How To

American Crafts Stamping Markers | How To’sday

It’s Tuesday again which means it’s time for another fantastic scrapbooking tutorial. Today we have a special treat and have guest blogger Amber Sheaves sharing with us some great ways on how to use today’s steal, the American Crafts Stamp Markers.

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I love these stamp markers because they are less expensive than stamp pads enabling you to get more ink colors for your money. The colors are vibrant and tips are very juicy! The markers are dual ended with a brush tip and a writing tip. The ends are slightly flexible giving you the ability to vary the thickness of the line by adding or reducing pressure and changing the angle at which it meets the paper. Below are the different thicknesses you can get with each end.

I found they work equally well on both clear photopolymer stamps and rubber stamps. Below I stamped with a clear stamp on the left and a rubber stamp on the right:

Clear Vs. Rubber

If you find for some reason they are not sticking to your clear stamp (ink tends to pool up on clear stamps especially acrylic ones) first ink the pad up with a clear embossing ink and then add your colored ink. When using markers on your stamps you will find that the ink will dry before you have time to stamp it just because it simply takes longer to color in the image by hand than it does to stamp it on a big stamp pad. These stamp markers are meant to stay wet on the stamp longer than regular markers. In some cases with more intricate work you will still need to re-wet the ink. To do this simply huff the inked image when you’re ready to stamp on paper. Do this by breathing on the stamp as you would to clean your sunglasses or a DVD.

Another use of the stamping markers  is with a color spritzer tool which takes the place of a spray ink. Just attach the marker to the tool and squeeze for these cool splatter effects.

These markers are acid-free so you can use them as journaling pens on your layouts.

You can also easily correct stamping mistakes! Take for instance this “hello friend” stamp. See how part of the image didn’t stamp well? Simply use the writing tip to go over the image and fill in the missing parts. This way you don’t have to start all over again if you incorrectly ink a stamp and mess up your project!

The American Crafts stamping markers enable you to get so much more use out of your stamps by allowing you to omit part of an image and to use multiple colors on one stamp. Let’s look at the “hello friend” stamp again. What if I didn’t want the friend part for some reason? With a stamp marker you can easily just stamp the portion of the stamp you want. But what if I wanted to do something fun with the colors? With markers I can make each letter a different color! You couldn’t do this with an ink pad.

Here’s an example of using multiple colors on one stamp. First I stamped the apple with an ink pad only in red. Not bad, kinda cute. But by using the markers I was able to add several colors to each making it really cute!

The markers can also be used to ink the edges of cards and layouts, getting into smaller spaces than those cats eye or teardrop pads.

You can get some really pretty effects as well. For these flowers, I first inked the center with Sunflower (when using multiple colors always start with the lightest color), then colored them in with Taffy, and then with Grape I drew lines from the center towards the tip of each petal for the variegated color.

One of the best parts of these markers is that you can use them to color in large parts of outlined images. I stamped the image in black Staz-On ink.

Since the markers are water-based you want to make sure to use a pigment ink for the outline so that when you go to color the image in you don’t make the outline bleed.

Here are some finished projects using the markers.

I hope I’ve convinced you how wonderful versatile these markers are!

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Why yes Amber! You have convinced me indeed! You’ve even convinced me that I really just need to take the plunge and brave some stamping. Your projects are amazing! Thank you again!

If you have an idea that you would like to be featured as a How To’sday tutorial, don’t be shy. Please send your text and images to and we will be happy to feature your idea!

I’ll see you tomorrow for our next installment to the Garnet series of Mid Week Mojo.

Have a great day everyone!

How To’sday | Faux Pleating

Good morning everyone! It’s happy How To’sday once again and today our rockstar friend and fan Erica Bass treat us to a tutorial Faux Stitching.

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Don’t you just love the look of the pleated paper embellishments? I know I do but it costs an arm and a leg to buy it pre-made and is kind of a pain to make yourself. Don’t worry — I came up with the perfect solution!

With a few basic supplies you will be able to create this look with ease.


