Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘stamp’

Howdy there!!  Welcome to 2012 (a month late)!!

After a long time away from my dear blog I’m back and ready to bring this thing back to life.  I’ve had a difficult time balancing the normal stresses and time constraints of motherhood, family duties, volunteer work, work work, and my extra activities but I’m determined to find some more time to post here because it makes me happy and keeps me sane.  So thats that.

For my sister’s 30th b’day I wanted to do something a little extra special.  I racked my brain for a while and visited Etsy and Pinterest in hopes of finding inspiration.  I make my sister stuff all the time, and didn’t want to bombard her with yet again another handmade doo-dad, but her hubby said that my handmade stuff is what she likes most.  She already has paintings of mine hanging in her house, she has plenty of jewelry from me, what else could I do.  Think.  Think. Think.  Browse.  Browse. Browse.  Ding!  Lightbulb moment.  I came across this amazing website called Simon’s Stamps.  My sister likes making handmade cards and such (she is super crafty and makes all kinds of adorable things) so it hit me that I could design her some custom stamps and get her some funky colored ink pads.  YES.  DONE.  Thank you Simon, I think I will.

But what kind of stamps?  Hmmmm…. After much scribbling and doodling and debating, I finally remembered that a friend of mine had once had a stamp of her face that she used on some of her price tags on her craft fair merchandise.  I remember thinking how much I coveted her cute stamp and how I needed to remember that for later.  Well hello later!  So I decided to make Christen (my sis) a stamp of her gorgeous face so that she could use it for her handmade stuff that she often makes for craft fairs and gifts for friends and family.  But then I thought she could probably use a stamp of her and her hubby to use on invitations and cards as well.  Needless to say, in the end I ended up designing and ordering 4 stamps:  One of her face, one of her and her hubby, one of their son (to add to her and her hubby’s if she ever feels the need), and one of their name.  Once I started designing them, I couldn’t stop!  I even ended up designing one for me and Daniel!  I also ordered her a few fun colored stamp pads to go with it.  Anyway, Simon’s Stamps is really reasonably priced, easy to use, and had quick delivery.  I’ll definitely be using them again.  Maybe I’ll make a custom pet stamp of her dog Charlie to add to the collection.  🙂

Well, would you like to know how I made my designs?  You’ll be surprised by how easy it was and once you know the tricks, you’ll be addicted and will want to make one for every face you know!

Okay then, here we go:

Cost:  $9 + depending on what size stamp you order (mine were mostly 1.5″x1″)

Supplies:

  • A good photo of the person’s face who you are making the stamp for.
  • Access to the internet (to use Picnik) or access to other simple photo editing software.
  • A printer.
  • A black marker.
  • A window.
  • A scanner (if you don’t own a scanner, you can do a bit more work on the photo editing and omit the “artsy” part of this project.  Or you can download a scanner ap on your phone and use that).

1.  First thing to do is find your photo(s).  I perused my sis’s facebook page to find the photos I used to create her stamps.

I used the one above (but I just gave her bangs since she typically wears bangs) for her individually portrait stamp as well as for her couple stamp.  Its about the only picture where her and her hubby are close together and he is actually smiling with teeth.  😉

The one below is the pic I used to create the stamp of their son Carter.  He seriously looks like the “Gerber baby” in this pic.  So cute!

2.  Now just simply save your photo to your computer and upload it to your photo editing program.  As you know I use Picnik, its cheap, easy, and I love all the features.  Open your photo up in your editing program.

If you need to, crop around the faces to get rid of the excess photo space.

3.  Play with the exposure and contrast a bit until you begin to see more defined lines.  What we’re trying to do is create somewhat of a posterized line drawn image.

4.  Now just use your “Effects” tools (if you’re using Picnik) to get as close to a posterized look as you can without losing too much detail.  Be conscious of the fact that you want the end product to really look like the person, so try to keep distinct characteristics present while editing.  I turned my pic to black and white, boosted the contrast (using “Boost”), and slightly posterized it by using “HDR-ish” and “Posterize”.

