One Terrific Stamp — Five Fun Gifts
While it is definitely not holiday specific, it sure makes lots of great holiday gifts. I got the Stack of Presents stamp back in August and at that time I was a bit puzzled thinking about ways to use it on a greeting card. Well, step out of the box, Tanya…not every stamp has to become a card! The six inch length of the stamp makes it perfect for those long skinny projects…like…what? What is long and skinny and not a card? Eureka! Bookmarks!
Bookmarks make perfect gifts for my nose-in-a-book pals as well as my planner gal pals. The length of this “bookmark” also makes it a perfect tag to be hung on a doorknob or from a mirror as a reminder that each day is a gift. So, once my lightbulb moment ended, I set out to make a handful of bookmarks so I would have them at the ready for holiday and birthday gifts.
I started by downloading the free digital cut file for the stamp. Since I still use an older-than-old Silhouette that is not compatible with svg files, I have to do some converting and then more converting to get the file into a Silhouette-friendly png file. Then there is a bit more fiddling with sizing and after that I am done. Whew! That’s a lot of work…you’d think that I would “see the light” and upgrade my cutting machine; but no…never one to toss something while it still works!! Nuts, I know; and in reality, it really doesn’t take that long to do. The geek that I am kind of likes the challenge of it all. (If you don’t have a digital cutting machine…you can fussy cut the stacks after they are stamped and colored and they look great.) For the actual stamping step I used Brutus Monroe Detail Ink in Raven — by now you know, it is my favorite ink! I am fairly new to the world of modern stamping so I have not tried every darn ink out there. But why would I when I know that I will have success with the Detail Ink? Now, veering from the tried and true would be nuts wouldn't it!
Let the fun began…coloring! Still using the same old colored pencils, I went to town, coloring like a fool. (Have I mentioned that I love to color?) I could have made things simple and duplicated one stack five times…but where’s the fun in that? I had so much fun coloring box bottoms, lids and ribbons in every combo I could think of. Reminder, I am still working with only twenty-two pencils…yes, just twenty-two! Once all the gifts were colored, I used those snazzy painter’s pens and added some highlights of gold and silver mostly in the way of tiny dots and stripes. None of the color combos are holiday specific as I wanted the bookmarks to be used year-round.
I printed a few patterns from my Etsy shop planner sticker designs on the heaviest 110 lb. coverstock I have in the studio. I like this weight as it is thick enough to give the bookmarks substance even if I don’t laminate them. With my paper trimmer, I cut 1 3/4 inch x 7 inch strips from the printed pattern paper. Using my old "frienemy," lovingly called double-sided tape, I attached each stack on a coordinating patterned strip. I positioned the stack closer to the bottom of the strip leaving enough room to punch a hole in the top of the strip. Using 3/8” grosgrain ribbon paired with 3/16” contrasting grosgrain and satin ribbons I looped the ends of the ribbon through the hole, leaving the ends long and free to fly around! I did pop a bit of jewelry glue nestled in the knot just to keep it all secure. I stamped the sentiment from the Stack of Presents stamp on the back of the bookmarks, leaving room to jot a personal note when the time comes.
That’s it! Easy and fun! Five gifts — one stamp, the perfect ink, a few pieces of paper and colored pencils. Not a studio full of products, to be sure. I love the end result. Five handmade gifts that will continue to be used over time. A nice reminder of friendships, laughter and love as well as the importance of truly understanding that each day is, indeed, a gift.
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- Tanya Lochridge