A common frustration I hear from rubber stampers at a class is “I messed up – my stamped image is crooked.” An easy fix for this problem is to use the Stamp-a-Ma-Jig, a tool for stamping an image in the exact position you want.

The Stamp-A-Ma-Jig has 2 pieces – the T-shaped positioning tool and a clear, plastic, square sheet. The T-shaped tool has a non-skid bottom. The vertical line is longer that the horizontal one.

The procedure is straightforward. First you stamp the image on the plastic sheet. Then you place the sheet over your project, say a card or scrapbook page, so that the image is seen where you want the final stamp to be. Then stamp the image on that exact spot. Here are the details.

Place the clear, plastic square on your work surface. Slide over the positioning tool, so that one of the corners made by the T is butted up against one of the top corners of the plastic sheet. I’m right-handed, so I place the tool at the top left corner of the plastic sheet. A left-handed stamper would place it at the top right corner. Ink the stamp and hold it above the sheet, right in the corner of the T. Carefully slide the stamp straight down, and stamp the image on the sheet. It doesn’t matter how dark the image is, as long as you can see it.

Lay the plastic sheet on the project you’re making. Move it so that the image is exactly over where you want the final position of the stamped image stamped. As before, slide over the positioning tool, so that it is butted up against the corner of the clear sheet. If the sheet moves, then start this step over again. It’s important to place the positioning tool, without disturbing the plastic sheet. Now, carefully remove the sheet, without moving the positioning tool. The tool should be over part of the surface to be stamped, holding it in place. Just as you did before on the clear sheet, stamp the image, by sliding the stamp down along the corner of the positioning tool. The result will be the image stamped in the exact position you want!

There are some additional tricks that may help you.

If your stamp is short and wide, as often greetings are, then you may prefer to lay the positioning tool horizontally in a corner of the plastic sheet. This gives more contact between the stamp base – either wood or acrylic – and the positioning tool while you’re stamping.

If you’re trying to stamp on a very small piece of paper or card stock, you may run into a problem. Once you move the plastic sheet away, the positioning tool may be too far to hold the paper in place. If this happens, then glue the paper to your work surface with a temporary adhesive. Get the T-shaped positioning tool in place, as always. When you removed the plastic sheet, the tool won’t be holding down the paper or card stock. However, the temporary adhesive will hold it long enough for you to finish the procedure. Your final stamped image will be perfectly positioned! Just pick it up and glue to your project, as needed.

By the way, the plastic sheet is easily cleaned with running water. Sometimes, dark ink with leave a little color behind. Just use your regular stamp cleaner and the plastic sheet will be as good as new. I’ve had mine for almost 6 years. It looks the same as it did on the day I bought it – and I use mine several times every week!

The Stamp-A-Ma-Jig is truly one of my most often-used stamping tools.

Sandi Phelan is a teacher and designer of paper craft projects. Her favorite projects are hand-stamped cards and scrapbooks – both paper-based and digital. She’s been an independent Stampin’ Up! demonstrator since 2005, using their products on her projects and in her classes. For more information on techniques for creative design of hand-stamped cards, please visit http://stampedimpression.typepad.com/.

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