Tips for Using Rubber Stamps

Tips for Using Rubber Stamps

Posted by DecoArt on Jun 22nd 2014

Are you a rubber stamp enthusiast? I have been using rubber stamps, both the traditional block style and the reusable acrylic stamps, for the past few years and love the versatility of them. There are so many things that you can do with rubber stamps, but only if you take good care of them, your ink pads and the materials that you are using with your stamps. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Keep a pack of baby wipes handy. This is a little trick that I learned from my mom years ago, and it is really helpful if you are changing ink colors often and using the same stamp. Gently wipe your rubber stamps to remove the previous color, then re-ink.

  • To achieve a layered color look, use a finger dauber or smaller sponge to ink your stamps so as to not cross-contaminate your ink pads.

  • Always use even and firm pressure on your rubber stamp when applying your stamp to your paper or surface. Even pressure will ensure a clear image.

  • The surface on which you stamp makes a difference. Make sure that your surface is firm, flat and solid. If you are using plain paper, put a few sheets together to create a solid surface. This will ensure an even stamped image, as opposed to picking up the texture of the surface under your paper

  • Over time, rubber stamps will stain. There is a difference between clean and stained. Most inks will stain your rubber stamps, and this is definitely no cause for concern, it is very common. Just make sure that you wipe your stamps with a cleaner or baby wipe, and dry, prior to applying ink.

  • Never soak your rubber stamps, particularly the traditional style that are on wooden blocks. Soaking will loosen the adhesive and ruin your stamps.

So, what do I use rubber stamps for in my studio? Aside from using them in board books and scrapbooking for dimensional elements, I use them with clay! They make great embossing tools for polymer clay, and the same tips apply – use baby wipes between clay colors, use even pressure and have fun!

Larger, more decorative stamps can make a different pattern every time you use them, so don’t be afraid to layer your stamps, whether on paper with ink, or embossing on clay!