DIY Journal Cards with sweet digi stamps!



Well, Hello! I’m Leslie, nice to meet you! I’m new to the Sweet Stamp Shop creative team and I’m thrilled to be here! Today, I’m going to share with you how I use Adobe Illustrator‘s Live Paint Bucket tool to color in the sweet digi stamps!


8 step tutorial on how to create your own journal cards for pocket scrapbooking using the retired stamps digi files. 

When I saw on instagram, that Sweet Stamp Shop was releasing the Retired Stamps (Set 1 and Set 2) as digi files, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on them. As a scrapbooker… specifically pocket scrapbooking, I knew these images would be IDEAL for creating some custom journal cards! (for my own personal use only)

Speaking of instagram, are you following SSS on Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest? Don’t miss out on all the news and inspiration!

And they are ideal for this… the pdf files open beautifully in Adobe Illustrator, giving me each stamp graphic as a vector file. You could also do this in Adobe Photoshop, but, with the live paint bucket in Illustrator, making my journal cards was quick and easy. I was able to design four different cards in under 30 minuets.

Just think of all the fun journal cards you could make with over 82 different stamp graphics!


Here’s the step by step process of how I created them. 

1) If you have Adobe Illustrator, simply open the PDF file of the digi stamps. You will see all three pages of stamps and the agreement open up in one file. Be sure you are following the agreement! Anything you create with these images are for personal use only!

Click on one of the images. You will see that each image is a vector file. HOORAY! This makes is super duper easy to color, resize, layer, etc. You will see in the image below, I clicked on the mermaid and she is outlined in blue.

Browse through the images and decide which one you want to work with first. It’s so hard to decide! they are all so stinkin’ cute!


2) When I’m working on designing cards, I like to have a new work area created with different card sizes already displayed. Below, you will see that I started a new file and created 3×4 cards in different orientations. This way, when I copy and paste my stamp graphic, it will be easy to see where I want to start.

I also opened up a swatch panel from the Swatch Library. Adobe Illustrator already has several swatch options loaded and I decided to use the “Kids Stuff” library because of the fun, bright colors. By using a library of swatches that already go together, this will make it easy and quick to color your graphics and make all your cards match.

I decided to start with the hot air balloon for my first card.


3) Now that I have my graphic placed on my card and sized how I want it, the next step is to make the decision, do I want the outline to stay black or change that color? I knew that I wanted the background of this card to be a bright blue, so, I wanted the outline of the balloon to “pop” off that blue color. I decided to make the outline white. It is easier to make this change now, before we go into using the Live Paint Bucket Tool.

In the image below, you will see that I changed my card to blue. I made the balloon graphic white by selecting the graphic and then changed the fill color to white (be sure to turn off the outline option).  Now, let’s put some colors on!


4) Are you ready to add color??? Me too. To do this quickly, simply select your graphic and then select the LIVE PAINT – MAKE. You will find this under the Object tab on the top. Or, you can simply use the short-cut keys Alt+Ctrl+X.

When you do this, Illustrator will then recognize each area/section of this graphic as it’s own piece, yet, keep it all connected. It’s very similar to the “magic wand” tool in Photoshop.


5) Once you have made the graphic into a live paint graphic, you will notice that when the graphic is selected, there are larger boxes on the anchor points surrounding the graphic. The next step will be to locate the Live Pint Bucket tool. This is located in the tool bar. This will work just like the paint bucket in Photoshop, where you choose the color you want to work with, and click in the area you want to fill.


6) When you have the bucket tool and you are hovering over the graphic, you will see the different areas light up with the highlighter. This will tell you where you are about to fill.  FILL BABY, FILL! Have fun with all the different areas of each graphic! The beautiful thing is, it’s not set in stone once you fill in a section, simply pick a different color and refill.


7) Once you have your graphic colored the way you want, simply add some text or additional graphics and you’re done! I decided to include a couple of puffy clouds and a fun quote about adventure.  Just LOVE this card! It would also be super cute on the front of a greeting card, or framed and hanging in your kid’s room!



8) Start another card! There are 81+ graphics left to color and play with! (BIG SMILE)


So, what do ya think? Do you design scrapbooking items in Adobe Software? I’m working on another tutorial on how to use these graphics in a free program online, for those who don’t have any Adobe products. Would that be helpful? Are you already creating your own pocket cards??? Talk to me! I can’t wait to see what you’re making! Link it up below! And if you have any questions about this tutorial or on making journal cards, all you have to do is ask! I’d love to help!

Happy Creating!


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