Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting the Most From Your Stamps

This is the latest article I've written for A Cherry On Top. .  .you can find all of the great products I 

used, over in the ACOT store! :)

Stamps are an investment.  We buy them because they seem like a long-lasting, worthwhile, crafty purchase. We justify the expense, promising ourselves that we will get tons of use from them and they'll be super practical. And guess what? That is completely true.  But if you're like me, you whip up a few projects with a stamp set... and then you get bored.  Into the bottom of the drawer it goes, collecting dust with the rest of those must-have stamp sets.
Today I challenge you to bust out one of those stamp sets (and hey, if you realllly want to... go buy a new one, I won't tell) and try some of these simple techniques and ideas to get some use 

out of those great stamps! 

Lily Bee stamps and Bazzill cardstock, by Laura Williams
I'm going to share 5 projects, which focus on some of my favorite techniques and ideas, that you can recreate using just about any stamp set, paper pack and color scheme you'd like.  So that you can see exactly what I'm working with, here is the stamp set I'm featuring today.  It's the Buttercup clear stamp set by Lily Bee.  (These are great high-quality stamps, which are really easy to use!)
Buttercup clear stamp set by Lily Bee, from

1.  Layer Your Stamps
Stamp a background over an outline image.  To create the tag on this card, I stamped the polka-dot background, and then the tag outline and sentiment right over it.  Polka-dots are my FAVORITE; they just make me HAPPY!  Think about what stamped images you can add a pattern to. (a polka-dotted tree, teacup, or cloud? ADORABLE.) 
Lily Bee tag card by Laura Williams

2. Trim and overlap stamped images:
To create this candy tube, I stamped and trimmed the background square, and then stamped the flowers on patterned paper and cardstock.  I trimmed them, and layered them on, using foam tape to add some dimension. (Remember how I love polka-dots? Well, I love foam tape almost as much!)
candy tube by Laura Williams, from A Cherry On Top

3. KISS! (Keep it simple, silly!)
Grab the one or two stamps you like the best and let them work their magic. Don't get bogged down in the details.  On this card I used two stamps, added a bit of colored pencil, tied a piece of twine, and called it DONE. It took less than 5 minutes.  YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!!!
Lily Bee chickadee card by Laura Williams, for A Cherry On

4.  Repeat, repeat, repeat:
Take a stamp. . .just about any stamp. . .and make a background.  To really add some depth, try "second-generation stamping", where you stamp twice before reinking. Stamp, stamp, ink.  Stamp, stamp, ink. Got it? ;)  Make sure you stamp over the edges to make it look more like an actual piece of patterned paper.  And on this card, I didn't even do the entire background of the card.  A nice stripe at the bottom was enough.  (Add "simple" to my list of favorite things, right after polka-dots and foam tape!)
Lily Bee card by Laura Williams, for A Cherry On Top. com

5. Think Outside of the Box:
On this card, I wanted to use the square backgrond stamps in a new way.  So I stamped them on cardstock a few times, and then after I trimmed the squares, I trimmed them each in half.  It made a fun easy design that fills my card. (And lookie there. . .polka-dots, foam tape, simplicity! ahhhh!)
Lily Bee and Bazzill card, created by Laura Williams, for A Cherry On Top
 Remember, nothing I've shown you today is groundbreaking or complicated. But sometimes we all need a refresher, and an inspiration to look at our stamps in a new way.  I hope you'll take one (or two, or five) of these ideas, and you'll dive in and CREATE with what you love! 
projects created by Laura Williams, for

projects created by Laura Williams, for

projects created by Laura Williams, for

Products Used:


Carol Hartery said...

Nicely done! This comment is stamped with invisible polka dots and adhered to the comment space with foam tape!

Jessica Strider said...

Great ideas, thanks! :)

Laura Williams said...

carol, you are so cute :) you made me giggle!
Thank you girls!