Rollagraph Serendipity Backgrounds

Last Updated on May 1, 2019 by Nancie Waterman

Rollagraph Serendipity Backgrounds

For the past week, I’ve been working in my stamping area, tearing up grungy old carpet, moving around heavy stamp and craft storage units and generally making a mess. But in the process, I pulled everything out of several storage areas and found a box full of Rollagraph wheels, ink cartridges and handles.

It’s been a while since I’ve used them, mostly because I haven’t been storing them with the rest of my stamps so when I’m browsing my stamps for a project, I forget about them (something I have corrected in my reorganization.)

I also was straightening up some scrap paper and it occurred to me that the Rollagraph wheels would be handy for turning odds and ends of left-over papers into useable background papers.

Blue Background Paper Before

For example, this piece of paper was in my “save this because maybe I’ll find something to do with it eventually” pile. (I have trouble throwing anything away.) I don’t remember what technique I was experimenting with at the time, but it isn’t all that attractive as is.

Blue Background Paper After

So I tried rolling over it with one of Clearsnap’s Rollagraph wheel patterns. It’s a full 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of cardstock, so I’ll probably cut it up into several smaller pieces to use for card layers. With a few rolls of the wheel, it now has much more potential. The ink beneath the stamped pattern gives it an unexpected extra bit of color and interest. You never know how this type of thing is going to work out, so there is some serendipity involved.

Flower Rollagraph Background

Here is another background in progress using a Rollagraph wheel over a piece of scrap paper that caught some yellow/green over-spray from a project I was working on at some point.

Purple Rollagraph Background

And here is another left-over bit of scrap paper. I think this one was probably from playing around with a watered ink brayer.

Purple Rollagraph Background2

But look what happened to it when I brayered another Rollagraph wheel over it in two different colors. Pretty cool huh?

In the early days of stamping, a roller stamp’s printing ability was limited to the circumference of the rubber stamp wheel. Once the inked rubber rolled across the paper once, most of the ink was discharged, so it would get lighter and lighter as you continued to roll it. This made it hard to create long lengths of evenly inked patterns.

Rollagraph Directions1
If you’ve only played with that type of roller stamp, you probably find you don’t use them much. (In fact, at one time some stampers preferred to unmounted the rubber stamp from their wheels so they could stamp them that way instead.) But if you instead use the kind with a self-inking handle, it is a much better experience. Here is an empty Jumbo Rollagraph Self-Inking Handle from Clearsnap.

Rollagraph Directions2

To use, you slide in an ink cartridge.

Rollagraph Directions3

They snap easily in place.

Rollagraph Directions4

Remove the cover to expose the inky applicator inside the ink cartridge.

Rollagraph Directions5

Snap in one of MANY Rollagraph wheels Clearsnaps offers.

Rollagraph Directions6

Press the cartridge up so it makes contact with the wheel. Then you simply roll it across some scrap paper a time or two to ink the wheel. Then roll it across your project. The ink stays in contact with the wheel so the image stays crisp and evenly inked. It’s very easy to use.

There are a lot of gadgets in the craft world and you don’t need all of them. But this is a nice low-tech kind of gadget that is actually well designed, doesn’t need electricity, is fairly easy to clean and doesn’t require dedicated table space. The handle runs somewhere around $6 and the wheels run about $7.50. There are also smaller Standard Rollagraph Handles and wheels.

Right now I have my wheels in boxes, but I’m mulling over ways to store them so they are out where I will see them and so use them more often. Anyone have an especially good way to store roller stamp wheels?


9 thoughts on “Rollagraph Serendipity Backgrounds

  1. Hi Nancy, love the papers, I have a fab way to store the wheels, you can see it here: I took an old calendar frame and hammered nails in from the back so they poke out the front and I slide the wheels on the nails so I can see them. I love these kind of stamps but often forget about them until someone has a SU! party and I see a new stamp wheel i need LOL! Thanks for the reminder to use them!

    1. Lindsay, I checked it out on your blog. Very cool. I like that it doesn’t need any shelf space, is easy to see and it seems easy to get wheels on and off. I’m pretty tight on wall space though. BUT, I’m thinking that an alternate way to do it might be to use some peg board – kind of like what you did, but with pre-made holes. I have an IRIS drawer tower next to my work area. My husband put peg board on three sides of it so I could hang up things like my heat tool, scissors, ruler, brayers, etc. (I literally have no wall space to work with so this was our solution.) Maybe another peg board on another of my IRIS units with some pegs or nails in the holes would work . . . I will think about it. Thanks, Nancie

  2. I used small dowels shoved into holes made into a piece of 4×8 wood. I was able to store 6 small wheels or 3 large ones on each dowel. I stood it up on a shelf near my stamps. Later I unmounted the wheels I wanted to keep and then placed them onto static mounting foam. Now they are in my binder with the other stamps.

    1. Cindy – That’s an interesting idea. It would use shelf space, but would keep the designs visible. Right now, I still have the original paper index loosely wrapped around each wheel in the box so I can more easily see the designs. I’d like to find a way to keep the indexes loosely wrapped around them for that reason and also to keep them from getting dusty if they are sitting out. I know, I just have to use them enough that dust won’t be able to settle right? LOL Nancie

  3. Nancy,
    I put my roller wheels on a pants hanger. The kind with multiple arms that hook and unhook. The i have them hanging from my door. It works well for me. Hope this helps you.

    Kim McKinney

  4. I love the idea of rolling over your inked scraps much better that just rolling across a card. Great idea, thanks

    1. Hi Patt, Thanks. I really found that I liked the unexpected look of the inky scrap paper beneath the rollered image. What you are rolling the design over does make a difference of course. I had some papers with dark acrylic paint on it and the brayered images didn’t show up well on them (which makes sense.) And some of the papers still look pretty rough when you look at them as a whole piece, but I think they will be pretty cool cut down to make card layers. Nancie

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