Blog: Foam Stamps

Time Traveler – Art Journal

“See… I am a time traveler… I travel 60 mins an hour to the future.”

For this art journal spread, I was playing with my new ArtFoamies on a Gelli Plate.

I rolled out magenta acrylic paint on my Gelli plate, then pushed the foam stamps into it to lift the paint and let it dry. Then I rolled out white paint on top and pulled a print while the paint was still wet – this takes off the dried paint as well. Also bits and pieces that were dried to the plate before I rolled out the magenta color came up too here and there and I love the grungy look that resulted.

Above you can see my Lady Liberty, Brownstone, and part of my Powerhouse foam stamps…

and here is Church peeking through some yummy grunginess.

I pasted these prints into my art journal and then also stamped some of the foam stamps inked up with Versafine ink in there too to add some other elements.

I used my E-Train rubber stamp with black archival ink for some detail and also my Love Knots rubber stamp with yellow ink from the Embroidery set.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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City Scenes Votive Candles – DIY Play Date

Last week Kim and I got together for the first time since 2019 for one of our epic Play Dates!!! We had such a nice time gabbing and making art and just enjoying the experience of creating together. Our project? Votive candles using my NEW foam stamp designs! It was an easy peasy project to get us back in the groove and the results are very nice. Here’s how we did it:

The supplies are simple: my new foam stamps (Clockwise from the top they are Powerhouse, Church, Brownstone, Lady Liberty, Hydrant, and Row Houses), Grafix Dura-Lar matte film, black acrylic paint, brayer, double stick tape, LED votives, and scissors or a paper trimmer. We also dressed some up with Posca markers, but more on that in a bit ;)  The whole idea was to have the buildings and such silhouetted so that the light shines through all the details. Read on!

We started out by rolling black acrylic paint out on palette paper with a brayer. We both liked Carbon Black Golden Fluid Acrylic paint for this – a nice opaque black. Then we rolled it on the stamp (in this case, the Church stamp) and stamped it on the Grafix Dura-Lar matte plastic sheet – a matte white plastic that is kinda translucent with light behind it. You could also use a StampBuddy here too to ink up your stamps.

We left some room at the bottom of the film and stamped across the width, leaving room on either side to eventually tape the ends together. In this one I am stamping the Brownstone foam stamp.

Here I am inking up Lady Liberty

… for a nice impression :)

A lineup of Hydrant stamps… cue the dogs!

Keep in mind that when stamping on plastic film the surface is slick and the stamps can slide if you aren’t careful.

The Row Houses on the left turned out fine but I slipped a bit with Powerhouse on the right. We each had a couple misfires so plan on having some extra sheets of plastic just in case.

With some of the mistakes, we created masks to use in building up more complex, layered scenes – a great way to use those.

Kim stamped Row Houses and Brownstone and then used the masks to add Church to the background for a little streetscape.

Looks pretty neat all together like that.

I first stamped Church, then added Powerhouse, and then…

…I added Row Houses to the left…

And then I finished with Lady Liberty!

We created a variety of sheets to move on to the next step:

I broke out my new Dahle trimmer and we cut things down to size. We experimented with trimming some with a margin around the image – room for tape and a little lift off the ground.

We also fussy cut some for a different effect!

Looking pretty good there Lady Liberty! The choice is yours on how you want to trim them.

We also tried coloring some in with acrylic markers.

Here are some details in those stained glass windows.

Using double sided clear tape we got ready for the final assembly.

Coming together and holding tight with permanent tape.

Here are our City Scenes votives ready for illumination – LED lights must be used with these to be safe.

Let’s light them up!!!

For the taller ones you may want to use a taller LED votive or stack the votive on something inside the sheath.

Love this one that I fussy cut!!!

