My Top 10 Rubber Stamp Images

When I first started stamping I couldn’t understand why anyone needed more than 2 inkpads: Versamark and black.  And I couldn’t understand why anyone needed more than 3 rubber stamps: a teddy bear (for all baby/kids cards), a Christmas stamp (self explanatory) and a flower stamp (for birthday, sympathy and everything in between).  Sentiments weren’t needed as I’d just use stickers.  Oh how I’ve changed!  I think this reasoning lasted about a month, LOL.  So I was thinking today that I should make a list of which images I buy the most and why.  I won’t be talking specifically about which Stampin’ Up! stamp sets I love because I want to talk about specific images.  In fact, some of these stamps that I’m showing in the cards have retired and are unavailable but that’s because I want to show why I love using certain images (flowers/butterflies, etc).

So here we go!  (In no particular order):

1.  Flower stamps

This hasn’t changed, I still think flower stamps are extremely versatile and I do use them for  birthday cards to wedding cards to sympathy cards and everything in between.  Just change the colours to suit the occasion.  Any flower stamps are great – I love them outlined like the one below to colour in or stamp and heat emboss in different colours or just stamp them in a coloured ink then left ‘un-coloured-in’.  Solid flower stamps like the one in the card below are great to be coloured in with markers or watercolour crayons directly on to the rubber then stamped.  I think they also look lovely when stamped in Versamark then dabbed with coloured chalks over the top.


2.  Tree stamps

Tree stamps are fantastic for masculine cards, Christmas cards (especially tall trees), sympathy, and more.  Keep the colours subdued for sympathy, anything autumnal or even brighter greens and pumpkin colours for masculine.  Add glitter (maybe some rhinestones) and you have an instant Christmas card! (or giftbag/box).  I also like to use tree stamps with other images I have to create a ‘scene’, just like in the card on below on the right.


3. Script backgrounds

Love love love script background stamps and I’ve been using them for the past 10 years.  Script stamps add instant interest to your background, no patterned paper needed.  Great for easy vintage, shabby chic, note cards, Valentine’s Day and Christmas backgrounds and so much more.  The script stamp in the image below is stamped very lightly on the tag but adds that much needed ‘layer’ to the card.


4.  Butterflies

I can’t get enough of butterfly stamps.  Fantastic for girls cards of any age when you’re not sure of what themes they like.  No need to stick to typical butterfly colours, stamp them in any colour, cut them out, layer them.  Use dimensionals on the wings to raise them, add rhinestones to the middle, add glitter to the wings.  I love simple outlined butterflies with simple patterns and more realistic butterflies with more detail – each one has it’s use.  The simple outline butterflies I enjoy using young girl cards and with more clean/uncluttered cards.  The more detailed butterflies I use for vintage cards.


5. Birds

Like butterflies I can’t get enough of bird stamps.  I could probably replicate the last paragraph and change butterflies for birds.  Birds are great for thank you, thinking of you, Christmas (Cardinals, Doves), baby and birthday cards (owls!), wedding/anniversary/Valentine’s Day (love birds, Doves) and so much more.  I especially love using birds on vintage and collage cards. Of course you could use them for any occasion, these are just the way I like to use bird images.  The first card below is an example of three of my staple images: birds, flowers and ‘for you’ sentiment.

6. Alphabet stamps

These are the stamps I pull out when I don’t think I have an image to suit the person I’m making the card for.  I especially love using Alphabet stamps to make birthday cards for children by stamping their names.  Kids get a kick out of seeing their names on things (you know how they run to displays in the shops when they see personalised mugs, keyrings, pencil cases, etc?).  I especially love to do this for kids who have unusual names and you just know they won’t find personalised items at the shops.  Alphabets are also great for stamping people’s initials (anniversary/wedding) and also just a monogram for an elegant card for a special friend.  I like



7. Motifs and swirls

Okay so this one sounds a bit random, but bear with me – I’m talking about stamps that are a particular design such as an ‘ornamental circle’ or a swirl.  These are great to use as backgrounds or main images.  An elegant swirl will take your from a young girl’s card (stamp in hot pink!) to a wedding card (emboss in silver/gold), to Christmas (stamp baubles ‘hanging’ off your swirl).  These stamps are more versatile than you can imagine.

