You asked for it, I listened. I’m sharing a video on how to use digital stamps for card making. I’ll share tips and tricks I use to set up and print images in Adobe Photoshop. Plus a bonus video showing real-time Copic coloring.
Details on how to use digital stamps for card making are in this short video tutorial. Learn tips and tricks to setup your stamps and digital papers in Photoshop 2020. Watch here or in HD on YouTube. While you’re there I’d love it if you like, subscribe, and share it with your friends!
In addition to setting up the images, I have a second videos showing real-time Copic coloring. Let me know if you prefer this real-time video vs. speed coloring shown in my previous videos.
Setup Digital Stamps In Photoshop
It will be most helpful to watch the video showing how to setup digital stamps in Photoshop, but I will share tips here too. Typically, I print A2 (4.25 x 5.5″) card layouts on half sheets cardstock and watercolor paper.
Accordingly, 5.5 x 8.5-inch pieces of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 lb and 6 x 9-inch sheets of watercolor paper. My printer is able to handle hot press, cold press, and rough watercolor paper equally well. But, more tips on printing later.
Create New Document
Create a new document with the following settings. Name the document and save it as a Custom Template if desired. This 6×9 template can be used to print 5.5 x 8.5 and 6 x 9-inch layouts.
Width 6 inches
Height 9 inches
Resolution 300 pixels/inch
Create New Guide Layout
Next, set up a guide layout to visually see A2 size card boundaries measuring 4.25 x 5.5-inches. The space inside the blue guidelines measures 4.25 x 5.5-inches.
Click View > New Guide Layout… and enter the following Margin measurements for a 6 x 9-inch canvas.
Top | 0.75″
Bottom | 2.75″
Left & Right | 0.875″
Create Background Rectangle
In addition to the guide layout, create a rectangle measuring 4.5 x 5.75-inches. This rectangle is 1/8-inch larger than an A2 size card. It is used to create a background Clipping Mask for digital papers and assist in trimming the final card panel.
Activate the rectangle shape tool and click anywhere on the canvas. This will open a dialogue box. Enter width 4.5 in height 5.75 in. Change the Fill to a light grey so it’s visible compared to the white canvas. Change the stroke Fill to black and size to 2 px.
If you are not using a digital paper background, the rectangle will print as-is. Change the fill to white for no background or to the desired background color.
Add Digital Stamps
Next, add digital stamps. If images will overlay a background or another digital stamp, the digital stamp must be a png file with a transparent background and white fill.
Resize and position the digital stamps as needed. Hover over the corner of the binding box to activate the rotation tool. Hold this shift key down and drag the corner of the binding box to resize. Holding the shift key resizes symmetrically and prevents distortion.
Add Digital Paper Background
Adding a digital paper background eliminates the need to color a free-hand background. This adds depth to the overall composition and significantly reduces coloring time by eliminating the need to color a background.
Drag in or import a high-resolution digital paper and place its layer below immediately above the gray rectangle layer. Right mouse click on the digital paper layer and click Create Clipping Mask. Resize the digital paper as desired.
This will mask the digital paper to the size and shape of the rectangle. This helps to conserve printer toner. As I mentioned earlier this will assist in trimming the final panel down to size.
Create a Sentiment
Create a sentiment with the Text Tool and your favorite font. Try a mix of serif, sans serif, and handwritten fonts to add interest. Here I’ve used the same font for both sentiments, but one is capitalized and the other is lowercase.
Make one of the sentiments large, white, and add a black stroke, or outline to the font. To add a stroke, right mouse click on the layer, click Fx at the bottom and choose Stroke.
Play around with the stroke size. Choose a size that’s visible and coordinates well with the digital stamp image. The stroke adds a nice finished edge to the white font. The font is white so that it can be Copic colored to match the colored images.
Print Digital Stamp Card Layout
It’s time to print! I use a Brother HL-L3290CDW Digital Color Laser Printer with a manual feed and I LOVE it. The print quality is excellent and the colors are super-rich. On top of that it has a manual feed function which is ideal for thick cardstock.
Since I’m going to Copic color, I’ll set the paper size to 5.5 x 8.5-inches in the print dialogue box. Click Paper Size: Custom and enter 5.5 x 8.5 with no margins.
If you’re printing on cardstock it’s very important to choose the appropriate paper type. Choose the thickest paper setting your printer allows. If your print has a manual feed, definitely use it.
Automatic paper feeds pull the paper in and roll them around spools. It is very difficult for the printer to do this with 80 lb and higher cardstock. A manual feed is ideal for thick paper.
DIY Pattern Paper
Learn more about printing on thick cardstock and vellum in this post.
I discuss printer settings and manual feed vs. automatic feed in more detail and share tips on printing digital papers.
Now, all that’s left is to Copic color the image. At least that’s what I did. Of course, you may choose to print on watercolor paper or use your favorite coloring medium.
As you can see above, the clipping mask background is 1/8-inch larger than the A2 size die. The slightly larger background makes trimming and die-cutting quick and easy.
Finished Copic Colored Card
Here’s the finished card. As you can see, I use the extra cardstock space to test colors and document the markers I use. The white sentiment is Copic colored to match the flowers. Don’t you love the ombre effect?
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