[D.I.Y. Christmas] Quick, easy rubber-stamping craftiness!

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-mainSorry I’ve gone a bit MIA again but I can’t seem to shake off this ‘busy bee’ mode I’ve been in since the early autumn months but that being said, I have had more craftiness involved this time with the festive season in full swing…. just finding the time to blog about it all is the tricky bit! :P Anyway, I thought I’d start off with this quick and simple method of making your own rubber stamps for some Christmas crafting and decorating. Well you all know by now, how big a fan I am of this method so in this post, I’m going to show you how to create little christmas motifs – mini baubles in this case – to snazz up anything from gift tags to greeting cards to gift wrap. It really is the most simple thing; with the right tools and a BIG tablespoon of creativity (and a pinch of patience!) the choices you get out of it are endless. Obviously your designs can be a lot more intricate but if you’re short of time and still want something handmade and effective in the space of an hour……this is it! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-materials             1.Paper/Cardstock  |  2.Tracing paper  |  3.Speedy-carve linoleum block  |  4.ordinary rubber  |                  5. Lino-cutters |  6.Pigment Ink pad  | 7.Scalpel/Stanley knife  |  8.pencil

  • First up – sketch out your designs onto some tracing or detail paper (baking paper or anything translucent that can take graphite is also good) or use it to trace over artwork you find inspirational (please don’t copy works of others though!) With the bauble motifs, you can free hand draw the circles or use a circular template of some sort – I used the nearest thing to me…….cellotape! :)
  • Once you’re happy with the design/s turn the tracing paper over so that your design is facing down and onto the lino rubber block. Position it accordingly and you’re ready to transfer your artwork onto the block. Now – these ‘speedy-carve’ lino blocks aren’t cheap so if you want a much cheaper alternative (or simply don’t have any kicking about) for small-scale craft projects, just use your ordinary rubber/eraser you get from your local stationery shop! I’ve shown you here how to get the same results using one from WH Smiths!
  • Next up, trace over your designs (on what is now the reverse side of the paper) making sure all the lines are covered thoroughly and you’ll find that they have transferred onto the block. If they come out faint, go over it again or fill it up using a fine-nibbed pen. A little note to keep in mind if you do more complex work: your artwork will be the ‘reversed’ image on the lino block, but will come out the ‘right way round’ when printed — this is definitely important to remember when working with lettering/type! But don’t worry….as its a mistake we all do and learn from! ;)
  • I cut these up into little square blocks to minimise on wastage when carving. And with your lino cutters, slowly carve away (at least a couple of millimetres, in layers) around your designs and the areas you don’t want to print (i.e the negative spaces) to create your final stamp/s! This is the fun and tricky bit so if this is your first time, do spend some time here and not rush through it. And please do try to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade!

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Once they’re all carved up and ready to be used, clear away your workspace of all the rubber shavings and mess before starting on the stamping process. For this stage, all you need are some pigment ink stamp pads and whatever material you want to stamp on; from paper, card stock, gift tags, t-shirts etc. I don’t really need to give you much instruction here…..only to enjoy yourself and let your creativity take control! Keeping your designs simple allows for versatility; whether its working with various colours or adding simple details to go that extra mile. I created little bows out of twine which I added onto the gift tags and on the card I drew in the bauble ‘strings’ with gold pen. As I said…the choices are endless! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-2-WEBMbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-4-WEB [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

What I’ve shown you in this post is the most SIMPLEST design and technique in hope that it encourages you to give this a try. It’s different from your luxury festive gift wrapping but what you’ve done is personalise it on a whole new level. And hey – if you want to jazz it up…you can! You can use metallic stamps, glitter, ribbons, ornaments…whatever takes your fancy. Just be confident and let your imagination carry you away!

Also, this is a great little crafting project to do with the kids (although, I’d recommend you do the carving part and leave the stamping to them!). And, if you don’t have time or money for rubber blocks….use potatoes for some good old-fashioned stamping fun! Check this awesome one by Martha Stewart which I think I’ll try myself in the new year! :)

So, have fun and until next time…..happy festive crafting!! xxx

[D.I.Y.] Hand-stamped business cards!

