Got 5 minutes? Want to make a stamp? I know it sounds crazy, but I really was able to do it with the Photocentric personal stamp making machine called the ImagePac Stamp Maker.
If you know anything about me, you know I am crazy about rubber stamping. Take a look around my site, and it will be VERY obvious. I have had my designs made into stamps in order to sell them, but sometimes I want to make a stamp quickly for my own personal use. So I was intrigued by the idea of a machine that was easy to use, and would make a stamp quickly. The ImagePac Stamp Maker start up kit came with everything I needed to make 10 or so clear stamps (other than a printer of course). This system uses small packets of resin (called sachets) that are used with images printed onto transparencies, and then exposed in the stamp making machine. The areas covered in black do not harden and just rinse away with water. The areas covered in clear transparency get exposed to the lights in the machine and they harden into what ultimately becomes the stamp.
I watched the video, read the printed instructions and checked out the Photocentric web site to make sure I was making the print correctly. The basic idea is to take an image in your editor of choice- I used Photoshop- and re-size it to fit the stamp you are planning on making. The design must be in black and white. Once your design is finished, you must invert the image so that everything that is white goes to black, and everything that is black goes to white. I have a blog post on how to do that in Photoshop here. Then the design is printed onto a transparency. The start up kit comes with transparencies that work well in Ink Jet printers. I printed an entire sheet of designs so I wouldn’t waste it.
The hardest thing about the whole process was the printing! It must be printed in Black and White (actually the white just leaves the transparency clear), and the black must be very black. I did a search online to make sure that I was using the correct settings for B&W for my Epson printer. I noticed that my printout still had faint lines (called banding) in it. So I decided to play it safe, and I re-printed the page onto a sheet of ink jet transparency that I had laying around, so again as not to waste the good stuff 😉 . Then I placed the two sheets together, lined up the designs and stapled them together on the far edges of the transparencies. I cut the designs down into individual images and stapled those together, being VERY careful to line the images up exactly. After making a stamp from one particular design, I found that it was not lined up correctly, and the stamp did not come out that well. However, I tried my last sachet with the image using just the single layer of the Photocentric transparency, and even with the banding (it was extremely slight), the stamp came out great!
This image was the one I had difficulty with. I made it from a painting that my friend Lori made. Here was the original painting:
and here is an image I stamped with the fun new stamp!!
I missed the fact that the body of the bird was too thin, so I would re-do the image the next time.
In general, as long as the image had clear lines, even if they are extremely detailed, the stamps came out great!! Here are several stamped images from stamps that I made with the starter kit. As is always the case when I stamp with unmounted stamps, I found that I liked the way they stamped better when I mounted them on the cling vinyl foam that I use for all of my unmounted stamps. There is information on what I use in the Help section of this site.
This stamp was actually a mistake!! I had already exposed the fern image above, and was planning on creating a different stamp with the script image also shown above. However, by mistake I placed the fern stamp in the machine with the transparency for the script design, and started to expose. I caught it after a few seconds, and decided to see how it came out. I really liked the end result!!
I have now used most of the sachets that came with the starter kit, but I have already ordered more. And while on the Photocentric site, I noticed they also have a kit to make embossing folders, so I can’t wait to try making those!!
The largest size stamps that this machine makes is 4 x 2.5 inches. There are 2 additional smaller sizes, and all 3 size sachets come in the starter kit. After that, you can order packages of each size separately. The smallest sizes would be great for words or phrases. Need a special greeting for a special card, and don’t have a stamp? Or need a phrase for a project or a logo for your business? Now you can make one!!
If you are keen on making your own rubber stamps for your own projects, (or even a few for some friends), then this is a great system. The other alternative is to carve your own stamps, and I do that sometimes, but if you need words or anything with detail, you would be hard pressed to get the same results with carving. This little system achieves much greater detail than I have ever been able to do with my carving tools!! And literally, once you have the image designed, you can go from print to stamp in around 5 minutes!!