An example of a Motif and Swirl stamp used on the same card! 

8. Christmas stamps

Cheating a little here as I have mentioned that I like tree and bird images for Christmas but I will add Christmas as a general theme because I think a good Christmas stamp set will take you a long way.  I especially like bauble images for Christmas as these seem to work great for any sort of Christmas – Northern or Southern – sometimes Australians are turned off by ‘winter’ Christmas images others are fine but baubles tend to be universally great for those who celebrate Christmas.  Plus they are great for different styles such as a fun card, elegant, vintage, masculine, etc.


9. Sentiments

Sentiment stamps are a staple for me.  I like to have a few different birthday sentiments, specifically one in elegant script (for most birthdays), one in a fun font (for kids), and one in a classic ‘typed’ font which works great for masculine birthdays, teen birthdays where the ‘fun font’ might be too kiddie or female birthday cards with the script stamp might be too busy for a clean and modern card.  Yes, I have thought about this a lot! LOL.  A basic Christmas sentiment is also necessary for me – if I just had to pick one then it would definitely say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”, Australian’s aren’t that politically correct.  After that the most important sentiment image for me would be “for you” – versatile to cover many sentiments, I prefer the ‘for you to be a simple script form.  ‘Thank you’ is the other sentiment I use a lot of and again either a simple script or a typed font is good for ‘Thank you”.  I do have “get well” and “thinking of you” sentiment stamps but I think you can get away with “for you” if you don’t want to buy a lot of sentiments.

10.  My Favourite Things

The last type of stamp image that I think is essential is images that are your ‘favourite things’.  Is there something that you particularly love?  For me it’s either French or vintage images (or vintage French!).  I know others who love stamps of horses, fruit, cats, hearts, teddy bears and other personal favourites.  Here’s some of my favourites: The Eiffel Tower, Crowns, Keys, postage stamps and any vintage style images.


Phew! So there you go – my top 10 stamping images and why I find them useful.  I hope this article has given some new stampers food for thought.  And for everyone, please feel free to share with me your favourite stamp images.

An FAQ on Stampin’ Up!’s Clear Mount Rubber Stamps

I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about Stampin’ Up!’s Clear-Mount stamps so I thought I should do an FAQ blog post to answer questions and explain what they look like and how they work.  Also at the end of the post are some tips and hints on using the clear-mount stamps.

Many people hear ‘clear mount’ and think that Stampin’ Up!’s Clear Mount stamps are ‘clear’ like acrylic or polymer stamps.  However they’re not, they are the usual high quality red rubber that Stampin’ Up! use on their woodmount stamps and they are mounted on the same foam as the woodmount stamps.  The difference is that they are used with clear blocks – hence the name ‘clear mount’.

Here’s a photo of Stampin’ Up!’s clear mount stamps in their case.  The front of the case shows the stamp images at 100% size

Here’s the side view.  The side of the case shows the stamp images in a smaller size so that when you store them you can quickly see what images you have.

Here’s what the inside of a Clear Mount set looks like (I’ve used a different set which I haven’t opened as yet so you can see what it looks like new).

Inside the cover of the case are instructions on using the stamps.  The stamps come in rubber already mounted onto foam and are die cut.  You also get a set of matching stickers to use on the back of the stamps if you want to use them.

So to use your stamps simply pop out your die-cut stamps

Next, peel off the protective layer from the matching sticker.  There’s a ‘split’ in the middle of the protective sheet so that you can peel it off easily.

Next, peel off the protective layer off the back of the rubber stamp.

Of course if you want, you could use your stamp as it is without the sticker – and some people do, but I prefer to have the sticker on the back of the stamp so that I can see my image when I stamp which helps me position it more accurately.

