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Crafter's 101 - Stamping

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Our Crafter's 101 series is designed to teach you all about the concept and products around a particular technique. In this Crafter's 101, you'll learn everything you need to know about stamping - the stamps, the inks, the accessories and stamp maintenance. Plus, as a special bonus, we'll show you the effects which can be achieved using a slightly more advanced technique - stamping and embossing!

Papercrafters have been stamping for ages! But the technique is still a core part of papercrafting, and as time goes by, it's finding applications in other branches of crafting too.

If you have any questions about any of the techniques or products on this page, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page - if our friendly customers don't beat us to it, we'll do our best to help you!

The Stamps

Stamps generally come in two types - rubber and acrylic.

Rubber - rubber stamps are made using high temperatures, which means that they're very durable and suitable for use in more advanced techniques which involve heat.

Acrylic - acrylic stamps are made with a sheet of clear polymer or vinyl. They have some benefits, such as the ability to see exactly where you're stamping, but image quality tends not to be quite as good as rubber and acrylic stamps can stain easily.

Crafter's Companion carries a wide range of stamps - we've chosen a few favourites on the right, but you can see our whole range by clicking the button below.

We're huge fans of our Rock-a-Blocks here at Crafter's Companion.

They're specially designed blocks with a curved surface to give an even amount of pressure across the complete surface of the stamp. Begin by adhering your rubber stamp to the block using a glue stick or our Stick & Spray repositionable adhesive. Next apply the ink to the stamp, getting plenty of ink onto the surface.

Next take the Rock-a-Block to the paper, rest it heel down on the paper and rock it heel to toe to get a great impression. View the video on the right to see a demonstration of this action!

Ink

There are loads of different types of ink pads, which can sometimes make things a bit confusing. The most versatile pad for getting started is your basic black pad.

Dye-based ink pads, such as Archival and Memento give a clear image and don't dry very quickly, so if you're keen to finish your project, you may need a special heat tool to avoid smearing.

StazOn ink pads are really popular amongst our customers. You can use them on pretty much any surface, including plastic, metal, glossy paper and pottery. And because they're solvent based, they're fast drying too.

Finally, a mention for Tim Holtz distress inks, which will give your stamped images an aged, distressed look.

Stamping Accessories and Storage

If you're not confident with inking your stamp directly from a pad, we sell a number of ink rollers.

The Crafter's Companion EZMount storage system is a great way to store your stamps. Just cut your stamp to size using craft scissors and stick your stamps to an acrylic storage panel using repositionable adhesive.

Once you've finished using your stamps, it's important to clean them. You can use water or a baby wipe for this, but for a deeper clean, we sell stamp cleaners. Make sure that the cleaner you pick is for the ink type you've used (water-based, pigment etc).

Wet embossing is a technique which allows you to give your stamped images depth. Stamp an image using clear embossing ink, such as Versamark. Then cover the stamped image with embossing powder. Tap off any excess powder.

Use a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. TOP TIP - heating the surface from underneath minimises the amount of embossing powder blowing around!

When the powder looks glossy, it means that your embossing is done. If you find that your embossing cracks, heat the powder for less time next time. If your embossing is uneven, you need more heat.

We'd love to see the projects you create using this technique - please email your pictures to website@crafterscompanion.co.uk!

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Stamping Tutorials and Inspiration from our Blog

STAMPING GLOSSARY

Acrylic Block - Acrylic blocks are usually transparent, solid blocks that come in a range of sizes. Once your stamp is mounted, it gives you something to hold as you press your stamp onto the project.

Acrylic Stamp - Made from a polymer or vinyl, acrylic stamps ‘cling’ to the acrylic block or Rock-a-Block without the need of a repositionable adhesive. Whilst acrylic stamps are clear and therefore easier to position, they generally do not give as clear an image as rubber stamps.

Rubber Stamp - Rubber stamps are usually packaged in a sheet, meaning that you cut out each individual image and then use a repositionable adhesive such as Stick and Spray or a glue stick to mount the stamp onto an acrylic block or Rock-a-Block

Stamp - Usually made from rubber or acrylic, a stamp allows you to add images or sentiments to your projects. The stamp is adhered to an acrylic block or Rock-a-Block, and then the raised area is coated with ink and pressed onto the desired surface.

Rock-a-Block - Rock-a-Blocks are used as alternative to acrylic blocks, they have a curved face and a depth gauge that means when you stamp, the pressure applied to the paper is even, ensuring a consistent application of ink.

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