If you're looking for an unique stamping effect, look no further than your supplies of candles. Stamping on soot can give you two different effects for the price of one - a subtle swirling background pattern or an image that looks like a photo negative.
To create this effect, you'll need a piece of gloss cardstock, a candle to create a swirling pattern (dripless ones don't work as well as the cheaper kind) or oil lamp to cover you entire page with black soot, clear spray acrylic varnish, a stamp, and a colored stamp pad (dye based or acrylic).
Light your candle or oil lamp and pass the cardstock over the flame. MAKE SURE TO HOLD THE PAPER FAR ENOUGH AWAY FROM THE FLAME SO THAT IT DOESN'T BURN!! Move the paper so that it catches the soot coming off of the flame until it forms a pattern or depth of coverage that is pleasing to you. If your final background contains a swirling effect, ink your stamp and stamp the image as you normally would. If you want to create a negative effect, DON'T ink your stamp-just press it into the thick layer of soot left by the oil lamp. When you remove the stamp, it will leave a white impression in the black background. Once you're satisfied with your project, spray it with a light coating of spray varnish to keep it from smearing.
NOTE: A little soapy water will clean the soot off your stamp and leave it as good as new (assuming it was like new in the first place!)
To see a swirled project using this technique Click Here
To see a negative project using this technique Click Here