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Stamping on Paper-Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Updated on December 20, 2020
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.


Stamping On Paper

Stamping is an art form, that is for sure. Those of us who started stamping a while ago, remember the limited choices. Most of our stamps were rubber fixed to a wooden block. now there are all kinds of choices including acrylic sets.

Stamps are sold as individual items as well as sets. They can be themed to almost any subject you can think of. They can be sentiments, shapes, boarders and much more.

You can use them on greeting cards, scrapbook pages and journals,

When you start out with stamps, your first one should be general themes like birthday, Christmas, get well. They should be stamps that you will use.

But once the bug hits you, collecting stamps will become a passion.

No matter what kind of stamps that you have, keep them out of extreme changes in temperature. Too hot or two cold will eventually ruin your stamps. You also need to store them away from any light sources. Protecting your investment is important !

Types Of Stamps

There are several different types of stamps that you can chose from. Each have their advantages as well as disadvantages. The best choice is the design and price range that is right for you.

Rubber Stamps

Rubber stamps are images or designs which have been etched or moulded onto a sheet of rubber and are usually fixed onto a cushiony material and then onto a block, which you hold when a stamped image is made. The problem or challenge with these types of stamps is that you cannot see where the stamp is going on the paper

Rubber Cling Stamp

These are the same type of rubber stamp as the mounted stamps but have one difference. The rubber image which is mounted onto a cling material but not glued to a woodblock. You would use the cling stamp with an acrylic block or stamping platform to get the image

Acrylic Stamps

Acrylic stamps are also called clear stamps or polymer stamps. They, in actuality are not made of acrylic at all. They are made out of a polymer or vinyl. They come on a sticky or clingy backing that comes affixed to a sheet and can be peeled off and applied to an acrylic block for stamping.

Advantages To Acrylic Stamps

  • Since they are clear, the obvious advantage to using them is that you can see where you are placing them.
  • Another advantage is that you can combine more than one acrylic stamp on a block to create a scene on your project. This saves a little time.
  • Since these stamps are less thick than other types, they take less room to store.
  • Acrylic stamps are often less expensive
  • They are easier to clean

Disadvantages of Acrylic Stamps

  • Unless you wash and store them correctly, they will lose their cling. They will not stay on the block or platform used to stamp them. You can however try to wash them in a mild soap and water to reclaim their stickiness
  • Depending on the quality the image can spread

Stamping Tips For All Your Craft Stamps

No matter what kind of stamps that you use, these tips will help you get better results and enjoyment from your crafting experience

  • Stamping on patterned paper- You might not think about doing this, but stamping on patterned paper actually will make it appear to be part of the pattern
  • Cut your stamp as an embellishment-Make flowers, butterflies and anything you can think of with your stamps, Stamp and color an image. Cut the stamped and colored image. You can give it extra dimension by adhering it onto your project with a glue dot.
  • Use alphabet stamps to create a bold title or word. Make it stand out with darker ink on lighter paper, or reverse the color. Use light colors on darker paper
  • Create your own patterned paper with stamps. This idea is only limited to your imagination. There are all kinds of backgrounds that can be created with stamps and inks

Before you use any new acrylic stamp it is important to prime the stamp. This gets any left over residue from the manufacturer. Doing this gets a perfect impression from the very first use. You can use a baby wipe, a very fine sandpaper or the base of a blending tool. Run over the stamp very lightly. Wipe off, dry and enjoy your stamp.

Acrylic Stamping Tips

Rub over the stamp with a very fine grade sandpaper (be careful with this) or better still, try one of the non-white erasers that you often get on the end of pencils. Rubbing it over like this seems to remove any oily film/release agent and the ink will adhere better.

If you are using dye inks, switch to a pigment ink that has a longer ‘open time’ or window than a dye-based ink which will tend to soak into your paper. Pigment inks will float on the paper and take longer to dry and this is why they are used for heat embossing. This gives the stamp a better chance to make a good impression. Although solvent inks will arguably give the best result, they are not recommended for regular use, due to their potential destructive properties.

