My painting and collage have been put on the back burner for a while due to the holidays and then some family stuff. Until I get back to it, here is a little tiny tutorial on how to make stamps easily and affordably using things you might find around the house and the dollar store.
First of all, head to the dollar store or Walmart and buy yourself a package of craft foam that is adhesive on one side. Draw designs on the foam, and then cut out with a craft knife or scissors. You can then peel of the backing of the foam and adhere your design to almost anything. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Here are some examples of stamps that I have made:
Craft foam adhered to jar and bottle lids.
Leftover mat board, one with elastic bands, and the other with craft foam.
Craft foam adhered to styrofoam cut from fast food containers.
Design carved into styrofoam from fast food container with a ballpoint pen.
Pattern carved into erasers with a craft (X-ACTO) knife. Be careful! Sharp!
Craft foam adhered to foam insulation. (You can buy a sheet of this at the hardware store and cut it into small pieces).
Here are a few (a lot!) of my favourite stamps that I use over and over.
You can use a Gelli Plate as a stamp pad and cover the plate with acrylic paint using a brayer. For smaller stamps, you can use an ink pad. If you don’t want your stamped image to run, use a permanent ink. Here are some papers that I quickly made with some of my new stamps.
As you can see, you can use the gelli plate as a stamp pad to directly stamp on paper. Then you can place paper onto the Gelli Plate and make a print.
So, have fun! Look around your house to see what you can use. I use all kinds of things to stamp: Egg cartons, empty toilet paper roll, lids, buttons, etc. Happy stamping!
Why spend a lot of money on stencils? I make my own without any expensive equipment! Whether you’re a collage artist, scrapbooker, or just like stencils, this is a fun, cheap and easy way to create unique stencils.
Head to your nearest dollar store and buy a package of those clear page dividers that you used to use in your binders at school.
Draw a pattern on a piece of paper. Tape your paper to a cutting board, and then tape your clear plastic over top, so that both pieces are secure and won’t move.
If you like, you can draw directly onto the plastic with a Sharpie. I like using paper first though, in case I make a mistake in my design.
Keep your pattern simple to start. Remember, when you cut out the shapes it all has to stay together!
Using an X-Acto knife, cut out the parts that will be open, leaving the parts that will form the pattern.
Once you get it all cut out, use it however you want! I’ve used mine to make some prints on my Gelli Plate. These are very durable and can be used over and over.
I just love these chubby little birds! This one makes me laugh because he’s so round, he looks like a Christmas ornament with a bird stuck on top! I always know that winter is arriving soon when these cuties arrive in our yard.
A clarion call is a strongly expressed demand or request for action. This crow chose the top of a dead tree to express his demands. His requests were not completely clear, but maybe he was trying to tell us humans to clean up our acts.
This is a torn paper collage on gallery-wrapped canvas, with gold acrylic paint highlights.
I decided to get out the acrylics for this one, but of course I ended up adding some extra stuff like coloured pencil and just a dash of oil pastel! This one gave me fits and went through several “ugly phases”, but I like how he turned out, eventually!
This is the last of my three Nova Scotia bird studies, so next I will do them in collage. I’m excited! Now to decide which one to do first.
Moving from the graphite version of this fine fellow, I decided to do a watercolour study this time. As if often does with me, it turned into a bit of mixed media piece. So, here we have watercolour, a tiny touch of ink, some watersoluble graphite, and just a smidge of gouache. As always, my camera has washed out the blue background some. It’s more vibrant in real life.
Next up will be the seagull in watercolor. At least, that’s my intention! Who knows? And then all three of these birds will get the collage treatment.
This is a watercolour version of the sketch I did of the Great Blue Heron fishing on the coast of Nova Scotia. I painted this on a 5 X 7″ scrap of unknown watercolour paper. For some reason, the paint did some funky stuff at the top, I’ve decided I kind of like the added texture! I’ve called this Good Catch, because he caught that little slippery eel so easily.
Almost halfway through my goal of painting/drawing/collaging 100 birds! Today, I’ve done another pencil and water soluble graphite sketch. This time it’s a gull sitting on a seaweed covered rock. These guys were experts at finding and eating little crabs that got caught in the tidal pools.
On the beach by the cottage we stayed at on the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia, we saw many Great Blue Herons at low tide every morning. I got a lot of pictures, but I think my favourite was this one catching a small eel. I’m trying to wake up my art muse, so I’m going to do some sketches in my sketchbook. This one was done with graphite, both solid and water soluble.