Next place the back of your stamp onto the matching sticker

Your stamp is now ready to use! Just choose a clear block that will fit the size of your rubber stamp

Now here’s the way to put your clear mount stamp onto your clear block. Some people say that their clear mount stamps fall off their blocks but mine always stay stuck all the way through stamping and cleaning and they don’t come off until I peel them off – every time.  The easy trick to do this is to place your stamp onto your table, rubber side down.  Then firmly press your clear block onto the back of your stamp.   You’ll know that it’s stuck down well because you’ll see (as shown in the photo below) that there are ‘clear spaces’ between the block and your stamp… this shows that the stamp is suctioned well onto the clear block and it will stay put.

A few other tips to keep your clear mount stamps stuck firmly onto your clear block:

* Make sure you haven’t put any hand creme or lotion on your hands in the last few minutes.  This is leaves slippery finger prints on your clear blocks and your stamp won’t be able to grip.

* Make sure your clear block is clean.  If you have ink, glitter, greasy finger prints, etc., on the block then you’ll need to clean your clear block.  Clean it using your stamp cleaner or just clean it under the kitchen tap with a little dishwashing liquid.

* When cleaning your stamps, spray some Stampin’ Mist onto your Stampin’ Scrub then clean the stamp gently in a circular motion.  You don’t need to scrub hard anyway even if your stamp is woodmounted.

Here’s some benefits of using Clear-Mount stamps:

* As opposed to acrylic or polymer stamps, these stamps are rubber and so the ink sits on the rubber beautifully – it doesn’t pool – and will give you a perfect image every time.

* You can clean your stamps with StazOn Cleaner if you wish and they won’t erode with time as ‘clear’ stamps do.

* Because they mount onto clear blocks, you can position your image easier as you can see where you are stamping.

* They store in their own DVD case and so they take up a lot less space.

* Because there’s no wooden blocks, they are cheaper to buy.  Simply buy some clear blocks in a variety of sizes to use over and over with all your clear-mount stamps.

I hope this FAQ on using Clear-Mount stamps has answered your questions.  Please feel free to comment I’ve missed something or you would like to ask a different question or if you just want to leave a comment.

Aviary Thank You Card

Even though it’s almost Christmas I’m still making Thank You cards.  Usually I make the card specifically for someone as I prefer to be thinking of the recipient while I make the card but I find it’s always useful to have a few of these for just in case I need one quick.

Marina Bird Thank you

I love the way this card turned out because I’m a big fan of the monochromatic card, I think it always looks stylish.

A little tip on doing the ribbon: I placed a short length of ribbon on the white cardstock and adhered it to the card using a glue dot then secured it on the back with a bit of sticky tape.  The bow was done separately and then adhered to the card using a glue dot.

If you have problems making small bows freehand, try this tip to make it easy for you:

holes in cardstock to make bow

make two small holes in a piece of scrap cardstock close to each other then thread each end of the ribbon through the holes from underneath

bow on cardstock

Tie your bow.  The cardstock gives your bow some stability while you tie it.

cutting bow off the cardstock

When you’re done simply turn the cardstock over and snip the cardstock with scissors to release your bow.  Pull the loose ends to make the bow smaller if you wish.

Hope this tip is helpful :D

All products are by Stampin’ Up! and are available for purchase through me.

Rubber Stamps:
Curly Cute (Thank You sentiment)

Inkpads and Markers:
Basic Black
Marina Mist

Cardstock & Paper:
Whisper White
Bashful Blue Textured Cardstock
Marina Mist Textured Cardstock
Subtles Designer Series Patterned Paper Stack (Marina Mist)

Marina Mist 1/8″ Taffetta Ribbon
Basic Jewels (self-adhesive rhinestones)
Basic Pearls (self-adhesive pearls)

Stampin’ Dimensionals
Glue Dots (to glue down the bow)

Jazzing up a simple card

Can you tell I’m loving rub-ons at the moment?  This tree image is so fresh and fun that I had to use it as my main image for this card.  While I enjoy making very complex cards sometimes it’s nice to make something that’s clean and modern looking which is what I decided to do with this card.

tree rub-on

Very simply, the tree rub-on was applied to some Vanilla cardstock and then I wrapped some ribbon around the base to ‘ground’ the tree image.  The ribbon actually has white spots under where I put the rhinestones and although I didn’t want to cover them up as the ribbon is gorgeous just as it is, I did want to jazz up the card without making it fussy.  I find that adding some small embellishments to ribbon help take a card to another level without overwhelming it.   Next time you’re looking at a card thinking “it needs something else, it needs something else”, try adding some small embellishments to ribbon on the card and I’m sure you’ll like the results.

