Who knew that rub ons (or some people call them press ons) were so incredibly versatile? AND if you knew why was it such a well kept secret from me – LOL!
Why rub ons? Well… what I have come to realize is that there are surfaces that these work on SO much better than simply stamping on the surface. Those rounded surfaces that are slick, or the items that may have a frame around them that is slightly raised, or… I know that there are so many more items I haven’t even begun to discover yet and so I am embracing the rub on after all these years :-D
Hero Arts has created some fabulous silhouettes this year - woohoo! If this scavenger hunt is stressing you out, "Let's Chill" over at Simple Dreams, and Be Creative, while you Put on the Ritz!
ETA: Direct link to Clue #6.
Due to my overwhelming excitement regarding the fabulous “make-your-own” rub ons that we carry, I decided to dedicate our feature article this month to the magic of creating your own stamped and/or digital rub ons. My hope is that it will open yet another avenue of creativity to each of you J So to get you excited I have shared a number of different projects with you today that took FAR less time to create than for me to put together this post :-D
As with everything I do, I place research at the top of my list when learning about a new-to-me product. I went in search of information on the internet to see what I could find. Well… I found very little about making my own rub ons and so I went to testing. The product comes with some very simple and basic directions sharing how to use it, but no detailed information about stamping on it. So once again I have tried to approach this article with the mind-set that this will be a spot that you can always come back and refer to as you begin your creative endeavors with rub ons.
Test, test, test… it wasn’t pretty, but there was a method to my madness. I snapped a picture early on; in hopes of not forgetting to document the variety of processes I would test. Using an entire rub on sheet I tried to make certain that my recommendations would be valid.
I began by creating my silhouette files (more to come on this in a separate article for those who have Photoshop). For those who do not have Photoshop we are offering a very special service to you. Please read more about it here in our store. :-D
Use white as your background – this makes it quick and easy for us to “pull” the profile of the individual or pet. In this picture I had my DH hold up a piece of white poster board behind Trina. I then snapped a profile shot of my DD. If you are having trouble with shadows behind your subject try placing a light on the floor next to the wall.
I then added a mirror image of the year to my silhouette to document her age.
TIP: When working with rub-ons it is important to remember that the font must be a mirror image before printing.
I simply followed the directions in the packaging to create the ornament above.
This is an identical silhouette except I created a very thin line around it to aid in cutting a perfect circle. I over stamped the image with a Textile stamp in Distress Ink and allowed it to dry before cutting out the circle shape.
TIP: When applying the image to the face of the optical lens position the lens on a stack of paper or edge of the table to allow the surface to be laid flat. This enables you to press more firmly with your rub on applicator and reduce the fear of popping the lens out of its frame.
This is a side by side comparison of the two varieties discussed above.
I am absolutely in LOVE with this idea as a gift for grandparents, parents, children, pet owners… The possibilities are incredible and the cost SO reasonable. I looked on the internet and the cost for one silhouette ornament can be between $30-40. Just think – this could be something that you could do to chart your little one’s growth creating a new one each year!
STAMPING WITH BLACK INKS ON RUB ONZ
Experimenting with black inks, and coloring of the images, was next on my list. As you can see I not only tested ink pads, but I tested methods of coloring the image to bring it to life. The image that I used for the final piece is not shown above, but rather below (you will see the end result when I showcase the test tube project.
Typically my go-to ink for smooth, slick surfaces is Palette or Archival ink. What I found was that the Palette ink was not stable once I tried to color my image with color pencils or Copics. Even after drying overnight the ink had a tendency to smear ever so slightly. The Archival ink when colored with Prismacolor pencils was fabulous – a hint of shadowing, but my favorite result in the end. I should have used it for my project, but I already had my test tube underway when I remembered to try the Archival ink – oops.
Adirondack dye ink ended up with quite the smeary mess. If I had not tried testing it when I felt that it was dry to the touch and had left it over night or gently heat set it I may have had a better result, but I want fuss free – so again not my favorite choice.
Next I tested Memento, together with the Copic markers. It was OK, but the Copic markers had a more streaky appearance than I would prefer. I must admit that I am much more excited about the result of the color pencils on the Rub Onz surface vs. the look of the Copic Markers. Again the combination of Copics and Prismacolor pencils may be another look that I will have to pursue more.
The ink I ended up using for my project was Brilliance. It worked well after I allowed it to dry, but it took a little more time than the Archival to fully dry.
WHICH INKS CAN BE STAMPED ON RUB ONZ?
Next I wanted to test colored inks. I am hoping that you can click on this image to be able to view these images more clearly. I ended up selecting a red rubber stamp (Memory Box Dotted Butterfly), as well as a Clear Design stamp (Hero Arts) to determine if there would be a difference in stamping on the Rub Onz surface with these two different styles of stamps. I did notice that the red rubber was definitely crisper and held its own better than the Clear Design, but I think you could achieve a satisfactory end result with both.
My personal opinion is that the Archival inks were the best all-around ink for the Rub Onz surface. Memento, Jenni Bowlin, Brilliance and Adirondack Pigment also created images that I think will end up working well. If you want some “special effects” looks you can turn to the Hero Arts Chalk (notice the feathery look of the dove body), Tim Holtz Distress (I used this on the Silhouette ornament below because of the more textured appearance), and Adirondack Dye (this ink had a slightly sticky hand to it even when dry).
With a slight bit of heat using my Heat It tool I was able to dry each of these inks without having to wait overnight. The heat did not impact the use of the Rub Onz, but I was VERY careful not to overheat my surface.
CREATING WHITE RUB ONZ
I REALLY wanted white rub ons. One cannot print white with an ink jet printer. Yes, I could leave the space open with masking or reverse printing, but I REALLY wanted white. So white inks were the next inks I tested. My personal favorite is the Palette New Canvas. I was slightly disappointed in how the silhouette stamps would pull the ink back up and leave the images stippled. White Prismacolor pencils came to my rescue.
In the image above you can see that the dove in the lower right-hand corner is much more finished looking. This image I stamped in Palette ink and then colored with a white Prismacolor pencil.
The dove in the top left-hand corner was yet another experiment. Using Champagne Versamark I stamped the image. This application was much too light in color when left alone and so I grabbed my chalks. I carefully applied two soft golden, pearlescent colors from Pebbles Inc. to create the look above.
USING RUBBER STAMPED RUB ONZ
Stamp image on Rub Onz using Brilliance Ink or Archival Ink. Allow to dry. Color image with Prismacolor pencils.
Apply adhesive sheet as detailed on enclosed instruction sheet.
Cut out as close to image edge as possible.
Remove cloudy liner and admire your finished project. I just know that you are going to want to rub your finger over it and oh and ah at this point – LOL!
Add embellishments and fill with bath salts. Enjoy!
OTHER RUB ONZ IDEAS
Apply to a variety of smooth surfaces. Can you imagine creating a perfect little letter box to stow those letters to Santa? How about creating a salt and pepper shaker? Fill the golden dove with salt and a white dove with pepper :-D
do you need help creating a custom digital silhouette? Purchase your Custom Silhouette Digital Rendering, JPG here
inks tested - pads include:
- Jenni Bowlin
- Adirondack Pigment and Dye
- Hero Arts Chalk and Shadow