Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Digi Stamp Tips

Digital Stamps seem to be all the rage right now. With the economy, it is an inexpensive way to get some new stamps. It is also instant gratification for many stampers. You don't have to wait a few days or longer to get your new images. They come right away and all you have to do is print them off and color away! We thought it would be nice to compile some tips to answer any questions that new digi stamps users might have.
The first couple times I worked with digi images I wasn't happy b/c my ink smeared with my Copics but I figured out the trick! I heat set the images with my heat gun and presto - NO SMEARING!!!
-Carisa Zglobicki, TPE participant

Digi images are great for using on the inside of cards. Due to being able to make them whatever size you want you can make cute small characters to decorate the corners of inners.
-Ann Cutts, TPE design team

I print my digi images on matte photo paper (JetPrint brand). I then spray the image with a very light coat of workable fixative. Let dry and I am able to color them with my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol with no bleeding whatsoever. I have also heard of heat setting your inkjet prints in your oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, but have never tried it.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

If you have any great tips for using digi stamps, please send them to us at

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easter Blog Hop Tips

This is a wonderful group of tips shared by Ella's friends during the Easter Blog Hop Event 3/20/09 - 3/22/09.
Please click on the comments to view some fabulous tips!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cutting in tight spaces

I do a lot of cutting of small shapes and decoupage, and sometimes it is quite difficult to cut accurate in tiny corners. My tip is to punch tiny holes using a needle or a piercing tool in every corner of the pattern. This way you can feel when your blade hits the corner, and it stops you from cutting into the pattern. It is important to remember: the tighter the spot, the thinner the needle!
It is also easier to "needle" if you place something soft under your paper. I use a the back side of a mouse mat, so that I don´t ruin my embossing mat...
-Siri Fjørtoft, TPE participant

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TPE design team storage solutions

I store all my scraps in ziploc baggies according to colors.
I store ribbon in ziplocs according to colors.
I also try to keep all my acrylic stamps in their original packaging so I know all the info I need when I use it, but I group them into baggies too. As you can tell, baggies are a fav for me. They are easy for me to see what I am looking for and since I hava limited storage they work well for me.
Also I have a small closet where I keep all my stamping things, and I was running out of room for all my things, so I bought a fabric hanging shoe organizer that hangs on the door and I store all my stickers/embellishments in the pockets by theme or category.
Nestabilities I keep in a basket along with my cb folders so I can have all of them together, but they are also in original packaging.
-Angela Robledo, TPE design team

My clear studio g stamps & the small Hero Art sets are in a binder in baseball card pages.
My other clear stamps are in cd cases (but Im thinking about putting those into binders) My unmounted stamps are also in cd cases Wood mounted stamps are in an old printers tray that is hanging on the wall.
Cuttlebug folders are in a lunchbox (which is FULL) Nestibilities I just started getting and they are just sitting on the table currently.
Dies are in a small drawer (I don't have many of them).
-Trudi Wilbur, TPE design team

Storage - oh boy this has been a real toughie for me cause I have so little space. I keep working on ways to improve things all the time. Anyway here goes...
Stamps - My clear stamps I have stored on A4 size laminated sheets or (sadly as I have been told that they should not be stored on acetate) they are still in their original packaging. I am working towards having them all stored on the A4 sheets but it's a boring job and I rather be stamping. My unmounted rubber stamps I store in CD storage folders. I stamp the image on card to have on one side and store the rubber behind that in the pocket. The small word and quote stamps I have are stored in the plastic disply folders that people use for trading cards. (photos attached). Mounted stamps are stored in A4 plastic storage boxes stood on their side so that there is no weight on the stamps.
Dies - hmmmmmmmm no clever storage ideas for the normal dies - just in plastic boxes.
My nestabilities are in the CD cases with magnetic strips and I'm going to use the same idea for all my other metal dies.
Embossing folders are all in a storage container on my desk as I use them all the time.
Ribbons - I made a box for rolls of ribbon with holes so that you can pull a length of ribbon through. But for my odd lengths of ribbon I use coat hangers with the bar at the bottom and loop my ribbon on to that. That works really well.
-Ann Cutts, TPE design team

