Stampbusters Video: Alcohol or Water?

(if viewing from a feed in your email, you may need to come to my  blog to view video)

SB Texture Plates

It’s been a while since I made a Stampbuster’s Video.  I haven’t really had many stamping myths to prove lately until today!  If you missed a few, most of them are HERE on this blog.

On with my experiment!  If you have a cuttlebug, Big Shot or other machine that embosses paper, you may have you tried spritzing your paper with alcohol or water before running it through to get a sharper, raised image.   There was a hefty debate with my stampin’ buds lately about which works better, water or alcohol.    Seriously, you would have thought we were debating an issue of greater importance, such as which is worse for you – pink or blue packets of sugar substitute.

To put the speculation to rest for me,   I set up a controlled test area (my usual messy desk) and cut 6 pieces of 3×3 squares of card stock.  2 were Regal Rose card stock and 2 whisper white.   I spritzed one white and one rose colored card stock 3x with water and the other set of papers 3x with alcohol.   I ran them through the Big Shot with the Squares Texturz Plate.

My results?  Although the water did help the embossed images to pop up more than without any spritzing,  the paper took longer to dry and curled up more. By the time it dried out enough for the glue to stick to it, I’d lost interest and moved on to something else.  The alcohol sprayed paper had a more pronounced, embossed design and dried so fast!  So the conclusion (for me anyway), is to use alcohol in a spray bottle for dry embossing plates and folders.

I used 70% Isopropyl alcohol from the drug store.  If you have any other ideas or experiments you’ve had great success with to improve your embossing, just drop me a comment!

Addendum:  Eileen left a comment the day after this was posted and said spray the texture plate instead of the paper for less curling.  Brilliant!  I tried it, same results as spraying the paper but dried faster and less curling paper for sure.  Worked great! Thank you, Eileen!

Here is the video:

If you are interested in purchasing any of these Stampin’ Up Texturz Plates for your own experiments and enjoyments, you can order on my Demonstrator Website or contact me by phone or email if you don’t prefer to order online (my info is at end of post).   I take all credit cards including American Express.  US order only please.

The set of 3 Double sided Texture plates below are Stampin’ Up Exclusive Texturz Plates #1.  $11.95 for the set of 3 plates, 6 designs.  Item # 114512

All Images Copyright Stampin' Up!

This individual Texture Plate is a Stampin’ Up! Exclusive design called Perfect Details.  It is only $3.95 and is double sided.  Item #115962

All Images Copyright Stampin' Up!

All Images Copyright Stampin' Up!

The plates below are called Texture Plates Kit #4.  3 Plates for $9.95, 6 designs.  Item # 114531

All Images copyright Stampin' Up!

All Images copyright Stampin' Up!

To place an order for the Texturz Plates, click here!

Linda Heller, Ind. Stampin’ Up Demonstrator
Sr. Manager

Stampbusters Episode 5: The Dirt on Stamp Cleaners

Hi Stampers!   This week I am testing out homemade stamp cleaners!

I researched recipes online from seasoned stampers on and other stamping forums.  I am testing out 4 homemade recipes and putting them up again Stampin’ Mist and StazOn cleaner.    Remember this is Stampbusters, not Consumer Product Testers so I am not going out to buy every stamp cleaner out there to see which one works the best (altho I would LOVE that) so I am just  testing the myth “Do Homemade Stamp Cleaners Work?”

For my ‘study’, I dug through my stamp sets that I have used for years with StazOn and permanent inks.  Lovely As A Tree was the worst one in the pile, so I started cleaning with that one.

I started using a clean Stampin’ Scrub pad but then ended up using a white shop towel so I could see how much ink really came off.

I’ll post the results under the video in written form for those of you dial-uppers!

**Addendum 12/7:   I’ve been getting some comments that stampers love Ultra Clean stamp cleaner.    Also, someone asked for a cost comparison per volume vs our store bought cleaner.  One of you out there must be a math whiz  so we’d love it if you figured out which is more economical – Homemade or Store bought?

Like I mentioned in the video, the rose water and glycerin in the recipes below are supposed to condition your stamps like a regular stamp cleaner.  I cannot vouch for that since I haven’t used all of these recipes for years (or days even!) on my stamps, so if someone out there has used homemade stamp cleaner for years, tell us how your stamps are doing!  Linda

p.s.  I bought the Rose Water at my local health store, Chamberlains.


(Recipes in order of appearance on video)

Recipe #1:

(Reported to be close to Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Mist)

2 Cups of Distilled water

1 Tablespoon Baby Magic Baby wash

2 Tablespoons Rose Water

Recipe #2:

2 Cups Distilled water

1 Tsp. Dawn dish soap

5 drops of Glycerin

Recipe #3:

8 ounces Distilled water

1 teaspoon Baby Wash

2 Tablespoons Glycerin

Recipe #4:

2 Cups Distilled water

2 teaspoons Simple Green

1 Teaspoon Glycerin

Here are my findings in order of Best to Worst:


First Place goes to Recipe #1 (Just about as good as Stampin’ MIst and StazOn cleaner).  Got off my old StazOn stains that were years old!

2nd Place:  Recipe #4 with the Simple Green.  Worked very well – I’d use it again.

3rd Place:  Recipe #3 with the baby wash.  Pretty good, not great.  Maybe for light cleaning.

Last Place: Recipe #2 with Dawn dish soap, which didn’t work at all for me.  Save it for the dishes.

These recipes make so much of the cleaner that I put them in canning jars for gifts to my favorite stampers!  It really is important to use Distilled Water and not tap water.  It will keep much longer without micro-critters and getting stinky!

