favorite bird stamp, since some of you (Betty the Baglady and Hazel [didos]) suggested using pigment ink.

I used my mouse pad to cushion the stamp, a tip suggested by Julia.

I added the reverse stamped image to the cardstock

then positioned my T-square over the paper. I even did a "first generation" off-stamping, as Betty suggested before I positioned the stamp over its reverse image.

Unfortunately, the tails were longer than the feet. (NOTE TO SELF: make sure you use a stamp that actually makes sense to reverse)

Yep, I got a reverse stamped image, but the gold doesn't show up well on the page. I've tried it twice, learned something both times, and had fun, but no CIGAR. And if I'm not careful Julia, keeper of the links and host to this madness is going to want Mr. D's easel back and kick me out of WOYWW. So no more tutorials (or even experiments) on stamping. You WOYWW gals are far too good and I'm still not a stamper!

Today I have a web site that doesn't belong to any WOYWWer, although I already have a WOYWWer chosen for next week. I did this because some of you who visit my blog don't do the WOYWW blog hop. However, in keeping with the spirit of my European friends, I have chosen Amelia Critchlow, who is from London (in the UK). Her web gallery has much to offer, especially if you are into paper collages, or hand stitching and collage on fabric. I have no idea how well known she is in the UK, so maybe some of my UK friends will let me know. I sincerely hope you like my blog choice, Amelia Critchlow, today.

61 thoughtful remarks:

Julia Dunnit said...

Actually Wlizabeth I think you're too hard on yourself - it came out really well. I've done the tail and feet thing so many times that I've changed my MO and do the non-reverse image first so I can better judge my placement...of course, I could use a positioner, properly, but that really is faffing! I do like that bird image, and in that Gold Brilliance it does need a gilded cage!

Julia Dunnit said...

Oh forgot to add - I don't know of Amelia, butbet others who work in that style do - how fab is her site!

bad penny said...

this is great.
Thank you for your sweet comment xx

JoZart said...

Thanks for sharing and who is that WOYWW doll I spy on the 1st pic? Really quirky!
You did well with your reverse stamping, just remember that it takes practice so keep going for perfection if you aren't satisfied now.
Jo x

Wendy said...

Its come out ok, Thanks for showing us how you did it

Cardarian said...

I am a beginner at stamping so I am no help at all, but to me what you have done looks ok, I guess we learn from each other - this week I have learned about reverse stamping! Nice! Like the website you picked - very interesting projects on there!
Have a lovely day!

Diane said...

It's a great technique, and now you know that you can do it, you can use it in different projects for a more unique look, and just like anything else, the more you practice...well you know the rest.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi Elizabeth, happy Wednesday :-)
The reverse stamping worked well; I'm sure most of us would've done the same re the tail/feet, I know I would. I love the your style of your informative posts, you always make me laugh.
Anne xx

Sue said...

Hi ya
i have trouble doing normal stamping!! lol, great piccies, yep they are toothpics by my cd, use them for my silicone, have great day, sue,x

Esther said...

I'm going to have to try that reverse stamping...thanks for the tutorial, please don't stop!! Your stmaping looks ok to mum always says whne I'm not happy wiht how something turns out - 'it's hand made, it's not supposed to be perfect' I have a large shadow stamp which will be just the thing to try this on...Happy WOYWW Esther

Gez said...

Great stamping. Thanks for sharing. I wouldn't even dare attempt reverse stamping!! You are soooo clever. Off to check out your link. Have a nice day.xx

Lizzybobs said...

I will have a go at this now I have seen you do it so to spk thanks for sharing and I think it looks great lv Liz ;o)

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Me again! I only used the painstik with the floral stencil at the top left of the t-shirt and the spots. The rest I did by placing textured wallpaper under one layer of the t-shrit and rubbed over the top, you don't need to rub very hard. Yes I do like them very much, I think they're a quick easy way to get a design onto fabric. Im sure you know but I understand if it's fabric you're going to wash you need to leave it for 3 days before washing (can't remember whether it needs to be left as well as heat set but I'll heat set mine too just in case)
Anne xx

FlipSyde said...

Hey, neat! I bought a reverse stamper a few weeks ago, and promptly threw it in with the rest of my rubber stamps (not to be confused with my AWEsome postage stamp collection - of which I am dorkily proud). I am going to try my hand at this tutorial here, and maybe, just maybe - my reverse stamp thing will actually be used!

Tracey said...

Your been way too hard on yourself Elizabeth, watched reverse stamping many times but not attempted it, and I would never have thought about the tail/feet issue either, as I tend to be more of a bull in a china shop type person lol.

