Stamping Card Supplies 101: Things You Need for Card Making
The Different Stamp Types
Although you will see many names thrown around such as cling stamps, acrylic stamps, polymer stamps, rubber stamps, clear stamps, and photopolymer stamps they can be all broadly classified into two different types: rubber stamps and clear stamps. There are also DIY stamps but we will talk about this a bit further down.
You are probably already familiar with rubber stamps. They are the traditional red-colored stamps that are usually mounted on a woodblock and are ready to use with your ink straightway.
They last a long time but their one flaw is that you can't see through the wooden block to line up the stamp in an exact position. Sometimes this matters and sometimes it doesn't .. but when it does matter and you line it up wrong, it's incredibly frustrating.
Clear stamps have really changed the world of stamping and are designed so that you see through the actual pattern on the stamp to line them up precisely on the paper.
It's a great feature when trying to exactly line up lettering or when you need to double stamp something to add more color or shading. They are also great if you are a fan of die cutting as you can actually buy matching sets of dies and stamps to create some really wonderful embellishments.
Clear stamps are usually made from either acrylic or photopolymer, with the latter typically being of better quality. One of the best features of clear stamps is that they are not mounted onto a block. The reason this is a great feature is that you can create custom stamps by combining your small stamps onto a block, which is also clear. They can even be used in a stamping press, which we will talk about further down.
You can make stamps out of anything you want really! Leaves make a great texture stamp and you probably remember making potato stamps where you were a kid.
I was given a neat product a little while ago called ''Moldable Foam Stamps'' in which you use a heat gun to warm up the foam block for around 30 seconds, and then quickly hold down something onto the surface as it cools, effectively making your own foam stamp.
Being foam, it's not the best quality stamp in the world but it makes some really great textures for backgrounds depending on what you push into it. I suggest trying rice, pasta, or things found in nature.
Collecting stamping ink is almost as fun as collecting stamps. However, if you only want to fork out one stamping ink, black is the way to go. If you can find a waterproof one, even better! Waterproof ink will not smear when you paint over it with watercolor or go crazy with markers on your card.
As well as there being hundreds of colors to choose from, there are also many different inks to choose from. I'm going to talk about specialty inks, pigment inks, and dye inks.
Dye inks are the standard ink for card making and are by far, the most popular. There is nothing wrong with just buying a few standard dye inks in different colors!
One of the most popular specialty inks is distressed ink. When it dries, it creates an aged effect that really adds something special to your cardmaking. There are different specialty inks out there but this is a great one to start experimenting with.
Pigment inks are opaque, meaning that they are solid in color and you can't see through them. They are a lot thicker than standard ink and as a result, are also used for embossing and in scrapbooking.
I feel like the stamping press was invented for those of us who can't deal with stamps unless they are precise and aligned every, single time. Basically, a stamping press has a hinged lid that acts in place of the stamping block.
It's really simple to use. You place your paper on the platform, then place your clear stamp of choice on top face down and close the lid. The stamp is now stuck to the underside of the lid which will act as your stamping block. You can now ink your stamp and re-close the ink to make your mark.
The benefit of the stamping block is that if you need to reink your stamp or you want to add another layer, you can do this as the paper and stamp are in the exact same spot.