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Digital Stamps And Downloads

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You can use digital stamps to make colorful cards

You can use digital stamps to make colorful cards

What Are Digital Stamps

Digital stamps ( Digi stamps)are line drawings (images ) in files that are usually in black and white. When printed, they look similar to a stamped image which was printed with black ink on white paper.

They can be resized, flipped, and manipulated before they are printed. This gives the paper crafter a whole new range and opportunities to create custom images.

Digital stamps are downloaded to a computer in a file. Most often the file is in a PNG or a JPEG file. PNG files have transparent (you can see through it) images. So, they can be layered with other images.

You can find quite a few free digital stamps all along with the internet. There are also designers and websites where you can purchase digital stamps and images for both personal and commercial use.

Basically, all you need to create these images are a computer and a printer. Some digital stamps come in files called zip files. You will need to know how to open these files. If you have the availability on your computer to manipulate a photo, you have the opportunity to manipulate these files.

Digital stamps are generally printed out on cardstock. They can be used on scrapbook pages, gift tags, cards, journal pages, and more. They do need to be manually cut out.

Once the images are printed out, they can be colored in much the same way that stamped images are. However, certain inks and markers may cause the outline image to run because it has been printed using printer ink. Pens, pencils, and paints are good tools to color your images. You can use a craft heat gun to set the ink before you color the image.

If you want to watercolor your images, make sure to use watercolor paper.


Simple free download of a complete card front

Simple free download of a complete card front

What Are Downloads?

Downloads are images that you can download into your computer. For our purposes, we are talking about simple black outlined images.

Unlike digital stamps, they are not SVG files. But in most senses, they act very similarly. You download them into your download file. Then using an editing app, like Google Docs, you can resize, duplicate and edit them.

They can also be downloaded into your Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio programs.

Of course, you can print them on your home printer. Once you do that, you can fussy cut them. They can be added to cards, scrapbook pages, and journals.

The same copyright laws apply to these drawings, so unless otherwise stated, they are mostly for personal use.

Intro To Digital Stamps

Where To Find Free Digital Stamps

The easiest way to find free digital stamps is to go to any browser on your computer and type "free digital stamps". You will see images come up. You can select any image that you would like. Then right-click and use the save this image button, It should move the image to your downloads file. Once there, you can print the item. You can also move the file to " google docs" to edit and size the item if you need to edit it in any way.

The other thing that I like to do, is to move the item to my Cricut Design Space. I love to import the file. Once I import the file, not only can I resize the item, but I can also print and cut the image, I can duplicate the image many times. This saves a lot of time if I am making multiple cards. Since I am storing the image in Design Space, it saves me space on my computer where I would normally store the file. Silhouette Studio has the same option.

You can also find images on many websites where you can download and print images. For many to access these images you may have to create a free account. Then they will ask you for an address so that they can send you periodic emails. I have a separate email account just for this purpose. If the site offers a lot of ideas and information, go ahead and sign up!

Free Digital Stamp

Digital Stamps come in every theme that you can think of.

Digital Stamps come in every theme that you can think of.

Pros And Cons To Digital Stamps

I have at times been frustrated buying stamp sets to get one stamp that I am interested in. Then I am left with stamps I may or may not use. Digi stamps are great because I can choose the one stamp I need without buying a whole set. There are quite a few reasons that you should consider digital stamps over rubber or acrylic stamps.

Pros

  • No storage space needed
  • Better results -no ink smudges or incomplete images
  • No costs of delivery because they are electronic files.
  • Less cost than traditional stamps-often free!
  • They can usually be much cheaper than traditional stamps.
  • Can be resized or flipped
  • Can be edited
  • Can print multiple images on one sheet
  • Can stamp almost anywhere without ink pads or markers
  • The stamps don't deteriorate like normal stamps.

