Letterpress love – finally!

Hi Everyone!

So we finally received the letterpress order we’ve been waiting on for months and months! That’s what happens when companies get bought out I guess… So it arrived and I am so smitten! Love the handmade artsy look of this process. It requires time to set it up properly and get comfortable with it but once you do – bring on mass production of cards/labels/ embellishments etc. So easy!

Letterpress is basically creating a debossed inked image using ink, plates and a specialty type of paper. We R Memory Keepers has combined necessary supplies into a basic kit (available at The Paperie) that contains the plates (which work with leading die-cut machines – I use my Big Shot), several colours of ink, a set of plates, the ink base and brayer, letterpress cleaning cloths, adhesive sheets, ink guide strips and placement guides. A great selection of the products available and a great way to tell which you will want more of or which you will find different options for. Great value.

So in an attempt to take you through my process here are some step-by-step photos:

First I opened the package and looked through the instructional materials and then promptly went and watched {this video} that takes you through the contents and how to. Here are some of my initial thoughts on the process:

You only need a very small amount of the ink on the plate – let me repeat a very small amount; do not squeeze the tube or it will seep (see photo)! The tubes are like medicated ointment tubes where you have to puncture the tip before any will come out – be careful not to squeeze while doing so or below will happen to you too. It’s all good, it cleaned up nicely.

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You need to roll out the ink and work it quite a bit to get a thin layer – if you have it rolled too thick the pressed image will be blotchy and bleed a bit.  This is the navy – about 1/2 the size of a pea is what I put down and rolled out.

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Note: the ink plate has ‘feet’ use the other side so as not to spread the ink over them.

Next it’s time to get your plates ready but adding some adhesive to the back – you do not need to cover the whole image (which I did initially) just enough to get it to stay secure. After use I stuck the adhesive backing back on the plate in the hopes I’ll get another use out of it – we’ll have to wait and see on that one.  I placed the plates on the adhesive sheet and traced and cut out – you do not need to be this precise just use some adhesive to make the plates stick to the printing plates. For the floral image I used the navy and then had to use the placement guides to put the thanks down and ink with orange … sounds complicated but after you play a bit it really isn’t and there are lots of videos out there.

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The video link above shows you the whole process a lot better than I can however I will make note that if you want a deeper impression you can add card stock shims under the paper side of the plates – just add sparingly so you don’t put too much pressure on your plates.

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Here are my finished initial project with the letterpress system – I’m super pleased with them and can think of many projects where I plan to use letterpress.

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The card above is the first one I made – not bad if I do say so! It’s so hard to see on camera but there is a lovely impression with these plates that is just so amazing and simple.  This example would be considered 2 colour letterpress since I had to ink the plates with 2 different colours.  I can see how down the road I might want 2 of the ink bases and brayers to make this go faster.

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I also tried out some of the other letterpress plate sets that we stock – and I had to have!  The recipe one is one that I ordered in specifically for an idea I have for a future kit so we can order that one in for anyone but the others are in stock now. The orange cards I plan to incorporate into Project Life this week – love the versatility of this system!

If you are interested in the letterpress come visit us or send an email and we will answer any questions. We will be doing another order in the next few days to take a look and let us know if there are any other items you’d like to see. Now I’m off to explore options for Christmas card design with the letterpress!

Wendy

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