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Shadow Stamping Paper Crafts Tutorial

Shadow stamping is a creative and easy way of decorating paper crafts and scrapbook pages.

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Shadow stamping techniques let you create elaborate, detailed projects without a huge investment in time or special artistic talent. By using shapes or stamps to design a background for your project you develop a light shaded background on which to place your designs.

First you develop the shadow effect on your page or piece, then you stamp your image over the shadow in a contrasting color. Many popular graphics use this technique digitally, by layering various shades of a color using similar designs or patterns in the background and using the full strength color as the front or top layer.

Although there are inks created expressly for shadow stamping, you can use the shadow stamping technique with ordinary stamping inks. The secret behind a beautiful shadow stamp effect is to use faint images. To accomplish this with regular stamp pad inks, don't use a direct impression after you ink the pad.

Stamp onto a scrap paper then use a second or third impression on your project to create the shadow effect. The more ink that's lost from the stamp, the lighter your shadow stamp will become. It's sort of like blotting before inking, instead of blotting after to absorb excess ink.

There are many shadow stamping techniques, ranging from basic shadow stamping where you make the shadow image and then stamp again slightly offset with full ink on your stamp. You can also do light stamps in an all-over pattern to create a shadow background paper. To create a shadow stamped edge pattern or border, place a piece of extra paper in the areas you don't want to imprint (this is a mask), then do your shadow stamping all around the edges of your paper, overlapping onto the mask. When you're finished stamping, remove the mask.

You can combine different images and create a monoprint effect. Stamp the shadow image, then stamp print the main image over it. Theme related images work well for this technique.

You can also experiment with offsetting and multiple images. Ink your shadow stamp, then ink another stamp. Press the second stamp onto the surface of your shadow stamp then imprint the shadow stamp with the extra image onto your paper.

Repeating shadows and multiple stamps of the same image can fill an entire sheet with interesting patterns. Rotate the stamp and move around the page to create a random design with varying ink intensities.

Create grunge effects using a stylus on the inked stamp before imprinting, or press it onto a textured surface to make lines and smudges on the ink before it goes onto the paper.

Experiment with your stamps and combine them with other materials and techniques to create your own unique shadow stamping effects.

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