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Old 04-02-2017, 08:46 PM   #1
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Default I'm such a messy stamper....any tips?

Good news is I've been stamping like crazy ...bad news is that I'm noticing my mistakes more . I can't seem to get through a card without getting an ink smudge or something else on it. Or I finish the card and notice that something is on slightly crooked. I'm pretty sure that no one I give my cards to will notice but it bothers me. I guess I am self conscious about my cards and wonder if people really appreciate them so I guess I want them to be as "perfect" as possible(I know they are far from perfect), which is part of the issue. Ive thrown away so many cards because of this. So I wonder if any of those that have been stamping for Awhile have any hints as to how to be a neater, more careful stamper. Thanks
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:47 PM   #2
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Have a baby wipe right next to you when you stamp, and after every inkpad interaction, wipe your hands off -- I never know how that ink gets onto my finger, but when it does it always makes it right onto my project

Also maybe wait a bit between steps to make sure ink has dried before you handle the paper.


If you have a tiny mark on white cardstock, go over it with a white gel pen and that often covers it right up. I also do this when I'm coloring and get a little too far outside the lines for my comfort lol. If you have a larger smudge, that's an opportunity for embellishment lol. Currently sequins do the trick for me.


If you've stuck down a layer and need to reposition it, use dental floss to get it separated and taken apart.


I think you are correct, we creators always notice 'mistakes' that most people don't see... remember that's what makes it handmade!
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:56 AM   #3
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Totally agree that as crafters of any sort, we see 'mistakes' no one else will ever notice.
The wiping fingers on a baby wipe whenever you've been anywhere near an inkpad is great advice- I need to do that! If you use tape to stick your layers, which I often do, then to give you a little wriggle room, try smearing a little silicone glue over the tape, it does help. Also, I often lay my ruler across my card front, and lined up with lines on my crafting mat. Then place stuff along that.
RenT is right about embellishment opportunities too! I do that all the time, sometimes it's the easiest option, lol.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:42 AM   #4
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Some good tips. An ink/sand eraser works wonders for little smudges that somehow find their way onto my cards. Un-Du can be a life saver when it comes to removing something that's been adhered crookedly, but it works only with tapes. Liquid glue is there to stay.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:03 AM   #5
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Run a damp cotton swab around the outer edges of your inked stamp before stamping on your project to help avoid stray ink.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:01 AM   #6
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Resist the urge to toss a card immediately. Often something that looks annoyingly crooked or obvious to you will seem hardly noticeable days later. I've had that happen many times.

Everyone smudges, goofs and glues things on crookedly. Even the pros. When I did the Summer of Creative Chemistry through Online Card Classes with Tim Holtz, he posted out-take videos of his mistakes. It was hilarious and a good reminder to go easy on oneself.

And remember that old adage: a mistake is just an excuse for an embellishment. Sometimes there's a way to cover up a stray mark that will look great. !
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:14 AM   #7
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Those are really good tips for fixing mistakes after they've happened.

My advice comes from the heart and from experience - try to slow down a little and take your time! Sometimes we really need to make a card in a hurry, but most times not.


Try to stay in the moment, and focus on what you're doing now, not what you're going to do next. Most of my mistakes come when I rush myself or let my mind wander.


It sounds obvious and like a cliche', but it does help.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:19 AM   #8
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I am such a stickler for the "perfect" card too. It drives me crazy when something is crooked or there is a smudge. I try to salvage the part of the cards that I can - I am regularly deconstructing cards, lol. I use Tombow Mono Tape (I might be the last one on earth who does!) so I have wiggle room even with the permanent tape. But when it comes to smudges - I will often trim down the paper around the image to cut off the smudge. If I can't, I used to just toss the card. Until a friend of mine told me she'd love to take my "imperfect" cards of my hands. It was hard to give her my "defective" cards... when everything in me wants to throw them away, but she loves them and doesn't see what i see. I would love to see that Tim Holtz video, it's reassuring to know even the pros make mistakes. I wonder if Jennifer McGuire has any videos like that too. That is really good advice about cleaning the extra ink around the stamp on the acrylic block with a q-tip/cotton swab. That happens to me quite a bit - when a smudge or a line appears from the block.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:38 AM   #9
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A Mono sander easer can help remover small smudges. Then there are Nuvo Drops or Stickles or emblishments to cover up boo boos.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:03 AM   #10
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I wish I could link to one of Tim's out-take videos here, it would do us all a world of good, but they're part of an Online Card Classes course.

