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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Teresa Collins Stampmaker by Photocentric

Reported by Simone Collins

When I caught my first glimpse of the Teresa Collins Stampmaker at CHA last summer, I knew it was going to be a product that we would definitely need to put to the test, and that is just what I did. Photocentric, creator of the Stampmaker, claims that “this revolutionary machine will change the way you create.” With the ability to create polymer stamps, stencils and embossing plates from any image, text, or photo, this may do just that.

The Stampmaker kit includes, the Stampmaker light unit, enough polymer pacs to make ten stamps, two stencils, two embossing plates, and everything you need to make those. Also included are exclusive, pre-printed Teresa Collins designs, as well as two sheets of transparency to create your own designs. The whole kit retails for $169, which is a substantial initial investment, but depending on the amount of stamps you want to create, or if you plan on selling your creations, it could pay for itself over time.

In order to create your own custom stamps, you will need to create your images using Photoshop or the free Photofiltre software that Photocentric recommends. In order to create my images, I used Photoshop since Photofiltre is not Mac compatible. I also utilized some of the free downloadable images from the Stampmaker website. A new set of images are available each month. These images fill an entire 8.5″ x 11″ transparency. Here is a helpful tutorial that will show you how to select just one of the images from a set.

You can also use your own drawings, handwriting, or doodles to create a stamp:

Here is a tutorial on how to turn your handwritten image to create a stamp:

One of the best things about the Stampmaker is that you can turn any photo into a stamp. Photocentric has helpful videos to show you how to do this with the Photofiltre software.

The steps to turn a photo stamp with Photoshop are very simple as well. I would consider myself a Photoshop novice and I even I could do this with very little help or googling. Here is a quick video to show you the steps in Photoshop to create a photograph stamp:

With the stamps I made from my nephew’s graduation photo I took, I made this neat card to give him at his party this weekend. He’s gonna love it.

The inside reads, “Heck ya you did and we couldn’t be more proud!”

And this cute cupcake topper since I am the one bringing the sweets to the party this weekend. Notice how this stamp is slightly different from the other. I used the photocopy setting for the top one, and the stamp setting for this one. I like them both.

You can also use free Photoshop brushes to create some really neat images. Here is a quick video to walk you through that process as well.

Once your images are all set, it’s time to print. In order to get the darkest images, it is important to set your printer on glossy photo paper at the highest quality. Then comes the worst part of my entire stamp making process…the printing. My super wonderful Epson photo printer does not have a transparency setting and thus, made the printing experience an absolute nightmare. I spent more time attempting to print my transparencies than actually creating the stamps. Apparently transparencies are not in demand as they once were and printers sometimes do not come with this option. Photocentric recommends an inexpensive printer that is widely available. An alternative to printing your own transparencies at home would be to send them to your local print shop and have them do the printing. The cost is minimal and would eliminate this whole headache.

Then comes the stamp making. This whole process takes no more than 7 minutes, no joke. Choose your image, place the polymer in the clamp with the word ImagePac in reverse. Lay the image on top of polymer with inked side against the pack and add the top of the clamp. Press down on the center of the clamp to ensure evenness of the polymer. Check to make sure there are no creases by holding the clamped image up. Place in Stampmaker, image on the bottom for three seconds, then flip over and leave in Stampmaker for three minutes. Remove from Stampmaker, clip ends and scrub the excess polymer away. This part of the process is sticky, real sticky. Then place in tray of water and back in the Stampmaker for 2 minutes. And done. Here’s a quick look at the whole process.

The process is really very simple and the results are pretty amazing. With that being said, I did get some faulty polymer and some of my results varied, but the customer service at Photocentric is top notch. I am constantly complaining about the lack of customer service these days but this company was not only quick to answer my emails but also sent out replacement polymer packs immediately. Also, when I had problems creating a stencil, Charlie walked me through the entire process while over the phone, and low and behold it was my own dang fault. When you are investing in tool like this, that is a very valuable commodity.

