Monday, March 11, 2013

Making Your Own Masks and Primitive Stamps!

What's Kory been up to, for the past week or so?  Well, besides working on the new play that will open this Friday night- I've been playing around at my desk and making my own masks! AND I've been making my own 'Primitive Art Journal Stamps.' 

If you know anything about me, you'll know that I've been making these things out of either trash or stuff from the Dollar Tree. 

First- the masks.  Stencils.  Whatever you want to call them, you know what I'm talking about:  those trendy plastic things you spray yo' Mister Huey's and Dylusions through so's you can put some purty patterns on your paper.

I love these things.  I own a big and always growing pile of them.  They're more addictive than Spellbinders Nestabilities. 

Masks and dies always remind me of that joke:

"You've taken morphine?!"

"Well, once, after my surgery.  And then every day for three years after that..."

Anyways- enough of Kory's Comedy Hour.

Masks.  I love masks.  And I love the silhouette masks that the amazing Ms. Dina Wakley uses-  but I was wanting a 'boy' mask.  Believe it or not, I don't run around in a skirt.  Speaking of 'man silhouette masks,' - Ms. Dyan Reaveley has just released one- the 'Bert' stencil.  But I haven't seen it in a store, yet.  You know I'll buy it the minute I do!  But in the meantime, I made my own.

How did I make my own? 

It's easier than you think- and you don't even need any artistic ability.

There are all kinds of classy designers who are making some amazing graphics.   Go to Google Images, and search for,  "free silhouette vector graphic," or some variation of that-  and you'll find pages of royalty free graphics. 

Pick out your favorite one.  I printed mine at several different sizes- full size, 50%, 35%... just so I could have some options.  I like options.

I traced the shape with tracing paper- you can do this or you can just use the printed shape.  Cut a rectangle of clear plastic product packaging big enough to cover your shape plus a good border.  I used the plastic from the Spellbinders packaging.  I save all plastic.  You can always use it for something!  I don't do this out of some kind of devotion to the environment.  I mean, I do love the earth, really, I do- but when I'm dead, what's the environment gonna do for me?*

*Totally kidding.  Sometimes, I even through a can into the recycling bin at work.

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  So- you trace the shape onto your plastic.  I used a black paint marker.  Not for any specific reason other than it was the nearest marker- but obviously, you want to use something that won't schmear.

Also, I taped the plastic to the tracing paper and my desktop so it wouldn't slip and slide.  Oh! Remember the Slip 'n Slide?   The best thing to happen to childhood in the 80's. 

After you've traced the shape all that's left to do is cut out the inside of the shape!  I tried to cut it with my Exacto, first.  The Spellbinders plastic was a bit too tough.  As if I have to tell anyone who has ever tried to open the flippin' things.  Instead, I punched a hole in the center of the shape with my Crop-a-dile and used scissors.

Ready to see my test result?


Whoooooooo!!!!  Unlimited masks for me!!!

Of course, I won't stop buying them- but now, I've got OPTIONS!!!

But I thought, what a great idea, in case the stock market ever crashes, and I actually had money in the stock market.  I'd be okay.

What else have I been making?   Well, you know I've been on this art journalling jag-  and I've been looking at lots of books from the library about art journalling.  I love looking thru books.  And the library- well,  "I don't know if any of you people read."   BUT-  the thing about the library.  It's like going to Barnes and Noble, except that everything is free.  

Anyways...  In all these books, the writers go on and on about how great and easy and classy it is to make your own stamps.  All you hafta do is buy blocks of carving rubber and carving tools and suddenly become coordinated.

I wanted to make my own stamps.  But I also recognized my own limitations. 

So here's how to make some 'Primitive/Negative Art Journal Stamps.' 

Go to the Dollar Tree and get a package of 'fun foam.'   It comes in a package of about twenty or thirty 5X7 sheets.  For a dollar.  That's a bargain.

Now, come up with a shape or design- and with a fine tipped stylus OR a ball point pen, draw your design onto the foam.

See that?  Just draw the design onto the foam.  It presses in and stays.  My first attempt, I drew a woodgrain pattern.  A bad woodgrain pattern, that is, but I'm fond of it: 

Also, note where I tested out my new Amy Tangerine calendar stamp.  Neat, huh? 

I also like how this method of "makin' stamps" looks like a strange printing/negative look.  Love it!

I did a few more:



Of course, I had to try out another silhouette!   But my 'by hand' version of the shape turned out a little alien-like. 

That's what I've been up to, people!

Oh wait, there is something else I've been up to-  for my theatrical career-  making TEETH! 

There's a scene in this play (that opens THIS FRIDAY, get yer tickets NOW!) where the lead character uses a pair of pliers to pull out a tooth.  Onstage.  So, I've made these fake teeth- and with some Antique Linen Distress Ink and some Picket Fence Distress Stain... they look real, ladies and gentlemen.  Combined with the blood and the stage lights-  you'll be horrified.  I guarantee it.

-kory k


  1. VERY cool, Kory!! Always love your posts, you never cease to amaze me with your wit and creativity! :)

  2. Very cool... like how u made your own stamps very creativity for sure! Like your blue man in the book, lol.

  3. Kory, your creativity inspires me!

  4. Love that mask on the book page! Very cool!

  5. Love the ideas for both creating masks & stamps with craft foam! Rather genius!
    But now I am curious as to what play you're performing with those very real looking teeth!!

  6. Ok. Just had to come to your blog and comment that I am enjoying your posts at SC and that you work in theatre. I LOVE theatre/movies/acting. I live in MO, but if I'm ever in the OK area I'll come see a show! I also use to work as a dental hygienist so your teeth here are making me smile :) Seriously. Most random. comment. ever.