Fall Leaves Stamping/Ink Project

Fall Leaves Stamping Project
Fall Leaves Stamping Project

I actually STAMPED something!

I know, I know- not really a big deal. But it kind of is a big deal to me. All summer, I’ve collecting rubber stamps of flowers and foliage. Lots of stamps. Mostly clear and cling kinds, for easy storage and because they are less expensive. But lots of stamps, because there are so many gorgeous ones on the market.

But I haven’t been using them- at all.

On one hand, I think it’s perfectly okay to see this as JUST a collection, because they aren’t expensive and heck- people collect weirder things. They make me very happy in that I like researching all the beautiful designs that are available, picking out one or two sets I love the best, placing the order, and waiting for it to come, and then I like unpacking the stamps and organizing them. And then I like to take them out and look at them. I guess they are sort of like collecting baseball cards or comics or something.

But I didn’t buy the stamps to collect them- I bought them because I wanted to make patterns and composed images with them. I mostly wanted to use them with watercolors and colored pencils.

The problem is, and I’ll be honest here: they SCARE me a little.

I’ve always loved stamps and the whole idea of stamping, but I feel like I am not really good at it. For some reason, getting the stamp inked up and positioned on paper and stamping it cleanly has never been my strong suit, maybe because my hand-eye coordination is wonky. So I have been buying stamps and not using them, just neatly storing them and organizing them and looking at them a lot.

Then there was a bunch of newly released stamps which I desperately wanted but could not justify because I don’t use the stamps I have.

So, last week I decided that I HAD to start stamping *something* so I pulled out some fall leaves stamps I got from Hero Arts and some Distress Ink mini-cubes and just had some fun.

Hero Arts Scattering Leaves
Hero Arts Scattering Leaves Stamps

I did something super simple- just mashed different colors (reds, oranges, golds, greens) of the Distress inks on one single stamp, misted it with some water, and stamped on watercolor paper. The mist of water made the colors run together and mix up, and when I stamped it, it looked like a marbled pattern. Very simple. The hardest part was deciding where to place each leaf on the paper.

I used Fluid Watercolor Paper for this and I still don’t like it- Distress Ink is basically a highly-soluable watercolor dye in a little cube- when you hit the ink with water, even after it dries, it’s supposed to re-activate. The Fluid paper doesn’t like that. It’s very hard to lift any paint you’ve put down, even the most water-thirsty paints and dyes. I just used it because I had a pad of Hot Press, which is usually a smooth surface, good for getting cleaner stamp impressions. Once the Fluid paper is gone, I’m done with it- it hasn’t worked for anything I’ve tried with it. Back to Strathmore and Canson…

Anyway, there are a zillion colors of Distress ink, but here are the colors I have:

Distress Inks Color Swatches
Distress Inks Color Swatches

They come either in large ink pads or little 1.5″ x 1.5″ cubes, and I like the cubes- they are less expesive, easy to store, easy to use, and you can do multi-color stamping techniques with them. Because they are so water-friendly, if you stain one cube with another, the color lifts easily.

AND, big bonus, because they are instantly activated with water, wet or dry, they don’t stain your stamps. For some reason I have a big thing about not staining my stamps too much, which is something I’m going to need to get over if I am actually going to *use* my stamps because most ink does stain. I just feels like the ink stain sits there and sort of eats away at the surface of the stamp. That doesn’t necessarily happen, but when I used to stamp with polymer clay, some of the solvents I used did exactly that, so some of my stamps either cracked, turned super hard, or just dissolved. I have to remember this is a whole different ball game.

So here’s to more stamping! Baby steps, right?

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend <3

2 thoughts on “Fall Leaves Stamping/Ink Project

  1. I just got some Distress Stains (the ones in the bottles) and they work really well on rubber stamps. They give a watercolor-ish look too. I haven’t tried the little cubes yet. I have a few “regular size” Distress Ink stamp pads, some of which are probably dried out from disuse!

  2. Have you checke out MISTI from Sweet Petunia? It’s wonderful for
    positioning stamps. She has a video that explains how it works.
    Thank you for all the information you have provided.

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