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Rubber Stamp Background Techniques

    Create a Muted Pattern

    • Design a quick, tone-on-tone background by stamping with watermark ink. The clear, permanent ink will darken cardstock, leaving a shadow-like image of the stamped design. Create your own birthday card background, for example, by starting with a blank card in a medium shade. Apply watermark ink to a "happy birthday," cake, candle or gift rubber stamp. Press the stamp onto the surface and lift straight up to prevent smearing. Repeat the process around the card to produce an eye-catching background pattern.

    Change the Texture

    • Get double duty from rubber stamps by adding "texture" to the ink before stamping. For example, add quick-drying, water-based dye ink to a rubber stamp featuring a solid heart design. Lightly press the stamp onto a piece of mesh or bubble wrap and then push the stamp onto the background. The heart will now have subtle texture rather than the plain, solid face. Stamp the image in a symmetrical or random pattern across the background.

    Try Ink Lifting

    • Create sophisticated backgrounds for cards, scrapbook pages or photo mats by using rubber stamps to lift color away from the background. Use a sponge applicator to completely cover the background with a deep shade of craft chalk. Apply a light coat of watermark ink to your rubber stamp and press it gently against the chalked background. The stamp will lift the chalk off the page, leaving a crisp design. Once you've completed the pattern, spray the cardstock with a fixative to prevent the chalk from smudging.

    Make Block Patterns

    • Use shadow stamps to generate rubber stamp backgrounds with layered, colored shapes. Shadow stamps feature basic shapes like circles, squares and rectangles and often have textured edges to make the designs appear dimensional or aged. Create designs by using the stamps with soft shades of permanent pigment ink. Allow one stamped image to dry before applying another one so the edges overlap to create an abstract pattern. Also try this stamping technique with fabric ink to create designs on plain pillows, pillow cases, tote bags or articles of clothing.

    Add Dimension

    • Give backgrounds touchable texture by stamping designs onto a separate piece of cardstock and cutting them out. Affix the stamped pieces to the background, allowing the edges to overlap slightly. Use stamped and trimmed flower designs, for example, to create a dimensional background for a spring birthday card or scrapbook page.

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