Monday, May 7, 2018

8 Tips for Adaptive Stamping

One of the things I've been doing for years and hadn't really thought much of is adapting stamping techniques for people who have difficulty with some of it, so that they can still enjoy making cards! This applies not only to those who have challenges like motor control issues to overcome, but really anyone that finds they just have some trouble translating what they imagine to a physical product.

Here's some of the tips and tricks I've picked up...

Stamparatus: this is a new tool to my arsenal, but it's amazing! For anyone who has trouble lining up images or keeping stamps steady, it's a total game changer. Some people may need help getting the stamps onto the plexi-sheets, but once they're on there, it's easy for anyone to stamp and get the placement perfect. Even if you don't have challenges or limitations on your crafting, it's an amazing tool for creating multiples of the same card. For more on this awesome tool, click here. It's not available yet if you didn't get one in the preorder, but will be in the new catalogue in June! I'll be featuring more on it soon.

Piercing tool (or scissors): both of these have a sharp tip that makes picking up adhesive embellishments like pearls or other glue dotted things a breeze! Which you prefer depends on which is easier to hold and you'll want to practice the picking up technique, but once you have your tool "loaded", it's as easy as pointing the piece where you want it and patting it down. Even though it's still a pointy tool, I find this technique works wonders for everyone from small children to experienced stampers, and I don't put embellishments on without it!

Stamp blocks: a pretty standard tool, but some people may do better with larger blocks that are easier to manipulate if they have challenges with their hands. Some people may do better with smaller blocks because they are lighter, the Paper Pumpkin block is great for this because it's not as thick, and it's a good size for many stamps. Don't have one, or aren't a Paper Pumpkin subscriber? Get in touch with me and I can get you one.

Big Shot: this seems like a big complicated tool, but it's so straight forward to use! It's a lot easier to operate than punches or scissors, and the magnetic platform makes lining stamped images up to cut much easier, or combine it with the Stamparatus and magic happens! I've found that even very young children, and those with both fine and gross motor challenges can manage it (sometimes with supervision or help, don't get fingers caught!) It can also be a great way to add texture to cards sent to or made by those with visual impairment by using embossing folders and die cuts.
Some things that are deceptively challenging, and ways to mitigate the challenges...

Punches: as much as I love punches, they require fine motor control to line up, and a lot of hand strength to operate. Putting them down on the table and pushing down does make this easier, and punching first then lining up the stamping makes it easier to do this, especially in combination with the Stamparatus.

Adhesive dots: specifically these paper ones from Paper Pumpkin kits. These can be very difficult to get onto a piece and the paper backing removed. I don't tend to use them much at all even for myself. A snail tape runner or glue dots, even liquid glue, can be much easier!

Ribbon and twine: especially tying bows! This is a frustration for almost everyone who stamps with me. Bows can be very challenging! Two ways to make it easier are wrapping the ribbon around and then tying with a separate piece, or just tying a simple knot instead of a bow.

Ink pads: the foam ink pads are amazing, but it's easy to push too hard and make a mess. For those with motor control issues, this can be extremely frustrating. Markers or the smaller ink spots may be easier to manage, and the memento black ink pad uses a firmer linen pad as well. Ink spots are available in selected colours in the catalogue, come in Paper Pumpkin kits, and are available uninked so you can have them in any colour!
Bonus tip! One last thing I thought of, for colouring with kids or others who have may trouble using our inks and markers without making a mess or damaging them, the watercolour pencils are a great alternative. They're probably familiar to anyone who's done any colouring, and can be used with or without water to create some beautiful coloured images.

I'd love to hear of any stamping adaptations you've found to help yourself or other stampers create as well!

If you'd like to order current products online, use the hostess code "HNHHY3U3" to get a free tutorial set and a spot on my Bingo card! I'll post more information about what you can win tomorrow. As always, you can click to subscribe to My Paper Pumpkinbecome a demonstrator, and contact me.

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