Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tutorials: Stamp Revamp

Happy weekend, all!  I found myself with a few spare minutes this afternoon...well...let's be honest; I found those spare minutes because I avoided cleaning the kitchen.  Be that as it may, I decided to do a "stamp revamp."  What and why is a stamp revamp?  It's when you destroy/alter a stamp so that you can use it in a different way (that's my definition anyway).

Here's a tag I made and I'll show you the steps I took to revamp the stamp I used for the background.

You know I love 100 Proof Press stamps and they have a great stamp called Typing Keys.  I adore those little circular keys and like how half are solid while the others are outlines.  Here's a close-up of the stamped image:

While I really like this stamp, I had a vision of using these keys in a scattered pattern instead of a linear one.  I had to make a dire decision!  Do I leave the stamp or revamp?  I decided to revamp...that is, change it entirely.  Is revamping scary?  Yes.  Is it always successful?  No.  Can it result in total failure and the destruction of a perfectly fine and innocent stamp?  Yes.  Been there.  But I decided to go for it anyway.

The Typing Keys stamp I had was on cling film (though I recommend buying it unmounted if you're wanting to change it up), so I started by finding a junky wooden block that would serve as the base for my "new" stamp.  Your wood can come from hardware stores, or from peeling off the rubber from another wooden stamp you already own and don't use anymore.  I've even used Jenga blocks from time to time.  Once you have your base ready, (and this is where you have to be courageous), you start cutting up the stamp you want to revamp.

I cut it in half first, then started cutting out the individual circle letters.  You'll notice they don't have to be precise cuts.

Once my circles were cut, I peeled off the gray cling film and stuck the circles onto my wooden block.  There was enough adhesive left from the cling film that I didn't have to add anything else.

Now my "revamped stamp" is ready to go!  I hit it with Ranger Jet Black archival ink and here's the new image I made:

I had such fun that I made a second stamp with a different pattern of circles.  And the good news is that I used so few circles total, that I could still use what was left of my original Typing Keys stamp if I do want that linear look in the future.

I had fun with this project and like how my "scattered" keys turned out.  I used them on the background of this tag, then watercolored around them.  I added some scribbles with Sharpie and finished it off with a Prima rose and some "love" Washi tape from Hampton Arts.

It takes courage to take scissors to your stamps and I can't say that I recommend it as a general practice, but it is a worthwhile experiment to try if you need an excuse to not be cleaning your kitchen!


  1. love the revamp! I am always cutting them apart but usually am able to fit them back together like a puzzle in the original shape. NOT going to happen with all those little circles but really love your project and the stamp scattered is totally awesome!

  2. Very clever! I never would've thought of doing this. I love the revamp results.
    Now you've got me questioning the composition of some of my lesser-used stamps. :)

  3. Very brave to chop them apart, very clever too! Gorgeous! X

  4. Ooooh scary cutting so many little ones up but you produced a fabulous design by doing so and you used circles yay. Belated happy new year Andrea.
    Happy Sunday
    hugs Brenda xx

  5. Love how this came out! Great idea to cut the stamp apart. I've done it once or twice but was always able to put it together again if need be.

  6. Great job placing those little guys in a scattered way that makes it look so great on your tag!

  7. You've managed to give your stamp a new lease of life. The random circles make it all d more adorable.

  8. Once, I tried cutting (carving) some parts I didn't care for out of a red rubber stamp. I discovered that trying to carve/cut red rubber is not the same as a speedy-cut carving block, duh! I didn't give up (it took forever), was happy with the end result and much more likely to use the stamp now that it was altered. But I learned my lesson and vowed never to try that again.

    Then I read your post. It never occurred to me that I could cut-off the parts I didn't like or cut-up and rearrange parts to make something new.

    With new found confidence, I will now proceed to give more than a few stamps a badly needed makeover. Thanks for the post!