bees and queens.

As you may remember, when I was out at my mom’s a while back I purchased another of the I.O.D. stamps called Kindest Regards.

At the time I mentioned that I don’t know why I let myself get sucked in by these stamps. I’ve never been happy with the way stamps look on anything other than paper or fabric, so I don’t do a lot of stamping.

I do love the results on paper …

I used the I.O.D. Crockery stamp on those packages.

I also think stamps work great for fabric (as long as you can lay it flat on a hard surface to apply the stamp).  I used stamps from two different sets of IOD Décor Stamps on a pair of chairs; the letters and no 2 are from the Alpha II set and the wreath and the crown are from the Grain Wreath set.

Sidebar note:  although I used Ranger Archival Ink on those chairs, I would not recommend that brand for fabric.  It fades quite a bit over time.  Instead, use a permanent fabric ink.

Well, I got sucked in again while at my mom’s house the 2nd time and I purchased the I.O.D. Queen Bee stamp.

What is wrong with me?!

The thing is, I was hoping that I could figure out how to make the stamps look good on painted items.  Because I can’t keep buying the with prima Classic Vintage Labels just for the two small bee transfers that come with it.  Or their Lovely Ledger transfer just for the crown.  No matter how much I love them!

If I can get a stamp to look this good, I can add bees and crowns to everything!

So I decided to do a little experimenting with various products to try and find a combination that would work.

First up, I’ve already learned that stamping on unsealed chalk paint or milk paint is no good.  I tried that on a pair of nightstands and met with disaster.  I did have luck stamping over Fusion paint (with its built in top coat), so I felt sure I could get the same result over Dixie Belle’s Silk Paint (this product also has a built in top coat).

So I pulled out a sample board that already had Silk Paint on it, and I pulled out various stamping mediums to test out.

I tested that same Ranger Archival Ink in Watering Can that I used on the nightstands, the I.O.D. Décor Ink in Stone Gray, Momenta permanent fabric ink in Black, and Dixie Belle Silk paint in Anchor.

And here are the results.

OK, so once again I achieved the best, most crisp, result with the Ranger Archival Ink …

The color I used, Watering Can, is a medium gray.  Perhaps I need to purchase this ink in black and see how I like it.

I applied the DB Silk Paint with a brayer, and I got mediocre results with that …

If you’re kind of a picky perfectionist (um, I might have to admit this often applies to me), this look isn’t going to cut it for you.  I find that I always get a slightly sloppy look when stamping with paint, it’s difficult to keep the stamp from slipping around.  I like the idea of using a paint with a built in top coat for durability, but I think it’s always a gamble whether or not you’ll achieve a clean result.

Hmmmm.  Clearly (pardon the pun) something went very wrong with the I.O.D. ink …

I had high hopes for their ink since they’ve designed it specifically for this sort of use.  The I.O.D. content creators that I watch on YouTube seem to use it with good results.  Was it user error?  Did I not shake the bottle enough before applying?  The ink seemed really watery to me.  I used a brayer to apply the ink to the stamp, maybe I need to invest in an ink pad to use with it?  If any of you use the I.O.D. ink please share some tips with me.

Last up is the Momenta fabric ink …

This one gave me a fairly good result at first glance.  However, after giving all of the inks about an hour to dry, I gave them all a smear test by dragging my finger over it.

Yep, clearly this ink is not intended for use on anything other than fabric.  This is the only one that smeared.

I also then let all of the inks dry for 24 hours and added a coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat over them.  Once again, the fabric ink smeared all over the place.  The other three mediums were all good with the top coat though.

Since the Ranger Archival Ink in Watering Can gave the best result of the four options I had on hand, I decided to move on to phase II of my experiment using it.

Stamping over a hard, completely flat surface is all well and good, but most of the time I would be stamping on potentially lumpy surfaces and working around things like hardware and such.  So I decided to experiment on a toolbox.

Since I’d already painted the toolbox using Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, which is a chalk style paint, I had to start by sealing that with their flat clear coat.  Once that was dry, I started playing around with my I.O.D. stamps.

I started out with the Kindest Regards stamp on the sides of the toolbox.

As you can see, I ended up with some smudging, especially in the upper section where there are ridges in the toolbox.  But even the completely flat area ended up a bit smudgy in spots.

I thought maybe that I could better control a smaller sized stamp, so I attempted a few of varying sizes on the top of the toolbox …

and again on the front of the toolbox …

Unfortunately, in the end, stamping on toolboxes isn’t going to work for me.  If you’re OK with the possibility of smudging, and you don’t mind how that looks, maybe it’s workable for you though.

I ended up painting back over this one and turning it into this …

So for me personally, I’ll probably stick to mainly using my stamps on paper.  Just look how pretty this one is stamped in pink on some tissue paper.

So, leave me a comment and let me know, have you had better success stamping over painted items?  If so, do you have any tips that you’d like to share with the rest of us?  We’re all ears!

27 thoughts on “bees and queens.

