ListLab

How to Use Digital Stamps on Your Planner

PLANNINGListLab

Today, I'd like to show how I use digital stamps for prepping & decorating my planners. Digital stamping is an affordable and quick way to get a planner spread that is cohesive, pretty & neat (no inky fingers!). So let's get started!

THE ILLUSTRATOR WAY

You'll need:

Steps:

1) PREP THE PALETTES.

Open your printable PDF file in Illustrator. Open the Tools, Action, Swatches & Image Trace palette from the Window drop down menu.

blog_digi-stamps_step-1.jpg

2) Build a color swatch group.To make it simpler for this tutorial, I picked up the color scheme of the Flora Theme printable. You can do this using by the eyedropper tool from the Tools palette.Point the eyedropper to any image on the file with a color that you wish to use and click. You will see that the fill color box (see the green square box encircled in the image below) will pick up the color. Drag this box to the Swatches palette. Repeat process till you have all the colors that you need. Using the folder icon in the Swatches palette, save it as a group.

3) Make an action for the stamps. Open your PNG Stamp Brushes folder. I like setting up the folder view to icon view so I can see the stamps I have visually. Drag the stamp file that you 'd like to use to your Illustrator workspace.

Make a new action by clicking the note icon on the Action palette. I named mine "Digital Planner Stamps". Hit record.

Pick the stamp image and click the "Image Trace" button at the top of toolbar. This will sometimes prompt a question about continuing with the command. Click OK.On the Image Trace palette, click the "Advanced" drop down menu and check the "Ignore White" option.

Click Expand at the top toolbar. Click the stop button on the Actions palette to stop recording. You should be left with an image that is only black, no white parts. 

4) Color & Resize. You can now change the color of your stamp by picking from the Color Swatch palette. Resize by dragging the placeholders and position it correctly on your planner.

5) Print & cut your file. Keep on adding stamps by 1) dragging your choice of stamp to the workspace then 2) pick the "Digital Planner Stamps" action and click the play button. If white parts are still showing, check the "Ignore White" under the Advanced tab of the Image Trace palette before playing the Action. 3) Finally, color, resize & position. When all stamps are placed, save as a new PDF file then print & cut to size.

THE PHOTOSHOP WAY

You'll need:

Steps:

blog_digi-stamps_step_8.jpg
  • Open the printable PDF file in Photoshop and make sure that the Crop To: is set to Media Box.
  • blog_digi-stamps_step_9.jpg
  • Add a layer and fill it with white color using the bucket tool. Drag it below the PDF layout layer.
  • blog_digi_stamps_step_11a.jpg
  • Open the Brush Presets palette (Window>Brush Presets) and pick "Load Brushes" from the fly-out menu. Locate your .abr stamp brush file and open.
  • Make a new layer if you wish to edit your stamp brushes separately. You can also make one for each brush that you will add.
  • blog_digi_stamps_step_12a.jpg
  • From the Tools palette, pick the brush tool. You can now see the drop down menu when you click the arrow beside the size of the brush toolbar. From the menu, you can see all the loaded stamp brushes. You can also adjust the brush size here. On the toolbar, opacity percentage can also be adjusted. 
  • blog_digi-stamps_step_13.png
  • While still on the brush tool, you can also access the color picker (square colored box at the bottom of the tools palette) to change the brush color.
  • Position and click where you want to place your stamp brush! Save as a new PDF when you're done. Print & cut to size. Here's how the printed output looks like:
  • blog_digi-stamps_port.jpg