I’ve been playing around with my business cards earlier in the year determined to make them myself using rubber stamps with the Made by Molu logos I designed a while back to use for labels and packaging. All the contact details had initially been written by hand (I was clearly bonkers to patiently write it all out) until I decided a month ago that it was about time I had them professionally made courtesy of  The English Stamp Company seeing as I needed to churn out more to take with me to events as well as parcel up with my gifts and commissioned work! So here’s a peek at what it looked like in the early months of this year and after revising the designs again (some of you may have seen these already!). I used plain recycled grey card stock (2mm thick) which I hand cut down to the standard dimensions of a business card; 85mm x 55mm and then hand-stamped my Made by Molu logos (in my all time favourite Magenta colour) on the front and the contact details on the back. All in all it’s pretty simple but it’s exactly the handmade yet professional look I was after!  Just have to make sure I have enough of these at hand especially as I’m out more meeting new people in the creative industry – and this Sunday’s Blognic is my next meeting-up event! :D So what do you think? IMG_6927 WEB

and the brand spanking new cards fresh off the press today…DSC_2813-WEB DSC_2819-WEB DSC_2829-WEB DSC_2841-WEB DSC_2872b-WEB DSC_2880-web IMG_6931-WEB

 Anyway folks – hope you have a fabulous weekend where ever you are! If you’re in the UK – then I hope you’re rooting for good weather as much as I am!! xx

[Our D.I.Y. Wedding] Thank you cards

DSC_0770 webSecond last entry of all our wedding d.i.y. projects (we’re getting there!) – our wedding ‘thank you’ cards! We had a couple of fancy ideas in mind for these but in the end time factor did play a huge part and we resorted to a much simpler design and format. We still opted for a personalised stamp to feature on our cards since we had incorporated that technique throughout our wedding stationery. So, we designed a rather simple (generated on Photoshop and then sent away to The English Stamp Co. to be made) that consisted of a heart with the words ‘thank you‘ within it….placing it diagonally so that the edges of the ‘T’ and ‘U’ overlapped the heart (as you can see in the images). We used thick card in a light grey hue (from Paperchase) and measured out as many A6 postcard onto the A1 sheets. And then the tiresome task of cutting out began! Using a scalpel (making sure the blades were changed regularly to achieve clean cuts) we cut around 100-120 A6 cards! We chose to do this only because we couldn’t get whole of pre-cut cards in that colour! Anyway, once that was done, we moved onto the fun part that is stamping! Et voila! We wrote personalised messages on the back to each individual guest and popped them into an envelope ready to hit the post! As you can see, it’s pretty simply really and there’s numerous designs and techniques than can be achieved with basic materials….for instance you can use embossing powder directly over the freshly stamped area and heat it up with the heat gun to get a slightly raised surface to your cards……… so why not give it a go yourself! :) xx

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[Our D.I.Y. Wedding] The invitations

MbM_wedding-invitations (web)So after a few weeks of designing and several print runs followed by two weekends of assembling, I am pleased to say that the wedding invitations were successfully all posted out to their recipients!

Really delighted with how they turned out; we kept the overall design quite simple but still reflecting the ‘fusion’ elements with the geometric celtic-indian patterns and our chosen colour palette. And the best part of all this was having the personalised stamps made on the designs we came up with; the silouettes of our heads and the postal stamp bearing our wedding date, just to add that extra bit of personalised touch and handmade factor to the Invitation pack. FYI – I am officially a huge fan of rubber stamps!!! :) The ‘silhouette heads’ stamp was custom made by The English Stamp Co. and the ‘postal date stamp’ was ordered on Etsy.

Seeing as most of our guests were coming over to Scotland for the first time, it was essential that we provided all the information we could to make their journey and time over much easier and less daunting. No matter how many weddings you attend, and from personal experiences, you’d be surprised how lost you can be sometimes which is why I do think it’s always nice to give your guests a good idea of how the big day/weekend pans out especially if it’s a destination wedding. So along with the Invitation and the RSVP, we provided a little ‘Particulars’ booklet that included information on the venues (this was shown on a clear map so they could see exactly where they were located), accommodation, travel arrangements, wedding day itinerary and key contact details. We also decided on creating a wedding website too (the link we provided on the ‘particulars’) that provided more detailed information for our guests for the few days they were going to be over for, including ‘things to do’, ‘what to pack’, ‘dress code’ etc. B was in charge of this one and did a fabulous job at assembling it and tying in all the design elements we used on the invitations. Anyway, you can have a look yourself and tell us what you think. xx

MbM_Our-wedding_invitations_2-(web) MbM_Our-wedding_invitations_3-(web)   [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]