How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsSometimes finding the perfect stamp can be quite a pain. Often I have an idea of what I'd like to use for a project, but I just can't find anything like it at the store. So I figured—why not try making my own stamps? It's not as difficult as I thought it would be, and now that I have my own set, I can mass produce cards with a special handmade touch. And the control freak inside me is satisfied.

Check out the instructions below to learn how you can turn your own handwriting or doodles into stamps for your crafting needs. And be sure to check out the ink pad selection at the A Beautiful Mess shop! 

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsSupplies:
-stamp carving kit
-static cling foam mounting sheet
-acrylic stamping blocks
-wax paper
-pens (a variety of thick and thin is nice)
-white paper (scrap pieces are fine)
-X-Acto blade and scissors (scissors are optional with the use of a blade)
-cutting mat
-ink jet printer with copying capabilities (I used this Canon printer)
-clear tape (optional)

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep One: Create your doodles on white paper. The thicker the lettering, the easier it will be to carve out. I had a difficult time with the "Happy Day" lettering, so I gave up carving it out. Lesson learned.

Step Two: Cut out your doodles and arrange them to fit on your piece of rubber. (My rubber was leftover from an earlier project, so I was working with less space.) Tape them together so they'll stay in this arrangement when you copy them later.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Three: Cut out a piece of static cling mounting foam to fit to your piece of rubber. Then peel off the sticky side and attach it to the rubber. The other static cling side, when peeled off, will temporarily mount to acrylic blocks for stamping use, but when unmounted they'll lay flat for easy storage too!

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Four: Copy your doodles onto wax paper. To do this, just trim out a piece of wax paper to the size of your printer paper and place it in your printer's tray. The ink will not be set onto the paper, so be careful when handling it. The wet ink will transfer easily to the rubber, so be precise when arranging the wax paper onto the rubber. I swiped the back of the wax paper with a card to transfer the ink to the rubber.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsStep Five: Cut out the pieces of rubber and carve away the negative space from each design. For the more detailed areas, like the cursive "hello," I had trouble using the stamp carving tools that came with my kit, so I carefully used my X-Acto blade to cut out the islands in the letters.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsAfter your stamps are carved, you can mount them onto acrylic blocks for stamping use. The static cling side of the mounting foam will make the rubber infinitely repositionable, so when you're not stamping, they can be removed from the blocks and stored flat. Much easier than storing permanently mounted stamps!

Acrylic stamping blocks are also really great because you can easily see the outline of the design through the clear acrylic, which allows you to accurately position the stamps.

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsI must say, this was actually my first time using the messy ink pads, and I was really happy with how saturated the colors turned out. I'm looking forward to using them again soon!

How to Turn Your Doodles into StampsThis is my first hand-carved stamp project! Not too bad for my first try, but I can't wait to make some larger, more complex stamps for homemade greeting cards and gift tags. -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)Everybody has their "go-to" hairstyle that they do when they need a quick look that says, "I put some effort into my hair today," and this simple chignon bun is that hairstyle for me. I wear it for all sorts of events, and I love it because it's easy to pull off and doesn't look too fussy when it's done. You also don't need a lot of fancy tools to create it either, which is nice if you need to make your hair behave in a pinch.

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)     Step One: Take a teasing brush and tease a few layers of hair at the back of the crown of your head. Smooth the top layers of your hair with the brush.

Step Two: Gather your hair into a low ponytail. I have long bangs in the front, so I like to keep a few pieces out in the front. You can do that too if you like that look or just include all your hair in the ponytail.

Step Three: Twist your ponytail and wrap the twist around the base of your ponytail to create a bun. You can also tease your ponytail before you twist it to create a bigger bun if you want.

Step Four: Use bobby pins to pin the bun into place and give your hair a quick spray of hairspray to set the look and help contain flyaways. That's it!

Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial)
Easy + pretty! Simple Chignon Updo (click through for tutorial) So simple right? This is great for a date night, dinner with friends, or even for bridesmaid duties, and I like that it creates a soft wave look when I take out my hair at the end of the night. If you need a classy look that doesn't take much time to do, you'll want to give this one a try for sure! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Don't miss this free stamp setHey, friends! If you haven't heard, we have a new e-Course out called Scrapbook in a Week! In this course you are guided through a plan to complete a big scrapbook in just one week! The experience taught me how to get super organized, and I was surprised how much more I could accomplish with Rachel's plan. We both share our full scrapbooks that we made in just one week. Rachel did her son's first year of life and I did my wedding. There is a video tour of our books included in the class! 

If you're thinking about signing up, don't hesitate because right now you can get this free stamp set with purchase while supplies last! 

Here are a few peeks of our projects from the class... 

1111Sign up here. Happy Sunday. xx! Elsie 

Denton Little's Death dateJust wanted to share a recent (good) read with you. Over the course of three days earlier this month, I tore through Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin. It's a quick read, and even quicker for me because I was on vacation. So I had more time to read than I normally do. But I absolutely loved this book, so I wanted to share it with you. The basic premise (no spoilers) is that everyone in the world now knows when they will die. They call it your deathdate, and you live most of your life knowing when it will be. Weird, right? This changes SO much about how we would go about life, or at least it would for me. So it was fascinating to watch a teenage boy approach his own deathdate with his friends and family. Which might sound dark or depressing, but it was just the opposite. This book is really funny! And it reminded me to enjoy the 'right now'. 

If you're looking for a fun and quick summer read this season, I highly recommend checking this out. Happy weekend! xo. Emma

Credits/ Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photo edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Creamy chicken dip-so good and so easy to make! (click through for recipe)   Quick! Can you think of your staple party food that you always make when hosting or bringing a dish to a get together? Well, this creamy chicken dip has been that food for me and my immediate family. My mom knows that there will be quite a ruckus at our family gatherings if this dip isn't immediately presented when we walk in the door. It's SO good and really easy to make (which is another reason I personally like it). We actually call this dip "chicken ball" in my family because the original recipe said to serve it in a ball shape, and we just thought it was a funny visual. But you don't have to call it by that name (unless you want to...). Either name you choose, it's still delicious!

Creamy chicken dip-so good and so easy to make! (click through for recipe)   Creamy Chicken Dip

1 10 oz can of white meat chicken
2 4.25 oz cans of Underwood Chicken Spread (or substitute more canned chicken if you can't find this)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons dried parsley
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Creamy chicken dip-so good and so easy to make! (click through for recipe)   Drain the white meat chicken and add the meat to the 2 cans of chicken spread in a large bowl. Stir in the softened cream cheese and mix together until combined. Add in the soy sauce, mayo, and parsley. Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Creamy chicken dip-so good and so easy to make! (click through for recipe)   Creamy chicken dip-so good and so easy to make! (click through for recipe)     I love the creamy texture of the cream cheese with the salty tang of the soy sauce and chicken. You can either make serving this a simple task by putting it in a bowl with crackers to dip, or you can make little bite-sized portions on cucumber slices for a fancier look. Either way, make sure you have plenty of room near the dip because people will park themselves by it until it's gone! Give this a try at your next party. I think you'll be happy you did! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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