Types of Craft Stamps
As the term implies, clear stamps are transparent so you can see through them. Since you can see through the acrylic blocks being used alongside clear stamps, it’s easier to position your stamp perfectly and is definitely helpful if you are just beginning with stamping. There are two types of clear stamps. If you want a higher-quality type that can last longer, go for Photopolymer stamps. If you want to save on cost, go for Acrylic stamps as they are typically less expensive. However, they are not as durable as Photopolymer.
Aside from being less expensive, acrylic craft stamps are also easier to store. They work well with pigment or Versafine ink but not with dye ink as they tend to bead up. Because of acrylic’s softer texture, it is more prone to spreading when stamping. The quality of the impressions may decrease after some time and the acrylic stamp can get stuck to the backing sheet. Also, you can never expect crisp images using low-quality acrylic stamps.
2. Photopolymer Stamps
Photopolymer stamps always give off clean and clear images since they are absorbent enough to take in more ink. They may cost more compared to the acrylic stamps, but the impressions they produce are worth the price. Moreover, they are very sticky and are made to stick well with acrylic blocks and stamping platforms. Photopolymer stamps are also durable so it will take a long time before you need to purchase a new one. They may give off a strong smell upon opening, but the scent will weaken over time.
Red rubber stamps are a bit more expensive compared to the clear stamps but they tend to give a more crisp image especially when you have really detailed designs. They are ready to use since they are usually mounted on wooden blocks. Additionally, they are more durable than clear stamps because unlike the latter they do not tear due to being peeled off from acrylic blocks. Red rubber stamps can also withstand high temperatures. However, it is more challenging to position red rubber stamps accurately because unlike clear stamps you cannot see through them. Wood mounted rubber stamps also eat up more storage space than clear stamps.
How to condition new stamps (prep stamps)
Let’s get down to the basics. Stamps need to be conditioned well to give off great results. Whatever type of stamp you use, new ones need to be treated with care. Here’s how:
How to store stamps
It would be helpful to attach clear stamps to acetate. Also make sure to store your clear stamps in a cool place to preserve them longer. Keep rubber stamps away from sunlight. You must also protect your stamps from dust.
As important as storing stamps is organizing them. Labelling your stamps can help establish an organized storage. Whatever container you will be using, it is best to keep all your stamps in one place and group them into their respective types.
How to clean stamps
When cleaning clear stamps, water and soap are good enough. Wash thoroughly and dry. Avoid using baby wipes that contain aloe vera and alcohol. Read directions of use when using stamp cleaners.
Stamping on fabric, wood, ceramic
Rubber stamps are great to use for ceramic materials. Rubber stamps and custom stamps do well on fabric as well. It would be better if the wood you will stamp into is a flat surface for easier application.
Aside from the stamp itself, you need other tools to continue stamping: acrylic blocks which allow accurate positioning of the image, stamp platform (stamp press) that evens out the stamp, and last but not least, sponge daubers for infusing ink to rubber stamps.
Stamping can be one of the most satisfying parts of making crafts. The principles of stamping are pretty basic. Choose the right stamp. Make sure you condition it. Go and get stamping!