Stamping with Bleach

Stamping with bleach is fun and easy...but it does require a little care and preparation. Here's how you can do it.

Here's how I made the following card:

Copyright Stampin' Up!® 1990-2005

You can view and comment on the card here, at my gallery: Bleached Blue.

I had a Styrofoam plate on hand. Because I knew it wouldn't leak, I used this as my base for my homemade bleach "ink pad." I took two paper towels and folded them down to an absorbent, but manageable size and placed them on the plate. I very carefully poured bleach on to the paper towels (you should probably be wearing something old and raggy and be very careful as to wear you are doing this project).

You want the towels to be wet enough to get onto your stamp, but not so wet that you end up with stamped blobs. If you look closely at the leaves on the card above, you will see that some images are more bleached than others--and because of that, I stamped the image three times before I inked up again. Otherwise, all the images would have been too splotchy. It's best to experiment a little on scratch paper before you start on your project.

A few things to note when stamping with bleach:

1) Not all paper will bleach the same. I found out that a lot of paper is recycled and sometimes when you bleach it an unexpected color will pop up depending on what the original color of the recycled paper was. So, even if you have two sheets of cardstock that are the same color, they might not be the same underneath. It’s always best to test a swatch of paper first.

2) You must clean your stamps as soon as possible after you are done stamping because bleach WILL eat away at the rubber! Don't forget! Take good care of your stamps.

3) Stamping with bleach can be a little like snapping a Polaroid picture. So give it some time to develop.

Another fun gizmo for your stamping tool box is the Clorox Bleach Pen. I’ve used this pen to create bleached backgrounds after stamping and embossing an image. The embossing will usually protect the image and preserve the original color of your cardstock underneath it. You can see some samples of this technique here and here.

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