Storage is very important to me. I have a small area and I need to be as efficient as possible, but still be able to access my supplies.
Stamps-Mounted stamps are in Iris Carts. I have way too many, but I can't bring myself to start unmounting them. Maybe someday. Unmounted (without foam) are in cd cases by company with the spines labeled. I simply add a two way adhesive to them, let dry and put in cases. When I want to use one, I peel it out of the case and stick to an acrylic block. Unmounted (with ez mount) are on panels in a binder. Clear stamps-I have some in cd cases, but have started just keeping those in their original packaging in a mini milk crate (.89 each at a discount store) at the bottom of my cd tower. I have two of these crates side by side and they look really cute filled with clear stamps.
Dies-Smaller cutting dies (CB, QK, Sizzlets) are all in my Cuttlebug storage binder. I used to have my folders in here too, but it got too thick. Larger dies are in another of the mini milk crates along with my Nestabilities.
Nestabilities- they are all in cd cases. I have two strips of magnet tape across each side and can place a set on each side of the case. I removed the label from the packaging and stuck it to the case so I know the correct name. I have a couple sets that are too long for cd cases. Those are still in the original packaging, but I just saw an idea to put them on a bookring and hang them on a hook, so I think I will do that.
Embossing Folders-I took a baby wipe container and removed the lid. The A2 folders fit perfectly in that. I labeled each of my folders at the top with a fine Sharpie so I have the names. The smaller ones are in a small basket that i picked up at a discount store. I have two of these. The other holds my rhinestones and pearls.
Die Cutting Station-I recently picked up a small bookcase. It is intended for stacking them up, but I just got one. It has a long smooth top, another shelf below that creates a cubby in the center with a shelf sticking out each side. I have all of my dies, folders and cutters on this and it is all very accessible and convenient.
Ribbon-I store all my ribbon in plastic shoeboxes according to type. I have the boxes labeled with what styles of ribbon are inside. They fit nicely on a shelf in my cabinet.
Paper-generic cardstock on a paper sorter (actually 4 of them stacked together), my WorldWin Paper is a plastic bin sorted by brand. I keep my generic scraps in a totes that holds hanging file folders. Each folder holds a color. My WorldWin scraps are in plastic envelopes (8.5x11) by product line.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

I usually keep my things in the original packaging as long as possible...
-Lori Roop, TPE design team

I only have clear and woodmounted stamps. The clear are all in a Snopake document box, some of them inside original packing inside this box!
My woodmounted stamps are stored, along with my most regularly used stuff in my Traders Chest....a large 150 yr old wooden 12 draw unit.
My nesties are store in CD cases, but with foam tape to hold them down instead of magnet.
My Quickutz dies are in their original plastic folders that came with it when i bought it.
My embossing folders are kept in an old floppy disc holder! it is a perfect size for them, you would think it was made for the purpose and i rescued it from the rubbish, as my hubby was about to throw it out!!
I adore Yankee Candles and have one burning most evenings....these empty glass jars are perfect for my ribbons and each is a colour family.....and they smell delicious too!
-Carol Houghton, design team

Recycling Packaging

I recycle clear acetate from used products to use later...I use the small pieces of acetate for shaker cards and projects. Punched circles make great scallops.
-Lori Roop, TPE design team

Another recycle tip, I use cereal boxes (or other boxes) for chipboard to make mini albums or chipboard shapes. I also use the corrugated cardboard boxes and peel off the top layer of cardboard to get to the corrugated part and use that for a fun texture on cards, scrapbook pages or even the base pages of a mini album. You can leave the cardboard as is, ink it or paint it up. I love "free" repurposed scrappy things.
-Trudi Wilbur, design team

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I take the plastic 'wings' out of my corner rounder punch, it will then create a scalloped edge.
-Carol Houghton, TPE design team

To sharpen punches, punch through several layers of aluminum foil or a sheet of fine sandpaper a few times. It should make them punch much cleaner.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

For sticking punches, punch through wax paper. If it sticks when you have paper inside, place in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it expand and it will release.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

For those really big punches that are hard to punch, place it on the floor and step on it. The punch can handle it and it will save your hands!
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Recycled Palettes

Instead of throwing out plastic packaging keep it to use for a mini paint tray when you're painting your chipboard.
-Trudi Wilbur, TPE design team

When you print out something that you only need for a short time, don't just throw it away when you are done. If you aren't planning to properly recycle it, use it for under your work area. I have a small stack of papers on my desk at all times. I work over them. They are great for stamping off the edge of cardstock, inks, paints, glues, etc. You won't get your desk messy and they last a long time. When it gets way too painty and gunky, then it has lived its life and you can move down to the next layer.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Use old phonebooks for gluing, etc. Once a page is all gluey, just turn to the next page and you have a brand new palette.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Creative substitutes

If you run out of M's or N's in your Thickers etc, you can nearly always use W's and U's upside down instead!
-Carol Houghton, TPE design team

Embellishment storage ideas

I keep all my little embellishments like brads & eyelets even my fibers and ribbons in little ziploc bags (the ones you find by the jewelry making section at Walmart) and they are on my own version of a clip it up in my scraproom, but if Im going to a crop I just grab some book rings and load each one up with ribbons, fibers etc.
-Trudi Wilbur, TPE design team

I store all of my buttons, beads, charms, eyelets, brads, etc in the little containers from the fishing department that have small compartments in them. I can stack them all easily on a shelf in one of my cabinets. I keep them for buttons, one for charms, etc. I can then pull out all of my buttons at one time to choose what I want to use and then easily put it back when I am done.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Die cutting alternatives

If a sandwich recipe calls for 3-4 pieces of card for a shim, try the cardboard backing from Cuttlebug folders. It is about equal to the thickness of 3-4 pieces of standard cardstock. I keep all the backings and use them for shimming.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

A good alternative to Paper Glide (sometimes recommended to mist your cardstock to get deeper impressions from brass stencils and texture plates): fill a mister with water and add a drop of dish washing liquid.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

When die cutting, I use the same B plate for the cutting side of the die to hit against. If you are cutting Nestabilities or other thin dies that use the C plate, always cut to the B plate. The C plates are more expensive and harder to find, so I would rather destroy a B plate over time and keep my C plate pristine.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

If your B plate becomes warped from using it, simply flip it over so it bows upward (like a hill rather than a valley) and it will straighten out. I tend to flip mine over each time I use it to keep it somewhat flat.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Cuttlebug Sandwiches

I know that alot of people often ask about what plates to use with certain dies. This may not cover all of them, but it is a start!