Well, that was  fun! Any ideas for next week?  Linda

Stampbusters Episode 4: Embossing Pals

HI Stampers!  This week I tested 7 different methods of keeping your embossing powders where we want them to be.  Isn’t it SO annoying when you put the finishing touch on a project by embossing a greeting and you get those little dots scattered around.  One of my stamping friends says that it just looks like fairy dust but I might not want leave that much happiness and joy on each and every card!

First of all, stampers know we aren’t supposed to over-handle our cards with our fingers.   Lotions, potions or just every day DNA can make the embossing powder stick to places on your card that you didn’t intend.  So for our experiment, I handled them more than usual to put the methods to the test.

Secondly, I used Night of Navy card stock and silver detail embossing powder, which is the worst offender in my opinion for stepping outside of the lines.  It is a true rebel, wanting to venture out to every corner on the card instead of stay on it’s intended Versamark track.

Upon an exhaustive Google search for embossing methods, I tested these “myths”:

1. Stampin’ Up Embossing Buddy (currently available from your SU demonstrator for 4.95).

2. Pledge dusting sheets

3.  Un-used Dryer Sheets

4.  Used Dryer Sheets

5.  Wax paper direct to paper rub

6. Static is a huge factor also, so I tested a method using wax paper to rock the powder back and forth to help de-magnetize the silver.  (Try not to emboss while in a carpeted room, some say…)

7.   Swiffer Sheets

My results were surprising! Watch the video and see which one actually worked the best.  My goal was an embossed image without the silvery haze, speckles or spots on the Navy card stock.

Here is the video!

**I received a few emails from some of you who are on dial up and can’t watch the video.  The winner, hands down, was the SU Embossing Buddy!  I was surprised how much better it worked than any of them.  The Swiffer cloth was a 2nd runner up.

Have ideas for next week’s Stampbusters?  Drop me an email!

Linda Heller

Stampbusters Episode 3: Do Blender Pen Refill Recipes Really Work?

Hi Stampers!   A few weeks ago I uncovered a box of old blender pens that I have had for over 10 years!  As my blender pens started to get dried out (and the tips too mushy to color in details like the beaks of birds and little eyeballs) I replaced them with new ones.  Over and over again -now I have a box of 40 or so that have accumulated and remind me of how much I spent on just blender pens!

I’ve tried to refill my pens before but didn’t give it a real effort. It was too easy to buy new ones.  The refill recipe couldn’t work as well as a new pen – or could it?

These recipes have been around a long time with lots of different variations.  I pulled up several through searches on Google and found one that popped up over and over so that is what I used:

1/4 tsp. rubbing alcohol

2 tsp. glycerin

4 tsp. distilled water

For the experiment, I stamped a bird in black StazOn several times on watercolor cardstock and on whisper white cardstock.  Each bird represented a different coloring medium – Watercolor Crayon, marker, watercolor pencil, classic ink and pastels.  Then I colored each one with a refilled blender pen and then a new one.  (too much time on my hands or just obsessive…?)

Here are my “scientific” findings to answer the question for myself once and for all!  (and maybe it can help you to save your abandoned blender pens, too)

*A few days after making the video, I found out that submerging the pen barrel in the solution WAS too much.  I know, you told me but I just had to try it….!  Just put an 1/8 tsp inside the barrel and that’s it!)


(Song “Colour My World” by Petula Clark 1967)

Next week, I’ll debunk the many theories of embossing and static reduction!


p.s. Almost forgot!  Remember last week’s punching our soda cans to sharpen them?  Look what Marni Levett did using those punched out soda can pieces!


Clever girl!

You can check out more of Marni’s blog here!

Stampbusters Episode 2: Sharpening your punches with soda cans?

I know I had told you I would test out Blender Pen refill recipes but had a terrific-ly busy week and didn’t make it to the store for glycerin.  I promise next Sunday I’ll post the video for that!

I LOVE my Stampin’ Up punches.  They add a little bit extra to projects, save time from cutting out stamped images AND they are easy to use.   Over time, they seem to get a bit dull.  I’ve tried the tin foil method, the wax paper to help them glide better but it doesn’t really sharpen as much as I would like.

My demonstrator buddy, Toni Ballesteros, shocked me when she said we could sharpen our punches using soda cans.  (maybe some of you already do this but news to me).

In Mythbusters style, I’m testing to see if it REALLY does sharpen my punches or does it ruin it forever?

Watch my experiment in the video below:

Linda Heller

Stampbusters Episode 1: Flossing?

Have you seen Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel?  Jamie, Adam and a fearless team test myths to see if they are really real or fiction.

Sometimes I read stamping tips and wonder if they really work or not.  I recently read that using Dental Floss will remove pictures that were glued to pages in a photo album.  So I thought I would test it to see if it could take up our stuck on Designer papers and card stocks.  (Doesn’t that just burn your britches when you try to loosen a crooked piece of paper and it ruins your entire project?!)

So, could it be true?  Here are the questions I wanted answers to:

1. Will floss loosen thin designer paper AND leave it dent free and like new to use again?

2.  Will it loosen adhesive that has been stuck on and cured for over a year?

3.  Will it work to loosen all types of adhesives?

Here is the video of my findings:

Unlike the myths they bust on the show, you CAN try these techniques at home!

*7 out of 10 stampers recommend mint flossing your cards daily

Next  time I’ll put blender pen refill recipes to the test! Do they really work as well as a new blender pen or is it a waste of time?

Got anything else for the Stampbuster?  Drop me an email!