Kathleen said...

I've never tried reverse stamping, I'll have to give it a try, thanks for sharing the how to. Love the Kitty pictures

The Paper Princess said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Great post - don't be so rough on yourself - it all takes practice and actually, the bird/feet issue looked sort of artsy to me! :-)

Got your comments (don't know if your email is fixed yet). The Paper Artsy stamps are actually unmounted rubber, not acrylic - you can buy them unmounted or on EZ Mount (I chose the latter). The quality is great - deeply etched - well worth checking out!

Acrylic stamps vary in quality by manufacturer - some lines like CTMH are very good - others, like the dollar stamps - well, you get what you pay for! There are some good lines out there - which ones have you had probs with?

Ramona :-)

Halle said...

Funny WOYWW graphic! I also love that you always show your results even when they aren't so great.

Sandra said...

Love your blog. Off to take a look at your recommended site now. TFS x

Healing Woman said...

Thanks so much for the rubber stamping technique. I have always told my customers not to expect anything I do to be perfect. Flaws are the mark of a good artist, otherwise, we'd all shop at Wal-Mart.

Mar said...

good usual
i haven't checked out this wow place
but when i get a moment..or two as i hear...i shall

i think ya did an outstanding job with the reverse stamping act!

Doone said...

My goodness you are so patient - what a lovely blog 'how to do' - gonna try it when I get back home -

if you want a quick dabble - try this as an aternative methodology- stamp onto acetate - use acetate to transfer the inked image to your card/ paper - directly stamp the other half of the mirror image using your stamp - and Julia (dammitt) is right I always stamp the 'mirror' first - less to go wrong. If you are careful you can get as sharp an image from an actate transfer as from the stamp itself (it helps if you use sturdy acetate not flimsy ohp and if the size is cut to just slightly bigger than the image size and you have to practice to feel for how much ink you want depending on the image definition you want)...fafffing faffing - forget mirrors!!!!


Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I personally enjoy all of your tutorials, even the ones that you don't deem "successful" actually, I might enjoy those even more because I can learn vicariously from you...:) FWIW I thinks these were a huge success- they may not look the way you intended but that doesn't make them any less beautiful!

Cheryl said...

hi hun great tutorial will give that a try,love cheryl xxxxxxx

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Hi Elizabeth! This is really a WOYWW project- so many WOYWWers involved! What did Wendy have to say?! Patsy from

Cath Wilson said...

Keep on trying - you did well for a first try! It does get easier and the more you do it the more you realise what you need and how to get exactly the look you're after. You can also use your blank rubber for palette stamping - that's a fab technique. Thanks for sharing your efforts AND your desk!

Rosie said...

That's so clever it made my brain hurt, but I think I understand it - thanks for sharing.

Rica said...

That's fabulous Elizabeth, I use a brayer, but not all images are OK with one, acetate usually ends up sliding for me and have been know to scan an image, reverse and print, the stamp on the print, but I feel that's sort of cheating!! Must try this method sometime, thanks for the tut.
hugs Heather xx

Kay said...

Hey I think you did really well. It's probably the colour of the ink that is the problem, a darker ink would have shown up more. Don't give up!

angelwhispers said...

Thanks for the tutorial will have to give this a go!!! Thanks for sharing Chanelle xx

minnie_mac said...

Enjoyed your tutorial. Have only ever tried reverse stamping using detailed stamps on solid background stamps or the Elusive Images solid and patterned butterfly stamps.

Had a look at Amelia's blog, and will most definitely go back to look in more detail. Thanx for the link.


Phree said...

I think you're being way to hard on yourself - your reversed bird looks great - just a case of increasing the gap between sot the tail does not overlap.

Sid said...

Brill tute, and so well described !! Thanks and have a great WOYWW

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Reverse is something I tried a long time ago, it's too much fun to just stamp 'regular' ... great tut as always Lady!
Happy Wednesday, hope you are cooling off a bit!

Joanie Hoffman said...

I really enjoyed this posting. The technique looks interesting but i really like your way of "talking" through the demonstration. The asides & acknowledgments make this demo like no other. After a yucky weekend, I really needed the smiles I got from your blog. Thanks! xoxox, Joanie
p.s. Fuzz-Marie is doing pretty good!

Helen said...

I have a (smallish) reverse stamp somewhere - couldn't find it the other day when i wanted it for the first time in ages!! Must be in the bottom of one of those drawers I can't get too. Great tut but it sounds like hard work! Still, keep trying - I know with my stamp (it's basically just a piece of rubber stuck onto wood) the darker inks worked best because by the time you restamp the image you still have some colour to show up.

