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Digital Stamps Clip Art - DigiStamps for Designers and Paper Crafters

Updated on November 30, 2015
Lee Hansen profile image

Graphic designer, digital artist and paper crafter. See 1000s of unique designs on her web sites (see Profile page) or Zazzle (imagefactory)

Digital Stamps for December and January
Digital Stamps for December and January | Source

Make your own paper crafts and coloring pages with printable black and white clip art

Recently I started to look at new ways to offer my original digital art and coloring pages to crafters and artists, and I discovered the world of Digital Stamps (also known as digistamps). My learning adventure opened up a big creative treasure chest of new ways for me to work with copyright-free clip art and coloring page line art drawings. I'm learning to new ways to share my original line art and I'm having a lot of fun making my own digistamps.

I've been a visual artist and print designer for decades. I draw new digital art every week for my web sites' graphics and coloring page collections, and I've used many hybrid stamping techniques in my own arts and crafts. I had no idea this electronic version of rubber stamping was such a popular paper craft technique or that it even had an official name, but I'm glad I know about it now. It gives me a new way to share thousands of images I've designed for use as printable coloring page pictures.

This article shares the best of what I've learned about digital art and paper crafts. Welcome to my collection of digital stamp freebies, downloads, tutorials, projects and tips.

Hawaiian hibiscus flower digistamp art available for noncommercial use at LeeHansen.com

Coloring page illustrations and graphics shown on this page are my original work.

Getting Started With Digital Stamps - Greeting Card Tutorial - Stamped Flower Card Craft

How to find, download, print and use a digistamp file to make a cute flower greeting card embellished with a graphic image sized to fit printed and cut out for the card front.

Digital Stamps are Graphics in Black and White - Clip art collections and digital stamp graphics

Design your own digital stamps from copyright free black and white clip art like these fine images.

All About Digital Stamps - What is a Digital Stamp

How Do I Craft with DigiStamps?

Digital stamps (digistamps in the crafters' lingo) are a fun way to create your own graphics, coloring pages and design templates for crafting, card making and scapbooking. Digital stamps are also handy for making iron on transfers and embroidery patterns.

A digital stamp is a special type of electronic clip art. Some digital stamps have transparent backgrounds - unlike common free or low cost clip art - and they can be combined to create unique digital graphics with overlapping sections, grunge techniques and word art over prints you can't create with JPG or GIF images.

Traditional rubber stamps cost more than digital stamps, and they take up more space in your craft room or crop basket. Digital stamps are very easy to transport - all you need to carry is your computer with the digital stamps on your drive or a portable drive when you travel with digistamps. You do need a printer, however, to produce your finished digistamp creations.

Here are my favorite l resources where you can learn all about digital stamps and find free projects you can create with your digistamp collection.

Fiesta Digital Stamps
Fiesta Digital Stamps | Source

Digital Stamp Craft Techniques

Learn artistic and technical details about using digital stamps for your personal crafts. Learn how to alter and customize digistamps, and how to make your own.

Magic and Mystical Symbols CD-ROM and Book (Dover Electronic Clip Art)
Magic and Mystical Symbols CD-ROM and Book (Dover Electronic Clip Art)

Dover clip art images are famous for quality and clarity. Dover has been producing clip art and image design books since before the age of digital graphics - in other words, since "clip art" really was cut from the pages of a book and pasted into place.

 

Working with PNG files in Adobe Photoshop

PNG Files with Transparent Backgrounds = Excellent DigiStamps

PNG images usually have transparent backgrounds so they're a good resource for stamping crafts. You can overlay other pictures in your project and you can often resize a PNG file to larger dimensions without much loss of quality.

Here's a video tutorial about how to work with a .png file format to create a stamped pattern card.

Flamingo digital stamp
Flamingo digital stamp | Source

Digital Stamps - Similar to Clip Art or Photoshop Brushes

Basically, a digital stamp is electronic line art or black and white clip art.

Digital stamps are a relatively new genre of electronic art for crafters. Some critics consider them nothing more than clip art in black and white with a different name. Designers and craft artists who use digi-stamps disagree, stating that the stamps in their purest form are only produced in black and white and are available in good quality as JPG, PNG and (sometimes TIFF) graphic file formats.

These versatile bitmap images are designed to be manipulated using a graphic program or specialty software designed for paper crafting. You can resize and print a graphic using Microsoft Word or Paint. Simply open your image file, resize it to the dimensions you need for your paper craft project, then print it, cut it out and embellish it however you like.

The images are usually produced in a fairly large size that you can easily make smaller with no loss of quality. Alter and embellish digital stamps with your computer to add textures, flip them over, add color or patterns and use them in layers for greeting cards, scrapbook pages or creative paper crafts such as collages, artist trading cards, tags and posters.

