Thursday, February 21, 2013

Elevating my envelopes :: A Handstamping How-to



Even though my new print-making medium is letterpress, I do not want my stamping to completely fall to the wayside. On a recent paper buying trip I found some cute heart stamps. I thought I'd use some them to spruce up some envelopes for the cards I made for Valentine's Day.

Here's what I did so you can have some fun too! 
Detailed instructions below



Materials I used:

White acrylic paint (or whatever color you'd like)
sponge brush
my stamps!
dry paper towel
damp paper towel

Not pictured:
Colored envelopes (with white envelopes, you can use regular pigment ink pads)
Scrap paper!! If you can get it in the same color as your envelopes, it's even better.

Inking your stamp with acrylic paint



You only need a LITTLE bit of acrylic paint to ink your stamp. Dab a little on the end of your sponge brush. I like to dab it on a scrap sheet or on the cap of the paint jar to even it out. Then, lightly sponge it on to your stamp.

I've learned is to be very careful with the amount of paint you get on the edges of the stamp. It's easy to over ink with that sponge brush. Also, after you've used a stamp several times, you'll see it build up around the edges. This is where that damp paper towel comes in handy. Use it for a quick clean up & you're ready to go again.

Practice first!



Did your parents ever tell you "Practice Makes Perfect?" They weren't kidding.

Most paper stores sell card stock or text weight paper in the same colors as the envelopes.  Grab some in the color of your envelopes. Now you'll know how your stamp & color of paint will look on your envelope.

Practice stamping & arranging your design on your scrap paper. This is especially important when you are first figuring out how to ink your stamp with paint. When you've got something you like & feel confident about it, move to your envelopes.

Make your envelopes



After a few practices, I went to my envelopes. Set them out of the way to dry. If you're working with 2 stamps as I did, stamp them one at a time, like in an assembly line. I stamped my large heart first, as it was the foundation of my design. Then, I came back with the small heart. It helps avoid smudging!

Have fun!

Personalize envelopes for anything with this technique. Next time I might use a monogram! Or a bunny for Easter...

Try it & let me know in the comments (or on Facebook) how it goes!

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