Tuesday 4 August 2015

fizzi~jayne's crafty tips for stamping.... #2 basic materials needed

Welcome to the second instalment of my crafty tips for stamping! 

In part 1 I covered the different types of ink available which you can check out here.  As well as ink you will need the following materials....


There are different types of stamps
  • Mounted rubber stamps
  • Unmounted rubber stamps
  • Acrylic stamps

Mounted Rubber Stamps

These are what I began with. These stamps are supplied ready to use already mounted onto a wooden handle. Unlike unmounted stamps, you don't need anything other than an ink pad to get stamping which makes them an ideal stamp to get started with and have a go.

The down side of these are they are more expense to buy due to the wooden handle and take up more storage space compared to unmounted stamps.

Unmounted Rubber stamps

Unmounted rubber stamps consist of just the 'die' part of the stamp, which is the rubber bit with the design etched in. These then require mounting before use by using a foam cushion which you can permanently mount or a temporary fix with a cling foamto use with acrylic blocks.  Some unmounted stamps come complete with a foam cushion which saves you having to cut and buy the foam to mount them with.  

However, there is one brand of block you can use without the need of a foam cushion, Rock-a-Blocks. Instead you use a temporary spray adhesive to attach the stamp.  This only works with these blocks due to their design and the different technique with stamping.

Unmounted stamps are often cheaper than their mounted counterparts.  They also take up a lot less space making it easier to store. However you will need a suitable stamping block. 

Mounted or unmounted, deep etched rubber stamps are ideal for stamping onto fabric or into soft surfaces such as pottery or air dry clay.

Acrylic stamps

These are my favourite type of stamp to use. These clear stamps temporarily adhere to acrylic blocks and because they are clear it makes the precise placement of stamps simple and straightforward. After stamping, clear stamps are simply cleaned and popped back onto a backing sheet ready for the next use.

Acrylic stamps come with backing sheets showing their designs but the stamps are completely clear.

The advantages of clear stamps is that they are often cheaper than rubber stamps and as they are unmounted they take up less space but they do need a stamping block. Some stamps can discolour over time depending on the inks you use and how quickly you clean them after use but they will still stamp fine and if you look after them they should last a lifetime.  Watch out for cheaper stamps, some may rip as they come off the backing sheet (I have found this with some of the free ones that come with craft magazines).

Acrylic Block or Stamping Block

If you use an unmounted stamp you will need an acrylic block.  They’re sold separately from the stamps. 

 My acrylic blocks are well loved! They are clear when you buy them from the shop. I've inked a stamp so you can see what it looks like when you are stamping.
An acrylic block that’s slightly larger than your stamp is perfect. If the stamp is too big for the mount, you won’t get a good impression.  

As you get into stamping and buy more stamps you’ll need  a variety of mounts to accommodate your different stamp sizes.

I will go into the technique of stamping in a future post.

Card and paper

I wouldn't recommend using copier paper as your image will bleed but it is a good place to practice and try out a new stamp for the first time.

I always use card it's perfect for stamping with any kind of ink pad and being thicker than paper won't get too wet, keeping the image crisp. You can find card stock in a variety of textures, weights and of course colours and patterns.  You can stamp on smooth or textured card stock  with different effects, super smooth card will give it a crisper image whilst textured card stock will affect the stamped image, which you might like and suit your project.

When I use my Promarkers with stamped images I use a super smooth card to get a clean image and alcohol pens don't bleed.  One of my favourites is Sheena Douglass Stamping Card. Sheena is also worth checking out for techniques and inspiration, you can find her YouTube channel here.

Try different types of card and paper and see what you like the best. If you are not getting the results you want it may be the paper or card you are using.

Craft Mat

Not essential to start but you will need to protect your work surface and you can pick up an A4 Cutting Matfor under £5.

Baby wipes

A must have to clean mucky fingers, mats and stamps.  If you don't want to use baby wipes then soap and water will clean most ink off your stamps.  However, solvent inks need a specific cleaner.


Sometimes you may find using a foam mat (or a mouse mat) would help to get a better impression from the stamp. I only use one if I am having trouble with getting an even image from a stamp. You may find that if you use a craft mat this is sufficient.

So this is what you need to get started.  My advice is to buy what you can afford to get you started and just play!

Next time I will share my techniques to get the best results from stamping.

You may also like....

#1 Types of Ink
#3 How To Stamp

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliated.


  1. I always find that the edge of the stamp ends up making into the design as well!

    1. That is annoying when that happens. In my next post "how to stamp", I'll share my tips to avoid things like this :-)


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