And now after dark…

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and maybe you’re feeling inspired to make some foam stamped votives of your own. Please do!!! And I hope you join us back here for our next Play Date :)

Here are some of the supplies we used:

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New ArtFoamies Stamps – Summer 2021

My latest ArtFoamies foam stamp designs are released today! I am excited about this grouping as some are familiar and others are newly inspired by my Stroll Through the Hood walks and paintings :)

First let me introduce some of those newbies:

First up is Row Houses – a neighborhood scene of 4 lovely houses, all lined up and full of architectural detail. This is based on my “Neo Greek to Me” painting and a spot in my neighborhood that always catches my eye.

 

Next up is Church – inspired by St. John’s Church in my hood and my painting “Where is Tiffany” that considers the whole story behind that building.

 

Next we have a familiar face – Lady Liberty – from my Stroll through the Hood rubber stamps but this one is BIG and BOLD. I am already loving how it has a street art vibe to it.

 

Hydrant is another that first made its debut in my Stroll Through the Hood rubber stamps. It’s such a fun design that I thought it’d be perfect as a BIG foam stamp too. 

 

Powerhouse is another familiar one and this one I’m excited about because it is almost the same size as the rubber stamp version. You can use them together for an offset print. Pretty cool, eh?

 

And finally, Brownstone – another favorite from the Stroll rubber stamps too and again, similar in size to the rubber stamp version so lots of layering fun is possible!

I can’t wait to play more with these designs and share some of my projects. I’m digging how bold they are and am thinking about some future play date projects on other surfaces. In the meantime, I hope you check out the new foam stamps here and get inspired too! 

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How to use a StampBuddy

I want to share with you one of my favorite tools to use with foam stamps – a StampBuddy! It’s a nice soft nappy foam surface that you can use with paint media so that it becomes an ink pad for your foam stamps. This is my go-to technique when I want to do a lot of repeat stamping for say making a repeating pattern, background, gift wrap, and such. If I know I want to stamp the same color over and over in an efficient and clean way, I use a StampBuddy.

A Stampbuddy holds your paint media, keeping an even amount ready to go for your stamping. I generally apply paint to it using a paintbrush or an old gift card/key card, spreading it around in the area I need. You can get a good overview of my process in this blog post where I use my Versailles Positive Negative set and a few colors of acrylic paint for a colorful pattern. Check out the post here.

 

See a StampBuddy in action – here’s a recent video I made for the Beyond the Paper workshop that shows how you can use a StampBuddy for complex patterns with multiple colors. In the video I am using the Triple Play stamp set.

 

In the video, you see a trick that I use often – stamping onto the StampBuddy with an archival ink to have a guide. This helps me use multiple colors at the same time and it helps with registration. You can see me doing it in this video as well:

 

Of course you don’t have to do this. Creative Squad alum Michelle Rydell shows us in this post how she stamps the Versailles set with excellent results:

 

Using one color is a snap too – it helps make crisp, efficient impressions. In this post Creative Squad Alum Emilie Murphy uses her StampBuddy to stamp my Valley Road and Buenos Aires Border stamps with black paint.

 

Maybe fabric paint and sewing projects are your jam? I’m a fan too and I recommend taking some pointers from Creative Squad alum Marsha Valk in this post – she uses a StampBuddy with my Mid Century Squared and Groovy foam stamps, along with acrylic paint and fabric medium. After stamping on her fabric, she creates a really cool tote bag.

 

However you use your StampBuddy and Foam Stamps, here are a couple tips:

  • The StampBuddy will hold a lot of paint, so use it only if you have time to actually use it up in one session or when you want to do the different color method.
  • You can store the StampBuddy with paint in a ziploc bag for a day or two if you want to continue stamping the next day but if it is not a lot of paint in there, it will dry into the StampBuddy and then you cannot use it anymore- be careful
  • I used the paint up by stamping a sheet of gift wrapping paper – boom – one sheet down for the next presents.
  • Clean the StampBuddy when you are done with your creative time, wash it out with water until the water is clear. The stamped archival ink impression will remain on your StampBuddy. Do not let paint dry on the StampBuddy
  • Clean your Foam Stamp – I know there are different approaches- I do not clean it super crazy scrubby, but I want most of the acrylic paint off. For me this is a foam stamp and it should remain cushiony as this is what creates this kind of impression and it also lets me use other paint media than just acrylic paint on it.
  • Only use a small amount of paint with your StampBuddy – you will be surprised how far it will get you and it also prevents paint from seeping into the creases of your stamps- which a) wastes paint, b) makes it harder to clean up your stamp, and c) gives less nice stamped images.

