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Rubber Stamping And Color

When most people think of rubber stamps and color, they immediately associate a traditional stamp pad with a dye based ink. Today, however, there are many alternative creative ways people have used their rubber stamps with many different types of colorants to achieve totally unique textures, and work with very specific surfaces while creating very special projects. Here are just a few unique colorants you could use with your rubber stamps.

Acrylic Paint: One of the frequently asked questions from rubber stampers wanting to use their rubber stamps for interior decorating is whether or not rubber stamps can be used with paint. Anyone who has already used their rubber stamps with paint knows that it is the perfect colorant for walls, tin cans, cloth gift bags, and fabric to name just a few. Water-based acrylic paints are the best for rubber stamps since they can be easily thinned with water, and will wash from the rubber stamps easily. Rubber stamps with intricate, tight designs will need thinner paints, while stamps with bold, solid designs work best with a thick acrylic paint. You can apply the paint to the stamp using a simple foam brush. Practice stamping with paint on a test area before using on walls or a permanent surface.

Watercolors: Do you remember the paint by number kits that came with the 8 shade watercolor tray? You'll be surprised to find out that those simple watercolor trays are perfect to use with rubber stamps. (They're also very cheap!) Watercolors provide dramatic effects with rubber stamps, and can create totally unique images. They are perfect to use with pastel colored papers and go well with any theme requiring soft hues. Another alternative to paint brush applied watercolors is to wet your rubber stamp surface with water and lightly pencil (using the side, not the tip) over the rubber stamp with watercolor pencils. Don't press too firmly or you may damage the rubber stamp. If you prefer not to use watercolors directly on the stamp, you can also use them as a colorant after stamping with traditional ink.

Chalk: Often a favorite for antiquing scrapbook pages and edges of cards, chalk can also be a wonderful way to add color to your rubber stamps. The easiest way to apply chalk to a stamp is by using a cotton ball, Q-tip, or foam applicator. You can find a wide range of chalk colors in your local craft and hobby store. They are often color coordinated in "pie shaped" containers.

Metallic Pigments: Resembling the texture of lipstick, these brilliant metallic pigments provide a shiny metallic image and can be used directly on the stamp or applied to your stamped image after you have stamped it on your surface. You can use any makeup applicator to apply these pigments directly to the stamp or use a sponge to dab them on the surface of your image.

Pigment powder: Pigment powder looks much like blush and can be applied much the same way to the rubber stamp. You can use pigment powder with glue, ink, and paint to produce a brilliantly shiny texture and surface. It can also provide a beautiful blended gradient to shade your image.

Walnut Ink: Traditionally used to wash papers, antique surfaces, and stain paper and fabric, this dye is available in a liquid, powder, or ink form. You will find it in the scrapbooking and stamping section of your local craft and hobby store. Check the label to make sure that it will not permanently stain your rubber stamps or harm the stamp itself.

Markers: Often thought of as a child's tool for creativity, markers make wonderful colorants for rubber stamps. For intricately designed rubber stamp scenes, you can color the rubber stamp with a marker before stamping it. Water-based markers can also be softened using a color blender pen or a lightly damp paint brush or foam brush. Markers are a perfect colorant for rubber stamping because they are very inexpensive and often come in large color coordinated packs. Storing your markers properly will allow you to use them for years to come.

Whether you're stamping fabric, paper, tin, plaster, or clay, you'll be amazed at the wide variety of colorants that you can use with your rubber stamps. Before using any new colorants with rubber stamps you'll need to read the instructions and make sure that it can be cleaned from the rubber stamp easily. Let your creativity run wild and you'll quickly find hundreds of new colorants to use with your rubber stamps, making your projects truly unique!
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