Not Martha

how not to decorate sticky notes

a failed rubber stamp experiment

This past spring I was sitting at my desk thinking up things to make. I was staring at my blocks of sticky notes designed by Snow & Graham and figured that maybe I could make something similar using rubber stamps and Post-it notes. I found out that it’s possible, probably, just not by me. Trouble was that I decided to do a woodgrain, meaning I’d stamp a solid light brown first and then use a large woodgrain stamp in a darker brown on top. Easy right? Not so much. First I forgot to take into account that Post-it notes don’t come in cubes, they come in pads. After some searching I did find some white almost-cube Post-its at OfficeMax, yay.

a failed rubber stamp experiment

Then when I was doing research I discovered that Martha Stewart Crafts had done this already, and quite recently! They used this blank memo cube from the Oriental Trading Company. I also found plain paper memo cube at Impress here in Seattle. But I don’t use memos the way I use sticky notes, so I was determined to stick with them.

a failed rubber stamp experiment

The result? Tragically unevenly stamped sticky notes. Oh well. That said, I think if you can track down the white Post-its (they were at OfficeMax in a separate section for the In Place organizational goods) and use smaller stamps you could create some very good looking things for your desk. Just learn from my mistake and use small stamps, you’ll be happier.

· comments [14] · 09-10-2010 · categories:craft · links ·

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nathalie // Sep 10, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Man, I do things like this all the time. Doesn’t repainting a piece of laminate furniture sound like a breeze? Isn’t making my own dress with no pattern something I should be able to do in 20 minutes? Oh dear. I’ve got to say, your overall successes far outweigh the oops, so I think you win. :-)

  • 2 amy // Sep 10, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I love that you post your fails as well as your fantastic-ness.

  • 3 Amy // Sep 10, 2010 at 6:06 am

    THANK YOU for posting mistakes. Wish more people did.

  • 4 tiffany // Sep 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

    This was such a well-intentioned project (aren’t they all?)! And you get an A for effort! For the record, I’ve worked with that exact stamp before and it’s super tricky to get an even image and that’s when stamping down on a solid surface! I bet this would be adorable with a dandelion stamp!

  • 5 Mint // Sep 10, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Hello! This is such a great idea! Did press the stamp onto the cube or press the cube to the stamp? I thought maybe it’d be more even if you pressed the cube to the stamp pad. I shall be experimenting with this reaaaaal soon!

  • 6 Entropy's Bitch // Sep 10, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I think they look pretty cool, myself. Not a fail, imho.

  • 7 Ebony // Sep 10, 2010 at 10:12 am

    It warms my heart to hear you have a S&G block on your desk and that it served as inspiration. Your blog has been an inspiration to me many times. Cheers!

  • 8 Rebecca // Sep 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you for posting a fail. I hate blogs where they seem sooooo perfect and it makes you feel inadequate!

  • 9 Tammy // Sep 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I didn’t think those looked bad at all!

  • 10 Janina A. Larenas // Sep 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I do a lot of printing, and I suspect if you made the wood grain in the “Speedy Cut” you bought you would get better results. Rubber stamps (especially the kind backed with wood) are very stiff making it difficult to give an impression on anything not especially flat and a little bit soft.

    I would bet that if you took your wood grain stamp, stamped the Speedy Cut and used that as a cutting guide, you could then use the Speedy Cut as your stamp by leaving it on the table and pressing the paper blocks onto it. Maybe experiment with ink types as well.

    Awesome idea!

  • 11 Kelli // Sep 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    You should stack up a bunch of normal stacks of post it notes and then stamp them, then you would have a bunch of normal stacks of printed post it notes
    I like the idea of stamping the post it notes becasue they can get a little plain

  • 12 megan // Sep 13, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Ebony – So good to hear from you! I used Snow & Graham paper as the main decoration for my wedding reception treat bags, it was beautiful.

    Nathalie – We’ve recently found that spray paint meant for plastics works well on laminate furniture. We turned a blond wood side table into a bright yellow one with a few coats and some patience, so far no chipping or cracks.

    Tiffany – Thanks for the commiseration.

    Mint and Kelli – I did both (press the stamp to the paper and press the paper to the stamp). The post-its just weren’t a flat enough surface for me to get an even result, or at least it was inconsistent enough to prompt me to warn people away.

    Janina – Thanks for the tips. I can say for sure that I don’t have the patience to carve my own woodgrain :)

  • 13 SaraBelle // Sep 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    The best way to get a stamp on the side of a post it note pad is to tape it. Take a long piece of paper and wrap it around the post it and tape it tight. Having it tightly taped means that the sheets won’t slip when you stamp it.

  • 14 faith // Sep 22, 2010 at 5:45 am

    i found your site via “stumbleupon” and i just have to tell you…you might be my hero! i love your ideas and your presentation. keep up the fabulousness!

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