When I was a child of the ripe ol’ age of 10, I had a few collections, and one of them was collecting stamps. My Uncle Marvin was an avid collector of stamps for years and years, so when he saw my little collection, he was very excited to have a fellow collector to “geek” out with. He’s the one that talked about how to remove used stamps from envelopes, preserve and mount them. He gave me a book to safely stick in these super cheap used stamps that my mom found at a local stamp and coin shop in the valley.
I had these stamps for awhile. All the hands on experience with the stamps, really made me appreciate the art on these little sticky rectangles. Years later when I started to do rubber stamping, doing mail art was something I loved to do, and I collected rubber stamps of postage stamps.
With all this being said, I was going through Amazon and noticed these super cool decorative rectangles that looked like a border for a stamp, so I immediately ordered them and started plotting how to use them! I’ve got a lot of ideas flowing, but the first ones I decided to do, which was the obvious one, was to make my own postage stamps. These stamps, I can use for all sorts of projects, from part of of scrapbooking page, to creating greeting cards with them, or in this case, making embellishments with them.
This project can be adjusted to any sort of theme or rubber stamps that you have. You can also use stickers or patterned paper instead of stamping and hand-coloring things.
Skeleton Rubber stamp Set [I had an unbranded skeleton stamp set I used]
Alphabet and Number stamp sets [Mine were from Hero Arts — Discontinued]
Bat with Moon [All Night Media — Discontinued]
Tim Holtz Distress Inks: Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Black Soot, Mowed Lawn, Seedless Preserves, Gathered Twig and Brick Red.
Washable School Glue, 5 oz, Liquid Clear White Glue (Any sort of good adhesive to glue painted wood to paper)
Because I wanted extra of these stamps and I had a lot of different colored scraps, I ended up making a number of die cuts with the two smallest dies from the set using white, purple and orange papers.
Previously I had been playing with Distress Oxides and some of my glossy papers, so I measured and cut the stamping area out of those papers. With how this was cut, I could of just stamped within the inside of the die stamped papers, but wanted more dimension and variety of textures from gloss to matte.
After the glossy previously colored paper is cut (and fits within the borders), it’s time to start stamping! Because it was Halloween, I pulled out a lot of my horror/Halloween theme, keeping in mind the small size I will be filling. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I have all sorts of stamps allowing me to create scenery and a big variety in that theme. Wolfman, the Plague Doctor and Frankenstein are some of my favorites in my collection that I had recently picked up. Using the archival black ink, and stamped across the glossy paper. The glossy paper that was previously distressed makes a really nice background. How I got this background was using Distress ink Spiced Marmalade wiped on the craft mat, added Mustard Seed and Brick Red, sprayed some water across it, then dragged the glossy card stock several times over the wet ink until I liked the the result. I also added some Purple and dragged the paper through that after the first layer dried.
After I stamped across the glossy paper, I ended up using various alphabet stamps and templates, and added the lettering with permanent markers and distress inks that really highlighted the images. Using Black Soot Distress inks, I inked the very edge of the cards.
Embellishing the stamped images, I used Tombo markers to fill in letters and other areas to give more variety of color. I also used a few random stamps, like the Bats in front of the Moon, the “period” from the Numbers set, and added some liquid white pearl pen, doing these around the main images.
Once the images are stamped and colored in, the lettering placed, I inked the edges of the base stamp with Gathered Twig Distress Oxide using the blending tool.
Using the Double Stick Foam tape, you can attach the stamped image to the stamp die base. Those are now pretty much ready to be used for whatever you really like. Originally I was going to decorate an envelope with them, but decided to make some embellished pins using some clothes pins. These can be clipped to journals, scrapbook pages, on Halloween treat bags…so many things. After having these clothes pins for years, I took apart a hand full of them, and painted them using white acrylic paint. Before you paint, you may want to gently sand the pins to smooth out the wood, but I didn’t as I liked the texture (and I forgot). I did two layers of white paint and made sure it was really covered.
Once both sides were dry, I put them back together, and took the Distress Oxides and ran them heavily on the flat top and bottom of the pins. At first I was going to leave them streaky, but then decided to really cover them heavily. Once the ink dries I used clear glue and attached the postal stamps to the top of the clothes pins.
So much fun! Would be great to make name tags with these as well.