Stamping Tips & Tricks: Expert Advice For Professional Quality Results
Keen to start stamping? Perhaps you’re a beginner to stamping, and not sure where to begin? Or maybe you’re just searching for a few stamping tips and tricks to take your stamping from average to awesome? Then you’re in exactly the right place! Expert papercrafter, Sara Naumann, shares her five top stamping tips below, including how to prime your stamp, how to edit your sentiment stamps to create different messages, and more!
Stamping Tip #1: Use an eraser to prime silhouette or solid stamps:
Silhouette stamps are those that transfer a solid shape onto your surface. If you’ve ever found that stamping a silhouette resulted in an uneven impression, then try priming it first. Just take a plain eraser and rub gently across the stamp’s surface. Use a baby wipe to remove eraser bits, then ink up and stamp. This is especially effective with brand-new stamps that haven’t been used.
See the difference between the top impression, which is an unprimed stamp…and the second impression, after priming?
Stamping Tip #2: Make the most of sentiment stamps with a little editing.
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!
Below you can see the two different stamps I want to combine into one sentiment—I want all the words except “because”.
I just put clear tape over the word ‘because’…
… then ink up the stamp! It’s okay if ink gets on the tape.
Next, remove the tape….
…and immediately make your impression.
And voila! Your finished sentiment is in place, and says exactly what you wanted it to!
Stamping Tip #3: Use a stamping platform—especially for layering stamped images:
With clear acrylic stamps and red rubber cling stamps, you’ll also need an acrylic block. This acts as a handle, or mount. As a long-time stamper, I thought stamping platforms were a bit of a gimmick and figured I was okay using just my acrylic blocks. Then I tried a stamping platform and became an instant fan. These tools are invaluable, for both new and experienced stampers. I especially recommend them if you are using layering stamps (such as those from Altenew), if you struggle with getting enough pressure on your stamps, or if you have any hand or wrist weakness or pain.
There are a couple of different platforms out there—the one I’m using here is the Load N Fold from Rare Earth. This is a simple clear acrylic folder with a hinge.
To use the stamp platform, simply place your cardstock on one side of the tool and secure with washi tape or low-tack tape. Place your stamp on top of the cardstock image side down, positioning it wherever you want the image to be. Once you are happy with your stamp positioning, gently close the tool, then open it again. The stamp will cling to the other side, in perfect position!
Another added benefit? If any ink didn’t transfer, or you got an imperfectly stamped image, you can simply re-ink the stamp and close the tool again!
For layered stamps, keep the cardstock where it is, then remove the stamp. Place the second layer of the design on top of the stamped image and close the tool. Ink the stamp, then close the tool. Repeat for all stamp layers.
Stamping Tip #4: Use masking to create dimension.
Want to know how to make an image look as though it’s in front of, or behind, another image? A simple process called masking is a great technique for creating dimension on your cards.
Begin by stamping the image.
Then stamp the same image again, onto scrap paper. This will be your mask, so don’t worry about stamping a perfect impression! I prefer to stamp my image on an office sticky note, positioning the edge of the image on the front of the sticky note, so that the sticky border will be perfectly placed on the other side. Cut out the image.
Stamp another image next to the first, with the edge of the stamp overlapping the sticky note mask.
Remove the mask, and you’ll see the second image is partially behind the first.
Stamping Tip #5: Easy clean-up:
I keep a package of inexpensive baby wipes on hand to clean my stamps—both acrylic and wood-mounted stamps. A simple swipe is all that’s needed, and then you can let them air-dry, or pat with a towel. (Be sure to clean off your blocks, too.) This stamp cleaning method works perfectly for dye-based inks, distress inks and pigment inks. It even works with solvent inks, which can still stain your stamps – although please note that staining won’t hurt your stamps!
If you stamp with paint or other non-ink mediums, however (like texture paste), then you need to wash your stamps thoroughly. Rinse clear acrylic stamps under water, using washing-up liquid. For wood or block stamps, opt for a commercial stamp cleaner or scrubber pad.
We hope these five top stamping tips have helped you on your stamping journey! Which will you be trying out next time you have your stamps out? Do you have any stamping tips and tricks of your own? Let us know in the comments below!