Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stamping digital images with acetate

When I started my love affair with piano-hinge books, my biggest challenge was how to neatly double-side on pages that were between one and three inches. Ol' Bessi, my 10-year-old HP 3-in-one InkJet printer, actually does a fairly good job at double-siding, but it's always a crapshoot whether it will work. Honestly, that's the truth across the board in printing. Printing truly proves chaos theory, if you ask me. Also, I needed to cut the pages on my Cricut personal cutter, and there was no way I would be able to do that many times in a row with less than 1/16 inch margin of error. It would be easier to hand-cut the pages in that case, but I didn't want my books to be that handmade. Anyhoo, during the same time I was trying to make a magic picture card with a digi stamp, but the image just wouldn't dry on the acetate. So, in a classic "You got chocolate on my peanut butter!" moment, I realized that I had in fact created a way to stamp the image. I know, I know, what's the point of stamping an image that is printable? Gee, where's your imagination? It adds a completely different effect, plus it totally solves my book printing problem.

The above image, from my poemoir "The Door Won't Stop It", shows my first attempt at stamping the text onto the pre-cut pages. It's basically digital letter-pressing.

This method works perfectly for my needs, so I decided to try it with a full-color image. The results are mixed, but it's so much fun that I thought I'd throw together a quick how-to:

You don't have to do this, but I pre-printed the sentiments and backing papers onto cardstock first. It just worked out that I was able to use just one piece of white.

Reverse/flip/mirror the image you want to stamp (including the positioning), and print at highest quality/output onto your acetate. This only works with inkjet printers . . . I think laser pinters will probably actually print on the acetate.

Carefully place the acetate, ink-side down, onto your cardstock. The blurred effect in this photo shows what happens when you try to do this with one hand while taking a picture . . . it's best to use two hands. In this case, I printed everything on letter-size paper with a half-inch margin, to help with the alignment.

Transfer the image onto the cardstock by rubbing it. Depending on the effect you want and the detail of the image, you can use anything from a bone folder to your finger. My favorite: the top of my extra-large glue stick. However, only use one method. This is what happens when you get nervous and rub it a little more with your fingernail:
As you can see, how you rub on the image really makes a difference in the color coverage. Here's a better, more even version:
Here's the card I made with the images, for the September Sketch Challenge at Crafter's Digital Art Center (CDAC).

Sketch by Lauretta's Digital Stamps
Technique: Spotlighting (there's a great tutorial for true spotlighting at splitcoaststampers)
Birdie digi stamp by paperfacesdesigns
Supplies: Core'dinations cardstock, Stickles, ribbon from Target, HP printer, Recollections cardstock, Grafix clear craft plastic, ZipDry glue, pop-up dots

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