There are several different designs of rubber stamps:-
- Wood handle rubber stamps.
- Foam backed rubber stamps.
- Clear stamps - these are clear, flexible rubber stamps stored on a sheet. When removed from the sheet the stamps will self adhere to an acrylic stamping block, which you then ink and stamp. The handy thing with these is that because they are clear you can see the image as you stamp, you can arrange the stamps on the block as you wish and they save on storage space!
Good quality stamps should give you a clear crisp image.
Different Types of Ink:
- Dye based pads - these are quick drying, water based inks. Colours are most vibrant on white, glossy coated papers and card stock. They are not however, suitable for embossing and ink can fade with time and when exposed to light
- Pigment based pads - are available in the widest range, they are ideal for embossing. They are however slow drying and so are not suitable for card/paper with a shiny surface - or if you are in a hurry.
- Embossing pads - pigment based pads can be used for stamping, but there are specific embossing pads available too. These tend to be pale or even transparant colours to allow purely the colour of the embossing powder to show. Embossing ink drys very slowly.
Embossing ink is also available in pens for more intricate, detailed work or even for drawing an image.
Stamp image with ink or using embossing pen, then sprinkle embossing powder over image. Tap excess powder and put back in the pot for future use. Heat image until powder melts. Use a proper embossing heat gun and don't use a hairdryer as the powder goes everywhere!
Top Tip - store your ink pads upside down, this way the ink will stay at the top of the pad so that it is always ready to use!
Inking your Stamp:
Depending on the size of your stamp and pad, you can simple put your stamp onto the pad and apply even pressure.
But the best way is now thought to be taking the pad to the stamp - i.e. turn the stamp upside down and gently ink with the pad, making sure you don't overload the stamp with ink. Doing it this way gives you much more control as you can see how much ink is going on the pad, it also means you can use smaller ink pads and you can even put different coloured inks onto different sections of your stamp.
Ensure that you have applied your ink evenly on the stamp.
After inking take your stamp and firmly STAMP it onto your paper or card. Take care not to rock it as this can smear the design. Apply firm and even pressure. Allow ink to dry before you add colour.
Cleaning Your Stamp:
It is always best to use a specialist cleaner as these are designed not to damage the rubber. However occasionally if you are in a hurry, baby wipes can be used, but do make sure that they are alcholol free.
A durable foam mat used as a work surface for stamping. The mat "gives" slightly allowing the best ink impressions. Particularly useful for oversized stamps.