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Hints & tips

Hints & tips

Welcome to the wonderful (addictive) world of stamping & papercrafting!

These are my tips. I don't sell inkpads, acrylic blocks, paper or anything else. Just stamps. So, these are my own opinions, but if you have any other good tips please share them with us all.

First things first. Make sure your table/desk is completely flat and 'wobble free'. You can use any combination of cutting mat, mouse mat,thick catalogue or paper pad underneath you paper/stamp - test your stamp on scrap paper first and find out what works for you.

You will need a clear acrylic block (or an assortment), these are available from craft shops or on-line. Look in the discount stores too - you never know what you will find! You can also use an old CD case, anything flat or rigid, preferably see-through. And, you will need a glue stick like Pritt.

The choice of ink will depend on what you want to do next....

Pigment inkpads
*  Best for non-glossy paper, slow drying, good for heat embossing.
*  Can be used without embossing but it will take about a day to dry unless you use a heat gun.
*  You can use on glossy paper but you must heat emboss or it will never dry
*  Once heat embossed the image is waterproof so you can colour with markers or paints.
There are loads of colours and the only type of inkpad with metallic colours. (I think!)

Dye based inkpads
*  Perfect for glossy card/paper
*  Not waterproof so you can't use with watercolours or markers.
*  The Memories range is the exception. They were designed to use with watercolours although I haven't tried them myself.
.... for more specific projects you might like

Distress ink
*  Dye based ink with a higher concentration of colour & longer drying time.
*  Designed to flow when sprayed with water and to be blended.
*  Perfect for altered art and distress projects.

Alcohol ink
*  Dye based, quick drying and permanent.
*  Designed to give a polished stone effect look.
*  Can be used on glossy paper, foil, acetate,  metal and shrink plastic,

Versamark
*  Use to create watermarks on wrapping paper, tissue and manilla tags.
*  Perfect to heat embossing using coloured embossing powder.
*  Stamp and use with chalks.

Fabrico
*  As the name suggest originally designed for stamping onto fabrics.
*  Can be used on acetate, shrink plastic, glass and all kinds of fabric.
*  Simply heat emboss to make design permanent

StazOn
*  Permanent on almost any surface, plastic, glass, ceramics, metal, wood, leather, acetate and paper.
*  Dries almost instantly on non-porous surfaces
*  Don't use on fabric you need to wash - use Fabrico

Inking & Stamping
Don't do it like they do in the Post Office!
Turn your block, stamp side up and tap gently with the inkpad until the image is covered.
Place the inked stamp onto the paper/card/fabric and press evenly - if you have a large stamp it may be easier to stand up! Don't wiggle your stamp - just lift it off and you should have a perfect umage.
Another way to stamp large stamps is to stick them to your glass cutting mat, ink stamp, place card on top of stamp and press with your fingers - don't move the paper - the image should be perfect.

Cleaning & Storing
Once you have finished stamping just wipe your stamp with an alcohol free baby wipe, remove your stamp from the block  and wipe off the glue. Store your stamps away from dust and direct sunlight, this will prolong theit life. Mind you I have a 10 year old stamp which I use to stamp tissue paper, I think it's only been cleaned once or twice, it's not kept in the dark and it's fine!

One more thing...
Just Google it!  Whatever you want to know, just Google it.
There are literally 1000's of videos out there. Some are better than others  - so just take a look!