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Stamping Distress Oxide on Glossy Photo Paper

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

September is the month of Stamptember at Simon Says Stamp, one of my favorite online craft stores. I would like to pay tribute to all stampers out there by sharing a stamping technique using Distress Oxide ink pads and glossy photo paper. Just like a little girl opening her birthday present, I gasped when I saw the vibrant images that were transferred to the photo paper after applying baby wipes. I think the glossy surface has this natural property of making photo images bright and vibrant, compared to matte paper. But it's not all instant gratification. I needed to wait for the pigment ink to dry so that it will not smear when baby wipe is applied. Where I'm located, it's around 15-20 minutes. A heat gun may be useful if you want to dry it faster. But be cautious not to heat it too close to the paper. Photo paper is thinner than your regular cardstock, and it tends to warp if over-heated. But it's not fun without these little challenges. Overall, I enjoyed the process and I plan to make many more cards using this technique.

I posted the video in my Instagram account @cardsbybel early today. I appreciate all the positive and kind comments of those who viewed it already. Here are some important notes that I think will be helpful, especially since I did not have any voice-over or text that can provide more details or explain key steps. I also got some questions from my fellow crafters that you may also have, so I'm sharing it here with you.

  1. I tend to use the stamping tool in a reverse manner, where the rubber stamp is on the platform, and the paper is on the hinged acrylic cover. I apply adhesive tape at the back of the paper to secure it on the cover. I find it easier to stamp this way - less force and ergonomically safer.

  2. Rubber stamps work well with photo paper. Photopolymer stamps will stick on the glossy surface and eventually damage the paper.

  3. I use a regular or generic glossy photo paper that I buy in bookstores, not the branded ones. I buy the A4 size (8-1/4 x 11-3/4 inches) and I cut each sheet into four. It's cheaper in the long run.

  4. The Distress Oxide colors I used in the video are Forest Moss, Aged Mahogany, Dusty Concord and Chipped Sapphire.

  5. I brush off any dust on the glossy surface before stamping to ensure nothing gets in the way. I just use a regular make up brush.

  6. The stamp I used (Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz's Glorious Bouquet) is so well-loved. Somehow over time and use, some of the small curvy edges tend to sag a little bit. I just insert small pieces of scrap cardstock underneath to push up these portions and help it stamp better.

  7. After stamping, allow time for the ink to dry. I give it around 15-20 min. I live in a tropical country (The Philippines) and natural drying of the distress oxide ink here maybe faster compared to cooler weather. You may use a heat gun to make drying faster. Just be cautious not to place it too close to the paper. Photo paper is thinner than cardstock and tend to warp if over-heated.

  8. Use clean baby wipes when removing the oxidized layer. This is to avoid smearing or contaminating the paper with undried pigment ink, if any.

  9. You may die cut the paper to a size the fits your card design. For the cards I made, I decided to partially tear some of the edges for a vintage look.

Try to experiment and just have fun. Happy stamping!

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