When I opened my big box of AWESOME (aka my new TC Stampmaker) last week I was thrilled with the machine. I was making stamps, stencils and embossing plates with my own designs. It was love at first sight. I posted some of my cards and I heard from some stampmaker owners that were less than thrilled with their machines. I decided to try and troubleshoot some of the problems people were having with their TC Stampmaker. One big complaint I heard was that the stamps with fine lines fell apart. I decided to try and make a couple of Elvis stamps for photos I found online (you cannot buy Elvis stamps) and I was worried that the delicate lines in his portrait and the lines in the “Jailhouse Rock” background might not work but as you can see they were fine:
All of the stamps used on this card were made with my Stampmaker!
If you are trying to make a stamp with fine lines you need to expose the underside of the clamp (back of the imagepack) to the UV light for a few seconds to give the stamp a bit of a base. I found 5 seconds to be ideal for this (in the stampmaker instructions they recommend 3) but 8 seconds is TOO LONG (don’t ask me how I know LOL!) Here I stamped out 4 stamps, the first with no underside exposure and the others with 3, 5 and 8 seconds respectively:
Here are some close-ups of the stamps.
Obviously I can use the Elvis Jailhouse Rock stamp (I made the above card with it) but it is not ideal, I had to ink it carefully as not to smoosh ink on the background. Even though I got less than perfect results with some of the stamps in my experiment it was worth it to find the “sweet spot” for exposing these stamps. I hope I can save other Stampmaker owners a bit of work too!
BTW the polka dot background (stamped in blue) was such a bold stamp that I did not expose the back of the stamp to the UV lights. It did not need it. You could play with the amount of underside exposure, for instance is you had a stamp full of fine journling lines or some fine line artwork you would want the whole 5 second exposure but if you had a bolder image 3 would suffice and if it is a really bold image you can skip it all together. Think of it this way; a certain amount of light needs to pass through the transparency in order to harden the polymer enough to make a stamp. If you only have a few fine lines for the light to squeeze through you will need some exposure from the back to harden the bottom of the gel to the film…make sence?
To make a record I punched a 3/4" circle from blue, a 1 1/2" circle from black and glued them together. I set an eyelet in the center and drew on highlights with a white pen. Easy!
OK I just had to show a close up of these cards because Elvis was so handsome :)
Another Tip: The stamps you make in the stampmaker do not cling to your block. They are the same high quality photopolymer (you can tell because they have they same beautiful sweet smell the other top stamps do!) so you can either add the imagetac tape to your stamping block or th stamp, put cling cushion on the stamp or my fave technique (drumroll please….)
TIP! After you washout the stamp dry the back of the imagepack film off and smear some of the leftover red goo on the back of the stamp before you pop it in the tray of water for the hardening process, viola-a stamp that clings!
I hope these tips helped those of you with Stampmakers who have been frustrated with their stamp making endeavors. I hate to think of many of the wonderful machines collecting dust :P
Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!
Filed under: Stamping | Tagged: DIY, elvis rubber stamp, exposure for stampmaker, how to make stamps with fine lines, imagepac, photocentric, stampmaker, stampmaker troubleshooting, tc stampmaker, teresa collins stampmaker, thank you cards, tips for stampmaker | 17 Comments »