fast & easy DIY stamps: perfect for your art journal!

I Love buying (also see: "hoarding") rubber and acrylic stamps. I've got crates full of 'em...and I'm not even a big time stamper. I've caught some glimpses of friends' collections that blew me away. I always admire someone who has big collections...of anything. It's a sign of true character. Anyway, despite owning lots of "real" stamps, it is always fun to make your own. In this instance I'm not talking about genuine stamp carving...which is something we also do and we'll definitely be sharing in an up coming class...No, these homemade stamps are made specifically for Art Journaling. They're for texture, subtle texture, sketchy looking and "primitive" if you will. The elements we're using aren't anything out of the ordinary, (bubble wrap is a tried and true texture maker.) but I thought I'd share these super easy to make Art Jounaling accent stamps with you.

They start with little wood blocks. We bought a pack of varying size particle board/mdf blocks from either Michaels or AC Moore. I can't remember which...and I think I might have seen them in both stores. They're fairly common. We then gathered some elements like bubble wrap, yarn, beaded strings, and buttons. Then we used a hot glue gun to attach these to the blocks. With the yarn and the beads you can see that we wrapped them around the blocks, then secured the ends with a bead of hot glue. Super Duper easy.

wood blocks
buttons with raised patterns/shapes
yarn or string
beaded string ( we used those cheapo tiny faux pearls you find at craft stores)
bubble wrap
glue gun

Love the texture and wiggly-ness, it's all about how you decide to wrap it. Try some with less space between the lines, or maybe even rick rack!

We recommend sealing your yarn/string and letting it dry first. Sealing it by brushing on some Mod Podge or Decoupage medium will make the yarn less porous. This way, the yarn will give the paint to the paper and keep less for itself...yes, yarn can be a bit greedy if left unsealed.

How cool is this?! You can give your whole page a big woven pattern. Depending on what colors you use you can either get a bold look or a subtle effect.

Before you glue your buttons to a wood block you'll probably want to first test them out, and see if they'll make a fun print. You really never know how a stamp will work out until you give it a try. I like how the flower button leaves the impression of a star. I remember seeing on some button stamps but theirs we're attached to wine corks, which is a super cool idea.

I just love to layer similar shapes on top of one another. And you get a unique effect with buttons because they are singular. You can space them out all over the page or cluster them together. And then you can make new patterns by layering the button stamps and varying your paint color.

With bubble wrap, using bright color and a heavier hand produces more uniform results. And with any stamping, the way you get the paint onto the stamp is up to you. You can make a shallow little puddle of paint on you palette and dip your stamp in...or you can simply use a paint brush to apply the paint to your stamp.

And I often use some white paint or watered down gesso...and a very light hand...for a look such as this on a "distressd" page.

 The dotted bead lines are cool because they're so sketchy and random, but they're also evenly spaced. Above I've mixed them with a speckling effect created with a paint brush.

The possibilities are nearly limitless. I can't wait to see what creative stamps you guys will come up with. Again, these stamps are so simple and primitive because they're meant for accenting and adding texture to your more detailed focal points. With Art Journaling it's variety of texture and mediums that will make a page interesting. You want interest in your pages and you want to have fun creating them. So the more mediums and texture the better!

We'll be using some of these stamps this Thursday! :)
Have a great weekend!
xo, Jenny