  • Use a really sticky transparent ink like Versamark as a ‘primer’ before adding your chosen ink colour. Do this by stamping onto the Versamark first and then immediately stamping onto the colour pad before stamping onto paper. The sticky transparent ink will hold to the stamp image better than the dye ink which will itself adhere to the Versamark.
  • When removing your stamps from their backing, you want to roll them with your thumb, away from the plastic. If you grab them and peel them up, thinner areas of the stamp may rip.
  • Consider covering your surface with a craft mat or some paper to prevent the inks from staining your work surface
  • Use an acrylic block only slightly bigger than your stamp
  • Clean your acrylic block when you change stamps so that you do not cross contaminate your inks

Use a good weight paper to stamp on. Paper like construction paper and printer paper will often bleed. You need a good base to stamp on !

Do you use China based stamping products

There have been many claims by designers regarding stamping products made in China. Specifically that designs have been stolen and the materials are not well made. Where do you get your stamping produ

See results

Know Your Inks

It is important to use the right ink for your stamping project. Deciding which ink to use depends on the paper or material you are stamping on. Some inks will sit on the top of a surface while others will be absorbed,

The second thing to consider is the amount of time it takes for the ink to dry. If you are doing a simple stamping, then a quick drying ink will do fine. If you are heat embossing, then you need a slower drying ink.

Another thing to consider is the use of the ink. Are you looking for a more permanent ink, something fade proof, something that will act like water color.

Knowing your inks will help you chose the right ink for your project with the best results.

Ink Choices

Name Of Ink
What It Is
Dye Ink
Water based ink that are absorbed into paper and dry quickly
Most popular ink for basic stamping. Works well with any stamp,
Pigment Ink
Pigment ink is thick and creamy that tends to be more opaque. It sits on the surface, Does not soak in like dye inks. Offers a longer drying time. Is also very blendable.
Pigment ink is great for heat embossing because of its longer drying time. Not recommended for glossy paper, unless you use a heat gun to dry it
Embossing And Watermark Ink
Embossing and watermark ink is very thick and sticky. It has a slow drying time and is usually clear, though it is also available in subtle tints or shimmers that create interesting effects when dry.
This ink is perfect for embossing because of its slow drying property, You can cover the stamped area with embossing powder without worring about the powder falling off
Distress Ink
Distress inks are water based inks that create a weathered look on paper, photos and other fibrous materials, They are fade resistant and very blendable
Distress inks can be used to create water color effects. It is a slow drying ink that can be used for heat embossing. It is easily blended to create beautiful backgrounds.
Chalk Inks
Chalk ink has the dense, muted look of chalk or chalk pastels. It is fade-resistant and fast dryi
Chalk ink is perfect for any project where you want a matte, chalk-like finish. It works well with most stamps and preserves crisp lines and small design details when stamped.
Solvent Ink
Solvent inks are considered permanent inks. They can be used on glossy and other non-porous materials (acetate, metal, acrylics, shrink plastic, glass, and ceramics) They are fast drying inks
These inks are not recommended for any use with alcohol markers as they will bleed
Hybrid Inks
Hybrid ink has qualities of both dye and pigment ink. These pigment-based inks are fast drying and waterproof, and they tend to be more translucent than other pigment inks.
Because they are waterproof and permanent on paper, hybrid inks can be used in mixed media projects and with water-based media like watercolors. They are also archival, fade-resistant, and can be heat set onto everything from glass to wood to fabric, which makes them a great choice for home decor projects and for projects that will be on display for a longer period of time.

