13 Tips to Help You Become an Ink Expert

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!

1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.

5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.

7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.

9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp11. Our round sponge and sponge daubers can create really cool effects with our inks. With the sponge daubers insert and small organizer, you can store a whole collection of sponge daubers, even labeling them by color so you don’t forget which dauber you used for each stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!

13. Coloring in your stamp? Make sure you use the right ink to avoid bleeding! Memento™ is the way to go if you’re using alcohol markers, and Archival Black permanent ink is best with watercolor paints or pencils.


Did we miss anything? 🙂 Ask any questions about our inks in the comments below!

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One Awesome Stamp, Four Incredible Looks!

When you find a stamp you love, you tend to use it over and over (and over) again—we get it! 😉 Today we’re sharing some fun ideas to showcase one stamp in four different ways so it’s not the exact same every time. To show you what we mean, we’re going to use the darling “HELLO” stamp from our Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking stamp set.

The following stamping techniques range in skill levels—try them all to find your favorite!

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

When going for a saturated and vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring intricate images, like those flowers and leaves in our stamp. To ensure a crisp outline of your stamped image, use our permanent Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad. Unlike other inks, Archival Black won’t smear or smudge when you apply color.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

For a softer  look, use watercolors! Once again, stamp your image using Archival Black ink. Because this ink is waterproof, it won’t run when you apply your paint. In this example, we used a fine tip brush to color the small details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Ready to add some texture? Try embossing! For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface. To start, stamp your image using the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. In our example, we used white embossing powder to make our image pop on the colored cardstock. Use a craft heater to dry and seal your design. Craft heaters blow extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute!

After your powder is set, add some shimmer using our gold and clear shimmer brushes. When you use these, prep your brush before you do! You want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Keep brushing it on the paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Okay, here’s technique we’re really excited to share! Did you know that you can pair our Exclusive Inks™ mini pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in any color you want? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice of pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your craft heater! It’s that simple! You can match all of our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!

Of course there are many more ways to customize a stamp. That’s the best thing about finding a great stamp—you can use it again and again without it being identical each time. Give these techniques a try and have fun dolling up your current fave. 🙂

Recipes

Hello—Markers
D1714  My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker

Hello—Watercolors
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Hello—Embossed
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X5776 Peacock Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2068 Ranger™ White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z3316 Shimmer Brush—Gold

Hello—Embossed Pigment
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2507 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pad, Z2088 Ranger™ Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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4 Ways to Color Your Create Kindness Cards

One great thing about our Create Kindness cards is how easy it is to add your personal touch to them before giving them to others in a personal way. Today we want to inspire you with even more ways to color these cards that you may not have thought about before.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness1. Watercolor Pencils

You can use our watercolor pencils wet or dry to color in these cards. If you use them dry, they work like colored pencils. If you want to use them wet, you can do it two ways: Either get the tips of the pencils wet or use a waterbrush to blend the colors afterward.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness2. Watercolor Paints

Watercolor paints are another great way to color these stamps. The circles that come in the kit are regular cardstock, not watercolor paper, so just make sure you use more paint than water if you choose this route. Our waterbrushes make this easier. You also might find that you’ll need a bit more adhesive to attach the circles this way.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness3. Monochromatic

Here we used our ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ alcohol markers to color in the cards so they match the card bases. Going monochromatic gives the cards a unique look!

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness

4. Sparkles & Shimmer

Jazz up your cards with our bitty sparkles and shimmer brush. Bitty sparkles are just the thing to up the drama on these bitty cards! And if you’ve never used the shimmer brush before, it’s a lot of fun! Follow these steps to get started:

  • Remove the neon clip, twist the lid on, and squeeze the pen while brushing onto a scrap piece of paper.
  • Once you get the amount of shimmer on your brush that you like, start brushing over your flowers!
  • Since the shimmer brush tends to smear watercolor pencils or paints, be sure to color your stamped images using markers.