5.  Once you have a pretty good template made up that you think you can work with, save it and print it off.  *TIP* The larger you print the pic, the easier you will be able to “tweak” it with your black marker by hand.

6.  Now is where you summon up the courage to get a little artsy.  Take your printed image and another clean sheet of computer paper to the nearest window (or light box if you happen to own one).  Use a piece of tape to tape the image to the window and tape the clean piece of paper over it.

7.  Now, simply trace over the most prominent lines, smoothing out any rough spots or bumps.  Omit anything that just “muddies up” the design.  Do this IN PENCIL first.  Then, take down your pics and tweak your new design until you get it simple and smooth enough.  Then simply color it in with your black marker.  C’mon, its not that hard, I know you can do it!! 🙂

Above is what my design looked like after I had done step 7 and scanned it into the computer.

8.  Scan your new black and white design to upload it back on to your computer.  Be sure to choose “black and white” in your scan options (it will save a step later).

9.  Unless I wanted all those little white spots to be in my final stamp, I needed to “color them in”.  I did this by using Picnik’s “Doodle” tool which is basically a paintbrush to go over all my dark areas that needed it until I saw negative (white) space in all the right places.  I also used the “Posterize” tool at the end again to just round out any rough edges.

The end result and finished design was this!:

10.  Now simply save your new design to your computer and then follow the instructions on Simon’s Stamps page (go to “Custom Made Art Mount Stamps” in their sidebar, and decide how large you’d like your stamp to be).  Upload your design, order it, and wait for your friends and family to be amazed, thrilled, flattered, and impressed when you give them their very own custom portrait stamp!

Here is a look at the Schneider family stamped on paper:

So CUTE right?  Anyway, Christen LOVED her new stamps and I LOVED making them.  I hope you do too!

P.S.  These would make fabulous wedding or engagement gifts!  Also, you could use this same technique to create custom artwork (Warhol style?) and other fun stamps of all kinds of things, people, creatures, etc.  Go.  Stamp it up my friends.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Happy Easter everyone!  I meant to post this yesterday but I just didn’t have the time.  I made this for my son for Easter this year and I thought I’d teach you a’ll how to make it for yourself or your little ones.  I don’t have much time to write this post so I’m just going to jump right into it!  Have fun!

Cost: Around $8-$12 depending on what you have on hand.

Supplies:

  • A blank T-shirt in a bright color.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $3 but I also find that the Garanimals brand at Walmart goes on sale alot and has good quality blank shirts for appliqueing.
  • Felt:  White, pink, and brown.  I buy my felt sheets for $0.37 at Hobby Lobby.
  • Two buttons in odd sizes.
  • Fabric paint or ink.  I used a “TeeJuice” pen in brown for my letters.  You can find them at the craft store for around $3.50.
  • Foam letter stamps.  (If you did the Alphabet Pillow tutorial then you now own a set or know where you can borrow some.)
  • A sewing machine and contrasting thread.
  • Transfer webbing.  You’ll only need a little bit for this project but I always have some on hand to do my appliques.  You can buy it in yardage for about $2 per yard at the fabric/craft stores.  I LOVE this stuff and use it ALL the time so if you’re going to follow these tutorials, you’ll see me using it a lot I’m sure.  Basically all it is is a fusible backing that you iron on to your appliques which allows you to iron your appliques on to your t-shirt (or other item) before you stitch.  It makes the applique stable so that it is easy to stitch on with your machine and it makes the overall image more durable for future washing.  Great stuff.  I couldn’t craft without it.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • A hot iron, no steam.
  • An ironing board.

Ok, thats your list of supplies.  Gather it up and meet me back here for your instructions…

Ready?  Lets make this thing.

