Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Stamp Kit

As I said in the previous post, here is the full story on my clever, useful and oh so adorable, hand carved stamp kit that appears in the current issue of Somerset Holidays and Celebrations.
I designed two stamp kits that fit in decorated Altoid tins.  What?????

 One was featured in the magazine the other was not.  
But here,
 you get to see both!

The one featured, Happy Holidays holds seven stamps!
The other set Let It Snow has four stamps made using wine corks. 
Upcycled tin and corks....clever.     I know....right? 

 I used the stamps in the kit to decorate the outside and inside of the tins. 
So now, 
here are both kits with many more pictures and basic instructions on how to make you own.

First the Happy Holidays set.

Start with small wooden craft blocks (available at all craft stores) I used 2 each of 1/2" and 3/4" blocks and a 
small rectangle 1 1/2" x 2 1/4" for the tree. 
 I used these dimensions to sketch out on graphed tracing paper the size of each. Then I drew my designs within the outlines. 
within, which means a tad smaller then the block or cork.

A tree, two holly leaves, (one of them solid) a snowflake, a star, a trio of holly berries and a circle star burst.  
Yes that is a lot of stamps happening all in that one little mint tin! 

I carved them on pink Speedy Carve and trimmed them down very closely to fit on the blocks.  Before I mounted the rubber on the wood, I sanded the blocks lightly to smooth the wood and gave it a light coat of glossy Mod Podge to seal the wood. 
Then I stamped the index of the stamp with a permanent black ink. I used Brilliance Graphite Black pigment ink, then 
I heat-set it and gave it another light coat of Mod Podge. 
I don't like to use a solvent ink for stamping the index because 
it stains the stamps permanently. 
I have found the Brilliance gives me a reliably solid stamped impression because it is pigment based and it washes off the stamp easily. 
That is important if you are giving it as a gift because, neatness counts.

***And of course people....
use a well inked ink pad.
 It will bum you out, if you stamp the wooden block and the image is not complete or light. 
Trust me. 
You can see on the star stamp below that I mounted the stamp to my 'botched' index side.
 That is always an option or painting over it, but that takes a few coats and more time.

Next, I mounted the stamps on the blocks taking care to attach the stamp in the same orientation as the index, with E6000.  
A little bit goes a long way and letting the glue rest  a few minutes before adhering is advised.

Give the stamps a flat, level surface to rest on while the glue dries so the rubber doesn't shift off the block. These little suckers are small and they will move when you're not looking (weird, I know), 
and if you end up with a stamp that is hanging half way off the block...
well, you just made more work for yourself my friend. Just keep an eye on them as the glue sets...about an a hour.
After the glue dried I carefully cut away with an exacto-knife, any excess glue that seeped out from under the stamp. 

After the stamps were mounted and dried for at least 24 hours. 
I used them to stamp out designs on paper to use to decorate the tins.
 I stamped on a smooth text weight  paper using pigment inks.  The text weight is lighter and made it easy to wrap and adhere the stamped border around the tins.
 I trimmed the border to fit 
the width and to wrap all the way around the lower bottom of the outside tin...
no measurements here,
 it is pretty straight forward. 
Next, adhere with Mod Podge....decoupage technique.

For the outside cover panel 
and inside cover panel,
 I traced the outside of the tin on the paper with pencil, (to erase it later) then
stamped my designs within the border. 

Layering the stamped tree and Happy Holiday panel onto card stock with the Mod Podge gave it more structure and kept the raised letters on the tin from showing through, which would have happened if I had only used the stamped text weight paper.
 you are probably asking yourself 
why I didn't just stamp 
the panels on white card stock 
to begin with?
The answer is... 
I didn't have any with a smooth 
enough finish for stamped images,
 such as Paris Bleedproof #234...my favorite stamping card stock. 

I took care to straighten and even out the panel when cutting it out.

Certainly, you could print out the words 
Happy Holidays 
Let it Snow 
from your computer instead of stamping them, it would definitely look neater and cleaner, but I wanted the 'stamped look'. 