4 ways to color in stamps! #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #coloring #ctmhcreatekindness #createkindness

There’s only one week left to purchase the Create Kindness card kit (or more card bases if you already have the stamps), so hurry and get yours today! We know you’ll love finding new ways to personalize these cards and to leave them for others to brighten their day.

Happy coloring!

Recipes

3″ x 3″ Watercolor Pencils Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, 3505 Watercolor PencilsZ3224 Waterbrush—Small Round

3″ x 3″ Watercolor Paint Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Waterbrush—Medium Flat, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round

3″ x 3″ Monochromatic Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z2450 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cherry Pink Marker, Z2464 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Tender Pink Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2466 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Vivid Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2458 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marine Blue Marker, Z2449 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cerulean Blue Light Marker, Z2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue Marker, Z2461 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peacock Green Marker

3″ x 3″ Sparkles & Shimmer Cards
CC1145 Create Kindness Card Kit, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow MarkerZ2466 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Vivid Green MarkerZ2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender MarkerZ2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue MarkerZ2461 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peacock Green MarkerZ2450 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cherry Pink Marker, Z2456 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Mahogany MarkerZ2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green MarkerZ2464 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Tender Pink MarkerZ2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange MarkerZ2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles
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Stamping Technique: Watercolor Paints

We’ve loved the enthusiasm you’ve shown for the stamping techniques we’ve shared this month, which is why we’re especially excited to share with you another technique today. This one we know you’ll want to try out soon!

Ready to learn how to color stamps with watercolors? 🙂

We’ve already raved about how our watercolor paints are a must-have crafting supply. Now we’re going to explain a really simple watercolor technique you can use to give your stamps a whole bunch of spunk. Here’s a page that shows this trendy technique:

The Story of Today CTMH

The real story of today is the “2015” stamp on this page. We’re going to walk you through how to create this coloring effect where the yellow paint blends into orange and then pink across the stamp. Here we go!

Step 1: Using black StazOn™ ink, stamp “2015” onto watercolor paper.

Step 2: Dry the ink with a craft heater or allow to air dry until you are certain the ink is no longer wet.

Step 3: Using yellow watercolor paint, paint over 2, 0, and 1 in that order. The paint should be a bit darker on the 2. We recommend starting out with a more watered down paint. You can always add more paint to make the color darker after the first coat.

Yellow watercoloring

Step 4: With the yellow paint still very wet, paint over 5, 1, and 0 in that order with pink watercolor paint. Fade the pink paint into the yellow paint over the 1 and 0 until you get your desired look. The paint should be a bit darker on the 5.

Pink watercoloring

And there you go! This technique can be used on a wide variety of stamps, including shading flowers, like the one underneath the number 5 on this page. See how the petals fade from yellow to pink? Our artist used exact same technique and colors!

Warning: painting with watercolors can become highly addictive, especially as you try experimenting with different colors! The center blossom on this card uses this technique but with red and pink watercolor paints.

You're an original CTMH

Shading stamps with watercolor paints adds so much more dimension and life to the artwork. And what’s neat is that no two blossoms are alike! The red and yellow flower on the left side of this card shows another variation of this technique. Instead of blending the colors linearly, start with the first color in the center of a blossom. Then paint the outside of the blossom a different color and blend them into each other in the middle of the flower.

Just like this card says, you’re an original! Embrace your inner artist, and play around with creating original works of art with watercolors and stamps. We know you’ll love expressing your creativity with a paintbrush in hand!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ The Story of Today Page
Make It from Your Heart™ Vol. 2: Pattern 14
D1665 My Acrylix® Blossoming Expressions, E1027 My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3126 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
11″ Background <p> (p. 20)
1″ <Font> “The Story of Today”

5 ½” x 4 ¼” You’re an Original Card
Make It from Your Heart™ Vol. 2: Pattern 22
D1665 My Acrylix® Blossoming Expressions, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Thread

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