Let’s make some artsy cards with lots of techniques and tips!

Hi friends! Today I have a real time workshop using acrylic paints, pan pastels, stencils, fibers stamps and gel press plate and more. Learn some fun techniques you can use in your next project!

Enjoy the video!

This video is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

I’m wondering, do you enjoy the real-time or shorter more edited tutorials. Let me know in the comments and til next time happy crafting!

Lightweight yet Flashy!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun DIY jewelry project!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Happy crafting!

DIY Gel Printed Business Cards for Creative People!

Hi friends! This idea has been rolling around in my brain for a while. I had used up my old business cards (after what seemed like ages) and I wanted something new and a bit unusual. Also I didn’t want to have to order 1000 or have them be super expensive. I love the way cardstock feels when you gel print on it and I thought it would be really special to make business cards with a real hand-pulled print on the back.

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The original plan was to print the contact info for my business cards on the cardstock 10 to a page, print on the back side and cut them apart. That would have works splendidly if I just stuck with gel printing with acrylic paint. However I decided to add some liquid acrylic ink and it seeped through to the front of the paper so I ended up backing them with cardstock and glueing on my contact info to that. In the end I actually liked this method better because they have a really nice thickness to them. Watch the video if you want to see how I made them step by step.

Supplies (Amazon affiliate links used)

Even if you don’t have a business you can still make these calling cards, think of Victorian calling cards. What a classy way to introduce yourself! I know I’d have an easier way remembering someone’s name if they handed me one!

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You can also use this method to make ATCs or artist trading cards. You might add more accents and details after cutting them up though. *ATC are mini artworks measuring 2.5″x3.5″ in size and traded between artists and stampers.

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I hope this project get your creative juices flowing but I hope you don’t wait til the night before you need some cards like I did LOL! At least it makes for a fun story! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Layered Gel Printing Tutorial!

Hi friends!  We are hunkering down for the upcoming storm tomorrow! They have already cancelled school for tomorrow for the kids. They are calling for 12+ inches of snow and high winds so we might lose power. When we lose power our internet goes out (we are lucky, we have a generator but it still knocks the internet out) so I am blogging this project tonight in case I lose internet access:) I am planning to film a painting tutorial tonight before the storm in case I have no power on Friday for the live stream. Wish me luck:)

Tonight I want to share a fun gel (aka gelatin) printing workshop. I will show you how cool it looks when you layer gel prints. It can be discouraging to see beautiful gel printed paper papers and then when you go to try they don’t look as interesting as others you have seen. It’s not anything you are doing wrong, you just need more layers. There is no limit to the amount of layers you can add to a print, you just go until you are happy with it! In today’s video you will get to see how the prints look in progress layer upon layer (hot mess stage and all!) I hope you enjoy it and give it a try!

Sponsored by Smart Art!  get a box of full-sized art supplies delivered to your door every month. The December box had supplies from Gelli Arts including a 5″x7″ plate, brayer, acrylic paint and blank cards to print on. You can sign up for a subscription to get a surprise project sent to you every month or check out some of their past boxes. You get everything you need for a particular lesson in each box and you can use supplies from several boxes together as your collection grows.

 

There are many hand supplies you can use in gel printing. You can even make most of your supplies. Below I will list some suggestions!

*Feel free to use any textured items you have around the house that you don’t mind getting painty like: Mesh produce bags, bubble wrap, string, burlap, plastic bags, leaves, lace, ribbon, feathers, rubber bands, sponges, rubber shelf liner, plastic canvas, mesh, gauze etc.

Tips:

1. wash your brayer well with soap and water after printing because dried paint can leave bumps on the surface and it can prevent the brayer from rolling well if the axle gets cakes with paint. The brayer in the kit pops out of the handle for easy cleaning.

2. Use craft paint that comes in bottles rather than thicker artists acrylic, it works better and it cheaper too!

3. If at first you don’t succeed, layer, layer layer! Since you are using acrylics you can keep layering until you are happy with it.

4. Have fun!

If you are in the path of the storm stay safe and warm and hopefully I will be online friday with a live stream and if not hopefully I will have something prerecorded:) Take care and til next time happy crafting!

 

Stamp School: Carve Your Own!