Cuttlebug/QK/Sizzix folders: A plate, B plate, folder with card, B plate
Cuttlebug dies: A plate, B plate, die with foam cutting side up, card, B plate
Other thin dies: A plate, C plate, die with cutting side up, card, B plate
Thick steel rule dies: B plate, cardstock, die with cutting side down, B plate
Brass stencils: A plate, B plate, stencil, cardstock lightly misted with water, tan embossing mat (or thin fun foam, pliable rubber gasket), 3-4 sheets of cardstock for shim, B plate
Nestabilities (cut): A plate, C plate, die with cutting side up, cardstock, B plate
Nestabilities (emboss): A plate, B plate, die with cut card face up, tan embossing mat, 3-4 sheets of card for shim, B plate
Texture plates: A plate, texture plate with side you want face up, cardstock, tan embossing mat, C plate

-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Help with rhinestones...

It's not always easy to pull the rhinestones off their backing without leaving behind the sticky tack. With scissors, make slight cuts between the rhinestones. They will come right off.
-Lori Roop, TPE design team

An easy way to hang onto those bitty rhinestones or gems......Use a paper piercer to remove them. They stick to the tip of it like a magnet.
-Lori Roop, TPE design team

I bought an alphabet set of rhinestone sticker really cheap !!! Love that word 'cheap' and guess what happened to Z and Q??? Or any of the letters/shapes you don't need....cut between them with the scissors to get really useful tiny gems. Great way to use the extra bits.
-Ann Cutts, TPE design team

Need a specific color of rhinestone and only have clear? Place how many you need down on the sticky side of a piece of tape to hold them. Then, use a Sharpie marker (or other permanent marker) of the color you need and color it. This can also be done with buttons, brads, dew drops, etc to customize to your project. I buy alot more of the clear, silver and white of things and just make them the color I want with inks, markers, paints, etc.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Stamping Boo Boos

If your stamped image isn't completely stamped, simply take a marker and connect the lines.
-Lori Roop, TPE design team

If you stamp a bolder stamp and you end up with a larger area that didn't stamp well, simply take a cotton swab and tap it on your inkpad and dab onto the area to fill it in. By dabbing, you feather the color in and get almost a seamless correction.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Just a touch of glitter...

This may be one that everyone knows about but then again perhaps not. To add a bit of sparkle (but not glitter cause that would be too much) I scribble onto an acryllic block with my Sakura Stardust clear pen and then use a wet brush to paint the clear sparkle over my coloured images. It's very subtle but just adds that added touch.
-Ann Cutts, TPE design team

Strategic Stamping...masking right on your stamp

Ever have a stamp that you want to use, but there is a part of it that doesn't work for your design? Or one that is a phrase all in one line and you wish it were in two? Here's a great tip for you then! Take a piece of regular Scotch tape and place it right on the rubber over the part of the stamp that you don't want to print. Ink your stamp and then remove the tape, stamp your image and the parts you wanted to eliminate didn't print. If it is a stamp of a phrase that you want to break up, just put tape over the part you want on the second line, ink, remove tape and stamp. Clean stamp, cover the part you already stamped with tape, ink, remove tape and stamp below the first line. I use this all the time in my stamping.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team

Brilliant brad placement ideas

Just the other week I discovered that you can get the hole for the brad in exactly the same place on each corner by using a square of plastic canvas used for yarn embroidery. You lay the corner of the plastic canvas on top of the corner of your card/paper then you can use the holes as measures for where you want your brad. You have to make sure that you push your brad through the same part of the hole in the canvas for each corner. I've seen people use plastic canvas to make mock stitching lines but not to ensure their brad holes are spot on. It used to drive me mad when I got one brad lower in one corner than the other. Maybe it's just me that does that but possibly I'm not the only one.
-Ann Cutts, TPE design team

Another alternative if you don't have plastic canvas on hand is to use a piece of scrap cardstock. Determine where you want your brad on the scrap. Punch a hole in the spot. Now, lay your scrap card on top of the card you are setting your brads into. Punch a hole through the existing hole and into your card in the upper left corner. Flip the template from left to right and lay it on the upper right corner of your card and punch. Now, flip it from top to bottom and punch the bottom right corner. Flip one more time from left to right and punch your final corner. Set your brads in the four corners. They will all be lined up evenly.
-Robin Willis, TPE design team