Beginning Card Making - Stamps: What I've Learned so far
Here is the next section on my series: Beginning Card Making - What I've Learned so Far. This section all about stamps.
The great thing about stamps in general is that they can be mixed and matched. You might have some image stamps, a background stamp and a sentiment stamp, all different companies, but may be of a same 'theme' (i.e. birthday). Put them all together and you have a card!
Generally, I would recommend a birthday set and a sentiment set, these will serve you for a long time in creating cards. If the set has some basic or themed images included, you can use those to create your own patterned paper, which will stretch your stamp set even further.
There are a few different types of stamps: wood mounted (with red rubber), red rubber cling, and cling/clear stamps.
WOOD MOUNTED STAMPS
While I still love wood mounted stamps, I quickly learned that they take up a TON of space. And it can be frustrating if you need to re-stamp a wooden image (unless you have a stamp positioner to assist).
I found that the clear/cling stamps sets, tend to give more for your money. But of course that leads to having secondary tool, an acrylic block or stamp press. Using clear stamps can make it easier to line up and stamp again if needed. Clear/cling stamp sets are usually a collection of stamps around a theme (i.e. birthday) so they may have a mix of sentiment and images related to that theme. Some clear/cling stamp sets may include coordinating dies. These are great if you have die cut machine to use them with. Another bonus is finding stamp sets with coordinating stencils, I also have a few of these sets in my stash. The stencils are usually a background image that will coordinate with the stamp set, again, stretching your supplies even further. That’s a win for me and my budget.
Tools Needed for Clear/Cling Stamps
An acryrlic block is generally a clear thick plastic block in rectangle, square or circle shape. You press the smooth side of your cling/clear stamp to the block, the apply ink to the stamp to create the image.
Similar to an acrylic block, the stamp press has a hard plastic section with "feet", place the smooth side of the stamp on the press (feet side up), ink up the stamp. Turning over the stamp press, the feet will suspend the stamp above your project so you can move it around for placement. Once you're happy, apply pressure so the feet compress and lower the inked stamp to your project. (I love the Fiskars Compact press).
TIP: Find blocks or a stamp press that has grid lines on it. It will help you line up your stamps well. Before bringing it to your project, stamp it off on scrap paper just to make sure it is lined up straight (ask me how I know!)
Top of the line stamp presses: You can also invest in a stamp press/positioner that has a hinge to it. These are a higher in price than blocks and single stamp press, but will allow you to stamp multiple cards with the same placement without having to move the stamp each time. Some of the popular products are the MISTI, We are Memory Keepers Precision Press, and soon to arrive Tim Holtz Stamping Platform
TROUBLESHOOTING - "under pressure"
When you're first starting out, it can be hard to know how much pressure to put on your block or wooden stamp to get a nice crisp image. You can practice on scratch paper first before trying it out on a project.
Generally, you want to apply even pressure to the block or stamp press over the stamp. You can do so by "walking" your fingers over the stamp with firm pressure.
Try not to "rock" the block too much in the process, you might end up with a border of ink around the image. To minimize stray ink, wipe off any excess ink on your block and edge of the stamp with a microfiber cloth, baby wipe or stamp shammy.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Thanks for stamping by!
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