Andrea - Wales, UK said...

Well done on the reverse stamp technique and thanks for sharing a fab tutorial. Just popped over to Amelia's blog and she is truly inspiring.


Kate said...

Great tutorial, like the use of the gasket rubber.

** kate **

Ali H said...

Hi - great to share your experimenting - reminds me I need to play more and learn along the way ! Thanks for the inspiration !

Twiglet said...

Now I know why I like textiles - all this stamping stuff strains my little brain - I will pop over to your recommended site to enjoy more fabric and stitching!! Thanks for sharing!

Spyder said...

>>>I just stamp them, scan them flip them and print them out, aren't you aloud to do that to stamped images?? Thank you for the link, I've now added an update!! (for the picture on the mouse mat, I'm sure it was you where I think I saw it first.
Have a great woyww!!

Stressed Stamper said...

Thanks for the tutorial - cant believe you comment on everyone on WOYWW - wish I had the time - I do rand ones say every 3 or so, and they change each week so I eventually meet it

Heather x said...

Honey, you are too hard on yourself! You did a lot better than my first attempt :0)
*hugs* Heather x

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi: I just had to stop by and look at your tea cups. Very pretty, and I love the teapot. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please email me with your address, I have something I think you might like. I thought of you when I saw it. Have a great week. Blessings, Martha

Sunshine Girl said...

I teach classes here in the uk and one of them was on mirror image stamping - you are doing all the right things but just need to keep practising - its a tricky technique but once you have mastered it you will love it! you might be better to keep trying the first method rather than the brayering technique as thats bit easier. Keep smiling :)

Violets Corner said...

Well done on the mirror technique!

I use acetate :)


Hazel (Didos) said...

Well Done on getting the stamping just right. WOW just looked at the next post up. Goodness what a lot of Firefighters! Thanks for dropping by my blog again, Love Hazel x

Bluefairy4U said...

Hi am glad you succeeded,it was try try and try again for me until I found a large plain stamp and stamped on that then it goes on the card and is a little lighter but it works. Good luck JO. xxxx

Linda Elbourne said...

Sorry I am so late ... great tutorial ... I must go ... I am really late now ... your fault for rabbiting on for ages :0)

Darcy said...

hiya, sorry late getting around, but I didn't have time to take part this week, so just popping round a few of my faves today.

I admire your determination, I just can't get a decent reverse impression. I have a stamp positioner, it consists of an acrylic L shape, and a large rectangle of thinner acryclic, it does come in very handy for getting placements right.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

oh my, i have never finished the WOYWW list, sorry about that. in fact i've been wondering how anyone can finish it and still do everything else. i figured my internet connection must be lousy! great tutorial, thanks!

TinaB said...

Fab space!! Sorry I'm late with my post xx Love for you to play along for my blog candy :0)

butlersabroad said...

Ah, that's a technique I've seen but never attempted so well done for giving it a go. I'm sure that, like everything, a bit of practice and experimentation are all that's required. Have a wonderful crafty weekend.


Lynne said...

Great technique, thanks for sharing.

Alisonw30 said...

thank you for visiting me this week, glad to be of assistance with the conservatory definition! Well done on the stamping, looks complicated it but I might give it a go! x

Chrissie said...

I'm going to have to read this lot again, when I can actually take in the instructions... it's too late in the day at the mo... but thanks in anticipation!

Linby said...

Great post. thank you so much for the lovely comment you left on my blog and the congrats, it is very much appreciated.
I am afraid I have given up trying to do all of WOYWW blogger and a combination of my ISP make it difficult!
Hugs Linbyx

ikki said...

Gosh you have had a busy week, and great pictures. Apologies for late arrival, will try harder next (oops) this week. ikki

Serendipity Stamping said...

Nice job. I only tried reverse once and used the technique of using the clear sheet for the reverse and that is the top lay. Too much for my brain I think, but I was proud of the way it turned out. I used the Lovely As A Tree stamps set from Stampin Up. I so love everyone their shelves.

Ellephantastic Cards and Crafts said...

Hi, sorry I'm so late visiting. Thank you for popping by. Glad I m late though, gave me chance to look through your posts, & wow a lot has happened since last Wed!!
Hugs x

Maz said...

:o) Your post made me laugh! It's good to see that other people don't always get it right first time! Especially as blogs normally just contain pics of the finished (perfected) pieces! Hope you crack it in the end. x