Friday, 8 January 2016

Two in One Post!

Well, the Christmas season is now over and things are beginning to get back to normal - although I have another friend arriving on Sunday for  a week!

The first bit of this post is about box cards, the type that looks like a jack in the box. Now I am not going into the making of them, just a mechanism to make them pop up when they are taken out of the envelope.

A file  for it is here, it's simple to make and gives a great result. See what it looks like in this video here

The second thing I wanted to talk about is POLYMER stamp making.  Now I have done a couple of posts before on this, but having got some new resin and practised for quite a while, I wanted to update the information. So there is a new video.

The normal method of making a negative for making these stamps is using a special OHP film, designing the lines in white and printing the negative of them.

While I agree, this is most likely the best option for easy results, it is not always an option. In Spain, this stuff is hard to find and expensive, not to mention the amount of printer ink that would be used. Add to that, my newish printer does not support printing on it! (I checked with Canon).

So, I needed to find a way to make the negatives by cutting with my Silver Bullet.

I found a good quality black vinyl (be wary, not all are equal - and some are very transparent if you take the backing off!) that is easy to cut and blocks MOST light. Maybe not as good as a professional negative but still usable. I cut it out by taking off the backing, sticking it on to transparent plastic and kiss cutting the design.

The design is cut out so that the lines I want to stamp are weeded out, leaving the black surrounding it. You want to leave a good border to stop excess light getting in when under the lamp.

The sandwich is made with a glass square,  the design (plastic side up, so reverse the design in software); the damming strip containing the resin, another piece of plastic and finally another piece of glass.  If you forget to reverse the design, you can use it face up, it just takes more effort to clean it if you think you may want to re use it! This resin is REALLY sticky. Think honey on steroids.

This is put under the lamp for 27 seconds on the back, then 2 min 10 seconds on the front, if I am doing fine lines. For bulkier designs, I take it down to 20 or 25 seconds on the back.

In the video, I do explain that the process is a bit time sensitive and go into more detail.

After the time is up, the stamp is washed out and then cured again for a few minutes and peeled away from the plastic backing.

(It is worth noting that if you have any shop bought polymer stamps that are too sticky, putting them in a very shallow water bath under the lamp will make them less so.)  The lamp is a standard nail gel UV lamp.

Doing this is really ONLY for the enthusiast with time to spare. Getting the timing right will depend on the quality of your negative (my front timing has to be cut to the bone or it will lose detail); the type/brand of resin you use, the lamp (older lamps will take longer) and the temperature of the gel to start with! Many variables. I always pre warm my lamp for 180 seconds before getting the gel out.

There is no way you are going to make money at this with this amateur set up, you can't make enough at a time for a start but it is quite satisfying to see your own work take shape before your eyes. Even with the help I give here, it will be a case of trial and error before you get a working stamp.

If you do try it and succeed though, there is nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction! It appeals to the kid in me, the reveal when you find out if it has worked or not..:)

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