Getting a Better Masked Image

Getting a Better Masked Image

zzzDSCN6123 cropped tighter and tilted

(click here to see original post)

Often, when I am stamping images for my projects, I need to mask off a portion of one of the images to avoid unwanted overlap.  The image above was made with a few different stamps; the golfer is called “Goldie Golfer” by Art Impressions, and the “grass” is from a set called “Work of Art” by Stampin’ Up.  I wanted it to look like the golfer was standing on the grass.

On the first sample below, I did NOT use a mask when adding the “grass” to the image.  It ended up on the golfer’s legs.  Yuck!  On the second sample, I masked the golfer first and then stamped the “grass.” When the mask was removed, the grass appeared to be under and around her but not on top of her. Much better!


Honestly, though, the second sample didn’t look this good at first, and it took me a while to figure out how to fix it!  As you can see below, I was left with a white border around my original stamped image. What was happening was that the “thickness” of the mask was preventing the second stamp from making contact with the paper around the mask.  (This problem occurs mostly with solid stamps like the one I used for the grass on this sample.)

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I tried pressing really hard to get as much of the stamp to hit the paper as possible.  I tried sponging more ink around the mask with a dauber.  I tried making my mask smaller so the ink would get closer to the edges. None of these methods worked very well.

The solution to fix this was so obvious once I figured it out, but I just didn’t see it at first!  I figured I’d share my “aha moment” in case you’ve had the same problem and are also frustrated!!

A quick explanation on how to mask:

When I mask things to layer images on my projects, I use a stamp positioning tool to make sure I am placing everything exactly where I want it.  A stamp-a-ma-jig works well.  I use my MISTI.

* * *

First, I need to figure out where I want my “background” image to be and position the stamp accordingly.  In this sample, the “background” is the grass.  (Even though it looks like the golfer is in front, I stamped her first.  I’ll stamped the background “grass” over her.)

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* * *

I also need to make a mask (of my “front” image).  If my mask is for a simple image, I just stamp it on a piece of scrap paper and cut around the outer edges.  For more complicated images, I use my Silhouette electronic die cutting machine to “trace” the image and to create a cut file for my mask. That’s what I did with this golfer image.

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* * *

I place the mask over my original stamped image.

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* * *

 Then I ink up the “background” stamp and stamp it on the masked image.

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* * *

Here’s what it looks like when you remove the mask…

075 DSCN0079     080 DSCN0080

* * *

(Here’s the “aha moment” I was talking about!):  and this is what the stamp looks like…


* * *

The ink that never made it to the paper was still on the stamp.  So, I simply stamped it again (without the mask)…

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* * *

…much better!

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* * *

I know that seems obvious, but I was really not thinking about stamping without the mask when I needed the mask for my layout!

As you can see, using a positioning tool like the MISTI is really helpful because this method requires re-stamping the image in the exact same place it was previously stamped – unless, of course, you are really good at just eye-balling it to re-align it.  (I am not!!)

And one more thing:  When you stamp initially with the mask in place, you really want to make sure all the ink has been transferred to the parts that are hitting the mask.  I re-stamp a few times (without re-inking) to make sure.  You don’t want any ink left on the stamp where it hits the mask so when the mask is removed, ink will not get on the areas that were meant to get no ink.  (I learned the hard way when I started rushing on some of my panels.  She had a very faint green strip across her legs!)

Hopefully, this helps you to get better images when masking

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2 thoughts on “Getting a Better Masked Image

  1. Lisa, I have been quite busy for the entire month of October. Too busy to comment , but watching all that you have done, on your golfing crafting journey. I must say that it is amazing and you have blown me away. I have even shown you to my friends and talked about your talent and great teaching techniques. Just wanted you to know. I love it all and thanks for sharing the cut file. I have the cameo,and have been doing some more crafting with it lately. It is easier to make cut files of stamps and even digital stamps too. Best wishes! Barbara


  2. Cool way of correcting the mismatched masking. I would never have thought of that. I know sometimes I fill in the gap with a marker but one has to make sure it is a match in color first.


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