  • scrapbooking adhesive
  • paper
  • paper cutter
  • foam adhesive

Step 1: Cut two strips of paper that are the size you want your pleated accent to be. My sample strip of paper is 12 x 2
Step 2: Cut the second strip into the width you want your final pleats to be. Here my final “pleats” are 2 x 1 1/4
Step 3: apply foam adhesive to the bottom side of your pleats

Step 4: I applied a long line of adhesive to the top edge of my base piece of “pleating” then once the pleats were placed I rubbed off the excess adhesive. If your adhesive isn’t the type that will rub off, simply put some adhesive on the opposite end of the foam on the small pieces of paper before you glue them down.

Step 5: if you like a finished edge at the top position some ribbon so it overlaps the top edge.

side view of finished product.

Another sample of faux pleating used on a card.

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Erica, thank you so much for sharing your idea with us. I know I for one am excited to give this a try! I may even have to incorporate it into my next Mid Week Mojo. :) And speaking of Mid Week Mojo, be sure to check in tomorrow for our February Guest Sketcher.

Have a great day!

How To’sday | Tips for Using Transparencies

I love How To’sday. It’s sort of like a little crafty Christmas every time I open up an email from one of you talented crafters, sharing your tips. Today’s tutorial is simply put, amazing. Charity Hotrum Becker shows us some tips for using those transparencies that are in our stashes that tend to just sit there because we aren’t quite sure what to do with them!

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Okay, who can even spell that word? No wonder transparencies are so intimidating! But, I’ve got a few tips that cut them down to size. Specifically I’ll illustrate their use as flowers, pockets, and good ‘ol frames.
Flowers first!

Transparencies come in various sizes, colors, prints and pre-designated uses. For handmade flowers I use the transparencies with an all over print. You will also need a jeweled brad, a pair of tweezers, a heating tool, and a paper trimmer or pair of scissors.

First cut 4 strips measuring 2 ½ by ½ inches. Pierce each strip at the center. Thread each strip onto a brad so the arms spread out like an asterisk.

Using tweezers, grasp the brad by the “feet” and hold it upside down. Turn on the heating tool and warm the transparencies for 5-10 seconds. It will quickly become pliable. Use your fingers to mold the strips into a curved shape, bent toward the brads jeweled center. The strips may need reheated a few times to get the curve you have in mind.

To make a smaller flower try cutting strips that are 1 ½ inches by ½ inch. Give the strips a shallower curve so the flower has a more open appearance.

What’s a scrapper to do if a heating tool is nowhere to be found? Here’s a second flower option. For this one you’ll need a print transparency, a jeweled brad, and a paper piercer.

Cut 4 strips 3 ½ by ¼. Pierce each strip in the middle and ¼ inch from each end.

Thread a strip onto the brad using the center piercing. Bend one side of the strip in and thread it onto the brad, bend the other side in and thread it onto the brad. Repeat this process for all four strips, taking care to turn each strip so that the flower petals form an asterisk.

These flowers are lots of fun to add to any crafting project, but look especially snazzy on gift tags!

After you have completed your flower cut a 3 inch circle from card stock. Pierce the center and insert the transparency blossom. Fold the brad back securely. Punch a small hole ¼ inch from the side and thread about 6 inches of twine through in a slip knot.

Many Transparencies are designed to frame a photo. This is a wonderful addition to a page, but what if your transparency doesn’t show up when placed over your photo…what good is THAT! Trim your picture to fit inside the colored portion of the frame. Choose a contrasting paper, and cut a photo mat that will extend beyond the edges of your transparency. Ink the edges to give your mat definition and adhere photo and frame to mat.

Still not sold on these bits of “sheer fun”? Here’s one more idea to get transparencies out of your stash and onto your page. Journaling pockets made from transparencies take advantage of their transparent nature. How fun to bling out your journaling card and slip it in a clear pocket! Embellishments look great inside these little pockets also. It’s a fab way to fill up those spots in a sketch that call for little photos.

Thanks to Cathryn Hanson for the amazing sketches I used on these layouts and to Kristy Lee for the delightful card sketch, and of course to Steal Network for letting me showcase my talent. It’s kind of fun to see my name up in lights!