Hi friends! How would you like to have rubber stamps as unique as your imagination?Well, you can if you carve your own! Today I am going to take you step-by-step through the process of designing and carving a stamp. We will be using a soft printmaking block but you can also use an eraser. If you ever did a linoleum carving in school you know the basic process but don’t worry, these blocks are so much quicker and easier to carve and they stamp better too! Here is a collection of stamps I have carved with soft blocks over the years:

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All of the supplies I am using in Today’s tutorial were in the June Smart Art Box, a subscription box that delivers art supplies to your door each month, you can also find a full list of supplies below. Feel free to skip ahead in the video if it feels too long, I kept it real-time with a lot of tips and advice for beginners. I hope you find this tutorial helpful.

Video!

For smaller projects erasers from the dollar store are ideal and I have never had any issues with them deteriorating with use. It is also an inexpensive way to start as you can make a simple design with a craft knife and eraser but I will say the lino carving tools are safer and more effective.

Supplies:

  • Soft carving block
  • Linoleum carving tool set
  • Printing inks (You can use any stamping ink pads or acrylic paints too!)
  • Soft rubber brayer (to apply ink)
  • Paper (The kit comes with Stathmore watercolor postcards but any smooth paper will suffice)

*You will also want a tile or plastic packaging to squirt ink on and baby wipes or paper towels for clean up.

Directions:
1. Sketch or transfer your design on the soft carving block.
2. Working from largest tools to smallest remove a layer of rubber around your design. Use the smaller tools for details.
3. Clean the plate and ink it up with your brayer and pull a test print.
4. Carve away any areas you don’t want to print.
5. Clean the plate and make as many prints as you like.

You can use your hand carved stamps just like any of your store-bought rubber stamps (Except for high heat applications like ironing velvet or stamping in molten embossing powder, I’m not sure if they can handle the heat.)

I want to thank Smart Art Box for sponsoring today’s video, check out their monthly subscription boxes that contain everything you need to get started in a different type of art every month. You can also find select past boxes for purchase on their website. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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A print of a daffodil with a gelli plate

Howdy friends. Printmaking is fun, the randomness of it all especially with gelatin and Gelli plates but sometimes you want to print something with more of a plan. Today I will show you how to make a representational print with a gelatin (or Gelli Arts) plate. I chose a simple daffodil flower for mine but you can do whatever you like:

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Watch this video to see the process from start to finish in real time while I explain all the steps for you as I go. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will answer them.

The process (video recap)

  1. Draw a picture (or use a photo or coloring book page as a pattern) and tape it to your work surface. Extend the tape lines out from the top and sides of the plate.
  2. Draw lines on the tape to act as registration marks.
  3. Brayer on your background color and place  a stencil on top, pull a print over the stencil to remove excess paint, remove the stencil and print on your cardstock.
  4. Before lifting off the cardstock make marks on the back of your paper to match the registration marks on the tape.
  5. Paint the flower, stem and leaf. Line the paper up with the registration marks before placing the paper on the plate. Repeat this step for as many detail layers you wish to add.

It really is that simple! If you have a print to share following this method post it on the Frugal Crafter Facebook page, we would all love to see them! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Make Art, Not Trash! {and my 5 year blogaversary!)

Holy moly, can you believe that I have been blogging for 5 years! Well, maybe it feels longer for you LOL but for me it seems like just yesterday I sat down at the computer and opened a wordpress account! Writing this blog has helped me develop as an artist and opened the door to so many wonderful opportunities from freelance art and design work to writing my own column for Scrap & Stamp Arts. The lovely comments from readers make my day and the support I feel from you is overwhelming. I have received sponsorships from many art & crafts companies which I am thankful for but also I have tried to stick to my frugal crafting roots by offering up low-cost and recycling projects (like the one I have for you today.) This is my 1300th post, how am I doing? Here is a card I made for the occasion using some prints from Styrofoam trays that were headed to the trash:

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Some people had a hard time obtaining the ingredients to make a gelatin plate or finding the rubber gasket (I posted a tutorial on printmaking on plumbers gasket last week on YouTube, that video will be at the end of this post) I used for another printmaking project. Then I remembered how much fun it is to make prints from Styrofoam trays. All you need is a Styrofoam take out tray (cut out a flat panel with a craft knife), acrylic  paint, a brayer or paintbrush and some mark making tools. Let’s go!

