Friday, June 3, 2011

30 Days of Creativity - Day 3: Making Seals with Glue Sticks & DIY Embossing Ink

Now that I've started adding the Apothecary to the Armoury with soap, I'm really eager to start adding my other herbal items (first on the list is my Sore Muscle Salve).  One of the things I'd like to incorporate into the packaging is a wax seal for a little historical flavor.

I read that you can simply use a glue gun with colored glue sticks and a metal stamp and thought that would be brilliant.  Of course I love the look of wax and the fact that it's much more historically correct, but I'm also thinking about ease of use and trying to keep things economical.  So, I went out and ordered me a metal stamp with the letter "A" on it.  I didn't realize that getting glue sticks in colors would be that hard to do... my friendly local craft store had clear and glitter.  So, I opted for the glitter (ooooh, sparkly!) and hoped for the best.

One minor little detail that I missed out on was that the metal stamp actually should be coated in clear embossing ink before pressing it into the wax/glue.  Damn.  I didn't let that deter me from playing with my project today!  This *is* part of the 30 Days of Creativity, after all!  So, I did a little research and found out that clear embossing ink is primarily glycerin.  Well, I have that!  I did a little more reading and made up my own version of clear embossing ink with what I had on hand.

I squirted out a little glycerin into a bowl and then put in a teeny tiny amount of rubbing alcohol for fast drying and another teeny tiny amount of vegetable oil for easy removal of the metal stamp.  Mixed all together and I was ready to go!

Meta Stamp Sealing & DIY Embossing Ink

I found that a couple pulls of the glue gun trigger was plenty of a pool for my size stamp.  After a dip in the homemade embossing ink, I used the spoon to get any excess off the stamp.  I played with different size pools, different glue temperatures, different pressures, different amounts of time before peeling off the stamp, etc.

Ultimately, I think my little homemade solution works, but it makes the glue look matte.  I wonder if that's too much oil?  I'll have to play with different amounts later.  I also realize that although the sparkly glitter is pretty, the stamp doesn't really show up that well in it.

Metal Stamp Sealing & DIY Embossing Ink

Well, it was fun, I learned something, and I'm another step closer to fun packaging for my shop!


Faerie♥Kat said...

Hmmm, based on the photos, I have to agree, but what a fun experiment, eh?

Athena's Armoury said...

It was fun! I'm going to have to try a sold color & maybe a different recipe for the embossing ink.