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