After returning to Chicago, it was time to look into getting new business cards. I had purchased the printed business cards a few times in the past, so I thought I would go that route again. After playing with a few designs, I was feeling relatively uninspired. After looking online at what other people were doing, I came upon a few rubber stamped business cards. I liked that idea because they looked more personal. Plus, you could change up paper and color to always make it look like you had updated your business card.
Since I am not the only person who uses business cards, I thought I would break down the process to stamping your own business cards. And since I am not into scrapbooking or stamps in general, I am taking this from the perspective of a novice. After deciding on a design, the first thing you need to do is get a stamp made. I’m not sure how many places make custom stamps, but I used Simon Stamps. I had purchased a custom stamp from them before and was pleased with the results. I got their basic rubber stamp:
I made the stamp larger than your standard business card size of 3 1/2″ x 2″ because I wanted the design to bleed off the sides. As you design, the individual lines of a rubber stamp can be pretty thin. I was concerned the font I used was too small, but it stamps perfectly fine. Next, you need to get materials:
I spent WAY too much time finding an appropriate stamp pad. Since my stamp is rather large, I had a hard time finding a pad that size. Unfortunately, the larger sizes I purchased from Office Depot were awful and I eventually gave up and went to talk to someone at Paper Source. As I found out, the size of the stamp wasn’t the main issue. (I’ll explain why below.) The salesperson at Paper Source directed me to ColorBox stamp pads. I just got basic black, but there are a ton of colors to choose from you. I also toyed with the notion of getting paper and cutting my own business cards, but Paper Source has a reasonably priced selection of pre-cut business cards, so I went that route. Next, you need to practice:
Since I am not an expert stamp user, I wanted to make sure I was getting good ink coverage. Since I wanted that handmade look, I was not terribly concerned that every part of the stamp had ink on it, Although, you do have to make sure your contact details are properly inked. As I mentioned above, the nice thing about the ColorBox ink pads is this:
Since it is raised off the surface, you can easily cover a larger size stamp. I saw the salesperson demonstrate how to properly ink your stamp. Here is the trick:
Instead of pressing the stamp into the pad, you want to press the pad into the stamp. This was a big help for me. Now, you can see if you are getting ink on every part of your stamp. After I felt comfortable with my practice stamps, I needed to figure out how to make the business cards as uniform as possible. Here is what I created:
I made one impression on to a piece of paper and then marked lines where the stamp was placed. Then, I placed a business card over top of the stamp in the position I wanted. You can see where I expected the stamp to bleed off the sides. In retrospect, it might have been easier to make a circular business card or create a design that did not require so much precision. However, I did not need to make a lot, so this process did not bother me. Then, it was simple as placing the blank business card on top of the guide:
Next, it was time to stamp the business cards. I found this to be the best method:
After eyeballing where the stamp would sit, I gently let go of it. Then, I pressed down firmly on the stamp. When I was practicing, I found that rocking back and forth would leave smudges. It was better to press down carefully with a lot of pressure. I found that after making a few cards I needed to make a few slight adjustments to my guide. Since I like the handmade look, though, I wasn’t completely concerned that every single one was perfect. When I lifted the stamp up, I realized that the card would stick so I just had to remove it carefully. You have to be careful with the ink. It can quickly get all over your hands and could easily get on your newly printed cards. Here is the finished product:
I was pleased that these turned out as I expected. I just finished these today and I have found that this ink takes a long time to dry. They are still a little wet and I finished 10 hours ago. In other words, I would make these well in advance of needing them.
Hope you found that helpful!