Cons

  • Takes up space on your computer
  • You do have to use paper and printer ink to print out your images but by arranging them carefully, you can maximize the number of images on the page and there is also cheaper printer ink refills around to make printing much more cost-effective.
  • May need an extra program to edit
  • It can be difficult to achieve some of the traditional stamping techniques with digitals, such as masking and creating 3D effects by stamping with more or less ink and heat embossing.
  • May have to learn some new computer skills

Detailed Ideas For Digital Stamps

Where To Find Free Digital Stamps

The Difference Between Clip Art And Digi Stamps

They are similar but not the same. Clip art is downloaded as well but is usually sold in a finished form and often colored so that you can just insert the image into your project. Digi stamps are aimed at stampers and are really just outlines like a normal stamp and therefore in black and white.

Digi stamps are also usually supplied as a high resolution image (300 dpi - dots per inch or higher). The higher the resolution the bigger the file so images don't tend to be higher than 600dpi but I have seen some quite detailed ones at 1300 dpi! Clipart on the other hand can vary and some very low-resolution clipart images are found on the web as smaller files are easier to use on the internet.

Images From Adult Coloring Books

Simple shapes without any backgrounds whether colored or not can be scanned into your computer and work the same as an image that you downloaded from a site.

If you have an image that you want to use and it has a background simply fussy cut it and use double-sided tape to mount it on a piece of solid white cardstock.

You can do the same thing if a piece has been colored but some of the coloring has gotten out of the lines.

Make sure to retain as much of the solid black outline of the image as you can.


Some Digital Terms To Know

There are a few terms to know before you get started using digital stamps. Here are the basics:

  • Zip file-This is a computer file that has one or more images that are compressed into one file. They are compressed so that they can either be stored or transferred to another computer. In order to use the files, you must "unzip "the contents before using the contents. This is simply a step of right-clicking on the file. You select Extract here /Extract All. On a mac it would be a double click to open the file.
  • JPEG-This is the most common file that would be used to store and transfer images. JPEG files are used because they can be compressed to reduce the file size and therefore make it easier to send and receive and use on websites.This size can be compressed for smaller-sized images. They often have a solid background, so you will always want to keep your original image.
  • PNG- This is another file format that is widely used. This type of image would have no background. They do not have the same properties as the JPEG. So you will not lose the image quality. It is always a good idea to retain the original image.

Microsoft Word Photo Editing

Microsoft Word is one of the easiest photo editing programs

Microsoft Word is one of the easiest photo editing programs

Software For Digital Stamps

I download a lot of images that are really too large for me to print in working with papercraft. I know that you probably do as well. But working with apps and programs to get the job done, need not scare you. There are plenty of easy programs to get the job done. Many of these programs are free to use. There are others that will cost a bit of money. I, personally would only use those programs if I was doing large batches of photos at a time. For most crafters, the free programs will work just fine.0

Photos In Windows

If you have Windows10 or higher, then you have the Photos app. It is the most simple tool to resize images. Open the image in the app and click on the three dots located in the top right corner of the interface, which stands for the More Options button. Next, simply click on Resize and select the desired size for your new image.

You can also use Microsoft Word to resize your images. In word, just open a new document. At the top, you will see a button that says insert. Click on that. Click on the picture icon.

GIMP

Gimp is a free app that enables you to manipulate images. If you want to just resize your images, it is very easy to use. There are however other free features available if you want to take it one or two steps farther.

Microsoft Word

So easy to use. If you have this program on your computer, give it a try !

  1. Open a new document
  2. Find the tab that says Insert and click on that. It is located right next to the home tab at the top.
  3. Click on the Picture icon. This allows you to open your digi stamp or image
  4. Click on the image that you want to select. Them click on the Insert tab
  5. After you open the stamp or image, drag the outer box around the image to create the size that you want to print.
  6. If you want to add color to the image, click on the Format tab
  7. Then click on the Recolor tab. A window will pop up.
  8. Chose any color you would like to use
  9. Make sure to save your image when you are done.



