Thursday, 9 October 2014

Make Your Own Texture Foam Stamps for the Gelli Plate

I'm writing this blog post as part of the Kraaft Shaak challenge for the month of October for the Kraafter's Kommunity. Anybody can join this wonderful kommunity (where we spell everything with a K!), so why don't you check it out! The theme this month is STAMPING.

In this blog post, I'm going to show you how to turn your rubber stamps and stencils into texturized foam stamps that you can use on the Gelli plate to create designs similar to these:

Materials required:

  • craft foam
  • iron
  • rubber or acrylic stamps and plastic stencils
  • 2 sheets of silicone coated paper (also referred to a parchment paper)
  • 2 flat surfaces (eg. hardback books or chopping boards)
The process:
  1. Place the following items on top of each other (in this order): a hard back book or chopping board, silicone paper, stencil or stamp (face up), craft foam cut to size, silicone paper.
  2. Place a medium hot iron (heat setting 2) on top of this pile and gently iron for a few seconds. When the foam begins to curl, you can stop.
  3. Quickly place another book or chopping board on top of the pile and put your weight on it. (I like to stand on it, but be careful if you do that!)
  4. In just a few seconds the foam will have cooled down sufficiently and have the imprint of the stamp or the stencil, ready to be used on your Gelli plate for texturing!

Some of the texturizing foam stamps I've made

  • If the design hasn't transferred successfully, you can reheat the foam gently and start again! 
  • Don't burn the foam - as soon as it starts curling stop ironing!
  • Be careful with the iron! It's easy to get carried away with the excitement and forget about basic common sense. (Ask me how I know that!)
  • Don't use regular paper because the foam will fuse to it. (been there, done that!)
  • If your imprint is shallow, it may be because the foam wasn't hot enough, or the flat surfaces you're using are not entirely flat. 
  • I've got the best imprints when the foam was slightly smaller than the stencil or stamp. 
  • If your foam gets clogged with paint, you can try scrubbing it under the tap or just make new ones!
How to use your foam stamps on the Gelli plate?

Use  your foam stamps to remove paint from the Gelli plate and stamp them directly on existing prints. You can then either pull the layer immediately from the plate (on blank paper or on top of another print) OR you can let the paint dry on the plate and apply a thin layer of second colour on top, let it sit for a few minutes and then pull the print. Ta-da!

Have fun creating your own texturizing foam stamps for the Gelli plate! Here are  a few of my Gelli prints created with this technique:

UPDATE: Since publishing this post more than three years ago, I bought a Big Shot and now make my texture stamps using that. It's much easier! You can find out more about this other technique here.

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