I hope this has helped you see how you can use a StampBuddy the next time you get your ArtFoamies out for some fun.

Here are some of the supplies used in this post:

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Creative Squad: Another Door Opens – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have the debut of new Squad member Riikka Kovasin – a video showing how she creates some super cool whimsical characters created using my new Triple Play foam stamps and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!


Hi there! It’s Riikka here today with my very first Creative Squad post! The theme of the month was “Another Door Opens” and I was feeling outwordly as my first idea was to turn the patterns of the great “Triple Play” foam stamp set into whimsical characters.

I interpret the theme like children’s peek-a-book – what might be behind the door? At first, I was thinking of doing the cards or an art journal page as a peek-a-book, first showing just the door and then you could open it to reveal the character. In the end I then chose to add the character on top of the door so that it had already come through it. I saw the heart-styled shape as a face immediately but when I used a peachy tone to stamp it, I realized it was ET! So, even if I had been thinking about whimsical character all along, now I would have a more precise theme. I paired the characters with greetings (hopefully) fitting to the stargazing theme.

As you see from the video a bit further below, I started by making patterned papers using acrylic paints and a gelatin printing plate. I made two sheets using similar color scheme and then one with a contrasting one. The first two I then cut to make the door (actual door and panels on it) and the third one became the robes of the character. The contrast between the two elements ensures that the character just pops out of the background.

Like I said earlier, I also used the patterns of the “Triple Play” foam stamp set to make the face and a headdress of sorts for the characters. I hope this inspires you to see the stamps from another angel. You don’t always have to use the whole stamped piece or build a bigger pattern. Collaging different little elements might just be the thing the doctor ordered!

Now, if you want to see how I made the cards, please see the video below. It shows me making the ET one, but I made the other one with similar steps. The only thing that differs is the stamps I used and I changed the color scheme a little, too. But the steps are the same!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you were inspired by the characters to see the stamps in another way! 


Thank you Riikka – these are such intriguing characters and I just love how you used all those Triple Play patterns in there!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.

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New ArtFoamies Stamps – Mini Motifs Set

I’m happy to announce this nice new set of Artfoamies that I designed: Mini Motifs Foam Stamp Set. It is now available HERE in my shop. 

Each of the 4 Mini Motifs stamps in the set is inspired by some of the designs on an old fireplace in my home. I love the idea of drawing inspiration from this bit of history and thinking about the craftsman who carved the designs so long ago.

The triangle shaped ones are fantastic for layering up. I also discovered that they work great with the Mini Motifs Rubber Stamp Set!

You can find my new Mini Motifs Foam Stamp Set HERE in my shop. Enjoy!!!

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Holiday Card Making Bundle – Special Product Kit

Are you ready to get your Holiday Card Making Game on??? I’ve put together this special product bundle to help you create tons of unique holiday cards for everyone on your list this year.

My Holiday Card Making Bundle includes a selection of foam stamps, rubber stamps, and a stencil, as well as some inspiring card making ideas from our archives to help you on your way.

The bundle is just $45, a big savings off the $71.60 regular price, and supplies are limited so hurry in to get your bundle before they run out for good. This offer expires October 20th at 11:59pm EDT.

Special 20% Off Deal: Also, during this offer, if you purchase the Holiday Card Making Bundle you may receive an additional 20% off any other physical products (foam stamps, rubber stamps, stencils, ink pads) that you order at the same time. Just use the coupon code holidaycard20 when you check out. Artwork is not included in this offer.

Here are the stamps and stencils that are included in the set:

  • Valley Road Positive Negative Foam Stamp Set
  • Broadway Positive Negative Foam Stamp Set
  • Triangle Love Cling Rubber Stamp Set
  • Fan-Fare Cling Rubber Stamp Set
  • Toledo 9×12 Stencil

In total you will receive 4 foam stamps, 11 cling rubber stamps, and a 9×12 stencil. 

