How to Easily Color Digital Stamps (using Stratified Overlays and Styles)

April 22, 2017

Digital Stamps are super fun and easy to use on our scrapbook pages.  They can be used in multiple ways to either make a bold statement or add subtle interest.  You can color them, apply styles to them, use Blend Modes on them, or clip papers to them.  Some Designers call them “Stamps” while others call them “Blendables” or “Art Effects.”  No matter what they are called, adding them to your digital stash and incorporating them into your digital projects can be a great way to add another dimension to your finished projects.

Today I want to show you a quick way to create a beautiful, blended, multi-colored effect when using a digital stamp. 

Here is a digital stamp stamped in black. (Spoiler Alert!  This is a stamp I created for a Grab Bag with Manu Scraps; not available until NSD weekend!)  Stamped in black, the digital stamp shows a lot of contrast and is quite pretty; however, I want it to be full of beautifully blended colors.

Here is the same brush stamped in color. I don’t really like this at all. It’s flat and has little contrast.


Here is the stamp with multi-colors. I like this and think it’s really pretty. So how would you get this look?  

Well, you could grab a brush and select your foreground color, and randomly stamp over the image. Then change your color again, perhaps change your brush, and stamp some more.. and so on.  That would definitely take a while, and it takes practice to get pretty blended colors.  

But I wanted (and promised) “fun and easy”……so let me share one of my secrets with you.

When I color digital stamps, I very often will use one of my (previously retired) Stratified Overlays or Stratified Rock Styles.  In the image below, I simply clipped a Stratified Overlay to the stamp. It took mere seconds to achieve this pretty look.  

I have the same overlays in Styles (.asl) format.  The Styles use the same color patterns but with the effects that are added to the styles, they create a quite different look. The stamps above and below use the same pattern; however, the stamp above was created by the overlay and the stamp below by the use of the Style.  Both are pretty. The Styles add more texture, an embossed look, and more contrast.  You would choose to use the overlay or the style based upon the end look you wanted to achieve.

Here is the same stamp with a different Stratified Rock Style applied.  So pretty, I think. 

If you like the variation of a pattern but want it just a little bit different color… it’s not a problem. Just add a color adjustment layer above the digital stamp. This holds true for both the Overlays and the Styles. Here is the same Style I applied to the 2nd image above, with a few color adjustment layers added, to create a totally different look.

I have been obsessed with digital stamps lately, and I wanted to share with you my joy in creating and using them. But I think without knowing how to color them easily, they aren’t much fun…. so to help you with that, I have bundled up my Stratified Overlays and Stratified Rock Styles and put them back in my store at a super-duper discount.

Youl will find the Stratified Overlays and Stratified Rock Styles at: 

SnickerdoodleDesigns     The Digichick     theStudio

Collection values are $20 each, but I have priced each collection at just $8 (60% savings). Or you can choose to pick up both Bundles for just $12 (70% savings).

Available here, at SnickerdoodleDesigns

If you would like to download a PDF of this tutorial, you may do so HERE.

I hope you have found this helpful, and give it a try!  Thanks for stopping by today!

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  1. Cathy L Vernon

    Love these Styles Karen! I use them a LOT on layouts. My favorite way to use them is on my titles.

  2. Peggy S

    I LOVE your stratified styles and overlays. I especially love the styles with the textures.This is a perfect use for them! Thank you for sharing this easy, effective technique.

  3. Steph

    I love your stratified collection! I think I have almost everyone! They are so gorgeous, but I do forget to use them, so this tutorial is perfect! Any more ideas for use?

  4. Carol

    Thanks ever so much for sharing how to do more with our stamps. I seldom used them unless the black color fit in with my layout. I tried a few times to color but felt something was lost so didn’t leave them on the layout. I hurried over to your store and got the overlays and styles and now anxious to try them. The ones you have here are so beautiful.

  5. Sara LEGLER

    I really like when you include a pdf of your tricks and techniques. I keep them in a folder for easy access, then I don’t have to search through my web favorites to try to find it again. ? I know it’s more work for you, but a great resource for us!!

  6. Beatrice

    I absolutely love this technique and the results are so pretty. I’m not very good at using brushes but this makes me want to try!

  7. Lynn

    Absolutely beautiful, Karen, and so easy to change the effect using styles and overlays. I will definitely be using this technique in the future 🙂

  8. Renee

    Your Stratified Collection has so many stunning color combinations, and I LOVE how I can use them with Stamps – you’re right super Fun and Easy! Thanks for the tutorial/reminder on how to use them 🙂

    • Karen

      Thanks, Renee! I look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  9. Sharron

    I love your tutorials, but greatly appreciate it when the pdf downloads are available. Ones like this are difficult to save, and I would like to keep it.

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