All products used on this card are by Stampin’ Up! and available for purchase through me at

Cardstock & Paper:
Baja Breeze
Kiwi Kiss
Very Vanilla

Fleurettes II (Stampin’ Up! Australia Summer Mini Catalogue 2009/2010)
Clear Rhinestone Brads (whole brad used for flower centre and rhinestones removed from the brad to adhere to ribbon)
Ribbon Originals – Pigtail
Bright Delights Rub-ons

SNAIL Adhesive
Stampin’ Dimensionals
Glue Dots (to adhere the rhinestones to the ribbon)

Using up scraps of patterned paper

Like everyone else I seem to accumulate huge amounts of scrap paper.  While I can just throw it out, the hoarder in me wants to keep bits of patterned paper just in case it comes in handy.  A fun, quick and easy way to use up those scraps that are ‘too pretty’ to throw out is to feature a range of them on a card or scrapbooking layout.  If like me you use patterned paper that’s double-sided and/or comes in a pack of matching paper then it’s so simple to whip up a fun yet coordinated card like the one I’ve made below. I’m thinking too that I might take this same idea and use it on a scrapbooking page.


Looking back over my cards I realised that I’ve used the same layout idea as this card. While this was unintentional I’m now thinking I’ll have to look back through my blog to see what else I can transform by using up my scrap bits of cards.

Hope you like my card and that it’s inspired you to have some fun with your stash of scrap patterned paper.  If you have any questions about my card or the products I’ve used then please feel free to email me.

All products used on this card are by Stampin’ Up! and available for purchase through me at

Rubber Stamps:
Hello Again (Stampin’ Up! Australia Summer Mini Catalogue 2009/2010)

Real Red

Cardstock & Paper:
Whisper White
Cameo Coral
Real Red
Raspberry Tart Designer Series Paper

Fleurettes II (Stampin’ Up! Australia Summer Mini Catalogue 2009/2010)
Playground Buttons (Stampin’ Up! Australia Summer Mini Catalogue 2009/2010)
Filigree Designer Brad
Clips Assortment (mini clip)
Red Gingham Ribbon

1 1/4″ Circle Punch

SNAIL Adhesive
Stampin’ Dimensionals
Glue Dot (to adhere the ribbon and button)

Sponge Daubers tips & ideas

Sponge Daubers are my little secret… but not any more!  Thank you to Fiona for your question about what you can use sponge daubers for, I’ve finally sat down and put my thoughts together in one place.  Also, Kim B you asked about pastels, you might find some more ideas here.  Karyn, you asked whether I use Sponges or Sponge Daubers, I much prefer sponge daubers – to get the colours blended in well I start with only a little bit of colour and work in small circles while adding more colour as I go if needed.  I love sponge daubers because before them I couldn’t get nice smooth and blended sponging, no matter what I used plus they’re so versatile.  These little beauties are always within arms reach on my desk.  So what can you use sponge daubers for? Here’s a list of Sponge Dauber ideas to keep you busy:

Sponge Dauber Ideas:


Poppin’ Pastels.  Stamp with Versamark then use the sponge daubers to dab colour onto your stamped image and make your image pop.

chalking double-poppin

Double Poppin’ Pastels.  Sponge pastels/chalk onto the cardstock first, then stamp your image with Versamark then use the sponge dauber to add the same colour on top.


Stenciling.  Use your sponge daubers with an inkpad and stencil to do stencilling.

rainbow-background fresh-rainbow

Pretty rainbow background.  Use your sponge daubers with a variety of coordinating onto glossy cardstock to give a dreamy background then stamp your image over the top of the background with dark ink.  Somehow I can’t photograph that stamped one to show the colours that well but I used the background in the first photo and stamped over it, so the background is green/blue/purple.