Once you purchase, you will receive an email with links to project ideas from the archives to get you started on your holiday card making.

Here are some of the tutorials from our archives that will come with the Holiday Card Making Bundle once purchased:

This bundle offer is only available through October 20th at 11:50pm EDT.  And don’t forget to use the coupon code holidaycard20 to receive 20% off any additional physical items in your order.

Happy Card Making!

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Under the Sea – Emilie Murphy

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a wonderful wood panel piece by Emilie Murphy demonstrating some cool techniques and using my Fairview Fan, Mini Batik 1 and Mini Batik 2 foam stamps. The theme this month is: Under the Sea – There is something so fascinating about water. We love being in it, floating on it, relaxing next to it, and it remains one of the last frontiers here on the planet. Create something that is an ode to the sea.


Hi there! Hope you are doing well.

The Sea theme always inspires me. The first thing that came to my mind was “fish”, of course! Meanwhile I was thinking of what project to make, I went to visit my in-laws and saw this pillow with a beautiful sea turtle on it that my mother-in-law had just got. So that’s how I got the idea to make a sea turtle on a cradled wood panel.

Let me guide you how I made it.

I started to apply some crackle paste on a 10×10 wood panel coated with white gesso. I let it dry overnight.

Tip: The coat of crackle paste has to be thick enough to be able to get some significant crackles.

Then I glued down with matte medium some circles cut from old book paper to bring some interest to the background.

As I didn’t have any “sand” color acrylic paint ready to use, I mixed some “Burnt Umber” acrylic paint with some white that I applied on my panel with a brush and plastic card.

I toned down the color I mixed with some white acrylic paint because it was a little too dark than expected. I applied it with a brayer. The purpose of the brayer is just a preference to add texture.

Then I stamped the circular part of “Mini Batik Pattern 2” foam stamp with “coffee” archival ink to evoke shells. I wanted here a tone-on-tone effect.

To add some brightness and not have something too uniform, I applied some iridescent blue acrylic paint again with my brayer.

In order to build layers, I darkened the edges of my circles with a Neocolor II crayon “Blue Cobalt”. I think it gives the illusion of bubbles.

For the next layer, my intention was to add some dimension. Therefore I applied with my finger some pretty thick “puddles” of heavy gesso and stamped on it using again the “Mini Batik Pattern 2” foam stamp. Isn’t it cool! This is such an easy way to add dimension. I kept stamping around here and there to clean up the gesso left on my stamp.

Next, I played with some alcohol inks on yupo paper to use for the turtle shell. I wanted something bright and vivid.

Using the “Fairview Fan” (positive) foam stamp, I lifted off some alcohol inks and got this beautiful pattern.

Then I drew a turtle on printer paper to use as template. I made two copies; one copy for making the turtle body and the second one for the turtle shell. I used the Yupo paper, previously made, for cutting out the turtle shell and I choose a scrapbook paper for the turtle body.

Let me tell you why I choose this particular scrapbook paper.

Few weeks ago, I received my stencils order from Nathalie. She had wrapped the stencils with this scrapbook paper sheet. When I look at it, I saw that she designed this paper few years ago. Yes!!! Isn’t it awesome! So it was a perfect opportunity to use it for my turtle body.

Then, to embellish my turtle, I used the “Mini Batik Pattern 1” foam stamp for the head and legs and covered the stamped pattern with enamel accents to create the skin.

With the same foam stamp, I stamped the edges of my cradled wood panel.

Before gluing down my turtle, I used again the “Batik Pattern 2” foam stamp to stamp only the “strips” part of the stamp, just to add more interest and introduce a different pattern than having just circles on my background.

I finally glued down my sea turtle with tacky glue and traced the pattern of the turtle shell. At that point, something was missing and I was not satisfied with my turtle shell like it was.

