Studio Saturdays: The art (and fun) of stamping

I have been hoarding collecting rubber stamps since I was in college, simply because I have so much fun with them, and I can use them in every aspect of my art. A stamp can be a focal image on a journal page, create a bold or subtle background on a collage, build a border on a card, produce a pattern on fabric, make marks on almost any surface, and create texture on a canvas. An inkpad is not a stamp’s only companion. Paint, crayons, spray inks, embossing powder, and even gesso, glue, and molding paste can be used for fantastic effects on paper, canvas, fabric, wood, and more.

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Stamped collage
I swear I didn’t dress to match the collage. It just happened.

I created this collage using three techniques with stamps, and all produced very different results. I started with an empty frame from an antique photo album, using that for my focal piece, and painted it with deep red acrylic paint.

Painted frame
A vintage photo album frame was covered with acrylic paint.

After that dried I placed a StencilGirl Products stencil over the frame and painted a layer of titanium buff paint.

Stenciling with paint
Titanium buff paint was applied through a stencil.

When the paint was fully was dry I replaced the stencil, lining up the design, and inked up a handwritten text stamp with permanent black dye-based ink.

I stamped the text over the stencil, moving and re-inking the stamp to make sure I covered the entire frame, then removed the stencil. I love that the stencil lends a modern look, while the stamped handwriting brings back the vintage feel.

Stamping over a stencil
Text was stamped over the stencil.

Another stamp was used to add a touch of bling to the frame. Did you know you can use stamps to create metallic leaf designs? I scribbled on paper with a Zig 2 Way Glue pen, creating a small pool of glue, then tapped part of the stamp in it. I stamped the frame, waited a couple of minutes for the glue to get tacky, then pressed on a sheet of gold leaf.

Gold leafing with a stamp
After stamping the image, the gold leaf was burnished

I burnished the gold leaf by rubbing off the part that wasn’t glued. What remained was the partial stamp image. So cool.

Stamped gold leaf
Check it out–a gold leaf design!

Here’s how the frame looked after the gold leaf was applied:

Stamped frame
The stamped frame with gold leaf designs.

I stamped one more stamp in permanent black ink on the edge of a vintage book page, then fussy cut it, which gave it the look of a die cut. I attached it to the frame with an old game piece.

Stamping on a vintage book page
An image was stamped on a vintage book page, then cut out.

To finish the piece I added a photo in the frame and attached it to an old book cover. I love seeing the stamped text framed within the stencil design.

Stamped collage
The finished stamped collage.

There are thousands of stamps to choose from, so there I have no doubt you’ll find images that appeal to you and fit your style. You can even carve your own stamps and create truly one-of-a-kind images. The only hard part will be resisting temptation!

The resources below will show you how easy it is to include stamps in your mixed-media art.

Want to give stamping a shot?

Check out these resources to get you started!

Art Lesson, Vol. 9: Modeling Paste Stamps Carve, Stamp, Play Stamp-Making Adventures Carve cut & print one-of-a-kind designs5-starreview
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Stamped Metal and Mica Pendant with Jen Cushman Cloth Paper Scissors,May/June 2012 Best of The Mixed-Media Workshop Season 200: Printmaking
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Find More Stamping Projects (And Much More) At The

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