Friday, June 5, 2009

Journeying Back in Time with Photo Stamps

Sometimes we journey forward in our lives and sometimes we like to travel backwards in time to savor our memories and our heritage. In honor of our Manufacturer in the Spotlight, Oxford Impressions, I wanted to pass on some tips about using photo-style stamps so you can see how easy it is to add a little vintage to your projects!

I just love using photo-style stamps for my vintage creations. They really add personality and life to my projects!

There are a few tricks to making your photo-style stamps really live up to their potential. Often, when stampers are just starting out with these images, the thing they have the most trouble with is inking the stamp correctly and ensuring good coverage.

I highly recommend the following Oxford Impressions articles: Using Photo-Style Stamps - The Basics and Photo Stamp Clinic: Troubleshooting Common Errors to get you started.

Here's my personal tip for making sure you have the right amount of ink on the stamp:
Use a dye ink and lightly apply the ink to the stamp until you can see the photo emerge clearly. Remember you are "inking the stamp not stamping the ink" so your stamp should be image side up as you apply the ink.

Once your stamp reveals a "negative" of your image, you have applied enough ink. See how the image pops up when properly inked? That's the look you want!

The next important step is to use the correct paper. Glossy or matte coated paper is best.

After that, it is all down to basic stamping techniques. Apply even pressure and don't rock or walk your stamp. Sounds simple? Actually, it is! Once I got the knack of using photo-style stamps, I couldn't stop.

There are so many possibilites when incorporating photo-style stamps into your projects! Sometimes I leave my images"naked" and sometimes I color them in using chalks or paint them with inks. I emboss them, distress them and frame them.

Here's a sample that uses chalks, embossing and punches:

Follow Your Heart
Stamps: Gentleman from Distinguished Gentlemen plate and woman from Beloved plate (Oxford Impressions); sentiment (Inkadinkado)
Paper: blue patterned from Old World Mat Stack (DCWV)
Cardstock: Taken with Teal & Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); glossy white
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); Tea Dye (Ranger Distress Ink)
Embellishments: 3 flowers (Prima); slate blue brads (Creating Keepsakes)
Other: clear embossing powder (Judikins); various chalks (Stampin Up)

Stamps used in examples in post: Femme used Beloved plate and Courage to Grow used School Days plate all from Oxford Impressions.

We'll be featuring projects and tutorials using Oxford Impression stamps all month! Come back often to check them out!


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Oxford Impressions, they have some wonderful stamps and it is going to be hard to make a choice, love all of them. Can't wait to see more projects.

  2. Wonderful tips and samples - thanks Shar!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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