While I would love to have everything craft related that I want or need, sometimes we have to try to re purpose things or come up with alternatives.
I quite fancy having a go at stamping but really don't want to bother with lots of different pads because I don't see myself doing much of it. Maybe the odd sentiment on a card, embossed or not, an accent here or there. What I do have, is loads of different paints and texture gels, water colours and acrylics. I really don't have room for anything that is too specialist!
If that is the case for you too, there are alternatives. If you have stamps but no pad, you can use a wedge of cosmetic sponge to apply whatever your chosen medium. Don't forget that watercolours can be thickened slightly with Glycerine to make them more controllable and to stick to the stamp. Glycerine on its own can be used as an embossing glue, use it neat or again mixed with a colour and sponge it on your stamp.
Bottle caps are handy too - glue a bit of latex sponge in them to make it easier to pick up without getting stuff all over your fingers. (Yup, I've got the ink stains to prove it.) If you have acrylic paints to hand, they will stamp well but do your clean up quickly or you will have a terrible job getting your stamps clean again. It's advisable to have a bowl of warm soapy water to hand to drop the stamps into.
If you do have a glue pad, use Glycerine to re wet it and you are good to go. I use eye dropper bottles filled with it to make it a quick clean job. A few drops rubbed in with an old credit card will do the trick. It also keeps water colours nice and juicy if you add a couple of drops to each colour well in your palette.
Don't forget you can use stencils with your Glycerine glue too, basically they are the reverse of a stamp! Make sure your stencil is secured in place (I like to use a temporary spray glue), dab with Glycerine. Add your embossing powder on top and heat as normal. Experiment with removing the stencil before and after adding the powder and see what works best for you.
A little flour tied up in a scrap of fabric can be a substitute for expensive static removers, any excess brushes away.
For those of you who want to try out blending sticks, you can quickly make one of your own to try. If you get on with them, you may want to buy the commercial variety or you may not but at least you have a choice!