Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rubberstamping 101: Basic Tools & Supplies

Ink Pads. There are various kinds of ink pads.

1. Petal Pads/Stripes. You can purchase petal pads that are multiple mini pads in one container, nice for large stamps or brayer. You can also remove the pads and use them individually. This are made by Colorbox

2. Metallic pads come in gold, silver, and copper.

3. Embossing pads, come in variety of colors or clear. Use with embossing powder and heat gun. If you emboss with clear the color of the paper will show through. You can also stamp an image with embossing ink and let dry until just a little tacky. Rub image with chalk or pigment (Pearl Ex, Liquid Pearls) to give a soft look.

4. Permanent inks, like Stazon or Brillance work on porous surfaces like dominos, tiles, acrylic, etc.

5. Versamark is sort of like the clear embossing ink and used for similar effects.

6. Chalk inks. They go on dark, but when they dry they lighten up and give a dreamy sort of a chalk look without all the mess of chalks

Writing instruments.

1. Embossing Pen. These come with a variety of shapes and sizes of tips, and can be used to draw fine lines or greetings. You can draw along the edge of cards and sprinkle with gold embossing powder for a great look. You can use it in a stencil and then emboss letters or images.

2. Markers. Used for coloring stamps, using on brayer, coloring in images, journaling.

3. Water brush or dove blending brush. Allows you to blend colors together on final project.

4. Colored Pencils. Used for coloring images. You can get watercolor pencils and a waterbrush to pick up the color from the pencils and color in an image for a watercolor design.

Used as backgrounds, or rubbed on embossing ink for a nice look.


1. Glue Stick - I used this almost exclusively at the beginning, but I found that cards I made a while ago are starting to come apart. I'm starting to use the double sided tape for almost everything.

2. Pop Dots - These are great for adding a little dimension to cards.

3. E6000 Glue - I use this craft glue for attaching embellishments such as shrink plastic, fun foam, ribbons, etc., and for attaching papers to embossed cards if necessary.

4. Double Sided Tape - I really like this and it works well but it's more expensive than the glue stick.

5. Photo tabs. Fairly cheap, effective, great for the beginner, but I use them all the time.

Cutting tools

Regular Scissors - Nice to have large regular ones and a set of small detailed ones that are sharp for cutting around images and such.

Decorative scissors - nice for cutting edges and mats.

Non-Stick scissors - great for cutting unmounted rubber stamps.

Paper Cutter - I own 3 of these. One for small pieces, one for large paper up to 12x12, and a rotary one for cutting mat board and multiple sheets of paper at a time. It's great for making sure your edges are straight, or pieces are uniform

Exacto- Knife - nice for cutting out details in an image.

Card Stock - many of the local craft stores have sales and I stock up on solid color cards. I've also found several inexpensive packages but find that I probably won't use all the colors so it's really better to wait til the colors you want are available

Layering Papers - most stores have "scrapbook" papers which have great patterns and are much thinner weight than the stock.

Specialty Papers like mulberry (can also use dryer sheets), metal, velour, etc

Vellum- comes in a huge number of colors and different weights

Acetate - good for postage templates

Old cards - I found pieces of parchment, and metallic papers that I could reuse.

Origami paper

Embossing Powders
There is a huge assortment of colors. You can also just use clear with a colored embossing powder.

Dry Embossing (with Brass Stencils)
Shell Brass Stencil & embossing tool - the brass stencils are really nice, but can be expensive. You can make your own stencil by drawing an image on heavy acetate, or mat board and cutting with an exacto knife. (Remember that when you stencil, your image will be reversed so be sure to use the right side of your stencil.)

Paper Corrugator
It is so easy to make your own corrugated paper, so I bought a corrugator that would hold an 8 1/2" sheet which works great on any thickness of paper.

Heat Gun
Works great for embossing, drying watercolor projects, and shrink plastic

Other Specialty Items

Fun Foam - used to make texture stamps, embellishments for cards, and pad homemade stamps

Shrink Plastic - used for embellishments, make beads, jewelry.

Ribbons, fibers (also known as yarn but with some zip - like fun fur, etc)

Beads - come in all sorts of sizes, colors and shapes

Jewelry findings - great little additions to layouts or cards

Postage stamps

That's about it...good luck!
Debbie Weller

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