After reflection, I had the idea to glue some jute twine on the turtle shell and all around the turtle. I used some Glossy Accent as preference because it dries clear and shiny. I really love the look of it and think it was the perfect thing to do to make my turtle as the centered piece.

At last, I used some blue and brown Stabilo pencils to darken the edges of my turtle. And I finished off the edges of my cradled wood panel rubbing my “cobalt” archival ink pad all around.

Hope I got you inspired. Personally, I have so much fun doing this project that I’m thinking of making a series of smaller panels with other shapes like fishes and shells.  This project can easily be made also on canvas or even in your art journal…

Have a good rest of the week and see you next month!


Thank you Emilie! I love how this turned out and that yummy texture is great!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to some yupo and old book paper, here are some of the other supplies Emilie used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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  • Sue Clarke

    |

    Emilie, delightful colors and TEXTURE!

    Reply

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Under the Sea – Nicole Watson

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today Nicole Watson is sharing her longing for the sea with us, with a beautiful art journal spread using a bunch of my foam stamps and this month’s theme: Under the Sea – There is something so fascinating about water. We love being in it, floating on it, relaxing next to it, and it remains one of the last frontiers here on the planet. Create something that is an ode to the sea.


Traditionally, my husband and I have taken a fall vacation to the beach in Florida. It’s one of our favorite vacation spots, right on the panhandle with white sands and emerald green water. I love to spend hours watching the ocean and its waves, walking the shore, hunting for shells while spotting a dolphin or two. I spend afternoons water coloring in my beach chair and exploring all the neat shops full of beach art. Unless something changes, this will be the third year in a row that we are not going to make it to Florida. A hurricane, moving, and now the pandemic.

I am so longing for our beach vacation, and these journal pages play homage to my love for the sea.

First, I spent an hour gel printing papers using Nat’s ArtFoamies. I layered ocean colored paint on my plate, stamped the foamies, and pulled prints. The magic happened when I added layers to each pull creating depth in the prints.

One simple recipe I used a lot: Layer paint on the gel plate, stamp with art foamies, pull a print and a ghost print or two. 

Then, once dry, create a small puddle of contrasting paint in the corner of the gel plate as a palette and stamp another foamie all over. Use the original prints to add this second layer of interest. You can see in the video how I layered the texture of different ArtFoamies with contrasting paint to create beautiful, gel printed pages.

Next, I needed to decide what I was going to do with these prints! I had in mind that I wanted to create an ocean, so I just went with it. I cut strips of paper in wavy lines from the gel prints, then I layered them on my journal pages with matte medium.

I picked a specific page that looked more like the ocean floor or beach shore for the bottom layer and kept in mind to vary the colors as I layered the papers. I let my ocean dry overnight, which was also my excuse to think about what to do next.

I honestly had no idea on what the next layer should be. I wanted to keep the pages simple and just add a quote or poem until my husband inspired me. The screen saver was playing on the TV and he suggested I look at it to get an idea for my journal pages. On the screen were layers of seaweed in the ocean. 

The next day I trimmed the edges of my pages and then sketched some seaweed (I looked online for some seaweed pictures as inspiration.) with a charcoal pencil and then with a stabilo-all pencil. I wanted it to not stand out too much and have a watercolor feel, so I activated the stabilo with water. Then, I flicked some of the stabilo to look like water bubbles.

I topped my pages off with the perfect quote that touches on my love for the sea. I typed it out on some aged paper, cut it apart, and adhered it with matte medium.

I love how my faux ocean turned out with the ArtFoamie prints, and now I have several beautiful pages of prints to use in other projects as well. In fact, I already have one in mind. You’ll have to watch my Instagram to see what I create next.


Thank you Nicole! Love hearing how this project came together even though you didn’t necessarily have a clear plan at first… What beautiful results in the end!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to her typewriter and a selection of printer, book, and scrap paper, here are some of the other supplies Nicole used:

Feel inspired? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    Gorgeous Nicole!
    I just love the colors and the waves as it seems like I can feel the water wash over me.
    Delightful on this hot day!

    Reply

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