Editing Digital Stamps

How To Download And Resize A Digital Image

Printers For Digital Images

Typically, any printer that you may have will work for digital images, but the type of printer you may have can affect the quality of the image. This is most affected when using watercolors or alcohol markers.

If you find your images smearing, you can try several solutions:

  • Try using a heat gun to dry the image before you start coloring it
  • Use an embossing pen to draw over the image. Add clear embossing powder over the image. Then set with a heat gun, embossing the image. Then feel free to color the image
  • There is also an inkjet fixative that you can try to get

If none of these solutions work, simply color your images with chalks or colored

Best Paper To Use For Digital Images


Technically, you can print on any type of paper. but if you are going to color with markers, you should use good quality cardstock. Watercolor paper is best if you are going to use watercolors

For the best images in cardstock, your paper should be at least 80 lbs. This is the weight of the paper. It can be found on the paper wrapper.

Your printer, both laser and inkjet more than likely has a single feed function. That means that they feed a single sheet of paper at a time. That is not a problem for copy paper, vellum, or even cardstock. But it can cause a jam fest for watercolor paper and bristol paper.

Paper Tips For Digital Images

  • If you are drying an image overnight for a laser printer, tape it down on a piece of cardboard with low tack tape. This is especially good for watercolor and bristol paper so it does not curl.
  • Epson inks are water-resistant, not waterproof. You will need to let the ink dry overnight, especially on watercolor paper
  • You can paint your digital images with alcohol reinkers on watercolor paper. Quick-dry them with a heat gun. Make sure to hold the heat gun somewhat away from the paper so you do not get any scorching.

Which Paper To Use For Digital Stamps And Coloring Pages

Ink Jet Printers

Ink jet printers used fluid inks

Ink jet printers used fluid inks

Ink Jet Printing

There are just a few things to consider when printing a digital image. Once you understand their basics, you will be sure to get a crisp image every time.

If you using an inkjet printer there are printer options that will be helpful and user-friendly to most media. Prior to printing, you should be able to click on a new window to reveal "printer options." You want to select grayscale printing. Not only will it save your ink, but the printed page can also work well with your diverse media.

Paper

Just the same as when you are manually stamping, your choice of paper will make all the difference in your project. Most of the time you will be coloring and cutting the image out, so you will want to use the right paper. Neenah solar white would be a good choice. It's easy to get and has a good weight for most projects.

Inkjet Printers

In inkjet printers, there are generally two types of ink.

Dye ink-This is the standard ink used in most inkjet printers. These inks are water-soluble and made to soak into your paper to create an image. This would mean that you can use most alcohol markers on these images. Pencils would also be a good choice as they are less likely to smear the ink.

Pigment ink-these inks lie on the surface of the paper rather than being absorbed. You’re more likely to find this type of ink in photo printers and higher-end Inkjet printers though not exclusively. are a great choice for water-based mediums such as watercolors, and some water-based markers.

Understanding your printer and the ink it uses will help you create better images.


Digital Images From Printers

Laser Printer

digital-stamps-tips-and-ideas

Laser Printing

Laser Printers work by using high heat to bond a powdered toner to your paper. Between the toner and the heat setting, you are pretty much assured of an image that will not smear or smudge with your coloring.

You can color with alcohol markers and watercolors without the fear of losing the details of the border of your digital stamp.

Paper

With laser printing, choosing the right paper is very important. If you are planning to do watercoloring, use watercolor paper.

4 Ways To Print Digital Files

More Ideas For Printing Digital Images

The Difference Between SVG Files And Images

There is a difference between using images that are just images and those that are in an SVG file, depending on the program that you are using on your particular cutting machine.

You can download images that can be used in both Silhouette Studio and Design Space. However, SVG files that are imported will always have cut lines. Images, on the other hand, may not be recognized. Reference points and cut lines may have to be created.

SVG files can be resized in both programs without losing image quality.


