Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Digital "Stamps" & Digital Collage Images

I often get questions about using Digital "stamps" or digital collage images.  Most ask about how much ink they use and if they are really worth it.  

First let me address if digital "stamps" or collage images are really worth it?    

YES - In my opinion they are very much worth it.  My thoughts on digital "stamps in particular has changed over the years.  I was under the impression you had to be really tech savvy to use these types of images (like trying to digi scrapbook).  Not so...if I can do it, anyone can!  Trust me on this - I'm not a computer whiz but I can handle the basics which is all it takes!

Benefits of a digital "stamp" or digital collage image: 

By manipulating the image in either a photo editing software or even Microsoft Word you can change the size of the image to whatever you need for your project which you can't do with a regular stamp. 

You can easily print a mirror image if desired which you can accomplish to some degree with a real stamp but it can be tricky and difficult to replicate if more than one image is needed.  

If desired, you can select to print a portion of the image with a digital stamp and collage image alike. Yes, you can use a mask to stamp a portion of a rubber stamped image but it does take additional time and steps.

When needed you can print multiple copies of an image quickly and perfect every time.  Stamping a perfect image multiple time can be tricky - even the most experienced stamper has trouble with reproducing perfect images every time.    

Now don't get me wrong - there are some techniques that you just cannot reproduce with a digital image.  I would never trade-in my ink and rubber stamps for digital but they do have their place.

How much ink does it take to print the digi stamps or collage image? 

Not much...I don't have an exact quantity to give you but a digital "stamp" is basically just a solid line image (think of a coloring book image).  I have never used any special setting to print an image - just your regular settings work so it's not like you're printing with the fine or photo setting.

Yes, a digital collage image does take a bit more ink because you're usually printing in color but again, I don't use the photo or any other special settings, I print with the normal every day settings and my images always come out just fine.  I believe digital collage images have something over store bought or pre-printed images because again you can re-size or crop the image to fit your exact needs.  This saves you having to change your project to fit the image as you would have to do to with a pre-printed/store bought image.

What can you use to color a digital "stamp" image?  

I use just about any color medium I want.  I usually print my images on Georgia Pacific cardstock (not copy paper) or watercolor paper and I've not had a problem with the images bleeding after they have dried.  I use dye inks, watercolor paints, colored pencils, acrylics, alcohol based markers, Distress Inks, etc. and they all seem to work fine.  

I actually have a couple examples of this that I will share with you later this week for my Altered Playing Cards.  You can see for yourself how a few different coloring mediums look when paired with digital "stamp" images.

One additional benefit of purchasing a digital collage image is that you can use it over and over and over unlike packages of pre-printed or store bought images - use it once and that's it.

I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions on digital stamps and collage images.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask...I'm always happy to help when I can.  


  1. I agree with everything you've said! When I first discovered digital stamps I was skeptical - it didn't seem like "real" stamping to me. However, it's grown on me and I use digital stamps a lot now - for the reasons stated above. And, no, like you, I will not give up traditional stamping.

  2. Wow, so informative...thanks so much!

  3. I'm going to start with Google, since I don't have ANY idea how this works. What program do you buy and from where? Do you print on what will be the final mat of your card and work around that? What images are available and how do you pay for them, by the image, by the month, by the program? I've only seen Stampin' Up's ads in the back of their catalogue but haven't even read them thoroughly. Where does one start with digital imaging? I'm very comfortable with the computer. Can you even just point me in the direction of a beginner's guide to digital stamping?

    1. Hi Freda - Welcome!

      As far as a program goes I normally just use a Microsoft Word document to resize, crop, etc. my digital images. I sometimes use Adobe Photoshop Elements but not often...usually I can do everything I want with the MS Word.

      I print images both on what my final mat will be and I also print them to cut out. Just depends on the projects I'm working on.

      There are many many digital images out there for purchase but you can also find them free. Another option is to use coloring book pages (digital ones of course) and just resize the image to fit your needs. Just do a search for "Digital Stamps" and you'll have loads of results. As far as paying for them - that would be up to the individual web-site.

      Here is a link - Top 100 Digital Stamping Sites You will find LOADS of both free and pay for digital images.

      Good Luck!!

  4. Thanks for the information. I was wondering about using digital images with Copics because of bleeding. I'll have to give it a go and try it I guess.

  5. Thank you thank you for this info as I have been reading so much about the digi's lately and had no idea about them really!
    Will you be doing another post with more examples? hint hint! heehee
    thanks Roni! xo

    1. Posted one today and will have a couple more soon :)

  6. I agree also. Have purchased many digi stamps plus have tons of rubber stamps too. Each has their own place. Love both. Edna


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