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Charity! Unbelievably amazing tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to share your talents with us. I know I’ve got some transparencies that I’m dying to try some of your techniques with. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you have an idea that you would like to share on a How To’sday, don’t be shy. We’d love to see what ideas you have up your crafty sleeve. You can send photos and directions to

Hope you have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow for another Mid Week Mojo.

How To’sday | Kid Interview Mini Album

If you’ve got the itch to make a mini album, today Jen McDermott shows us one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen in a long time! With time slipping away, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will be here before we know it! This how to on creating a “kid interview” mini-album may be just what you need.

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If you’re looking for a great gift idea that not only preserves sweet memories, but is relatively quick and is sure to be a hit with parents, grandparents, and more, then I have an idea for you! For the kid interview mini album, you ask your child(ren) fun questions about their family member or other important grown up in their life, then record their answers in their own words. Not only will it look cute displayed, but the recipient will love to read what your little one has to say about them. It’s pretty simple and can be dressed up or down however you choose.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • A couple of 12×12 sheets of chipboard
  • A 6×6 paper pad
  • 3 jump rings (I only used two in my example, but three would be sturdier)
  • Cropadile or heavy duty hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Alphas/Tiny Type/Embellishments of your choosing
  • Paper trimmer
  • Optional photos of your child with the subject of the album
  • Basic scrapping necessities (ink, adhesive, markers)

Before you get started, sit down with your child and ask them a few questions about the subject of the album.  I asked my son fun questions about his dad like “If Dad had a super power, what would it be?”, “What does Dad do at work all day?”  “How does Dad show you that he loves you?” “What’s your favorite activity to do with Dad?” Then, I jotted down the answers in his own words. Once you’ve interviewed your child, you are ready to create the album.

First, using your paper trimmer, cut your chipboard into 6×6 squares. You will need one square for each question and answer. Then, start adhering your 6×6 paper to the chipboard squares. Once your paper is covered, you are ready to start writing in the interview questions and answers.

I put each question and answer on the right side of the page, then used the left side for matching embellishments and photos.

After you’ve recorded the questions and answers and decorated the pages with matching embellies, ink the edges of your pages, preferably with a dark ink, to help hide the edges of the chipboard and paper.  Then, use a Cropadile or other heavy duty hole punch to punch three holes into the side of each page. Make sure each page is facing the correct way in the book before punching the holes. Then, assemble the pages, and bind together with jump rings and decorate rings with ribbon. Create a title and a decked out cover, and you’re all done! Be sure to include the date it was created, too.

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Jen, I love it! Little kids are especially fun to document and I think this is such a fabulous idea! I see some interview mini-albums in my future for sure!

Thank you so much for sharing your talents and ideas with us.

If you have an idea that you would see featured on the How To’sday here at ScrapbookSteals, please send your directions and photos in an email to

I’ll see you tomorrow for our next Mid Week Mojo. :)

How To’sday | Camouflaged Photos

Have you ever had that problem where you don’t have a panoramic photo option on your camera, you don’t have the photo software editing know how to faux create it, and you really, really, really want to display a photo of something big? Well today Michelle King shows us a pretty innovative solution to that problem.

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Here’s the story behind this layout:

My husband and I went to Rome, Italy for our honeymoon in the fall of 2007. One of the major draws for my husband was the Colisseum. It is awesome to behold, I must say and huge! I did not know if our camera could take panoramic shots, so I took two panning the structure, hoping that they sort of lined up. When I printed them, one was higher than the other, so one had more sky, one didn’t…you know how it is. Not wanting to lose the shot I had envisioned, I decided to just let go of all rules and cut, cut, cut! I took the two pictures and lined them up next to each other to see where they should meet and then cropped the top and bottom so that they did line up. Then to try to camouflage the imperfect center, I decided to cut the two pictures in strips and fan them out. At first glance, most people have often exclaimed what a great panoramic picture I have taken. Little do they realize how I have doctored the final product.

Hope this is helpful to anyone who has thought they lost the shot they wanted or thought they had. You just have to be willing to cut the pictures…

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Michelle, thanks so much! What a truly innovative idea that looks fantastic.

If you have an idea that you’d like to see be the Rockstar of How To’sday, don’t be shy! Send your text and photos to and I will add you to the lineup.

Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow for Garnet #2 in our Mid Week Mojo series.