Friday, September 24, 2010

Stamping 101 : Stamp Products

In chatting with friends I found that some of them said they had stamps at home that they purchased with the intent of using, but became overwhelmed with how to use them.  So I decided to put together some basic information to share with new stampers, breaking it down first to be basics and then sharing some techniques to inspire them.

I think most people associate stamps with card making, but they are so versatile and my goal is to inspire others to use them in other crafty projects as well.
I love the versatility of stamps and the choices I have in style and color. I used to shop for a paper line I liked and then by all the pre-made embellishments that were sold with it for my pages. I don’t do that as much anymore. Now I shop for a paper line I like and then think about what stamps do I have and how can I create my own page embellishments, titles. And when I buy embellishments I’m wondering, “can I stamp on that?”.

This is post #1 of a series that will help answer some of the questions a brand new stamper might have.  I hope this helps you fall in love with stamping as I have!

There are several type stamps to choose from
so lets break down:

Foam Stamps
Foam images are secured to a foam or acrylic/plasstic base. They have the same disadvantages as wood mounted rubber stamps in regards to alignment. You can use inks on these, but you don’t get the same results as the other styles. If you want to use ink, pigment works best. You can apply ink or paint using a brayer for a smoother look or use a foam brush to apply paint to the stamp. You can always touch up the image with a small paintbrush. There is not a lot of detail with the foam stamps and you definitely don’t get a clean image, but if a casual look is what your looking for, then slather a light layer of paint on them and stamp away. When I have used this technique I usually doodle around the outside edge of the image.
Video Tutorial by Making Memories

Wood Mounted Rubber Stamps
The rubber image is mounted on a wooden block.
These stamps are difficult to line up or stamp in repetition, or layer images because you can not see through the wood / rubber. For the same reason it is difficult to stamp titles or journaling in alignment. These stamps, along with foam stamps, take up the most storage space.
There are tools you can use to help with alignment. HERE is one. If you google rubber stamp positioner you may find other options as well as a U-Tube tutorial on how to use these. I’ve just been too lazy to learn how to use it. I’d rather convert my wood mounted stamp images to Easy Mount and use them with Acrylic Blocks. By doing this I am also able to store my clear stamps and these stamps in binders by category and find them easier.
StampTV video using the Stamp-a-ma-jig

Un-mounted Rubber Stamps
Sold un-mounted, just the red rubber which you can :   
* mount on wood blocks. Some independent stamp sales companies send the red rubber and wood blocks to you. Advantage : stamp image on the back of the wood block. Disadvantage : requires greater storage area.
* mount on cling product like Creative Cling or Easy Mount . Advantage : Can be used on acrylic blocks and store on cling pages in a notebook or cd cases. I haven’t found any disadvantages yet.
* leave as is and use on acrylic blocks that have a sticky product - Tack N Peel. Advantage : You can use with acrylic blocks, but the TACK N PEEL makes it a little harder to see through the block because it is cloudy. Disadvantage : You can not store these in notebooks or cd cases.
Mounting Options Video at U-Tube
Tack N Peel Care Video at U-tube

Clear Stamps
Really cool because you can see through the image to get the best alignment. Especially if you are stamping with a Font set. This allows you to stamp each letter individually and see how close and line up the next letter. They can tear. So you must be very careful when removing from acrylic blocks. I have read the brands branded as the “best quality” are the ones that are cut close to the image. Another tip : When new, they can tend to repel ink. On one particular stamp the ink actually pooled on the stamp. I recently read that one way to prevent this is to rub a “pink eraser” over it. What I usually do when a stamp is virgin is stamp it several times on scrap paper first to break it in. I’m not sure what is on the surface of “some” of the brands, but I have had to lightly wash with soap and water before stamping. I also read that they can dry out and get hard over time. I haven’t experienced this yet either. You can help avoid this problem by avoiding the sunlight, indoor lighting, oil based products, acetone and bleach. A lot of retail stamp cleaners have conditioners in them to help prolong the life of your stamps.

Acrylic blocks
These come in a a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what you prefer. I own all three of these brands. I prefer blocks with guidelines on them. This helps me to visually stamp a image straight in alignment with the edge of the paper. Also if I’m stamping a word, I can line the word up straight on the block, using the guidelines. So guidelines are my first priority when purchasing a acrylic block. My next preference is a wavy edge for better gripping. Keep in mind that when cleaning, if you scrup too hard, the lines can come off.

Stamp Cleaners
Come in a variety as well. I’ll be honest. I mostly use water, and occasionally a tiny amount of dish washing liquid. But I have had a cleaner before that I sprayed on my scrubber and REALLY liked it. I felt like I was taking better care of my stamps when I used it. But after I ran out, I didn’t order more, bad stamper. And keep in mine that you need a special cleaner for solvent ink.  Alcohol free baby wipes are also an option.

I LOVE using my scrubber and when I find it’s “dirty”, I just stick it in the sink and run water over it and let it air dry. LOTS of companies produce these with their logo’s on the outside. They fold shut and have the a scrubber surface on both sides inside the case.

Stamp Storage
Yet another catagory with many options depending on your preference.  As I mentioned above, I prefer storing my stamps on "stamp storage boards"  that fit in 8 1/2 x 11" binders. 
Here is a link to a page with photo's of multiple options for you to consider:

Next Stamping 101 post will address the different type inks.

1 comment:

Joan V said...

Nice explanations. Thanks for sharing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...