I finally got my StampCritter last Friday but I didn't have anytime to play with it until Sunday night. I made 3 attempts before I got a good stamp. I'm going to try and show you a little bit about how it works. This is not a complete tutorial, just a general run down so you will have an idea how this works.
First of all you have to mix up your chemicals. The instructions are included with your Stampcritter and are easy to understand. You will need (2) one liter containers to mix them in. I just bought two bottles of water and mixed the chemicals in that. You will mix more chemicals then you need to make a stamp so just store it in a dark place - in a cabinet or something.
The next thing you will need to do is to make your artwork. It also explains this in the instructions. I used Photoshop Elements 2.o. I scanned in a sheet of clipart I have had for years and used Photoshop to crop it and invert it. It looked like this:
Next print your artwork on the vellum paper that is included in your kit. I cut my vellum in half, that way if your printer smears you won't have wasted a whole sheet.
Now you will make your "sandwich" You layer in this order - glass plate, trimmed vellum art work (face up), polymer pouch (instaplate face up), glass plate. You need to make sure that the liquid in the bag is spread out evenly and that there are not any air bubbles in your artwork area. You will then take your clips and clip all the way around the "sandwich".
Warm your machine up by turning it on for 3 minutes. I do this while I'm putting my sandwich together. Then you will stick your artwork in the Stampcritter. The instructions say for 35 seconds, but it also says it may vary depending on your geographical area. I had to reduce my time to 30 seconds because on my first try the image was barely raised. After the time is up, you will turn the "sandwich" over and turn the Stampcritter on for an additional 120 seconds.
After your time is up you will take your "sandwich" apart, lay the pouch on a cutting board with "instaplate" facing down and cut away the 3 sides of the polymer bag that don't say "instaplate" then peel off the top layer of plastic. Don't worry if polymer stuff oozes out when you cut the pouch. I keep newspaper by the cutting board to lay the peeled away part on. The polymer is sticky, so I suggest using a cutting board that you won't be using for food.
After your stamp is exposed, you will put it in the Wash out solution you have already mixed up in the first step. You just pour enough of the solution in a plastic container to cover the stamp. At this point the size of the container isn't important as long as it is big enough for the stamp to lay flat in the solution while you use your brush that comes with your kit to wash off any gooey polymer. I do this for about a minutes as it states in the instructions. Next just rinse it in the sink under running water. I use warm water just because it is more comfortable for me. I don't know that it matters though.
Last step is to put the stamp in a container and cover with the post solution. This is important, the instructions say you need a container 6"x10"x2" high. After making a special trip to K-mart (40 miles away) after church Sunday to get the Martha Stewart containers that were suggested in the instructions, I ended up with rubbermaid containers because they didn't have any Martha Stewart containers. When I got home I found out the container would not fit under the Stampcritter. So after searching through the house, almost in tears, I found a plastic school box. My husband cut off the top and it works perfectly. Anyway, lay your stamp in the container, pour the post solution over it and put it back in the Stampcritter for 10 minutes. When time is up rinse off the stamp, dry (I used paper towels) and trim your new stamp.
Your stamp in now done. It's getting late and I have to clean up my mess. I will try and stamp some images before going to bed, but it will probably be tomorrow night before I can actually make a card with my new stamp.
This stamp is a puppet with binoculars. I picked this for a couple of reasons. I have been a director of a puppet team for church for several years and we are going to start a Children's program at our little country church called "Seekers". Binoculars are kind of our logo for the program and our verse is "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
I hope you enjoy this glimpse at the Stampcritter, the two people I have dealt with in purchasing this machine, Tim and Andrew, have been very helpful. They might even give me a "small token of their appeciation" if you buy this machine and mention my name.
Would you like my honest opinion of the machine? As someone on Splitcoast mentioned, there is a learning curve. You probably won't make a perfect stamp the first time (unless you learn from all my mistakes). Is it a tool you can't live with out? No, but neither is the cuttlebug or cricut, and a lot of us have both of them. Do I think it is fun? YES. There are so many sayings and verses and images I would like to have but can't find a stamp for it.
This is an inexpensive way to make your own. There is a big inital expense for the machine, but I do think the refill kits are reasonable. I don't think you could have a company make a stamp for you cheaper than you could make it yourself. For those of you who are blessed with artistic talent, you will have fun designing your own stamps. For those of us who were blessed with brains and beauty instead, we can use clip art, pictures from coloring books, we can even use our cricuts and cricut colors to draw our designs and turn them into stamps.
So that wraps it up. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I will try and answer it. Please remember, I've only had this machine a few days, I'm far from an expert. Thanks for looking