Using wood-mount stamps with the Stamping Gears

You did a double-take, didn’t you? Well it isn’t perfect, and if you are one of those I’ll do it 100 times until it is PERFECT stampers, look away now.  But if you are a bit more free-wheelin’ (and have loads of wood mounted stamps and don’t want to UN-mount them) this may suit you.  Sorry again (twice in one day!) for the loads of photos…

I had this sweet little image, perfect for a new baby card. The wood mount is about 1.25 inches square.

woodwithgearIt occurred to me that it was the coffee stirrer that worked as the nubbin to position things around the gear.  I saw no reason I really needed the paddle.  So then I just had to find an area of the mount where the stirrer would fit.


That is the first issue – there is little chance of there being space centred on the mount – but you will see that doesn’t really matter.  The spacing of the images is going to be the same, they just aren’t going to be centred under the notch.

Mark the stirrer for the length – I like to colour the extended bit with a Sharpie so I can re-use it and can see where to place it. I also mark on the mount where the stirrer fits.



I added a small piece of very strong double-sided tape to the back of the stirrer.  The tape will not adhere permanently to the wood, but if you didn’t care about keeping your stamps pristine, you could glue it to the mount.  I don’t think that would seriously affect its use later, so long as if you wanted to use it with a stamp positioner you rotated everything so you were positioning it on the bottom corner, away from the stick. It looks crooked here but it’s just the angle – trust me….


Now, you can stamp as you normally would, taking perhaps a little more care by positioning the stirrer extension in the notch and making sure the edge of the mount is hitting the gear on both sides of it. Not sure if this will help:


Stamp away.  As you can see it isn’t perfect (neither is my stamping, but then I am just showing my play, with no intention of these being used for a final project.


You should do what they tell you to do and rotate the paper rather than contorting yourself to stamp around – clearly I didn’t listen well…

Now, the other thing is it will seem that this will only work around the small gear.  Not so.  I think this will be hard to explain, but working in the inside of the big round gear, you may be able to see that the stirrer can’t actually fir all the way into the notch – the edges of the wood mount get in the way.


Thing is, that doesn’t matter.  So long as you make sure the edges of the mount are coming n contact with the edge of the gear, and that the stirrer is centred in the notch, you are going to get something that is acceptable – or is to me.


This stamp is much bigger, more like 2 x 2.25 inches.  Working around the small gear:


Working inside the big round gear (I think it was every other triangle marked notch although I think I lost track and stamped in the wrong notch there upper left)


and with a tighter spacing:


This means I can use all my odd-ball images happily.  I wonder if you wonder why I have a stamp of a bald – Bill Clinton?  Would it surprise you I have a bald Hillary on the flip side?


As you can see the coffee stirrer is mounted well off to one side, and still the circle effect is pretty OK.

Now, go off to play while I carry on with the packing and the laundry and the sorting out.  Have fun….


Stamping gear – homemade paddle

Sorry in advance for the excessive number of photos.

You know how I always say I make the mistakes so you don’t have to? Well I also experiment A LOT and spend the time doing so so you don’t have to. This is one of those experiments that I hope you will find interesting.

The first thing I will say is if you live in the USA and have access to 50% off coupons, this is probably not for you.  The price of the extra paddle for the Stamping Gear set in likely to cost you under $10.  But here in the UK there is no store that offers that kind of coupon, and basically the cost for us is $ = £ so where retail might be $15, here it is more like $23 (+ nearly $5 for shipping & handling, or as we call it, postage & packing.) The stamping gear deluxe set is over $75. Feel our pain….

I was thinking that I would have liked to have an extra paddle – just thinking it would be handy if I were doing an alternating pattern, to have the stamps on a paddle each.  I thought I would just cut one out of matboard, as it’s thick and sturdy.  Then I was looking at the packaging (and OMG!  Getting into that thing without totally destroying it was a challenge) and notice there were two paddles printed on the cardboard – and guess what? they are not scaled back at all.  Laying the paddle over them, they fit exactly.



Granted, there is only the little nubbin on one side but that wasn’t a huge issue.

I was recalling The Frugal Crafter’s homemade gear (she IS a Crafty MacGyver!) and the popsicle stick thing made me think.  I had just grabbed a handful of coffee stirrers from Mickey D’s to toss in my quilt bag (handy for marking out short lines and lighter/smaller than a ruler) and I thought I wonder…? Yep, the fit the nubbin PERFECTLY. Just added a line of red tape…



…and stuck it on.



I wanted the round bit as that helps it snug right up in the notches of the gear.  I needed a handle, and in looking at the packaging, I felt the bump over the paddle would work.


It did, and it all fit perfectly into the wheel. Inside and out.

gearpaddle4 gearpaddle5

The problem was that the plastic handle was not strong enough to exert the right amount of force.  Solved THAT by filling the empty handle bit with Play Doh, cause I had some hanging about.


I needed an extra bit of mat board in the middle  to allow me to use other clear stamps without the deep cushion.  It worked well.

gearpaddle6Now, if you look at that paddle you can see I did a couple of things to it – first, I stuck a bit of the packaging (the big circle that covered the wheel) to the bottom, and marked  lines on it to help me line up the stamp.  That plastic allowed me to stick the clear stamp to it with ease.  Note that the stamp is longer than the paddle, but look at the cool medallion you get by inking it just up to the edge of the paddle…



and how cute is this for a card topper? The image is just over 4″ across



So that got me thinking – what about bigger stamps?

I liked the demos I had seen with text and word stamps, and I have a ton of them, so I looked for one to try. Found this one:


Too big.  So I thought that I would make an extended “paddle” using the same basic idea as the one from the packaging. I cut a couple of bits of matboard



and marked the grid lines

extendedgearpaddle2stuck on the coffee stirrers (one extending into the nubbin to give it more strength, but the rest just on the body of the paddle:

extendedgearpaddle3For the handle I tried my old MagnaStamp paddles and a bit of magnetic sheet, but it kept coming loose as I was stamping.



You can see it fits just fine in any case

extendedgearpaddle5I had a small wood block hanging about so I tried that, hot glued to the back:

extendedgearpaddle8Worked fine, but a longer one would be better as with some stamps I didn’t get a total image, depending on how I pressed.  Once I knew how to do it, it was fine.  But you have to remember with every press.

I had a go with that stamp, and made this card from the results.

extendedgearpaddle7 extendedgearpaddle9So that’s two different ways to make an extra paddle that only cost you a bit of time.   And I can now use my clear stamps easily too.  I have barely used the stamps that come with the set (heck, I know THEY work – I’m more interested in seeing what the OTHER stuff I have can produce!) but am having too much fun.  And now I have to stop cause DD is off on a school trip, DH is doing a chili cook-off this weekend, and I have a list as long as my arm to get them both sorted out … isn’t that always the way? But I’ll just add this bit of play for you as a parting shot – I would def. say try all your stamps.  I think the effect you will get with the most unlikely stamps may surprise you! This one is a card greeting, very floral with lots of super-fine scratchy text.  It worked better that I could have hoped!