Here are a few more samples I made with the stamps I created with the Stampmaker. A cute little sign for my bathroom door to remind my teen that we all share the main floor bathroom.

A card made with the bicycle from the free download section on the Stampmaker website.

Sentiment stamp is from A muse Art Stamps

And a birthday card with a photo stamp of my dogs and a handwritten stamp as well. The big dog had mixed results because he is black and white in the face and that is a hard combination for getting the photo stamp just right. But if you compare it to the photo, it’s obviously my Nas and Dita, just minus the cute party hats.

Bunting and Patterned Paper from Imaginisce
Original photo I manipulated to make the stamp

Some important tips though when making your stamps…

  • Don’t scrub too hard when you are in the cleaning step. If you do, you will wind up like me and have a stamp with a word missing.
  • Make sure you “kneed” your polymer pack before you use it. Also, don’t forget to press down firmly on the stamp clamp for 10 seconds before placing it in the light unit. This will eliminate any creases or unevenness of the stamps.
  • Leave your polymer packs in their case or a dark area when you are not using them. Prolonged exposure to light will begin the polymer setting process, so keep them away from light.
  • Your transparencies need to be black, I mean the blackest black. If you hold your image up to a light source and spots don’t seem to be completely blacked out, you can blacken with a marker to ensure the darkest image.
  • The timer on the Stampmaker is not really useful. Since there are different processing times for each type of item you can make, you will need to use your own timer. 

My overall impression of the Stampmaker is that it is a simple way to get the stamps you always wanted but could never find to buy.  I could see someone making custom stamps for friends or a small business with this little tool. It’s so easy to get started and the results are really incredible. I say it is worth the investment and could be something that would pay for itself over time.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and fast for creating custom stamps.
  • Video included in the kit as well as everything needed to get started right away.
  • Incredible customer service at Photocentric in case you have any questions or problems.
Cons:
  • The written instructions could be better and more organized.
  • Printing out your images may be a problem depending on your printer.
  • Refill polymer packs may be difficult to find locally but are readily available online.
GIVEAWAY
The great group over at Photocentric is giving away an 8 x 8 faux leather storage album to one lucky reader. This is a great way to store your new Teresa Collins Stampmaker stamps as well as all your clear and cling stamps or would be a great scrapbook. 

In order to be entered to win this prize, head on over to the Photocentric Facebook page to “like them” and let them know Craft Critique sent you and please add a comment in the section below this article answering any of the following questions:


What do you think of this new tool? Is this something you would consider purchasing? What stamps would you make and how would YOU use them?
One comment per person per article, please. Winner will be selected Sunday, June 26th. Good Luck!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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25 Responses to Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Teresa Collins Stampmaker by Photocentric

  1. Katie_Bolinger June 23, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    This kit looks like it would be fun to play with but it’s too expensive for my budget. Even though Teresa Collins’ designs are cute, if I had a Stampmaker kit I would definitely be making stamps of my own designs for friends and for sale.

  2. Mrs Ham June 23, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    I’ve never tried this product before, but I would love to. I would make stamps of my family.

  3. Lindy June 23, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Looks verying interesting but not in my budget right now. If I had one I’d make stamps of our family and friends and camping trips.

  4. Scrapycandy June 23, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    I would use this for scrapbooking and card making. I would consider buying it. I like repeating images for backgrounds and I think making my own stamps would really help with this.

  5. Scrappin' Mama June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    This looks fabulous! What a creative stamping tool 🙂 Would love to make stamp images of my kids to use both in cards and their scrapbooks.

  6. beccagoose June 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    I’ve had my eye on this Stampmaker for some time, but just can’t swing it. I’d love to win it. I’d be busy making stamps of my grandchildren and dogs.

  7. huntla1 June 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I love this stampmaker. I wonder if it would keep me from my as many rubber stamps? Probably not, but it sure would be fun to customize!