Basic Colouring.  Stamp in a dark ink (black/navy/chocolate) then use sponge daubers with chalk to add colour to your image.


Colouring Emboss resist.  Stamp in Versamark, emboss in any colour and then add colour to your image with sponge daubers loaded with ink from your inkpad.


Fun Background.  Load the sponge daubers with chalk then use that to make a ‘dotty’ background.  Do that by pressing the dauber onto the cardstock then giving it a little twist. (that idea from my 11 year old daughter Jade, this photo is of Jade making the background in her favourite colour-combo: Pink Passion and Green Galore)

rubon close-up-of-chalk-rubon

Make customised coloured rub-ons! Apply white rub-ons then use a sponge dauber and chalks to add colour to the rub-on to change it from white to any chalk colour you like.  Use a small brush to dust off any excess chalk and an eraser to erase chalk from areas you don’t want it to be on.

Vintage Cards esme2


Softening Edges of your cardstock. I use this method a lot!  I love the look of sponging around cardstock, either with a neutral cardstock like white or vanilla or sponging the same colour ink as the cardstock I’m using.  The cards and scrapbooking layout in the photo above all have sponging around the edges, in this case I’ve used three different colours to create a depth and interest. In the second card I’ve sponged blue cardstock with brown but only very lightly around the edges to soften the hard lines.  And in the third card I have sponged Olive ink on Olive cardstock then Ruby Red ink on Ruby Red cardstock to give the card some warmth.

ink-heart two-toned-heart

Multi-Coloured Stamping. You’ve got to try this, it looks absolutely awesome and nothing but Sponge Daubers will give you this smooth and blended look… trust me, I’ve tried many other ways!  Not sure if you can see the grading of colour in the heart but it’s really fabulous.  Ink up your stamp in one colour as usual, then use a Sponge Dauber to add a different colour around the edges to give a two-toned effect.

Sponge Dauber Tips:


*  I keep one sponge dauber for each colour I use and label it so that I can use that same sponge dauber with either the chalk or inkpad of that colour.  The daubers are then all stored in a plastic Stampin’ Up! container that used to contain little stamps (I gave those stamps away).

*  You might prefer to keep one sponge dauber for each colour ‘group’ such as one for greens, one for yellows, one for reds, etc.

*  Sponge daubers can be washed with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and warm water.  That’s a bit of a hassle for me though which is why I keep one for each colour.

Okay that’s it.  I’m tired now after all that but feeling good that I have a heap of little bits and pieces of stamped and sponged cardstock that I have ready to turn into cards.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sponge Dauber ideas.  All the products I’ve used in this post (apart from the one feather stamp) are from Stampin’ Up! and are available for purchase through me at  Email me now to get your own pack of Sponge Daubers!

Taking Care of your Rubber Stamps


I’ve been moved to write up an information page on taking care of your rubber stamps due to the near heart attack I’ve suffered by seeing rubber stamps treated in all sorts of weird ways… especially in scrapbooking magazines.  Why are stamps stored in weird ways in Scrapbooking magazines? I’ve seen them shoved into jars and tossed into colanders to name a couple of stress-inducing examples.  So here’s a nice and easy “dos and don’ts” list, I hope it helps you to take care of your stamps so that they last you a lifetime.

Things you should do to look after your rubber stamps

*  Always clean your rubber stamps before storing away

*   Clean your stamps with a reputable rubber stamp cleaner.  I like to use Stampin’ Up!’s Stampin’ Scrub and Mist.  The Stampin’ Mist cleans and conditions your stamps, simply spray it on one side of the Stampin’ Scrub and then rub your rubber stamp over it.  After cleaning, dry your stamp by rubbing it on the dry side of the Stampin’ Scrub.

*   If you do not have a Stampin’ Scrub and Mist and cannot invest in one right away, then at the very least use an old washcloth.  Wet the washcloth and wring it out so that it is just damp and clean your stamps with it.

