Merry Mail Christmas Pins Merry Mail Christmas Pins

I had an absolute brainwave when I got’s Merry Mail set. I remembered back in the age of the dinosaurs, back when I was somewhat new to everything stampy, I saw at convention someone making these really elaborate pins. I thought that these images would be excellent for that purpose. And thus began a voyage of discovery, which led to my staying up until 4:10 a.m. last night putting the finishing touches on these. I learned a lot, y’all. And I will pass that knowledge on to you so you don’t make the mistakes I did.

Before we get into all that, most of the products I use are on sale at!

Along with the Cyber Week specials:

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+ COUPON CODE: Extra 10% OFF The Entire Store with Coupon Code CYBER2018

+ FREEBIE (11/26 – 11/28): Doodlebug Exclusive Collector’s Pin “I heart Crafting”

But first, lookie: Merry Mail

STINKIN’ CUTE! I looked for the directions online because I never attended the little class this demo would hold at convention on how to make them. I couldn’t find any instructions. It was (cough, cough) a long time ago though. So I had to make it up as I went along. And it was mostly successful. The later ones look better than the first as I learned. Merry Mail

First, I wanted these to be somewhat dimensional, so I stamped with’s black hybrid ink the image two or three times, depending. This one was twice and once in Cardinal Red for the scarf. I then cut out parts of the image (the red layer only the scarf and the layer below that just the bear). I colored the layers stamped in black with Copic markers. I kept the coloring fairly simple since these images are tiny. I doubled layered each layer except the base and later wished I had added another layer to that. I glued all these layers together with Judikins Diamond Crystal Glaze. Merry Mail

Fussy cutting these tiny images was INSANE!!! Honestly, it doesn’t add that much (though I like it), so you can certainly make them without adding all these layers. What can I say? I’m INSANE!!! I tried adding the extra layer before cutting and after then trimming to match, and I think the latter was a smidge easier. I colored the edges of the cardstock with a black Sharpie, which was hard to do because of the size. I need to find a better option there. Merry Mail

With this guy, I colored his beard the lightest blue and did little swirls of white gel pen. I wish I had colored it a little darker blue so that stood out more. I added little details with a black glaze pen to add dimension to the eyes on the animals and the snowman,’s Gold and Silver Slick Writer pens, Wink of Stella Clear, the Sakura White gel pen, and the Sakura Stardust pen (which really looks delish over the Slick Writer Gold and Silver!) I stamped each one with the smallest Dec 25 stamp in the set. Merry Mail

I stamped all the frames for the stamps, and I decided to cut them out with my Brother ScanNCut 2 and cut another layer out of plain card stock so I could layer those up too. To cut them out without cutting the middle out, I colored with Copic inside all the frames. This is what created the problem you can see a bit of here. Once I hit the final step of embossing, it made that image layer a bit transparent on some of the pieces, possibly once where I had not put quite enough Diamond Crystal Glaze on. And that color shows through in spots. If I had doubled the base image layer like I had done with the cut out layers, this probably would not have happened. Merry Mail

It looks rather okay on this one. One thing that I’ll remember to do next time is to color in all the snowflakes with the white gel pen as I did here, because they stand out better. Use a Sakura pen, though. The Uniball Signo is water soluble and might run or smear. Merry Mail

The last step was to load these up with UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel). You can do that the way I did and use your now-discontinued Ranger Melting Pot that you used maybe once and threw in a drawer and never touched again until now, which just involves popping the piece into the pot and pouring on the UTEE and letting it melt. You then remove it to a craft sheet using a little spatula so it will cool and set up. OR you use the Ranger Emboss It Dabber and cover the whole thing then add UTEE and figure a way to keep this tiny thing from flying across your craft table and sticking itself to the wall while you aim your heat tool at it and melt the UTEE. Luckily, any accidents to the smoothness of the UTEE you might have where you accidental-like scrape it with your spatula or touch it when it’s still warm and leave a bloody great fingerprint in the middle or, worse, burn your finger and run shrieking to the nearest sink, can easily be fixed by reheating the piece again. Just keep your fingers off it until it cools. They are not so easy to fix. Don’t ask me how I know this.

You can use regular clear EP, but you will have to add multiple layers. UTEE works much faster and gives a much smoother result.

Pin Backs

All that remains is to add a pin back. I like these self-adhesive ones. As you can see, the Melting Pots ends up adding some glaze to the back, so if you want to sign these or add the year, just to let those people to whom you are gifting these little jewels or are selling them at a craft fair (how could you bear to let them out of your sight after all the trouble you went to I’ll never know) that you are the awesome creator, you should do that BEFORE glazing them. I have always loved postage stamp stamps, and I look forward to playing with Merry Mail again!

I may, if people want, make a video on this process. Right now I’m just exhausted and peeling EP off the ends of my fingers still.

So the hints:

  1. Double layer all the things!
  2. If you want something to be white, hit it with a gel pen.
  3. It’s easier to cut a layer out and then add the second layer and cut around the outside of the first layer.
  4. Keep your fingers off the things until they are cool.

Below is my list of products that I used, and I have used compensated affiliate links where they were available, as I now participate in affiliate programs for Simon Says Stamp, Amazon, Ellen Hutson LLC,, Gina K, Hallmark Scrapbook, My Favorite Things, Sizzix, and Blick Art Supplies.

Buying through these links costs you nothing extra but gives me a small percentage of the purchase price, which helps support my blog and my artistic endeavors, and I thank you.

Enjoy! Ta!

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