As a card maker and paper crafter, I know how easy it is to be distracted by all the pretty stamps and papers and inks. I don’t get distracted by the tools of the trade. Or at least I didn’t before I learned about the Stamparatus, Stampin’ Up!’s new stamp positioning tool. Not only was I excited to get mine, I knew exactly how I was going to use it…for making multiples.
If you have also gotten the Stamparatus, read on for a few real life tips. Spoiler alert! Long post and lots of pictures below!
If you haven’t gotten yours yet, put it at the top of your wish list for the new catalog. You’ll be able to order it beginning on June 1, 2018 when the catalog goes live for everyone. (Also, you might want to read on through this post so you’ll be an expert right out of the gate when your Stamparatus arrives!)
Real Life Tip 1: read the instructions when it arrives
The instructions that come with your new Stamparatus are pretty good. Read through them to learn the basics of your new “toy.” Its only one page…just do it.
Real Life Tip 2: 2 solutions, ’cause things are going to get inky
No matter how hard I tried to keep my inkpad straight, I got ink ALL OVER the acrylic plate and the hinges of my Stamparatus. Now, technically that is OK, because ink in these spots will not get on your card stock. This ink will, however, get on your hands. And your hands will get on your card stock.
So, solution 1: clean this extra ink off your Stamparatus right away. I use a piece of “Absorber” that I got from an auto supply place. Its artificial chamois. Cleans with only the smallest bit of water. Get the Absorber soaking wet, then squeeze out all the water you can. Good to go. After use, rinse until the water is clean. The cloth will stain, but if the water runs clean when you are rinsing it, the stains will not transfer.
You could stop with solution 1 above. Solution 2 is to use the smaller Stampin’ Spot ink pads. I purchased mine as “blanks” and used ink refills to make the colors I needed. (For you Paper Pumpkin subscribers, you’ll find that you’ve already got a good stash of the spots.)
Real Life Tip 3: invest in a silicone craft sheet
Having 4 stamping surfaces due to the 2 hinges is WONDERFUL! You will love it. BUT, having 2 hinges means that the corner where they meet is the least flexible area of the Stamparatus. And that means that it can be hard to get a perfect image in that corner. Now, the magnets are really great and you don’t really have to limit your stamping to the corner area of the tool. But the corner is where I like to stamp…its the most logical place for me.
So, I invested in the silicone craft sheet, and I use it every time I use my Stamparatus. Not only has it addressed the issue of the hinge corner, it has improved the overall crispness of my stamped image. I feel that I am using less ink and certainly less pressure when I stamp.
(You could also use a shim made from a piece or two of cardstock to accomplish the same thing. This is the no-cost version of the same thing. I prefer the craft mat. Its worth the minimal additional investment, in my opinion.)
Real Life Tip 4: make your stamping life easier with templates
- Have you ever carefully stamped your image, taken your lovingly created masterpiece to the Big Shot, and had the die “jump” and ruin everything? You need a template.
- Do you want your punched-out image to be exactly centered in the punch? You need a template.
- Want to make multiples of a “builder” punch using different colors of ink? You need a template.
No need to fear the very official and intimidating sound of the word template…I’m here to help.
For die-cutting or single-shape punches:
- Use a piece of scrap cardstock, and die-cut/punch the shape. Mark the scrap piece as “template”
- Die-cut/punch your final shape from your selected color of cardstock. If you are making 20 identical cards, cut all 20 shapes now. (Consider making 1 extra for stamp positioning.)
- Place the template on the Stamparatus, and hold it in place with one magnet. Position the stamp into the opening, then close the acrylic plate over the top of it to pick it up. (At this point, use the extra shape you cut in the previous step to test the stamp position and make minor adjustments.)
- One-by-one, place the cut shapes into the template and stamp them with your image. Voila, perfect placement every time.
For builder punches:
- Use a piece of scrap cardstock, and punch the shapes. It will help if the scrap is a square or rectangle shape. Mark the scrap piece as “template”
- Place the template on the Stamparatus, and hold it in place with one magnet. It will be best to use the hinge corner for this.
- Using as many of the Stamparatus surfaces as you need, position the stamps into the openings as above and pick the stamps up onto the acrylic plates. You will probably find that you cannot put all the stamps on a single acrylic plate, and that’s okay. The stamps are slightly larger than the image and the “extra” can get in the way. Just use a different plate. Remember, FOUR stamping surfaces!!
- Once all the stamps are placed, remove the template. You are ready to stamp on your final cardstock. Place your cardstock onto the Stamparatus, ink up the stamps in your desired color, and stamp. Make one then test it in the punch to assure perfect placement. Adjust the stamps if needed, then continue to stamp on your final cardstock.
- Punch your stamped images from the final cardstock.
I hope you’ve found these real-life tips to be helpful (or that you will once you get your own amazing Stamparatus)! Thanks for stopping by, and please leave a comment if you’ve found additional real-life tips!
See you next time,