*  Store your rubber stamps flat or upright.  Stampin’ Up! rubber stamps come in clear storage boxes that are perfect for stacking.  If you do not have Stampin’ Up! stamps then I recommend that you keep them stored flat in shallow cardboard or plastic boxes, or drawers.  If you like to have your stamps on display then you can have them standing up on a shelf as you would any other ornament.

*  Store your stamps in room-temperature.

Things you should NOT do to your rubber stamps

•   Please please please do not use baby wipes to clean your rubber stamps.  I don’t know who started this idea but after years of listening to this wrong advice I have found my stamps that I was using baby wipes on for 5 years have become pale, dry and brittle.  It doesn’t matter whether the baby wipes you use are non-alcohol based or non-scented they still damage your stamps over time.

•   Do not wash your wood-mounted stamps under running water.  Washing your stamps under a tap will loosen the adhesive between the foam and wood and you risk your stamps falling off the wood.

•    Do not store your stamps in trendy but weird ways.  Storing your stamps in a colander, lolly-jar, wicker basket or any other way in which the stamps are pressing against each other or or pressing against metal, wood, etc.  This will leave dents in your rubber stamps which will then given you a gap in your stamped image.

•  Store your stamps away from direct sunlight to avoid them becoming brittle and cracked.

•   Microwaving your rubber stamps.  I ripped the rubber off about 20 of my wood-mounted stamps years ago and never again.  I know some people are happy to do this but I hated using my stamps unmounted.  If you really want to do this and need to loosen the adhesive in order to take the rubber off then microwave for only 5 seconds.  If the rubber isn’t coming off then try another 5 seconds.  Do not microwave your rubber stamps in 10 or more second blocks just in case the rubber melts.

I hope you have found this article informative.  If you would like any more information on this topic or anything else to do with rubber stamps or cardmaking please feel free to email me at

What came first? The stamp or the colour?

Thought it was time to answer another question from one of my blog readers.  Last month I got an interesting question from Val, who asked:

When sitting down to make a card, to you select stamp set first, or colours to use first?

Great question Val!  If I’m doing a card to give to someone I’ll start with the stamps because I want to match up the image with the occasion.  For example, with the recent birthday cards I made for my sons, I picked the stamp images that I thought suited their personalities.  After I pick the stamp I try to choose colours that will match the mood of the card.  However, if I’ve just bought some new patterned paper and I’m very excited to use it, then I’ll pick the matching colour cardstock to go with the papers then pick stamps that I think will suit.

Recently I was commissioned by a magazine to make a heap of cards – their request was for ‘flowers in summer colours’ – in this case I started with the colours (Red, pink, orange) and then picked stamps that I felt would suit that funky colour combination.  The stamps I picked were  Stampin’ Up!’s Eastern Blooms – not something I’d immediately pick bright colours for but thought that I could give the stamps a really different look using those colours.  If you’d like to see the end result they will be published in Issue 18 of Creative Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine, on sale 22nd May 2009.

Thanks again for your question Val.  Actually, I’d like to ask that question of all my readers… what do you start your card with first, rubber stamp or colours?

Adhesive Eraser – not just for adhesive

For those without a Xyron or no desire to buy one then bear with me here… you’ll enjoy this post anyway.

Hands up if you love Xyron! I have three of them, the 510, 250 and the 150 (x-shaped) and I love them. I have heard though many people complaining about Xyron residue or ‘Xyron snot’ as it’s all known as. If you have Xyron residue issues then you definitely need an adhesive eraser. But guess what? It also erases Stampin’ Up! SNAIL Adhesive if you’ve managed to get some SNAIL where you don’t want it – such as on part of your card or scrapbooking layout or on your desk. I’ve even used the eraser to successfully remove sticky tape (cellotape) residue from fabric.

For those of you who have had problems stamping with solid stamps that are new (i.e. stamps that have lots of flat rubber areas as opposed to fine lines), try ‘cleaning’ your stamp with the Adhesive Eraser – it removes any residue left from the rubber stamp making processs and gives your stamp a bit of ‘tooth’… perfect for those who are a bit wary of using fine sandpaper on stamps. Of course this also works for any photo stamps that you might have such as stamps from Stampsmith.

