ERA Graphics - Project 3

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Stretching Your Rubber!

By Debbie Shipley

I developed this technique one night when I wanted to give Roberta's WONDERFUL shape stamps a new look. These are her line of embellished geometric shapes that fit so well together. After I used it on the shapes, I gave it a try on other stamps and was very pleased. I got a new look and I saved myself the time and trouble of cutting out masks. (I'm basically a lazy person and LOVE short cuts!)


  • ERA Graphics Shape Stamps as follows:
    #7-025F (a point): [Picture]
    #5-020D (an arc): [Picture]
    #4-027F (a large wedge): [Picture]
    #20-020D (a sliver): [Picture]
  • White Fun Foam sheet
  • Rainbow pads
  • Scissors
  • Permanent ink (optional)
  • Double sided tape
  • Glossy card stock
  • Colored card stock
  • Acrylic block (optional)
  • Black or ultramarine blue dye pad OR a black or ultramarine blue pigment pad and embossing powder

It's important to use WHITE Fun Foam because with colored foam you cannot see your ink from the rainbow pads. Permanent ink for stamping your image onto the Fun Foam is optional. I personally don't use it, and I can still tell which fun foam shape is for what stamp. But you do need to mark the front or the side the gets stuck to the mount. Otherwise, you may end up with a shape image that is the reverse of what your stamp is. (I did this making the samples for this project and it just didn't work quite the same!)

So, here's what you do:

  1. Stamp your image onto the white fun foam and cut that image out.
  2. Mount that image on an acrylic block. If you don't have any you can use the back or top of another stamp.
  3. Using your favorite rainbow pad, stamp the images around the card. Allow the ink to dry completely. Here is where I usually trim down the piece of card stock to the size I actually want on the card. I always start with a piece slightly larger than what I want for a finished piece.
  4. Here you can do one of two things:
    1. Using your black or ultramarine blue (The ultramarine blue gives it a really nice look and a great change from black) dye pad, stamp the actual stamp over the foam created image. If you look closely, I have not been really careful to make sure they are stamped DIRECTLY on top. I like the look of it being a little off. It gives it a little more interest.
    2. Stamp as above but use a pigment pad. Then emboss with your choice of powders.
Either way this gives you a fast and simple card that looks like you put in a lot more time.

I store my foam shapes on a piece of card stock on which I have run several widely space rows of double sided tape. I stick my shapes to the tape and slip the whole thing into a page protector. You can get many shapes onto one piece of card stock.



  • When selecting your image for this technique, start with ones that will be easy to cut out. You don't want to have to cut a lot of details and you don't want images that will have long thin pieces in sections or that you will have to cut out holes or spaces. Also, your cutting does not have to be EXACT. This is a very forgiving process and if it's not just right, all the better!
  • To achieve a more pastel look for your image, blot the foam shape before you stamp it on the card on a scratch piece of paper. The foam shapes absorb LOTS of ink. Also, you can stamp several times without having to re-ink the foam shape.
  • Shapes can be cleaned as you would a stamp. But make sure you have all the excess water out before you use it again. OR you will get another look which also can be pleasing.
  • Don't worry if you have little "bald" spots when stamping with the foam shape. The overstamping will help cover them up and blend them in.
  • For the shapes card, I cheated. I wish I was so good that I could stamp all those parts and get a circle perfectly centered on the card. But, I'M NOT!! I stamped the whole circle on a piece of glossy sticker paper and cut it out. Then laid it on the glossy card stock.
  • If you see white where you don't want it to be after all your stamping, you can still go back and stamp over it with the foam shape.
ENJOY!! Send us samples of what you make and we'll put them on our Samples pages.

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