Monday, July 6, 2009

About Stamps

Stamps scare people.

I know, you're probably thinking, "Whatever, stamps don't scare me. Stamps are little and charming and easy to use." Then why don't scrappers use them more often? I'm sure that some of our readers are avid stamp collectors and use them as much as any other embellishment. But for the majority of you - when was the last time you used stamps on a layout or card? If you're like me, it was quite a while ago (even here at SEI, where we design the stamps).

So what is it about stamps that make us afraid to use them? Even if we're not afraid of them, why do we seem to push them way back in the scrap tote and reach for the rub-ons or die-cuts over and over again instead? Maybe because stamps can be used in so many different ways, they push us a little bit too far out of our creative comfort zone. Well, in the next few posts we're going to conquer our fear of stamps and use that creative freedom to make some very meaningful, personalized gifts and keepsakes.

Idea #1: Personalized Notebook

Do you know an aspiring artist or writer that goes through notebooks and little pads of paper like they're going out of style? Or maybe you know a mom, or maybe you are a mom, looking to get a little more organized with receipts and coupons and everyday to-do lists. A notebook is a clever idea for a quick and easy gift, and there's no reason it has to be the boring office-store variety with a screaming yellow cover that says "Mead" on it. And nothing makes personalizing a notebook quicker and easier than a good set of stamps.

To start with, I bought a perfect little blank notebook with clear covers at Borders for just over $5 (regularly $6.99, with a 30% coupon). This is how it looked right out of the wrapper:

My sister is a busy mom with three kids, and she also clips a lot of coupons, and saves all of her shopping receipts. I spent the 4th of July with her and her family, and I thought a pretty little notebook would be a nice way of saying thank you. To make it personal, I stamped the leafy scroll from the Bridgeport stamp collection in Moss Green ink on the front page and applied one of the Bridgeport rub-ons. Then I stamped the butterflies from the same Bridgeport collection in Ocean Deep ink on the inside of the front cover, to get a nice layered effect*. Lastly, I stamped the same scroll and butterflies on each of the dividers inside, and on random page corners throughout the notebook. This is how it looked when I finished:

That's it! I have a beautiful, personal gift for my sister that cost $5.00 and took about 15 minutes! And there's no limit to the blank items you can stamp for your own personalized gifts.

Do you have any great stamping ideas? Leave us a comment, or send us an email, and share your favorite stamp projects!


*When stamping on various kinds of plastic, test your inks in an inconspicuous area to make sure they will dry without smudging.


Bridgette said...


mcgeechs said...

One thing my son and I made this past weekend was recycled magnets. You know the freebie ones or old flat business card type ones, I covered them with scrapbook paper and then we stamped on them, added a ribbon and voila, a nice pretty recycled magnet. Most people have collections of magnets. Why not make some pretty ones.

java diva said...

This is lovely! I just may have to go get one of those journals! And your ink stamping on the cover and!
...I didn't know stamps scare people. That's sad!

Tracey said...

This is so pretty! I love it!


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