Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday 101 - Rubber stamping - The Basics

Today's 101- The Basics is about stamping with a rubber stamp!

  • Make sure you have a solid flat surface to stamp on.
  • I like to use a foam mat. There are some sold at craft stores for this purpose, or you can use a piece of fun foam. This is optional but I think that I get better impressions when I use a pad.
  • Place a piece of scrap paper over your work surface. It keeps your surface clean and you can replace it as needed. And Grid Paper (130148) works great too!
  • Make sure your stamp is clean (they will be if you always give them a quick cleaning on the Stampin' Scrub (#126200) after you use them.
  • Select an appropriate ink pad for the paper that you are using.
  • Check the ink pad to make sure that it is clean, remove any debris. 
  • Ink a stamp and stamp it on scratch paper to see if it has enough ink. You will know if it is too dry by the amount of pressure that you used to ink the stamp. If you had to put any pressure on the stamp to get a good impression on your scrap paper then your pad is definitely too dry and needs to be reinked. If even gentle pressure on the stamp causes there to be overinking on the edges of the stamp then the stamp may have too much ink on it and you can remove some of the excess ink by tapping the surface of the ink pad on a piece of scratch paper, folded in half and half again so that the excess ink doesn't seep through.
  • Lay your stamp on your work surface. Gently tap the ink pad over the surface. Check to make sure the surface is well inked, you should be able to see and even 'glisten' over the surface.          
  • For small stamps you can lightly tap the stamp on the ink pad. Try not to get any ink on the edges of the rubber die as it may transfer to your project (when you press too hard, or rock the stamp).
  •  This is what an overinked stamp looks like.
    See the ink above and below the sentiment on the edges of the rubber? Because this is a long narrow stamp it will be easy for me to accidentally rock the stamp as I stamp it on my project. This will create an ink line above or below my stamped sentiment...definitely not what I want.
  • Now you are ready to stamp your project. Grasp the stamp firmly, you would be surprised how easy it is to drop a stamp on the middle of your project! Stamp straight down on your project. Try not to rock the stamp. Use firm pressure, but don't smash it! The larger the stamp you are using, the more pressure you will need to use. In fact I often stand to stamp a large card size image like the one that is in the first photo on this page. 
  • Don't remove the stamp as soon as you stamp it. Wait for a few seconds for the ink to transfer onto the paper.
  • Use one hand to keep the project on the flat surface. Lift the stamp straight off the project. Sometimes the stamps stick to the paper, that's why I hold the project down.
  • Most, but not all, inks dry quickly. If you are using an ink that dries slowly, put the stamped piece aside to dry. I don't know how many times I have hurried on without allowing enough time for the ink to dry and smeared my project.
  • Clean your stamp. You can use an alcohol free wipe, wash it in the sink, or use the Stampin' Scrub. Put your stamp away and it's all ready to use next time!
If your stamped image looks like the ink was not even, it could be that there are manufacturing oils still on the stamp. This happens sometimes with new stamps. You can clean it with dish soap, rinse well, dry the stamp and try again. If you are still getting a spotty image try rubbing your thumb over it. The tiny ridges on your thumb are slightly abrasive, it's like rubbing an eraser over the surface of the stamp, but more gentle. If that still doesn't work, it may be that your stamp has a low spot in the die and is defective. Contact your Stampin' Up! demonstrator (if it's a Stampin' Up! stamp) let her know what it is doing and maybe she can help you or have it replaced.

That's the very basics of stamping. Thanks for stopping by today. I would love to hear your comments and if you have any questions about stamping, please contact me.

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Have a blessed day,

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