I used the prints I made on this easel card. The stamps I used are by Pink Persimmon. Tip! Flip your clear stamps around on your block and stamp with the backside for custom shadow stamps like I did for the 3 circles on this card!

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As promised here is my rubber plumbers gasket printmaking video. I scored a bunch of 12″x12″ sheets of rubber for 99 cents each at a hardware store, I have die cut it into custom stamps, cut it down to fit my Big Shot for an embossing pad and used it for various household projects. Plumbers buy this to cut custom leak-proof washers. I guess I was lucky to find such large sheets cheaply because others have had trouble obtaining it. You are not limited to what you can make prints on, some ideas are: Plexiglas (or plastic packaging, scuffing it with sandpaper is helpful), silicone mats, glass (be careful!), EZ cut sheets, and if you look around with a creative eye I bet you can find more ways too! anyway, here is the video, it is very much the same as my other printmaking videos, just with a different materiel as a base. I don’t blame you if you don’t watch the entire video 😀

Thanks again for sticking with me over the past 5 years of blogging, I hope I am still at it in 5 more! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

A Permanent Gelatin Printing Plate (Hectograph), an Annoying Project & a Birthday Card…

…what a weekend! Let me start off with my annoying project of the week that I am bound and determined to complete this weekend…tearing out the kitchen vinyl floor.  It all started Tuesday night when I thought the dishwasher was leaking, some of the cheapo vinyl tiles we installed many years ago were lifting and since we planned on replacing the floor this year anyway I thought it would be a great time to rip them all out. Well, the wet tiles came up as easy as can be but the rest of the floor was another story. I figured that pouring boiling water over the tiles then scraping them up was the best route as the heat loosened the adhesive and the indestructible 1970’s toganol underneath would protect the sub-floor…oh did I mention we were going to go back the the glitter infused togonal until I decided what to replace it with? Oh yeah, baby, it is gold, black, brown and glitter, sweet! At lease muddy dog print don’t show ha ha! Well, the tiles were coming up but the floor has been so sticky with the adhesive from the tiles so now I am goo-goneing the entire floor (did I mention that the kitchen is my least favorite room?)  so I had to take a break, I took the boiling kettle I had been using to heat water for the floors and made myself a cup of tea and went to my studio and made a card:

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My son has a birthday party to go to this afternoon and I did not want to buy something the kid would not like (read: Lindsay is too lazy to shop) so in the card it says “Here’s a birthday ‘stashe’ of cash” and a mustache cutout with some money. Clever.  Well, not that clever but I did use some the the gelatin print papers I made the other day AND I came up with a way to plasticize your gelatin so you can make a non spoiling gelli plate, yay, science! Here is the video:

Here is the permanent gelatin plate recipe, remember if you damage the plate you can nuke it on high in the microwave for a minute and reset it!

7 packets of gelatin (6Tablespoons)

mix into:

1 cup of alcohol mixed with 1/2 cup glycerin (room temperature)

1.5 cups glycerin

then add:

1.5 cups boiling water and pour it into a shallow pan to set.

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Well, it is back to the floors for me then I need to get cleaned up to take the boy to the party AND later my hubby is taking me to see the new Star Trek movie! Yay, science fiction! I’ll let you know how it is!

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BTW, the dishwasher was not leaking, I found the leak under the sink when I was looking for the goo-gone, that’s a project for another day. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Gelatin Plate & Prints!

Happy Friday, another rainy day, well it has been dry up until this week so I’m not complaining! Yesterday I played! I made my own gelatin plate inspired buy the expensive Gelli Plates that everyone on the “net” have been using. The two problems with those are: 1. They are expensive and 2. The stores around here don’t carry them. What’s a girl to do? Oh yeah, maker her own! And you can too, here’s the video!

True to from I liked the prints I pulled after I turned off the camera much better! Here are some still shots, here is the example with ribbon I pressed on the plate, look at the texture, it’s almost like a photo. I need to try this with leaves and plants!

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This one was rubber bands! AKA “Elastics” LOL! (only one person will get that joke ha ha!) The little tag on the side was done with a mesh lemon bag.

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I like this because it was printed 3 times with different colors. I keep printing on a paper until I am happy with it!

