After reading a message thread on the Two Peas Refugees Stamping board, I really wanted one of the nice stamp positioners available for sale. The only problem was that there were reports of cracking with the tool I had intended to buy. There were suggestions for how to do a basic hack to create your own tool. I adapted those suggestions slightly.
I bought two 8x10 sheets of polycarbonate at Home Depot, one 8x10 photo frame from WalMart, printed off a one inch graph sheet that was divided by quarter inches (from quiltbooksandbeyond.com), and grabbed a roll of Gorilla Tape that I had on hand.
I replaced the glass in the photo frame with one of the sheets of polycarbonate. I put the graph sheet behind the polycarbonate, then put the fiber board back of the frame back on. However, first I ripped off the hinged stand from the back of the board back of the frame. I needed it to be flat. I filled in the rest of the cavity of the back of the frame with cardstock and chipboard from my stash, until the back was level. I taped the chipboard/cardstock layer in place with Gorilla Tape.
I added the other sheet of polycarbonate to the front of the frame. It overlaps all the edges. Once I had it straight, I taped it down one of the long sides with a long piece of Gorilla Tape for my hinge.
It took about 10 to 15 minutes or so, and it works. I stamped one of the Blazing Poppy flower stamps, but I wasn't happy with the washed out color, so I stamped it again. It gave me perfect placement on top of the first stamping, and it deepened the color which made me a lot happier. I have tried it several times, and so far, the Gorilla Tape "hinge" works fine. If I need to replace my "hinge" at some point, it will be easy.
Total cost: a little over $12 with tax.
Now for the pictures of my tool hack.
I didn't get a dark enough color when I stamped the first time. So I inked it again and re-stamped. It stamped in exactly the same spot, which is what I wanted a good stamp positioner tool for. This makes it SO easy!
The above photo shows the back of the photo frame. Normally a photo frame has a cavity. By adding additional cardstock and chipboard behind the polycarbonate sheet and fiber board back, it had a firm surface for stamping on.
I still need to cut some fun foam to use for inserts for using this with clear stamps. I don't have time to do that right now, but I am mainly using it with cling stamps at the moment, anyway.