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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Do it Yourself Stamps




The Sizzix Big Shot is a great tool to have on the shelf... but mine never stays there. There's no paper crafting project that a few die cuts can't improve. I've found yet another way to use the Big Shot. The initial idea came from the great altered art sorcerer, Tim Holtz. The Great Tim had used his Big Shot to cut out 6mm Craft Foam with Bigz and Originals dies, and glued them to backings he cut from the stiff plastic packaging from some of his supplies. Voila! Stamps! Very clever! I decided to take it one step further and incorporate Stampin' Up's Clear Mount Cling Foam. Using the Cling Foam enables you to mount your newly cut foam stamps on your acrylic blocks and be able to reposition them and couple them together for whatever back ground composition you wish, and you can store them in the thin plastic cases made for our regular stamps!


Supplies:
Thin craft foam, any color. I prefer white, while it shows stains after a few uses it is still easy to see where the ink is on the stamp. While I experimented with both 6mm and thin craft foam, I found that when combining the thickness of the craft foam with the Cling Mount Foam, the thin stuff was easiest to run through the Big Shot and plenty thick enough to stand up off of your block. Tim used black craft foam on his blog, must be a guy thing.
Stampin' Up! Clear Mount Cling Foam. You get (2) 8 ½ x 11 sheets – enough to fill 4 or more Clear Mount Stamp Cases if you're thrifty.
Big Shot and Bigz or Originals Dies
Clear Mount Stamp Cases
Ink, Paper, etc...




Directions:
  1. Measure the size of foam 1/8 th inch larger all around the die cut area to be sure to cover it completely. There is one clingy side and one sticky side of the cling mount foam, when making your “sandwich” for the Big Shot, the “cling” side will be down on the die if you want the stamp to look exactly like the finished die cut, or up toward the cutting pad if you want the stamps to print in the reverse image. “Up” or “down” might make a difference in your measurement, begin with the goal in mind.







  1. Adhere craft foam to Cling Mount Foam. Make it nice and exact as possible, you want both pieces to cover your die cut.

  1. Make your Big Shot “sandwich” - cutting pad, die, foam pieces, cutting pad. If you are wanting an exact image and your craft foam side is up, be sure that your cutting pad is new and smooth. The texture of a cutting pad will mar the foam if the cutting pad is heavily worn. What I do with my cutting pads is use one exclusively as a cutting surface and keep the other smooth. Then when the both sides of my cutting surface are excessively worn down, I swap it out with my smoother one and use one new cutting pad as a smooth backer. That way I don't have to use both my new ones in a set at once, and I always have a smooth sheet of acrylic to use to cut foam, ink up to load my brayer, or it can be used with Cling Stamps to create a large composition for decorating a greater area, etc...





  1. Run your “sandwich” through the Big Shot. It will be a little thick and you might need an extra hand, but it will come through just fine.




  1. Pop out your die cut stamp, peel the backing off the “cling” side of the foam and adhere to your acrylic block, ink, stamp, and clean just as you would a conventional rubber stamp. Works great with Classic Ink, Craft Ink, Versamark, watercolor techniques, “Kissing” techniques - where you stamp on the foam and then stamp the foam onto your paper, not what you do with your honey on Saturday night, what are you thinking?





The Stampin' Up “Lattice” Die was my personal favorite. Not only did it create an intriguing background, but you also get all the groovy inner pieces to make patterns with. Flowers, borders, relief patterns... so much to do with those pieces! I've photographed a few ideas but there's so much more you can do with this, give it a go!






The “Top Note” Die was a great one for watercoloring and kissing – really a unique look.



Sharing your creativity does make a difference to everyone around you. 
Enjoy! 

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