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!








4 thoughts on “Stamping gear – homemade paddle

  1. OH my that is fantastic, I saw these for the first time on Misteejay’s blog a while ago, loving that you’ve made your own version!

  2. that is awesome! I recently bought the square set that just came out, I need to play with that more too, I wish I kept my packaging. You are just too clever:)

  3. As always you have the greatest ideas!!! I am in the same situation for ordering on-line products – $8 for the product $19 for shipping and handling!! Now how does that encourage us to buy? (I’m in Canada) Nevertheless I love this idea and for sure will use it in future. BTW the first Micheals store opened almost a year ago, but unlike the US, they aren’t big on coupons but up their prices because it is US!! so the bargains aren’t so great…plus the fact that I live some 40 km to the closest store! So any and all your ideas are most welcomed…..I have one to give you. I used an old acrylic picture frame which has a little stand to hold – perfect for bigger stamps! Add a bit of water or wipe with baby wipe for better cling!! have a great day!

  4. Great idea thank you for testing these things out for us LOL

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