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Guest Expert

How to Mat a Photo
by CreatingKeepsakes.com

You don’t have to have a lot of stamping experience to create beautifully stamped layouts. All you need is this quick beginner’s course and your own creativity.

• Be sure to use acid-free, archival and permanent ink; it won’t damage anything on your pages, and it won’t fade.
• If you want to emboss a stamped image, be sure to use pigment ink, which dries much slower and also has more vivid color.


• Using watercolors adds a nice, soft touch to stamped images. Stamp your design with archival or waterproof ink, or heat-emboss it to keep the ink from smearing. Color the outer edge of the stamped image with watercolor pencils, markers or crayons, then blend the color toward the center with a wet paintbrush or a blender pen.
• Try coloring the image with chalk and using a blender pen to intensify and blend the color. Be sure to wipe the blender pen on a paper towel between colors.
• For multi-colored stamped images, ink the surface of a stamp with brush markers. Marker ink may dry quickly on the stamp, so remoisten the ink before you stamp by huffing (exhaling) on the stamp. If the marker ink beads up, clean the stamp, then rub the surface with fine sandpaper to remove any residue that may have built up.


Create an uncluttered layered design by masking the stamped images as you layer them. Masking will create dimension by giving the illusion of stamped images appearing behind other stamped images. Here’s how to create this look:

1. Stamp the image you want to appear in the foreground.


3. Place the cut-out image over the original stamped image using repositionable adhesive.
2. Stamp the identical image on scrap paper and cut it out with fine-tip scissors.


4. Stamp another design over the mask.


5. Remove the mask to reveal the layered images.

Stamping Off
Stamping off produces a lighter, more subdued stamped image that’s ideal for backgrounds. Simply stamp once or twice on scrap paper directly after inking to reduce the ink intensity, then stamp on the desired paper or surface.

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