Introduction to Stamping Tip 2- Using Large Rubber Stamps Technique 2. Use your Die Cutter

I always make sure to tell my intro students, that there are some stamps that are hard to stamp. When you are first starting out, you may not realize thatis the case, and you may grumble and get frustrated and want to quit. But hold on- it may not be all you! Large background images can be difficult. So can rubber stamps that are not deeply etched. And the worst are what I call “Big Blocks o Rubba”. The stamps that have no etching at all, they are just a shape cut from rubber.

I already discussed one technique for stamping these difficult stamps, by using your bone folder. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here.

This second technique involves a piece of equipment you might not normally consider as helpful to stamping- your die cutting machine, In particular, I used my Big Shot from Sissix. I own the non- motorized version, not the new Tim Holtz suitcase machine (altho I have used it at the store and it is fabulous!).

I had been to an art show a few weeks back, where the woman made these gorgeous prints using flowers, paint/ink and a press. I was wondering if I could do something similar with the Prima Silk Flowers I owned, but alas, I do not own one of those large, and very expensive presses. But I did own a roller-style die cut machine, so I decided to try using that instead. For what it’s worth, the painted flower, press came out ok. However, I only did one try and then I happened to see one of our background stamps laying there and inspiration struck :idea:! I wondered if I could roll the stamp thru the machine to get a good print?

I tried it and it worked! I call this the “Stamp Press” method. I had to work on a couple of different combinations, but my final winning combination of platforms, cutting pads, stamps etc is the following:

  • the main Big Shot platform
  • a piece of cutting plastic
  • an unmounted stamp (on the cling vinyl foam), inked- see more on this later
  • the piece of paper


You would think that you would want the cutting plastic on top of the piece of paper, but then you would be wrong :D. That combination seemed to move the paper a bit more, so the end result was not as crisp.

I did try this on different papers, and even managed to get some decent prints on textured card stock, if the stamp image wasn’t too detailed. I think it still works best however, to use the right paper and ink. Here is an example using the large David’s Head by Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous on a series of different papers. This stamp is more like the “Big Blocks o Rubba”. Here is it rolled thru using Tim Holtz’s Kraft Glassine:


Here is the head stamped on textured cardstock (Core’dinations)- loved this!:
and finally stamped on a printed paper (a sheet from Tim Holtz’s Paper Stash, Crowded Attic ):

Then I decided to try the technique using one of our unmounted stamps that can be challenging to stamp- the Tie Dye stamp. See Easy Scraps line of Rubber Stamps here: .  The Tie Dye stamp is very finely etched and it is a bit difficult to get the detail to show, although it is a very cool effect even when not stamped cleanly. I find with this stamp, that the Bone Folder and the “Stamp Press” method help bring out more of the details and shadings. I have also found that the right ink and paper makes for a better stamped image.

If you click on the images, they will come up a bit larger, so you can see more of the details. Here is the Tie Dye image inked with Color Box Chalk ink pads and using the “Stamp Press” method. It came out fine.


However, then I tried Archival Ink, and I think that was just a bit cleaner:


I decided to give some Versa Color pads a try (two different colors), and I liked those results:


However, my favorite was using VersaFine ink. In person, if you look closely at this stamped image, you can see all the fine dots that make up the shading in this stamp. Nice!!


The final example was done on an super smooth paper (Neenah), using Colorbox Chalk inks. This gave the best image, although I had black VersaFine on my hands and smeared the image with it ,:):


I always teach my Intro students that the right ink and the right paper can make a huge difference when stamping. Good paper from your local Stamping Store is much easier to get a cleaner stamped image on, then the garbage cardstock that the big box stores sell. Neenah paper and StampinUp Smooth white are two of my favorites.  Here is another tip- sometimes even the same line of inks can stamp differently in different colors. And the type of day can also affect your inks- humid days can really do a number on your ink pads! So, bottom line- play, play, play! That way you will find out what works best for you, with your stash of products, in your environment, on any given day.

So next time you find yourself struggling with a stamp, pull out your good paper, your VersaFine ink, a bone folder or Die Cutting machine and go for it!! Enjoy!!



I did not try this with the old Sisix press machine. I will try to test this post my findings.

I also did not try a mounted stamp yet. I imagine it would work the same, you just need to find the right combination. I am thinking that the Movers and Shakers adaptor tray might come in handy! Again I will post back when I give that a try.

I also did not try it with the motorized version of the Big Shot. I don’t own one, and I wonder if it would be too powerful for this technique?

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