Thursday, July 18, 2013

Using Background Stamps: Part 3

Note: I am still away on vacation and will only have one more post before taking a break for a few days to get settled at home again and do some more stamping. Also, don't forget that this week's OLW challenge is on Heather's in my sidebar!

For part three of my background series, we're going to look at using only part of a large background stamp as a main element of a clean-and-simple card. Take a look.

As you can see, the a large-ish portion of an even larger background stamp is cropped and popped up on a white card base, preserving the CAS feel of the card. The sky is not really "background" so much as the central setting of the card, a main player. You can use this layout to create simple scenes, or you can use geometric backgrounds to make abstract cards.

And yes, I'm not happy with how the sky background stamped. I used soft pool ink from Hero Arts, and it turned out blotchy twice. The sky stamp probably needs to be rubbed with an eraser for better inking, but the ink pad may be to blame as well.

Tips for Using Large Wood-Mounted Background Stamps
Getting a good image with huge, wood-mounted background stamps can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas I've tried and like.

1. Ink the stamp by setting it rubber-side-up on your desk. Turn the ink pad upside down and ink the whole stamp that way. Some people swear by using a brayer to ink the stamp, but you'll likely waste a lot of ink that way, plus it adds another step and extra clean-up that I'm just too lazy to do.

2. Place the paper you're stamping on the floor on a smooth surface. Because my floors are carpeted, I use a one-foot-square piece of plywood that's smooth on one side. I carefully place the stamp on the paper, place the ball of my foot on the stamp, and put all my weight onto the stamp for a few seconds. This gives a great image almost every time.

3. Sometimes, I will ink the background stamp and place the paper on top of the inked rubber on my desk. Then, using the long edge of a bone folder, I rub the backside of the paper all over the stamp. This often works great, but not as often as the stand-on-the-stamp method. Also, on a stamp like the one above, with large open areas, it's easy to push through the paper accidentally. Ask me how I know....

I hope these tips help. Sometimes it just takes a little experimenting to decide what works best for you!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones


  1. Love the bright orange against that blue--very summery!

  2. I like the idea of cropping a larger background and using only part of it. You could get 2 cards out of a single press. I'd be leery to stamp as you do with your full weight on the stamp. I'd likely squish the poor stamp into an early trip to the trash. Your vacation sounds lovely. It's hot here in the Pacific NW. We're all looking forward to autumn. We don't "do" hot and/or humid well, unless it's a nice, cool rainfall.

    1. PS: Forgot to add that this reminds me of kite flying at the coast, one of my favorite places (it's usually cool there) and one of my favorite beach activities. It's lovely to see the sky filled with colorful kites.


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