Suffice to say it was pretty amazing to watch Tim literally ruin, mess up, and render unusable one thing after another as he tried to film technique demos for the course. And then laugh at himself!
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:14 PM   #11
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I don't think it's all that amazing to imagine Tim Holtz making mistakes and messing things up. I think that we often assume that the "pros" never make mistakes, because we rarely see them mess up on camera. We see the best of the best, the polished version. I'm sure they make a lot of mistakes and ruin lots of projects.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by basketdivaView Post
Run a damp cotton swab around the outer edges of your inked stamp before stamping on your project to help avoid stray ink.
I wonder if some of the cotton fibers from the swab would cling to the stamp? I guess since you dampen it, there's less chance of that happening, now that I think about it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:33 PM   #13
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Such wonderful thoughts and suggestions. I'm going to copy and save some - thank you.

And for removing/re-adhering items, consider using a tape that allows you to reposition it if you're careful, but after being securely stuck down and left for a while, is permanent. I've used the tape Jennifer McGuire recommended for a long time and it has saved my cards - and me - a bunch of times. It's been discontinued, but there's another she now recommends that apparently is very similar: Update: Favorite Adhesive + Giveaway - Jennifer McGuire Ink

Standing up helps me for accurate placement of some things.

And I keep a large cloth - like the size of an extremely large scarf? - on my lap to constantly wipe my hands. It may be cheesecloth or similar and was given to students at a class I took for that purpose. But if my fingers are a real mess I sometimes follow up with a baby wipe, like others have mentioned.

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Old 04-03-2017, 06:34 PM   #14
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Such wonderful thoughts and suggestions. I'm going to copy and save some - thank you.

And for removing/re-adhering items, consider using a tape that allows you to reposition it if you're careful, but after being securely stuck down and left for a while, is permanent. I've used the tape Jennifer McGuire recommended for a long time and it has saved my cards - and me - a bunch of times. It's been discontinued, but there's another she now recommends that apparently is very similar: Update: Favorite Adhesive + Giveaway - Jennifer McGuire Ink

Standing up helps me for accurate placement of some things.

And I keep a large cloth - like the size of an extremely large scarf? - on my lap to constantly wipe my hands. It may be cheesecloth or similar and was given to students at a class I took for that purpose. But if my fingers are a real mess I sometimes follow up with a baby wipe, like others have mentioned.

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Old 04-03-2017, 07:18 PM   #15
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This is a simple tip, but someone shared it with me when I was taking decorative painting classes. If you are right-handed, keep your ink pads on the right side of your projects. That way you are less likely to get ink on your hand and then risk getting it on your project.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:09 AM   #16
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On the right side of my card there was a small and visible to me spot of glue. I carefully sanded it off.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:15 AM   #17
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I too use the damp cotton bud to wipe any ink I spot off my edges, and no, you don't get any fibres stuck on the stamp. it's always the bit I miss, or don't spot, that ends up making a mark. Or the edge of my finger caught the inkpad, and I didn't notice.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:07 PM   #18
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Thanks so much...these are great suggestions!
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:27 AM   #19
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To avoid crooked elements on your cards, use this simple tip if you're adhering the panel with double-sided tape along all four (or however many) edges.

Turn back one end of each piece of the tape backing, about three-quarters of an inch (2cms) or so, and flatten it down so it shows outside the panel - do this to the same end of each strip. This will expose just a small amount of the adhesive. Also adhere a short strip of tape to the centre of your panel and remove the backing completely. Apply the panel to your card and, when you think you are happy with the positioning, gently press on a couple of the exposed sticky edges. Check again: if you find the panel isn't straight, it's easy to pull up the two part-stuck areas and try again. When you are really sure that the panel is straight, while keeping one hand along one side of the panel press down hard in the centre, where you applied the short piece of tape. This will anchor the centre of the panel. Still keeping one hand along one side of the panel, check again to see if it is straight - there is still wiggle-room while the panel is only fully-adhered at the centre. Once you are definitely sure, pull away one length of backing and press down, and then repeat for the remaining lengths. Follow the backing round, as you will find it easier to pull away the one which is next to end of the last one you pulled away.

