We’re very near Christmas, so I wanted to share some Quick Holiday Cards. Several of the cards feature stamps from the beautiful Heartfelt Creations “Season of Joy” collection, and most use a background stamp.
Background stamps and other large stamps used to make me “cringe” because I often had trouble getting the stamp to work consistently and give a nice clear image. I’ve learned two methods that help with background stamps (or other large stamps), and I want to share those with you today. The first method is to use a “Mega Mount” acrylic block by Impression Obsession. This is a large clear stamping block with a handle. It has a very gentle curve on it, and really helps to facilitate stamping. To use it, you adhere your clear or cling stamp to the Mega Mount, and then be sure to cover the stamp fully with ink. This can be another problem in using large stamps — it is very important to keep checking and adding ink until all parts of the stamp appear “wet”. Then you turn over the Mega Mount and begin stamping at one end of your image, following the gentle curve of the block to the other end. You want to apply a firm consistent pressure, and this is usually easiest if you stand. Don’t rock the mega mount back and forth as this might result in a double-stamped image. One pass is sufficient if you keep the firm, even pressure.
The second background stamp technique is a brayer technique. Here you’ll place the cling or clear stamp on a large flat stamp block (if you don’t have a large enough stamp block, you can use one of the cutting plates from your Sizzix or Cuttlebug or Grand Calibur. The acrylic block should be placed on a flat, solid surface like a counter top or table. (Some people even feel comfortable placing the stamp face up on a work table with no block underneath.) The second step is to ink the stamp. Again you’ll want to be careful to add plenty of ink. Next, you’ll lay the paper you want to stamp face down on the inked surface. You can run a brayer over the paper, or run your fingers over the back of the paper — either with a firm, even pressure. The key is to make sure that the paper doesn’t move, so you have to hold it firmly in place with one hand while you use the brayer or your fingers to transfer the image.
I usually am able to get a good impression with large wood-mounted background stamps. (If you have problems, you can use the brayer technique described above.) I do have a problem lifting the stamp without dropping it, and spoiling the stamped image. To prevent this, I add a “handle” to the large wood mount stamp. This is done with packing or shipping tape. You’ll start the tape at one end of the wood stamp and run it to the center. Fold over the tape there to create a handle, and then run the tape to the other end. The tape handle is secure and you can use it to lift your stamp off of the stamped image — much easier than trying to get a good grip on a large stamp. Please see this short video for a demonstration of the two background stamp techniques and the stamp handle.
I began this card by stamping a snowflake background by Our Daily Bread in a very light blue ink (Memento Summer Sky). Next, I stamped a few larger snowflakes over the top of the background to add some dimension. The larger snowflakes are a stamp by Impression Obsession, and are stamped in Memento Danube Blue ink. (This technique shows very well on the card, but is somewhat hard to photograph. I tried to zoom in a little with the corner photo to try to capture an image of the light blue background.) I also stamped the featured quote (stamp by Impression Obsession) in Danube Blue ink. I chose a coordinating blue paper, and cut a 4.25” x 5.5” piece for the background, and a 2.75” x 3.75” piece to frame the sentiment. I trimmed the snowflake background to 3-7/8” x 5-1/8”, and the sentiment to 2.5” x 3.5”. I added a little 3/8” white velvet ribbon along the left side and bottom of the snowflake background paper, and then attached the background paper. I attached the sentiment to the smaller piece of blue background paper using Scor-Tape, and then to the snowflake background using dimensional adhesive. To finish, I added a silver snowflake (cut from a piece of May Arts satin cutouts ribbon), and a blue rhinestone in the center.
I began this card by stamping the “Christmas Story” background by Penny Black using Black Versafine ink on red paper. Then I used two stamps from the Heartfelt Creations “Season of Joy” collection – Striped Candy Cane and Christmas Poinsettia. I used Versafine Smokey Gray ink to stamp these to keep the images soft. I colored the candy cane image using colored pencils, and also colored three of the smaller poinsettias (you can select the right sizes based on the size of the poinsettia in the center of the candy canes). I hand cut the candy canes. The poinsettias can be hand cut or cut using a die (a Spellbinders die made for Heartfelt Creations, called “Sun Kissed Fleur”. To assemble the card, I cut a piece of black background paper 4.25” x 5.5”. I trimmed the stamped background paper to 4” x 5.25”, and attached the candy canes to it. I ran a narrow white satin ribbon across this layer, and added a bow slightly off-center, just beneath the poinsettia. I then attached the top layer to the black base. To finish the card, I added the top poinsettia layers, and curved the edges of the petals slightly to give the flower a little dimension.
This card also features stamps from the Heartfelt Creations “Season of Joy” collection. I used Christmas Poinsettia and Delicate Holly Swirls. I stamped the poinsettia with Versafine Smokey Gray ink, and the holly with Memento Northern Pine ink. I colored the three largest poinsettia images using Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils, and I also colored the largest leaf set. I cut these out using the Spellbinders Sun Kissed Fleur die. I hand cut two of the holly images, and colored the leaves using colored pencil. My background papers for this project were both hand-made papers (by Jolees). The gold is cut to 4.25” x 5.5”, and the red is cut to 3-7/8” x 5-1/8”. I placed the two holly pieces on the paper first (they kind of “lock” together in the center), and then placed the poinsettia on top. I added red rhinestones to the holly to represent berries – it doesn’t show well in the photo, but I actually used two different colors of rhinestones to add some interest. Finally, I built the poinsettia by alternating the three layers of petals and then adding the leaves. I used yellow rhinestones to enhance the center of the poinsettia. Then I curved the edges of the petals slightly to give the flower some dimension, and I used a small piece of Scor-Tape to attach the poinsettia to the card front.
I began this card by stamping the background using an Our Daily Bread poinsettia background stamp. It is stamped with Crimson Versafine ink on kraft paper. I cut the sentiment from a set of holiday words from Die-Versions called “Holiday 1 Complements”. The poinsettia is cut using the Blooming Poinsettia die from Poppy Stamps. To assemble the card, I cut a background piece of deep red paper 4.25” x 5.5”. I trimmed the background poinsettia kraft paper to 3-7/8” x 5-1/8”, and attached the red mesh ribbon. I used Scor-Tape to adhere the poinsettia layer to the deep red background. I attached the “Seasons Greetings” using “Sticky Dots” by Therm-o-Web. I built the poinsettia, attaching the various layers with a glue dot, and curving the edges of the petal slightly to give some dimension. I finished with a small red rhinestone in the center. I attached it to the card front using a small piece of Scor-Tape.
Heartfelt Creations stamps – Striped Candy Cane, Christmas Poinsettia, Delicate Holly Swirls
Impression Obsession Stamps – Joy to the World, Crochet Snowflake 2
Our Daily Bread Stamps – poinsettia background, snowflake background
Spellbinders / Heartfelt Creations – Sun Kissed Fleur Die
Poinsettia die – I used Poppy Stamps Blooming Poinsettia
Colored pencils / Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils
Ink – I used Versafine black and crimson; and Memento Summer Sky, Blue Danube and Northern Pine
Miscellaneous ribbon and rhinestones
Scor-Tape by Scor-Pal
Sticky dots by Therm-o-Web
Thanks and Happy Scrappin’!