How To Use An Ink Pad

The best way to ink your stamp is to take the ink pad to your stamp. Lay your stamp with the stamping surface up. Tap the ink pad several times to the stamp. This will insure a good stamped image every time

It is so easy to re ink your ink pads to help them last longer
It is so easy to re ink your ink pads to help them last longer

Re-inking Tips And Ideas

It is always a good idea to order a re-inker bottle every time that you order an ink pad. There are a few reasons to make that a craft habit:

  • If the color is discontinued, you will make the ink pad last longer
  • You will never run out of ink mid project
  • You are being a responsible crafter by reusing your ink pad over and over rather than just replacing it.
  • You can use it to reink a contaminated ink pad

Here are a few tips for your reinker bottles

  1. Use a paper punch to punch a small round dot. Color the dot with the ink that is in the bottle. Grab a tiny glue dot with the top of the lid. place the colored dot on top of the glue dot. You will always see the color on top of the bottle
  2. Use a reinker to refill a marker. Many companies have coordinating colors in stamp pads and markers. If the marker is the same color, you can use the re inker to refill the marker. Gently remove the tip of the marker. Drop a few drops of the ink into the marker. Tap the bottom of the marker to get the ink into the barrel. Replace the tip and you are good to go.
  3. Create a watercolor wash- Place a single drop of ink on an acrylic pad. Add a couple of drops of alcohol and wash onto your card stock

Accidents Will Happen

We all have done it or will do it in the future ! We are thinking about our project and accidentally take a stamp with one color ink on it and touch it to a different color. Now we have a contaminated ink pad. There is a simple remedy to salvage it. You can Very lightly blot the contaminated ink pad with a folded paper towel. Get as much of the bad ink off the pad as you can. Then reink the pad with the correct color

Refilling An Ink Pad

At some point or another, your ink pads are going to get dry. of course, as we have stated, having the re inker bottle on hand makes this job easy and quick.

  • Lay your ink pad on a flat surface.
  • Open the lid and set aside
  • Open the reinker bottle. Touch the tip of the pad onto the inkpad surface.
  • Spread the ink horizontally across the whole surface, gently squezzing the bottle.
  • Now, turn the pad the opposite direction and apply the ink
  • Spread some additional ink in the center of the pad
  • Take a used gift card or credit card and very gently spread the ink across the entire pad.
  • Clean the ink off the card spreader so that it can be used again
  • Replace the lid

Always re check the reinker bottle before you start refilling an ink pad. Some colors may look similar.

Getting A Good Impression With Your Stamps On Acrylic Blocks

  • Make sure that you have a sturdy flat surface to stamp on. A table or counter is a good option. Add a couple of pieces of card stock or a magazine on top of your surface. That gives your work space some protection and gives some padding.
  • Place your stamp on an acrylic block. Take the ink pad and apply it to the stamp several times to make sure the the stamp is covered with ink.Look at the surface of the stamp to make sure that it is well inked. If there are areas that appear dry, re ink the stamp.
  • Apply the stamp to your paper with a firm even pressure. Do not rock the stamp or slam the stamp onto the surface of your paper. You will get a blurred image .
  • Larger stamps or stamps with more detail will require more ink and more pressure. On these stamps use your finger tips and apply even pressure on the entire stamp.Do not allow the stamp to move while you are applying pressure.

What To Stamp On

Use a foam mat to stamp on. A large mouse pad or a cutting mat will work just fine. Following this one tip will help you avoid getting a halo or a smudge

Using A Stamping Platform Or Tool

There are dozens of different stamping platforms. Each has a little variation to them. but they all do the same basic thing. They allow you to precisely place a stamped image on your paper exactly where you want it. The image is crisp. If for some reason it is not clear, you can stamp it again in the exact same location.

For the price, these tools can save you a lot of time and energy.

Stamping On Vellum

Vellum is a translucent paper that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It is not absorbant like other papers, so it takes a while for the ink to dry.

You can stamp on vellum, but you have to be very careful that the ink does not smear. A stamp platform or a Misti tool would be helpful to get a better image. You can dry the vellum with a heat gun, but you have to be careful so that the paper does not buckle.