When I was happy with a design I liked, 
I heat-set my stamped images 
before applying the sealer.
 Here on the bottom right you can see my holly leaves smeared when I applied a coat of the MP without heat-setting.
Yep, this one was messy, I didn't use it.


Trim the panels and attach to the outside and inside lids using Mod Podge. 
To attach the panels, the basic decoupage technique works best....A good coat underneath and a good coat on top, the same with the wrap around border. 
You can sprinkle a bit of glitter on the final top coat to add some sparkle. 
I kept the red edge of the lid plain but cleaned away any excess sealer before it dried. 

The inside of this tin I lined with green felt and the bottom got a simple cutout of green card stock stamped with my information. 
Yes, I know the back and front aren't going in the same direction...What can I say? 

You could leave the tin bottom blank and sign it with permanent marker.

With this Happy Holidays set the stamps cannot stand upright and have the lid closed... 
 so, the stamps have to be adjusted and turned on their sides.

You can use this set to make so many holiday crafts.

Now, onto the the Let It Snow stamp kit. 
This one I used wine corks instead of wooden blocks. 
This one has four stamps, but you could cut the corks down and to fit more stamps in the tin.

I sketched out these circles and snowflakes to fit on the corks. 
Which I then transferred onto the rubber to carve the stamps.

After the stamps were carved, mounted
and indexed.

I used the stamped text weight paper (definitely a better choice than card stock for this) to make strips to wrap around the cork to identify each stamp (the index). 
Again, with pigment ink that is heat-set then the strips are adhered with Mod Podge, decoupage technique. 

 I stamped out different designs to see what I wanted to use on the tins.

I glittered along the the outside lip of the tin  using glitter glue...several coats and smoothing it with my finger as it dried. 
This particular tin had a green edge so the blue glitter blends with it easier than the red would.

For this set I made a stamped inside bottom lining and adhered it with the same decoupage method as the outside & inside panels.  
This inside lining stuck a bit to the stamps after being shipped to California and back, and it tore slightly when I removed the stamps. If that happens you can lightly sand the stamps and the lining with super fine grit sandpaper after the sealer (MP) has cured for a day or two.

 Glitter glue along the inside lid too.

The four stamps fit nicely in the tin and the lid closes perfectly.

Well, there you have it
 a super affordable, 
hand carved stamp kit. 
I must admit, 
I am quite pleased with myself, but more importantly I hope you are inspired to try this out.

You can make these for yourself and\or use them in your holiday crafting projects such as card and tag making or wrapping paper. 
You will be so delighted with yourself each year as you pull it out with your Christmas decorations or craft supplies. 
you could give a special 
hand made gift to someone who 
you know will appreciate it and use it....
there are those people.
If you do give it as a gift, 
it is a good idea 
to also give one or a few ink pads. 
Otherwise they aren't very useful.   :/
  There several  mini ink pad sets available online and in your local stamp store....yes, there are those stores. 

If I left anything out 
or you have any questions...
just shoot me an email or 
leave a comment. 


If you like this post...

 please share on...

 Facebook, Pinterest and/or Twitter 

Who knows?

You may have FB friends who are Crafters and who knows...maybe they'll make one for you. 
 Don't  forget to click the "Follow" button here on my blog.

I truly thank you for stopping by....
now, go make something for the holidays...
yes, food counts. xoxo

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I'm Published and The Holidays Are Here

Hello Visitors....Well, it's undeniable that the Holidays are in full swing. 
Season's Greeting to you all!

I want to share with all of you my latest published piece in Somerset Holidays & Celebrations, Winter 2014.  
I will share it with you, but that will be later. For now, here is a peak at this fabulous and useful holiday stamp kit I crafted ... this is what was published. :D
What the what? Oh yes, talk about great ideas and wait til you see all the things you can make with it and of course it makes a terrific gift. So, check back very soon and I will have all the instructions and more pictures for making this piece of crafty cleverness along with a variation on this project. With the full deets, as the kids would say.

 I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Somerset for placing my project in their latest issue. 

Thanks for stopping by and check back very, very soon, you will be Ho Ho Ho...so glad you did.

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