Fabulous PhotoShop Brushes - Easy Digital Stamps - Make your own digital stamps and Photoshop brushes

My first real use of a digital stamp was making and using brushes with Adobe Photoshop. You can make your own brushes from digital stamps, or you can use brushes to stamp patterns or single images.

Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner
Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner

A good quality scanner makes image capture and cleanup easier and will give you years of high resolution scans. Many scanners can also create PDF files on the fly.

 

How to Create Your Own Digital Stamps

If you have paper clipart or other printed line art that you want to convert to digital graphics you can make your own by scanning the pages and pictures then cleaning them up using a bitmap editing program on the computer.

Get a good scanner and it will probably come with graphics software - maybe even Photoshop - that will make your adventure in DIY digistamping rewarding and fun.

TIP: Scan images at 300 or 600 dpi to create larger graphics

I recently replaced my 15 year old desktop scanner with a Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner. It came with built in image fixup features for color correction and scratch/dust removal and Adobe Photoshop Elements software. It can scan slides or 35mm film, books and flat papers or photos plus create PDF files or function as a copier with one-touch button convenience.

Digital Stamp, Garden Watering Can
Digital Stamp, Garden Watering Can | Source

Learning About Digital Stamp Crafts

Since I discovered the world of digital stamps, I've been working with my best graphics to develop them into an exclusive collection of free digital stamp designs. There's no standard format for a digital stamp, so you may find them available in various file types including GIF, PNG, JPG, TIFF or PDF.

Digitized Line Art in Black and White - Coloring Page Graphics for Crafters

Before I started creating these special crafting graphics, I did plenty of research to learn about about how they're used, what topics are popular, different methods of creating/sharing/using digistamps, and what formats and sizes are the most preferred by paper crafters.

I reviewed dozens of free resources online while conducting research about these popular graphic files and the projects crafters make with them. I create my digital stamps in PDF format which can be imported into most image editing programs plus opened in Adobe Reader, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Clip Art Borders and Frames - Copyright Free Retro Graphics

Inexpensive traditional clip art border graphics can be converted to electronic art with a scanner or photocopier.

Ready-to-Use Art Nouveau Small Frames and Borders (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)
Ready-to-Use Art Nouveau Small Frames and Borders (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)

Scan your favorite vintage images in 600 or 300 dpi to create resizeable TIFF or PNG graphics to use as digital stamps, or anke a black and white copy of the graphics you need for your digistamp project.

 
Digital Stamps Clip Art Collage Sample
Digital Stamps Clip Art Collage Sample

Electronic Art Outlines for Crafters

Digital stamps by their nature are line drawings and so are sometimes converted for use in paper cutting, cake decorating and digitized embroidery machines.

The equipment for these unique crafts requires special graphics files, but if you're a fan of these new forms of computer crafts you've probably learned how to create your own cutting files or embroidery masters from a variety of source images.

Simple Images for Paper Crafts, Stitching, Custom Clip Art - Black and White Digital Stamp Art Images

A digistamp graphic will work well with most traditional stamp art techniques imprinted on paper or cardstock. In fact, they work nicely for almost any medium you can run through a printer. They aren't intended for more elaborate stamp art crafts that involved dimensional prints or impression art techniques such as clay imprinting and fabric stamping.

Medieval Clip Art Designs in Black and White - Traditional book-format clip art ready for digitizing

Scan and alter these black and white graphics to create custom digital stamps of your very own. Or use a photocopy machine to shrink or enlarge your favorite images and print directly onto your crafting paper stock.

Ready-to-Use Medieval Illustrations: 424 Different Copyright-Free Designs (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)
Ready-to-Use Medieval Illustrations: 424 Different Copyright-Free Designs (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)

Heraldry designs you can use as paper clip art or convert to digital media for digistamp crafts.

 

DIY Digis Made from Dingbat Fonts

Dingbat Fonts Digital Stamp Art
Dingbat Fonts Digital Stamp Art | Source

Use character fonts to create digistamps

Create your own clever digital stamps from the characters in dingbat fonts those special fonts that have pictures and symbols in place of letters and numbers.

Symbol fonts are also sometimes referred to as dingbat fonts. There are thousands of dingbat and character fonts available for free from reliable paper craft and foundry sites.

Check out some of these great resources to find fun and free fonts you can use to make your own digital stamp art.

Free Dingbat Fonts - download free fonts by Divide by Zero at Clip Art 'n Crafts (sample shown above)

Fonts for Free - free fonts, type tools, dingbat fonts

Free Fonts at DaFont - Dingbat fonts in more than a dozen categories.

Ready-to-Use Old-Fashioned Illustrations of Books, Reading and Writing (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)
Ready-to-Use Old-Fashioned Illustrations of Books, Reading and Writing (Dover Clip Art Ready-to-Use)

Before computer art, clip art came in books to cut out and paste into place on your artwork. If you scan these vintage and retro clip art images you'll have a huge collection of digital stamps.

