How to Stamp Greeting Card Sentiments

Ideas for Using Your Sentiment Stamps to Create Components for DIY Greeting Cards

How to Stamp Greeting Card Sentiments

This article isn’t just about stamping; it’s actually more about getting your card-making down to a system, and a science.

Lately I’ve been studying success, including successful people, and analyzing what it is they do that makes them successful. My conclusion has been this: in most cases, someone is successful because they’ve figured out a repeatable system for doing what they do, and they use the system habitually.

I think this is true of most creative people who achieve success, but it’s particularly true of successful card-makers.

Have you noticed how expensive greeting cards are at stores like Hallmark? Have you ever been sucked into buying new paper crafting supplies because of the notion that you’ll make your own cards, and save money? And then in the end have you ever kicked yourself, because you spent more on supplies than you would have spent if you just bought a box of cards and called it a day?

For me: check, check and check.

At one point in the past, I found that I was becoming a collector of stamps and supplies, and I wasn’t using the supplies to actually create my cards — until I worked out a system for using my supplies and getting stuff made.

In this article, I reveal part of my system for beating the spend-more-than-you-save problem: I create small card components, assembly-line-style, that are easy to grab and use whenever I need to make a card (or collage, artwork or mixed media piece.) Then I file and organize these components so that they are easily accessible when needed.

Hand-Stamped Greeting Card Sentiments:

How to Stamp Greeting Card Sentiments
How to Stamp Greeting Card Sentiments

The pictures above show one of my favorite sentiment stamps, plus a bunches of different components that I’ve made using the stamp.

It’s so easy to stamp and make bunches of these little sentiments. Then when I’m ready to make a greeting card, I can just look through my files, grab a few components like these, attach them to a card base, embellish and I’m finished.

If you’ve ever been gripped by “overwhelm” when you wanted to make a card, I invite you to give this method a try.

Materials List

  • Notebook and pen for listing ideas
  • A variety of colored cardstock, including white
  • Optional: subtle, light-colored patterned papers
  • Inkpads and inks in a variety of different colors (Pigment ink preferred, but dye ink is fine too)
  • Acid-free markers and pens
  • Paper edgers or decorative scissors
  • A variety of dies (if you have a die-cutter) or templates (if you don’t): ovals, circles, squares, rectangles, in sizes that are just slightly larger than the stamped images
  • Paints, glitter, inks, and chalks are also fun and helpful.
  • Small stickers and paper punches are optional, although I don’t really think of them as optional, since I have bunches — and use them. However, you probably don’t want to buy new ones just for this.
  • A good adhesive will be important to have on hand when you’re ready to actually attach the sentiments to your greeting cards.
  • Stamping the Sentiment

    There are zillions of ways you could stamp each sentiment. The easiest way to vary the look is to change the ink color. Stamp each sentiment onto white paper using different ink colors: pinks, reds, browns, greens, blues, purples, etc. Leave enough space between stamped images to allow for cutting them out later.

    Then try some tonal color combinations: Stamp the image in dark blue ink on light blue paper; stamp the image with burgundy ink onto pink paper; stamp the image in dark green onto light green paper, etc.
    Next, try interesting classic color combinations; black ink on colored papers, brown ink on colored papers, navy blue ink on red paper, etc.

    Next, try interesting mismatched color combinations – green ink on pink paper, for example. You can dress these stamped images up and make them look more interesting using stickers, paper punches, chalks, colored pencils, glitter and paints.

    Cut Out the Stamped Sentiment

    The stamped sentiments don’t do you any good until you cut them out and use them, so that’s the next step.

    Depending on the stamp, you might need to do an intermediate step as well – outlining the image. Take a look at the stamp I used in the photo collage posted at the top of this page. In the example, I’ve used the “Can’t thank you enough” stamp from my Stampbox’s Oval Office clear stamp set; you can see that it’s already in an oval shape. I don’t need to outline the stamped image, but it also limits how much variety I can get out of this stamp.

    With a stamp that is already outlined, just choose a pair of scissors – perhaps a fancy scalloped pair of scissors, perhaps a pair of pinking shears with zigzag edges, or perhaps a plain pair of scissors with a straight edge. Cut around the outline with the scissors. Then color in the area between the outline and the decorative edge.

    The “Sending you warmest wishes on your special day” stamp is an example of a stamp without a border. When you’re working with stamps like these, you’ll want to create your own border for this particular technique. So, if your sentiment stamp does not have a border, your next step is to give it one.

    To accomplish this, take one of your templates – a circle template, an oval template, a square template, a rectangle template, or any other shaped template – and, using the template to guide you, draw around it with a marker. Then choose your scissors, cut the image out, and color in the edge with a marker.

    I’ve tried using a variety of different borders with my “sending you warmest wishes…” stamp. My favorite happens to be square, but you can see one round example in the pictures above also.

    It’s kind of subjective, which border you choose; pick one that you think looks amazing with the stamp you’re using. Or try a variety.

    Note that I don’t have a die-cutter. If I did, I think maybe I’d be doing this with dies instead of templates and scissors. Maybe. Or maybe not. I really like my templates and scissors. For sure, the dies would open up even more possibilities, so please do to use them for this if you happen to have them.

    Ideas for Using Your Sentiment Stamps

    Brainstorm and write down all the ideas you can think of for using each sentiment stamp.
    Let’s use the “Can’t Thank You Enough” sentiment stamp as an example. This stamp is part of the “Oval Office” clear stamp set by My Stampbox. You can adapt these ideas for use with any similar “thank you” stamp. The most obvious use for this stamp: making thank you cards. There are plenty of other ways to use it:

    How about using it as the focal point for a Mother’s Day card? Or a Father’s Day card? Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are good opportunities to thank your parents for all the things they do for you.

    Use it to embellish a gift or card you give to your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or best friend, thanking them for being a part of your life.

    Use it to embellish scrapbook layouts where you journal about people who have been influential in your life.

    Attach a stamped sentiment to gift tags or gift wrap when you give gifts to your child’s teacher, your pastor or other trusted religious leader, or any other individuals you’d like to thank for their contributions or presence in your life.

    Complete Your Cards or Paper Craft Projects

    The next step is to use the stamped images in the projects you planned to create. You’ll probably have more stamped sentiments than time to make projects, but that’s just fine – organize your stamped images neatly with your other craft supplies, and they will be all set to use next time you need to make a quick greeting card, gift tag, scrapbook layout, or other paper craft project.

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