  1. Wash and dry your t-shirt to avoid shrinking after the applique is on.
  2. Lay your shirt out flat and create your design by laying a piece of paper onto the shirt where you’d like the applique to go and then drawing your design onto the paper based on how big you’d like it to be on the shirt.  I like to freehand draw my designs since I like them to look kind of unkempt and messy (like kids art) but if you have no confidence in your artisitc abilities you could google a bunny head image and print it off and use it as your design.  Heres what I did on mine:
  3. The design is just a rough sketch of what you’re trying to accomplish.  You basically just need the design to ensure that the applique isn’t too big or too small for your t-shirt.  After you have it drawn out, cut out the main pieces; like the head and the ears.
  4. Now, lay your main pieces (head and ears) onto your white felt and cut around them (I cut mine a rectangular or square around my design pieces).
  5. Do the same with your other design elements; pink bunny ears parts, pink bunny nose, brown chocolate messy mouth part.  I don’t really make “patterns” for these elements, I just eyeball it.  Anyway, the main thing to understand is that you just want big enough felt squares/rectangles cut out to fit your design pieces.
  6. Once you’ve got all those felt pieces cut out.  Lay them out on your transfer webbing (trans web rough side toward the felt), and cut your trans web out in the same size pieces as your felt pieces.
  7. Next, take your felt pieces with their trans web backing pieces and with a hot, dry iron, iron the trans web onto the felt pieces one by one.  (If these instructions are a little foggy to you, refer to the instructions  on your trans web).
  8. Once you have adhered all the trans web pieces to their coordinating felt pieces you can use the paper backing side of the felt pieces to draw out your design elements.  Below I have drawn out my inside bunny ears, my bunny nose, and my chocolate mouth piece, as well as my extra candy bar piece (you can leave out the candy bar if you’d like).  Ignore the little slivered piece.  I didn’t use it in my design.
  9. Now that you have your pieces drawn out on your felt, use your sharp scizzors and cut them out into their individual design elements.
  10. On your t-shirt, lay out all your design pieces to be sure that you like them and to get an idea for what order to iron them onto your shirt.
  11. Once you have a plan of action, remove your pieces from your shirt and then carefully peel away the paper backing to expose the rubbery trans web side of your felt pieces.
  12. Lay your t-shirt flat on your ironing board and place your first piece where you’d like and then set it to your shirt with a hot iron pressing firmly (trans web side to the shirt) and moving slowly over your felt piece.
  13. Continue layering your pieces on this way until your design elements are iron securely in place.  I ironed my bunny ears first since I knew they’d be somewhat tucked under the head and then continued with the rest of the elements from bottom to top.
  14. Once you have all the elements on there, get out your alphabet stamps and find the letters that spell “hopped up”.
  15. Using the same fabric stamping technique as you learned from the “Alphabet Pillow Tutorial” spell out “hopped up” on your t-shirt.  TIP:  Start with the middle letters first and work out so you can center the words under your design.
  16. Once you’ve got your phrase on there and the ink/paint has dried, heat set your letters with a dry iron.
  17. At this point you can simply sew on your button eyes and be done if you’d like.  The trans web won’t hold up but for just a few washes, but if you just want something quick and cute for your little one to wear for one day, it would work fine.  But, I really like to finish my appliques with a contrasting stitch that not only secures the design to the shirt more permanently but also gives more detail and quirkiness to the design.
  18. So grab your machine and stitch down your applique at the edges of the design, being sure to stitch over each of the design elements and add special detail where you’d like.  I am NOT by any means a great seamstress so I work kinda slow and my lines are NEVER straight, but once again, I like things a little “messy” looking and I think that it adds to the feel and look of the design.  So don’t be afraid if you “screw up”.  It will just add to the character of the shirt.
  19. Hand sew your mismatched button eyes onto your bunny.  If you’re making this for a girl, it would be super cute I think to make a ribbon hair bow and tack that onto the bunny’s head.

And there you go!  Hope you like it!  The perfect shirt for your little Easter bunny who maybe has had a little too much candy today! 🙂

Read Full Post »