Carving a stamp for my one little word #olw

Yesterday I shared my FINISH Intentions + Actions my January assignment for Ali Edward’s One Little Word workshop. That post was getting pretty darn lengthy, so I decided that the making of the page needed its very own post.

I started by carving myself a finish stamp using my Speedball Linoleum Cutter and a 2 x 3 linoleum block. I had to practice writing “finish” so many times on notebook paper that it looked like I had a crush on it (did anyone else doodle crush names in class?). I’ve had requests for hand-carved stamp tutorials, so expect that soonish.


Next I chose a color scheme. I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and picked pink (which will maybe help me FINISH some of the pink supplies in my stash, right?) and combined it with a bright red and (my favorite color) teal. I used the download from the workshop and changed the colors to work with my scheme.

Heat Embossing How To

Next, I went into supply gathering mode. For small scale projects, like a single layout or a project life spread, I usually just use what’s on my desk. I don’t spend a lot of time looking for supplies. But when I know I have a big ongoing project coming, like this workshop or a minibook, I shop my stash and pull every paper that might go with my color scheme. But the end, some papers will stick out as sore thumbs. Those’ll go. The rest go in a folder or big ziplock baggie so I won’t ever have to look for matching paper through the duration of the project. I throw in embellishments that might work too. It saves me loads of time, because I only have to look through once. Then I have my own little kit to work with.

Heat Embossing How To

Then I used my hand-carved stamp to create tons of heat-embossed cards on plain white cardstock. If you’d like to learn to heat emboss, I wrote a post all about it at Document Life Workshop today.

I used Teal Zing! Embossing Powder for most of the cards, but used Ranger Rich Red for the last card. I also made way more than I needed, in case some of them didn’t come out right. I’ll use the leftovers throughout the year.

FINISH Intentions + Action

I zipped around the cards with my sewing machine. All of the FINISH cards got the red thread treatment, except for the red card: that one got teal. And you should see how ugly the back of these cards are! I’m too impatient to tie off, so I used washi tape that I don’t love to tape off the ends of all of the strings.

FINISH Intentions + Action

Important to note: I messed up several times while working on these pages. Messing up is a byproduct of experimenting. But it also forces me to be more creative, as I have to figure out how to salvage things. And usually the end result is cooler, anyway. For example, I was planning on embossing teal directly onto the pink title card, but I messed it up. Instead of reprinting, I cut off the title strip, added it to back-up finished card, trimmed that down, and added some pattered paper, washi, and decorative sewing into the mix. The result is way more interesting than my original plan. Oh, and the edges don’t quite add up, so I went around the edges in red ink so it’s less noticeable. And you’d have never known that none of that was on purpose if I hadn’t told you.

FINISH Intentions + Action

Another example of rolling with the mistakes ended up being my favorite card. I used Ranger Clear Embossing Powder on patterned paper, but it didn’t show up as well as I’d have liked. So I stamped over the patterned paper with blue and green ink by lightly dabbing the inkpads on the paper. I use a Pinwheel 8-Color ColorBox Pigment Inkpad, which makes it really easy to get into corners when you’re inking edges and makes it easy to use the ink directly on paper.

I used a little TP to wipe the ink off of the embossed word (a baby wipe works well if the ink has dried). And voila! Resist embossing! See what I mean when I say that cooler things can come from rolling with mistakes? I would have never set out to do resist embossing. I added a brad to the first “i” in FINISH, but it looked weird on the page. So I cut out the word from the card and added it to a printed-out Ali Edward’s Christmas Story Journaling Card. Which I hadn’t realized wasn’t the right size. So I put it on a card I had used to test Turquoise Metallic Mist by Maya Road.

FINISH Intentions + Action

I also tried to be intentional with my embellishment choices: a banner because it reminds me of a finish line, and a cloud because it represents dreaming.

I’m defiantly not going to get this technique heavy for awhile, but I hope you enjoyed a peak into my process when things get a little messy.

Check out the rest of my OLW Finish posts.