 

Old School Clip Art Finds a New Life - Black and White Clip Art - Make Your Own Digistamp Graphics

Old school clip art images get a fresh new life as digital stamps when you scan the graphics to convert them to computer files.

For the cost of one or two commercial digis, you can buy booklets filled with hundreds of images to scan or copy with a photocopier.

After it's scanned you can resize and print the image, then start coloring it in and paste it on your design project.

Handmade Art - Coloring Tips - Shading and Patterns with Colored Pencils

Learn the fascinating coloring techniques used to make one of a kind cards and prints from digistamps and colored pencils.

Graphic Freebies and Downloads - Most digistamp freebies are for personal use only

There are literally thousands of places online to find shared art for stamping. I've made a short list of creative and digital stamp freebies I think are most reliable and comprehensive. Be sure to check each designer's terms of service if you plan to use them to create crafts for sale.

Many stamp artists allow you to sell your work if it uses one of their images as part of a finished physical project, but not as a stand-alone digital creation or shareable stamp file. Most, if not all, digital stamp artists terms of use prohibit you from selling, distributing or sharing free digital stamps or stamp sets. You can easily refer friends to the designer's site so they can download their own copies directly from the copyright owner.

Note that most black and white line art drawings, for example coloring pages, can be used to make stamps of your own. The same copyright issues and policies apply to coloring page artwork as to written and visual assets created by someone else.

Wedding Clip Art Book - Scan or Cut and Paste DIY Digital Stamps

Make your own wedding clip art digital stamps from the images in this collection.

Ready-to-Use Wedding Illustrations (Dover Clip Art Series)
Ready-to-Use Wedding Illustrations (Dover Clip Art Series)

These ready to use cut out wedding clip art images are easy to scan, or you can copy them with a photocopy machine.

 

School and Education Clip Art - Copyright Free Graphics to Make Digital Stamps

Just one in a series of dozens of fine quality Dover clip art theme collections you can use to create your own digital stamps.

Ready-to-Use School and Education Illustrations (Dover Clip-Art Series)
Ready-to-Use School and Education Illustrations (Dover Clip-Art Series)

This high quality low cost black and white art is ready for you to scan and convert to custom digital stamps.

 
Cherry Blossoms digital stamp or coloring page outlines
Cherry Blossoms digital stamp or coloring page outlines | Source

Digiscrap Craft Resources for Paper Crafters

Digital stamps are popular with card crafters and scrapbookers. You can create wonderful creative greeting cards and scrapbook layouts using a combination of digital and traditional methods. This hybrid scrapbooking and paper crafting method is a natural fit with digital stamps.

Unique art, cardmaking and scrapbooking techniques combined with computer art will boost your creativity with digital stamps, printable backgrounds and mixed method mixed media paper crafts.

Think outside the "page" when you begin to experiment with computer-enhanced paper crafting. If you have a favorite digital resource, please share it in the comments section and follow the projects and ideas shared at the PaperCrafts Facebook page.

Photoshop Brushes are Fancy Digital Stamps

If you use Photoshop, you have access to a tool called a brush. It's basically a sophisticated digital stamp tool.

You can load brushes that other users have created, add brushes from specialized collections, or you can create your own Photoshop brushes and use them as digital stamps.

Free Photoshop Brushes

Brusheezy Free Brushes for Photoshop - browse thousands of unique digital brushes to use a stamps with Photoshop or Elements.

56 Best Free Photoshop Brushes includes textures as well as interesting pictorials that will create wonderful stamp effects.

DeviantArt Resources: Photoshop Brushes are artist-created and shared sets of digital stamps of all different types.

© 2011 Lee Hansen

Say Hello - Leave your "stamp" of approval - Glad you stopped by to explore

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    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 5 years ago from USA

      Wonderful! You have my stamp of approval.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I give you my stamp of approval. Great digital stamp lens and informative.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 5 years ago

      A stamp of approval for all the great resources and videos which I watched and links I followed. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love them, use a lot of brushes in Photoshop too.

    • Serenity30 profile image

      Serenity30 5 years ago

      Stamped!

      Nice collection of resources

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      Cool lens!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      Cool! I give you my stamp of approval. Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      jerri255 4 years ago

      Loving this, I pinned it , liked it , tweeted it, posted it to Facebook and google +'ed it! Thank you so much for all your hard work

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 4 years ago

      I really like the video and the lens itself. It's very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 23 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm thinking of having some old photos turned into outline sketches for use in my family history books. I need to look into an easy way to convert them.

    • Lee Hansen profile image
      Author

      Lee Hansen 23 months ago from Vermont

      There are several ways to convert photos to line art or sketch-like black and white images. My adult coloring page hub has links to a few.

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