Silhouette Studio

digital-stamps-tips-and-ideas

Tips For Using Digital Stamps In Silhouette Studio

Silhouette Studio is one of the easiest programs compatible with digital stamps. You can import and cut these images, but you can also color them in both the free version as well as the Premium version.

  • With the free Silhouette Studio version, you cannot work with SVG files, but you can work with PNG and JPEG Files. The Silhouette Premium version gives you wider options, so you can also work with SVG files. This may come into play as you are importing or purchasing digital stamps for your use.
  • With SVG files you can always change the color of the outline of the image using the tray panel and you can also fill in color as well.
  • You can also use the trace function to create a vector-like (SVG image). Just bring the file into the work area. Select the image. Select trace. Now take the imported image away from the traced image. Bump the threshold up to 100 on the traced image. You should now be able to color the outline as well as fill it in. The image should act like an SVG file.
  • To color the image, select the image. Use the Color Filler to add color to your images.
  • In the line style window, I changed the line width to give it some weight. This will also ensure the lines will print out.

More Digital Stamp And Silhouette Studio Ideas

Digi Stamps In Cricut Design Space

Uploading Digi Stamps is easy in Cricut Design Space

Uploading Digi Stamps is easy in Cricut Design Space

Tips For Using Digital Stamps With Design Space

Cricut Design Space, the computer program that works with your Cricut Explore and maker has several features that help you get the most out of your digital stamps. One thing to remember is that Design Space will only allow you to upload PNG and JPG files.

  • You can resize the stamps to any size you would like.
  • You can cut the stamps out perfectly-no need to fussy cut.
  • No stamping or ink mess
  • You can create coloring pages for yourself or your kids
  • You can create images in colors of inks you may not have

Here are some tips for you to use as you use digital stamps in design space

  1. When you upload the images, make sure to use the description on the right side so you can find them later
  2. If you are using multiple images on a project, make sure to shrink them to @" so that you can see them on the canvas. Just highlight over all of them and make them the 2" size.

More Digital Stamps In Design Space Ideas

Create a Template For An Image

If you have printed an image and cut an image either from your Cutting machine or from an image, you can create a template from that image. This is especially helpful if you do not have access to a cutting machine.

Print or print and cut the digital stamp in heavy card stock. Then trace the image on some good-weight cardboard. Now you have a template that you can use over and over again.

How to use the template

  • Use it to create shapes on printed paper
  • Use it to create shapes on vellum
  • Use an alcohol ink marker to outline it so that you can use your markers to color it.
  • Add dimensional features like buttons and brads

Angel Policies For Digital Stamps

Most companies have an Angel Policy which guides the way that you can use the digital stamps.

The digital artist or company holds the copyright for the images that they sell. That means that they are giving you the right to use them. That means that they are giving you what is called " Limited Rights" to use that product. that means that they are giving you the right to download and use that product for your own use. That would not include offering that product to anyone else. By the rules, each person who uses that product must purchase it themselves.

It also usually means that you can make a product from that product and sell the product that you made with the image. So if you used the image to make a greeting card and sold that card, it would be perfectly fine.

Each company has it's own rules regarding their images which is on their website. You, as the buyer must by law, abide by their rules.

You should not offer any image that you purchased on social media. In essence, you are stealing in giving that image away that normally should or would be sold by the person or company that owned the rights of that image.

Embossing Pen

Watercoloring Digital Stamps

Digital Stamp Techniques

How To Store Digital Stamps

You want to avoid storing your digital stamps on your computer. There are plenty of options when it comes to storing them away from your files.

You can store your downloaded files in a cloud-like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Another app to store and inventory your digital stamps is Evernote.

Of course, you can also download your files to your Silhouette and Design Space computer systems which is what a lot of crafters do.

© 2021 Linda F Correa

What Is Your Experience With Digital Stamps?

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on March 14, 2021:

So glad you will use the information. I love when I help another crafter learn something new, Thanks for the comment

Elaine Byers on March 13, 2021:

What a great idea, never thought of this!

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