  1. I have found that everyone has a different tolerance for crispness and smearing. When I watch YouTube videos, I am constantly noticing that many people are more accepting of results than I might be. You bring up an issue that I struggle with often, am I too pickey or should I relax and just accept results, even if they aren’t perfect? On the one hand I admire their confidence and go with the flow attitude and other times, I wonder if I have expectations that are too demanding. Would touching up less than crisp results help? I don’t know the answer, this is an issue that impacts me often.


    1. I’m with you totally on that Susan. I think that for now I’ve concluded that stamping onto surfaces other than paper or fabric just isn’t for me. I like a more crisp result. And I don’t think you can really touch up that smudgy look, or at least to do so would require a much steadier hand than mine 🙂


  2. I love the stamps and when I had my shop I used them on all sorts of projects. I did purchase a very large stamp pad and used that instead of a beater – in my opinion the beater got ink into the flat areas and it was messy. Honestly I think the smudging on the letter stamp looks authentic, old letters would have smudging. But again, it’s an opinion! My favorite and customers favorite were the animals, sheep, rooster, cow, etc. mostly I put them on stools and wooden signs and things I framed. Keep practicing, it will work for you!


    1. It is a menace! I thought you must mean a brayer, but I wasn’t totally sure if there wasn’t something called a beater that I didn’t know about 😉 But I will get a stamp pad for the I.O.D. ink and give it another shot.


  3. I haven’t touched my IOD inks for months. I love the Versafine Clair inks, but they do take a while to dry. I will try stamping on some paint today sealed and unsealed and get back to you. On paper at least, the VC beats the IOD.


      1. I painted a scrap of wood in Debi’s DIY paint and didn’t seal it and used Versafine Clair in Nocturne. I used the same stamp from the Queen Bee set. It came out so much darker and clearer than the IOD ink that I don’t see the point in using the IOD ink any more. I’m glad I tried it over paint. It is permanent oil based ink, but with zero smell. I would like to send you a picture but I don’t see a way to attach it. I didn’t even bother doing another piece with it sealed because this one came out so well. By the way, every time I use my IOD inks, I have to reink the pads. I bought this VC pad on Amazon six months ago, use it several times a day and haven’t had to reink it once. It is nowhere near time to reink. It is so juicy still that it is unbelievable. I ended up buying the whole set of colors and they are beautiful. I got most of them at Joanns for $5 each, but their price varies a lot. That is actually cheaper than an empty IOD pad.


      2. One more thing, I am pretty sure the VC dries a lot faster (minutes) than the IOD (which can take 24 hours). It stays wet long enough to use with embossing powder.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My first attempts to use stamps was the year I made all our Christmas cards. I used dies for the face of each card and stamped the sentiment inside. From that experience I learned that stamping wasn’t really for me. While I love the idea of stamps, (and love the way your earlier nightstands turned out), the reality for me is that stamps move when they are not supposed to, they ink up unevenly and end up with missing details, and it is very (too) easy for a spatially challenged woman such as myself to measure & mark & still end up with a crooked result. I love the idea of stamps – and use them frequently when I play with paint on mixed media pieces – but I don’t have the patience or the budget for lots of do-overs on bigger items. All of this, of course, is attributable to user error & specific to me and I’ve seen gorgeous results on other artists’ work.
    And I did like the way the script stamp looked on the side of the toolbox & love the final result.


    1. You’re saying the same things I’m thinking. It’s just too easy to mess up a stamp, which then can require a complete do-over. I have to admit, it can be easy to mess up a transfer too. Somehow I seem to be OK with little blips here and there on a transfer, but a smudged stamp really bugs me. Go figure.


  5. I completely get how you get sucked into stamps! I have too and have too many to count! One way that I have found to use stamps successfully, is to stamp them on thin tissue paper and cut them out very carefully and decoupage them on items. Not quite as flexible as a transfer but I don’t mind it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed reading about your experimenting Miss Quandie,,,,,,,but since I’ve never done any stamping, I’ve got nothing for ya!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great post! I have about a half dozen iod stamps and find them very difficult to use. Have stamped freehand keeping the plastic backing to hold onto and also with the hard acrylic backer paddles. They only work if your surface is completely flat.
      I love the images but rarely have success executing them well on painted furniture and agree with everyone’s assessment that iod inks aren’t the best. Have used Tim Holtz ink with mixed success and will try the VC ink line in the future. Love the stamp concept but not the anxiety that goes with it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Luann, the Distress Inks are not good at all for stamping. The archival are better. The VC seem less toxic to me and can be cleaned up with water if you do it right away.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I should mention that even though I bought my Versafine Clair through Amazon and it was really juicy, I purchased a different color and it was bone dry. Amazon and Joann’s are not reliable. I would suggest a place that does regular business in inks and has good inventory turnover, like or take your chances at a cheaper place if you don’t mind getting a bad pad at a low price. Reinkers don’t go bad. Del Bello’s sells the ink pads online for $7.75 and they are wonderful to deal with and they won’t be dry. I do business with them all the time.


    1. Good to know. I’ve had good experiences with myself. I used to order prima marketing transfers from them, but they don’t seem to carry them anymore unfortunately. I’ll keep them in mind for the ink though.


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