I know that sounds like a long and complicated process but, once you have done it a few times, it will take only seconds to do.

To release double-sided tape, I still huff on the join - the heat from your breath will warm and soften the adhesive. Apparently you can use a heat-gun, too, but I've never tried it.

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Old 04-05-2017, 06:18 AM   #20
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I have often heated from the reverse to unstuck my double sided tape. Works best on small panels but with the use of dental floss it m at work better on large pieces. I have found that 2 people work better with dental floss as one person can hold the card still whilst the other can wiggle the dental floss.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:34 AM   #21
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I was a horrible stamper until I got the Misti! It keeps your images straight and no smudges! Love it! I forgot about using dental floss to remove stuck items. I love the idea of applying heat to adhesive to remove. I will have to get one of those erasers too!
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:48 AM   #22
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If my image or layers are a little wonky, or if I have add an embellishment to hide an opps it all adds to the uniqueness of my card and that is my excuse!

It drives me nuts if layers or images aren't completely straight or even, but I have learned for the most part to let it go if I know it will ruin the card if I start messing around with it. I have precious little time to craft and to spend it getting stressed redoing a card is not beneficial to my sanity.


I can guarantee you 100% the recipient will not even notice!
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:20 AM   #23
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I usually get an ink smudge on the back of my cards for some reason, so I can't hide it with an embellishment. I usually give the card anyway, but I saw the suggestion of the Tombo eraser and ordered one right away. I've used a heat gun to loosen adhesive, an idea my DH suggested. He also suggested a typing eraser to get rid of ink smudges but who knows where those can be found, and the Tombo sand eraser sounds a lot like the typing erasers. I had a stamp made that says "This card was made especially for you. The unique characteristics are part of its inherent charm." (followed by a smiley face and my name)
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:43 AM   #24
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I glue my layers down with small dabs of Aleene's Tacky Glue (the old thick designer one) or dimensional dots with this same glue, which give the wiggle room for placement. If I need to remove a layer after it's dry for any reason, I use a metal paint palette knife and slice along under the card with gentle pressure until it pops away at the glued spot. Don't use too much glue...it doesn't take a lot to hold cardstock in place. You only need one hand with the palette knife unlike dental floss. They come in assorted sizes and shapes. I got mine at a dollar store.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:10 AM   #25
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When taping all 4 sides of a mat, I place a small peice of double stick tape in the center of the mat. I remove the cover off the center tape and place the mat on the card exactly where I want it. This center tape gives me wiggle room, once it is where I want it. I hold the center of the card and lift one edge of the mat and remove the tape and rub it to adhere. After that I go around the mat and remove each edge. Works perfert everytime.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:51 PM   #26
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I can vouch for Lyndas suggestion of a heat gun, having done it myself, albeit accidentally! I had stuck some background paper behind a TH Mixed Media die cut, using DST. Then I decided I wanted to heat emboss a sentiment on the front of the cardstock. Did this, and when I lifted it up, the backing paper dropped off- the heat had softened the glue so much.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:04 PM   #27
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaniceFJView Post
I usually get an ink smudge on the back of my cards for some reason, so I can't hide it with an embellishment. I usually give the card anyway, but I saw the suggestion of the Tombo eraser and ordered one right away. I've used a heat gun to loosen adhesive, an idea my DH suggested. He also suggested a typing eraser to get rid of ink smudges but who knows where those can be found, and the Tombo sand eraser sounds a lot like the typing erasers. I had a stamp made that says "This card was made especially for you. The unique characteristics are part of its inherent charm." (followed by a smiley face and my name)
And one more thing - I use a stamp-positioner (the Stamp-a-ma-jig) to position the layers of my cards. I place the piece, adhesive side up, on the layer below and put the stamp-positioner in the upper left-hand corner, then flip the adhesive side down using the stamp-positioner to keep it in place.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by RachelroseView Post
Suffice to say it was pretty amazing to watch Tim literally ruin, mess up, and render unusable one thing after another as he tried to film technique demos for the course. And then laugh at himself!
This created a real mental picture for me -- thank you for the chuckle and reminder that no one, not even Tim, is perfect!
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