But here’s the big tip – bet you didn’t know the Adhesive eraser was great for cleaning rubber stamps. Yep! If you have a rubber stamp that’s badly stained by StazOn, no matter how bad it is, then just give it a clean with this eraser… makes the rubber look brand new! So next time you’re placing a Stampin’ Up! order with me, throw one of these little beauties in – probably the best $3.75* I’ve ever spent. ;)

Edited to add: I totally forgot! Thanks to Debra for reminding me… the Adhesive Eraser also removes rub-ons – great for if you’ve accidently gotten a bit of a rub-on somewhere on your work that you weren’t supposed to.

Another edit!:  Also great for cleaning your scissors from gunk build-up from cutting double-sided tape or for cleaning scissors used for cutting rubber stamps, especially cutting rubber that has been mounted onto ezy-mount.  Thanks to Lez & Kristie for this tip. :D

*Australian dollars.

Masculine Cards

One of my downlines recently sent me a list of ideas that could be used to make masculine cards. I suppose it’s one of those themes that lots of cardmakers struggle with since we tend to make so many cards for other ladies or for children. I’ve reproduced this list here and edited and added my own ideas too. I hope that it’s helpful to someone out there. Please feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment.

Images of clocks, clock faces or actual mini clock parts (try garage sales for old watches you can pull apart)

Images of cars, trucks or motorbikes, trains, aeroplanes, boats & ships – the older the better – or anything to do with these ie ships wheel (also try Set Sail stamp set by Stampin’ Up!)

Images of musical instruments, sheet music and musical notes

Images of architecture, famous building ie Eiffel Tower, Tower of Pisa

Images of travel, copies of passports, travel documents etc

Images of favourite sports and colours of favourite teams in the shape of ie a football

Copies of old maps, old newspapers, old magazines of favourite images (you can Google maps, print them then age them by sponging with brown ink or dipping in weak tea or coffee – alternatively you can buy cheap books from your local charity shop).

Images of lighthouses, the sea, fishing, or underwater images

Images of wine or beer – consider soaking the labels off bottles of beer,wine or spirits (I’ve used labels from beer and they work great! Try James Boag)

Images on serviettes – wine, grapes, vineyards (remember to use only the top layer of the serviette and adhere with Jac Paper or paint over the top with Mod Podge or gel medium)

Images of animals – lions, leopards, tigers, horses etc

Collect old postage stamps with masculine images

Collect old house keys – the older the better – paint them and add to cards (or try Artifacts stamp set by Stampin’ Up!)

Cheap packs of playing cards – add cards to the front of a card – ie royal flush

Search for flat screws, nails or washers that you can paint or distress

Textured cardstock, Rough surfaces like sandpaper, plaid or argyle patterns (try Flannel Plaid background stamp by Stampin’ Up! or Sentimental Journey scrapbooking papers also by Stampin’ Up!)

Copy old sepia postcards or old sepia photos and alter them

Copies of famous old paintings ie Da Vinci

Images of old shoes or boots

Images of trees, leaves, gardening tools, fruit & vegetables from botanical books – make copies at the local library (try Lovely As A Tree stamp set by Stampin’ Up!)

Old coins or images of old coins

Make your own masculine backgrounds by scrunching up some cardstock into a tight ball a few times and then smoothing open, ink over the wrinkles with a pale brown inkpad and sponge with a creamy coloured inkpad. I like Creamy Caramel and More Mustard with So Saffron by Stampin’ Up!

Weathered Background stamp by Stampin’ Up! is great for masculine backgrounds but works equally as well for feminine shabby chic. Just change the colour scheme to suit.

Distress edges of cardstock by running your fingernail around the edges. Leave as is or further distress by dragging your inkpad over the edges too.

Use an emery board for sanding over cardstock to give a distressed look.

Try Twill Tape (Stampin’ Up!) for a clean masculine look.