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Rubber Stamps, Card Making,

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HOME » Shop » Articles
Stamps

Stamps are sold either mounted or unmounted.

  • Mounted stamps have the die(the engraved rubber image) then a layer of cushion attached to a wooden block or handle.  The block will be indexed with either a black & white image or coloured image.
  • Foam Stamps where the stamp is mounted on a thick foam block.  Usually the image is not deeply etched and care must be taken not to produce a blurred or smudged background.  There are also foam stamps available as words, alphabets, or doodle type images.  These are mainly used to create backgrounds or in scrapbooking.  Very easy to use with ink pads, pens or paints.
  • Unmounted stamps are available in rubber or polymer.  These are extremely popular due to the cost and storage space required.  They are available as individual stamps or in sheet form.  Typically A4 or A5 sheets which you cut up yourself.  They require some form of mounting system for greater accuracy when stamping.  The most common form for rubber is EZ Mount which is sold in A4 Sheets.  This is also a self cling foam for attaching to a (handle) for example an acrylic block which can be purchased in various sizes.  There are other makes available one of which is Kling On. 
  • Polymer stamps - most nowadays are already cut to the size of the image and have a peel and stick feel to them, allowing you to peel from storage sheet, stick to acrylic block, use, clean and return to storage sheet.  There is a great advantage in using this type of stamp on a acrylic block, due to the "see thru factor" when stamping.  You can also use an image and a greeting stamp on the same block which can be positioned accurately on your card or scrapbook page.
  • When buying stamps, check to see how deeply etched the image is(the deeper the better) and how well trimmed they are.  Excess borders around image can result in smudged effects(back print) when stamped.
  • Acrylic blocks come in various sizes, however it is not always neccessary to purchase all sizes. You can also purchase wooden blocks for unmounted stamps but a foam cushion has to be used before sticking rubber to wood.

There are three main stamp styles:

  • Outline - (or line design)stamps - as the name suggest, the outline of the image is stamped with few details.  These images once stamped can be coloured in with brush markers, pencils, gel pens, paints, inks or chalks.  (This type of image lends itself to heat embossing which will be covered later.)
  • Bold - (or block) stamps - the stamp image is usually quite solid with little detail.  Colour can be applied directly to image with various mediums such as ink pads, pens and paint.
  • Detailed stamps - finely detailed images including photographic require ink pads or marker pens for great effect.

Stamp Storage & Care:

  • Clean & dry stamps thoroughly after use and store, image side down or wood side to rubber, in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight or heat. (Do not stack one on top of the other as this can cause undue pressure on your rubber image). Storing well, will stop the rubber from cracking and they will then give you many years of stamping enjoyment.
  • To clean rubber stamps, place several layers of paper towels or spongetex cloth in a flat plastic tray and moisten with water.  A tiny squirt of cheap washing up liquid or clear window cleaner can be added to water.  Take the stamp and gently dab up and down on this surface to clean, then stamp onto dry paper towel to dry off.  Stubborn ink can be either removed with an old toothbrush or why not invest in a "Scrub Pad" and some  stamp cleaner which will remove the excess ink which may have built up in the crevices. This will also condition your stamps and help remove permanent or archival inks.  (To prevent staining on wooden blocks you can varnish around image using a clear nail varnish or proprietary brand.)
  • Do not run rubber stamps under the tap as this will loosen the adhesive and the mount and will also cause the wood to warp.
  •  Most Polymer stamps have the advantage of being cleaned by washing directly which does not take the stickyness away from the mounting system.  However the same applies for permanent inks - invest in a proper cleaner and pad.


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