Dye inks work well on vellum. After stamping, set it aside to dry for about 10 minutes. You can also use pigment inks. Archival inks also work well on vellum paper.

Never Rock Your Stamp

Always go straight down on your paper, press evenly and lift straight up. Rocking it will cause any ink on the edges of the rubber to transfer to your paper, giving you the halo of ink that we all hate to see when we lift our stamps!

How To Line Up Sentiment Stamps

Glossy And Pearlescent Paper Tips

Clossy, Pearlescent and photo paper works like vellum in that they do not absorb the ink.Stamps may slide about since the ink remains on the surface, so you will need to apply your stamp directly to the paper, do not rock or move it about and then lift it straight back off. Inks like Stazon work very well with these papers, Dye inks work equally as well

Layered Stamps

Always make sure you clean your stamps if you are using the same stamp but changing colors. If you do not, you will get contamination

Cleaning Your Stamps

The most often used method to clean stamps is with a stamp cleaner and a scrubber or a roll on applicator. You apply the cleaner directly to the stamp, Use a household sponge to scrub the cleaner in. Then blot with a paper towel.

Another method of cleaning your stamp is to set up a wash station. Take a plastic container with a lid. Place a new cellulose kitchen sponge in the container. Add a drop or two of dish detergent to the sponge. Fill the container part way with water. You can rub the dirty stamp over the sponge till it is clean. Blot dry. Make sure to periodically change the water and rinse the sponge.

I use a Stamp Shammy from a company called Lawn Fawn. It is a 5" by 7" cloth. You simply hydrate it with water and clean your stamps. You rinse it and allow it to dry. Mine is well worn with some stains on it, but it still works well.

Some folks swear by alcohol free baby wipes to clean their stamps.

There is a difference between clean and stain free. Certain types of inks will stain your stamps permanently. Clean the stamps and store them. The stain on them will not affect future use.

Don’t use permanent ink removers on your acrylics, even if they don’t seem to be affecting them, they may wear down your image over time and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Many of your sentiment stamps can be masked off to create different messages. Simply arrange your stamps on the block, then place a piece of tape over the word(s) you don’t want to stamp. You can use clear tape, washi tape or any other kind of low-tack tape!

Stamping With A Mask

Masking is a technique that is used when you want to stamp two or more images close to each other, It will make one image appear to be in front of another.

Here is how to do it:

  • Stamp the image on a piece of paper or on a Post It Note
  • Cut out the image just inside the line. This is your mask.
  • Now stamp the image again on your project paper.
  • When dry, place the mask on top of the image covering the stamped image.
  • Stamp the image again partly over the mask
  • It will appear that one image is behind the other.

Organizing Your Stamps And Ink Pads

Keeping organized with both your stamps and ink pads, make your craft time a lot more pleasant . You will spend less time looking for what you need and more time creating, You will know what you have so there is less chance to purchase duplicates.

Organizing Your Stamps

If you are using acrylic stamps, there is an easy way to get and stay organized. You can create a simple stamp notebook. As you get each acrylic set, copy the set backing sheet with the images on your set with the copier part of your printer. Put the images in a page protector. Set sections like birthday, flowers, butterflies, ect. Organize your notebook. When you get new sets, just go the subject you are looking for see the available images.

Set up a corresponding system where you store your stamps. If you are storing them in an upright container, use the same system with sectioned dividers to match your notebook.

Create A Notebook For Your Ink Pads

You can create an ink pad catalog very easily. Like your other catalogs, it will help you stay organized and save you time.

You can create your catalog either by manufacturer, color, type of ink or a combination of any of these. Many companies provide free sheets with areas that you can ink

All you need is a small solid stamp, ink pads, copies of ink sample sheets or paper, paper, page protectors and a notebook.

Stamp the pads that you have.Place them in a page protector. and organize them by catagory.

Label Your Ink Pads

Label the ends of your ink pad so that you can find the exact color that you are looking for.

© 2019 Linda F Correa


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