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Hi Everyone! Welcome to the first of my three part series where I'll be talking about the tools I've found helpful to prevent those little mishaps we all have during cardmaking. Over the years, I have bought many papercrafting tools. Some have stayed stored in a drawer, never to be used again, but some I've found I cannot live without. These are what I like to use for stress-free cardmaking. Over the next 3 weeks, I will discuss the tools I use for keeping my stamping crisp, clean and mess-free, tools I find helpful when I die cut, and some "extras" I like to have on hand when I'm putting a card together. This is simply a list of what's worked best for me over the years through trial and error. I welcome any questions on things I discuss and would love to hear about some of your must-have tools. Thanks for joining me!
My Tools for Happy Stamping
Clockwise from the top:
Have you ever bought a beautiful floral or fun geometric clear stamp set with those smooth, solid shapes? You have all these great ideas on how to use it, but it ends up just sitting in a drawer because you can never get a clear impression with it? This used to happen to me all the time. One trick I've learned from fellow cardmakers is to "season" your stamps. I like to use the eraser technique. All you have to do is run an eraser over the top of the stamp. It gives the stamp a little bit of a grip so it takes the ink better. My favorite eraser to use is this chalk eraser, but any white eraser will do.
Another tool I like to use is this piercing mat from We R Memory Keepers. It gives some padding underneath your stamp for a nice, smooth impression. I like that it has lines so you can get everything straight.
Of course, my all time favorite way to get a great impression is with the MISTI stamping tool. Their website has some great tutorials on how to use the product. It's great for stamping those solid stamps.
I like to use the grid template provided on the website (copied on a transparency sheet) to center my stamps and make sure sentiments are perfectly lined up. ( I put that little "E" you see on the grid to help me know which side is "up" so ink residue doesn't transfer to my card when I place it on top).
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you still might get that little open spot where ink is missing on your stamped image. In this case, I always have my Memento Marker close by. Just put a little dot where the ink is missing and you're good to go!
Have you ever picked up your perfectly stamped, clean, white card and discovered an ink dot has mysteriously appeared?
A great tip I learned from one of Jennifer McGuire's videos is to first, scrape the ink away with a craft knife. I've been using this piercing tool/brad setter.
Next, take a light sanding block to the surface of the paper.
This trick works pretty well I think. Sometimes, I just skip the piercing tool and the sanding block alone works fine.
Post-It Tape is always on my desk. It has so many uses ! I like to use it when stamping background stamps on fronts of cards. It keeps the ink from sneaking to the back of the card while securing it down on the table.
This final group of tools is always nearby to prevent or fix heat embossing mistakes. I always remember to tap my embossing powder bag all over my card before stamping with Versamark ink. It prevents any extra embossing powder from sticking where I don't want it. It also works great for taking the "stick" off stickers. I like to run it along the inside of my shaker cards before I fill them to keep the sequins from sticking to the sides. I like to use a Versamarker to fill in any missing spots that appear after heat embossing. All I do is run the marker over the spot, pour the embossing powder over it and reheat. Finally, I always keep a small paintbrush to brush away any excess embossing powder before heating. This can help too, if you forgot to use that powder bag :).
Up next.....Part 2: Delightful Die Cutting......