I love using stamps! I love them for adding little bits of interest. I love them for texturing in art journal pages and on larger works. I love using stamps on cards and on love notes for the kidlets’ lunches.
I used to use purchased stamps, but I always had a feeling of cheating. I felt like I wasn’t really making my own art; I was just using someone else’s elements to play. Not quite the same thing as making my own art, huh. Then I saw somewhere on the interwebs a mention of using craft foam to make stamps. My whole world changed.
It’s funny the things that become game-changers in your arting. Sometimes I need to hear the idea before the possibility even occurs to me. So I mentioned to the hubby that I would sure like to have some sticky-backed craft foam. The next time he was out, he picked me up a huge stash of the stuff! He is the most awesome enabler…
While I do make some more long-lasting stamps out of carving linoleum, today I’m sharing with you how I make quick and cheap and easy stamps.
Understand that pretty much nothing in the house is sacred if I’m needing a new texture stamp. I’ll raid the kids toy box, I’ll raid the kitchen, I’ll raid the tool box in the garage. I’ll use CD cases or lids from just about anything to be the base of the stamps. I’ll heat up the foam and use jewelry or textured boxes for making texture stamps. I have the kids draw me doodles to use for drawing out stamps. Anything can be fodder for stamps.
The brilliant thing about craft foam (besides it’s cheap!) is that it’s smooth and easy to cut. You can use scissors or a craft knife to cut it. You can make one whole piece or a bunch of little pieces, and then you can stick it onto just about anything to hold it together.
Hint: I put my image onto another piece of craft foam, and then stick that whole thing onto my lid or whatever. That gives it more stability and a better coverage when you stamp.
Here’s a couple of stamps that my hubby made for me. I was working on cleaning out several boxes of stashed stuff, and in the bottom was some loose jewelry pieces from long-ago broken jewelry. Christopher used the heat gun to heat up the foam and then used the very textured pendant to impress the texture into the warm foam. Worked awesome!
Another fun thing to try is once you have your shape cut out of the foam, you can carve into the foam itself. You can use a ball point pen, a nail, a craft knife, a piece of metal with an edge to it. The cool thing is that it doesn’t take much at all, but when you add that to the foam, wherever you use ink (or a light app of paint), the texture won’t take the color and it leaves a texture in the stamp.
Now I don’t have the whole cheating feeling. I can look at any of my art and know that the whole thing is my work. I realize that maybe nothing I make myself is really that original, but it’s still all me. I take the time to make these stamps and I use them with paint or ink or embossing powders. I use them in my backgrounds in my art journals and in my art pieces. I use them as images in the art papers I make for my collage. I use them as focal points on all kinds of stuff.
Hint: They do eventually deteriorate. Enjoy them while you have them, but they won’t last forever!