  8. Kathie June 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    What an awesome tool to add to our toolbox!!! I love the idea of the mailing label stamp! Ohhhh my imagination is running wild! Wish I had one right now!!

  9. ally June 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Oh i’ve been wanting to try this for such a long time! I really want to make my own stamps. I would love to make some fashion and dress stamps.

    Thanks for a chance to win!

    Ally

    http://www.allyrosedesigns.blogspot.com

  10. rlynnbaker June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    So cool!!! I would definitely be designing stamps of my own as well! Love it!!

  11. Rebecca {bellacarta} June 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    oh my gooooooooodness! I think that is pretty amazing! heading over to FB to “like” them! Thanks for the great review!

  12. Annette June 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I seen this demonstrated one time and seriously loved it..but could not afford..I sure would love to win it. This Stampmaker is truely amazing.

    Thanks for the chance…I am going to cross my fingers and toes for luck..

  13. Wendy June 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I think this is cool! I wish I was able to get one, but maybe someday! I would love to make personalized stamps to go on the back of greeting cards. I liked them on FB and left love!

  14. Jessica Canham June 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    I have a large stamp collection, but never enough! This would be a lot of fun! I’d make some stamps of my cats for sure.

  15. Siv June 24, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    I bought my TC Stampmaker a few months ago, and it’s fantastic! It was a little bit tricky the first couple of times I tried it, but now I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’ve only made stamps from the TC designs, but I’m planning to make my own very very soon. 🙂
    Thanks for the great walk through!

    Siv, Norway

  16. pennykitz June 24, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    I would like to make my own words for card making and also do a pic stamp of my grandson…pennykitz@charter.net

  17. isabel scrap June 24, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Love to create stamps, never done before…

  18. claymedmyheart June 24, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I also had trouble printing transparencies on my Epson printer! I tried Scotch tape and a tape runner to attach a white plain piece of paper behind the transparency, so my printer would recognize it to print on. It kept getting caught! When it finally did feed correctly, I FOUR times printed it before the image was positioned correctly. It kept printing off the page, as if the printer was misreading the page edge. Argh! Thankfully I work at a print shop, so will most likely print my images there. : )

  19. Jann Schott June 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    This looks pretty cool…I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of photos (of the pets!) that can be turned into a stamp!!!

    I have a friend who has this and after some troubleshooting with the company–and, BTW, she got EXCELLENT service from the company, come to find out the packets were defective and she was sent new ones no charge! Right there with the service like that, I’m impressed!

  20. Robyn L. Coburn June 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I have two suggestions for improving the printing. One is to try pre-treating the transparency sheet with the Perfect Crafting Pouch from http://www.ScraPerfect.com – there are how-to videos on the website.
    The other (more expensive) idea is to try the Yudu brand transparency sheets which are treated to grab more ink from your ink jet printer and result in truly opaque blackness. Since they are designed for making the silk screens, another light based process, I think they might work.

  21. Melissa June 25, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I would love to get my hands on this product, I can think of so much I could do with it. I think my primary use for it would be to create my own sentiment stamps, I always seem to need one that isn’t in my collection!

  22. just jayma June 26, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    I REEAAAAALLLY want one of these! I have a list of sentiments that I have been keeping for a while, and those would be the first thing I make! The second thing I want to make is a yorkie stamp, after my puppy! =)

  23. isa dona June 26, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    really amazing, love to try!!! one day.

  24. Katknit June 27, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I have a stampmaker but have not used it yet. I plan on making some stamps with words/sayings on them….

    Charlene

    katknit at gmail dot com

  25. bridget22868 February 25, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    HI! I just got this stamp making kit as a gift from my hubby! I also have the original Imagepac Stamp Making Kit. I love the original Imagepac kit, but it takes a lot longer and you dont get the light box, you have to use a strong light bulb in a moveable lamp to create the stamps. Although it works well wih the lamp, this new light box will make it SOOOO much faster and easier as well to make my own stamps. I only wish there were more of the polymer packs to come with the system! AWESOME KIT!!!!