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I mainly used stencils in my experiments today but you can use so many things, you can press cheese cloth, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, crinkled paper, yarn, twine, leaves, feathers and a myriad of this into the plate for texture. You can draw on the plate, paint on it with brushes and scrape soft tools (like silicone cooking tools) across the inked surface. UK MaryAnne has a great post about making your own tools on her blog that you should see too. Oh the creative possibilities this opens up! I know what i am doing on this rainy day! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy craftng!

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Homemade Letterpress!

I feel like an evil genius! I figured out how to make my own letterpress contraption to use with my Big Shot Die Cutting machine, lookie at what I made:

Some cards made with my homemade letterpress and printing plates from Lifestyle Crafts.

Here I debossed the images without ink then used a brayer to add ink over the debossed designs.

You may be thinking “what’s the big deal? It looks like stamping” but that is only half of it because when you letterpress it debosses too! You can just plain emboss, ink the plate first and have a colored debossed image or you can run your paper through uninked then brayer ink (or swipe it with an inkpad) over it to highlight the raised design. It’s totally cool!

This is how it looks without inking. I like it!

Here I inked the crown with purple ink before printing. The card base was pressed uninked then I used the same purple inkpad to rouge the edges.

When I saw the home letterpress kit from Lifestyle Crafts I was intrigued but I wasnt about to spent $150 on a whim especially since I had a die cutter and zillions of rubber stamps already, they also have a starter kit that has the contraption that you use the printing plates with, ink and paper for $70 but that is still a lot of money in my book. So I took an old plexiglass cutting pad from my Big Shot, a piece of Masonite and some duck tape and made this:

I hinged the plexiglass plate to a peice of Masonite with duct tape to make my press.

The results of my Homemade snowflate printing plate.

I purchased the Everyday letterpress printing plate at AC Moore, I just about fell over yesterday when I saw that they had the whole line of products (and I had a 50% off coupon in my pocket.) The plates sell for $24 a set but with the coupon they were $12, a reasonable price for a few hours of fun and experimentation I think 😉

Here is the set I purchased, I really like it!

For my first experiment I used Rives BFK printmaking paper because you need soft thick paper to get the full effect. I used the adhesive that came with my plates (double-sided tape will work too), stuck a printing plate to the plexiglass side, put my paper on the Masonite side, closed the contraption and ran it through my Big Shot. The debossing was gorgeous!

Then I inked up the plate with a pigment inkpad, it looked OK but I got a much cleaner result when I used a soft rubber brayer to ink up my plate.

Then I tried the plates un-inked again and used a brayer to apply ink over the design. I like that a lot.

So then I thought I would try to make my own printing plates. I used thick stencil plastic that my SIL who is a quilter gave me and my Creative Hot Marks (woodburner) with the tapered stencil tip on it to cut my own plates. I made an Asian character, a frame, and a snowflake. I printed the Asian design on paper and placed it under the film so I could see it as I cut and the others I just took die cuts from the Cricut and cut around them, both ways worked equally as well. I had to use a craft knife to trim away some of the plastic burrs on the plates but they were quick to make and worked nicely.

Some homemade letterpress plates made with stencil plastic and a woodburner.

I used my homemade Asian plate for this. the background is a LC plate inked with gold before pressing.

I experimented with paper and it seems that the ticker the paper the better it worked. Watercolor paper and printmaking paper worked the best, DCWV textured cardstock worked very well too, I wasnt as pleased with regular cardstock and paper though. If you try this and don’t get any embossing you may need to shim (or pack as they call it over at Lifestyle Crafts) your contraption. For my homemade plates I place a sheet of rubber gasket under my homemade letterpress before cranking it through, for the purchased plates I used 2 sheets of cardstock under my press for a shim. Do not over pack it or you my crack your plates, I noticed little stress cracks on one of my plates when I used too thick a shim. I have been “making art” for a long time so i had a lot of supplies like brayers, ink and paper on hand, if you don’t it might be cheaper to get the kit if you are dying to try this craft.

I would love to try the Lifestyle crafts kit to see how it compares to mine, my niece is getting married and I have been asked to help with the invitations and I think these designs will be beautiful for that. If you try this let me know how it goes, I sure did have fun playing with this today 😉 Till next time happy crafting!

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