Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tips for good stamping


         Thanks for your support and encouragement on my previous posts on Must Knows of Ink pads and Must Knows of stamps.As promised, I am back with tips for good stamping.

I again have a feeling of writing school essay :)These are the things to consider, before you start your stamping.

       Make sure you select the best inks , based on your stamping needs and inks properties.
  • You are free to use any good quality ink with Photopolymer stamps.
  • Keep in mind that the Silicon/Acrylic stamps repel water based inks and it is best to use Pigment or Archival ink with them.
  • Dye inks fade over long time.That is why they are not recommended for scrapbooking. Archival inks should be your choice for scrapbooking

    There are different varieties in papers based on thickness, texture, absorbency..etc.
  •  Papers with more than 180 gsm is suitable for stamping. And those over 240 gsm- 300 gsm for watercoloring. 
  • Always use papers with a little or no texture for stamping
  • Most of the papers absorb dye ink.Thats is why they fade.Those papers with less absorbency will keep the color intact.
  • Glossy cardstocks have less absorbency and requires heat setting.

I recommend using Fabriano Elle Erre for stamping and Fabriano Brusto for watercoloring.

        Sometimes your stamped images looks crooked. There are some tools like stamp-a-magic for this purpose. But if u cannot own them, our hands and eyes are our best tools right?
  • Set your stamps straight on the acrylic block, with equal spacing on all 4 sides.
  • Acrylic blocks with grid lines help in aligning the stamps easily.
  • Hold the acrylic block on all 4 ends firmly while stamping.
  • Press the block on paper and take off.Do not shake or move

Stamping Surface
       Stamping surface also matters, to get that perfect impression you need.
  •       Always stamp on a flat surface.
  •       Some prefer to stamp on the craft table.But it is always good to use a stamping pad below the paper you stamp on.It acts as a cushion and absorbs excess pressure, you apply.
  •        If you do not have stamping pad, no problem. You can substitute with thick mouse pad or embossing pad

         Finally, Of all things, this is the step , taken most lineantly.
  • Different stamps require different pressures. 
  • As it is difficult to measure pressure for each stamping, it is to be gained by experience only.That is why, if u get used to one type of stamp, you feel at ease with them, than others.
  • Stamp on a scrap paper for 2 or 3 times, before you do your original stamping. This helps in getting used to the right amount of pressure for that stamp.
  • Also, it depends on the designs. Solid designs require more pressure and thin designs require much less pressure.
Hope I have covered all the items for getting a good stamped impressions. If you have any doubts, please feel free to ask me.

Thanks for reading my post the past 3 days.Would love to hear from you!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Must Knows of stamps!!


           I am back with yet another post on stamps today. Since many of you requested, following yesterdays post on Must Knows of Ink Pads,  I am writing this sequel!!.

DISCLAIMER: All the views expressed in this post are based on my personal experience and views.Readers might have a different opinion.

       Now some of you might be wondering/worrying/confused, why after buying some good stamp brands from the industry, the stamped impressions are not clear or perfect.This post will try to answer all your question. If it does nt , pls mail me. I shall try my best to answer.

        I have a collection of different brands of stamps. While using them, I found some differences in their quality.That basically depended on the material , they are made of.

 Stamps are broadly classified into 2 groups - those that are made of Acrylic/Photopolymer 

would nt even give a close to perfect image , after lots of preparation..!!Frustrating!Arrg
crisp images, with just inking and stamping
Loses Stickiness after using a few times
Regains its stickiness, after cleaning the dust over them
Not stinky
A little stinky, when new                               
Less porous, so does not take ink well.Can stain too but not as readily as polymer.
Porous, so stains easily and takes up ink well
Softer material that may spread while being stamped
Firmer material that tends to give cleaner impressions
 Works only with certain brand inks like colorbox, archival
 Works well with most ink brands

        Which classifies photopolymer stamps to be superior over the acrylic stamps and obviously costlier.I generally find ,that the stamps made in China are made from silicon and those manufactured in USA, UK, India are made of polymer.Some of the stamp companies mention the material in the pack . But others do not. I tried to comprehend a list, based on their stamping properties

Photopolymer Stamp brands

Papertrey Ink, Lawn Fawn, Stampavie,Flourishes,Verve, Peachy Keen Stamps, 
Hero Arts,My Favourite Things, Paper Smooches, Stampendous

Acrylic stamp brands

Recollections,Studio G ,Fiskars,Martha Stewart, Prima, 7Gypsies , Inkadinkado, Kaisercraft,Pink Paislee,Making Memories,Scrappy Cat,Doodlebug Designs

        Now that you know in advance , the stamps and the material they are made of, and therefore what you will be able to expect from them, you can take informed decisions on what stamps you buy!

         Store your clear stamps in a light-free container. Even indoor light may discolor and eventually harden your clear stamps. These stamps are made of a light sensitive material because they are developed using a light process.

       Storing stamps in DVD/CD cases is the best method I have come across so far.Here is one idea from CraftyStorage to store your stamps.She has some amazing storage ideas!

            Since most of the inks stain the stamps, you need to clean them,just after you use them.Staz on requires a special cleaner, you must buy from the market.Other ink stains could be cleaned easily with Kitchen Cleaners like Mr Muscle! :)

         I still could  hear some of you cribbing abt stamping. Dont worry, I understand your needs perfectly. So will be back with another post tomorrow - for tips on stamping.

      Hope this post was useful for you! Would be happy to read,what you have to say about this post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Must knows of ink pads!!

Hello peeps,

                 I have had some enquiries, asking the difference between the inks and their usage.It is quite confusing . I know, as I had been through it :). I thought, it would be a better idea to record it in blog post , so that it would be helpful for many!. Ventured into writing this post!! ha.. ha..I am not a pro. I may not know everything , about every other inks..Some information in this post are taken from the internet.In this post I will share the details I know, about the inks used in Indian market. 

PS: Long post!! Sorry if it gets boring :) Please do not use this post with any commercial interest.

                Inks that are widely used include the following..(ha.. feels like writing a school essay!! ;) )
  • Dye Ink
    1. Chalk ink
    2. Archival ink
    3. Distress ink
  • Pigment Ink
  • Embossing ink
  • Solvent ink
  • Hybrid Ink

Memento Ink Pads, Tsukineko
Colorbox dye ink pads, Clear Snap
Ink it up Dye, Darice


  • Dye inks are an inexpensive fast-drying ink and are thinner in consistency .
  • Since they dry quickly and leave a very crisp image, so they are good for highly detailed stamps.
  • They are water based.
  • They usually leave a stain on the stamps. 
  • Color on ink pad looks darker than the color it stamps.
  • won't show up much on dark colored paper


Sponging and Direct Transfer to Paper.
Best ink to use on glossy cardstock.
Cannot be used in embossing,as they dry out quickly.

Chalk ink
VersaMagic, Tsukineko 
Hero Hues, Hero arts
ColorBox chalk inks, Clear Snap
  • provide opaque and good ink coverage 
  • muted chalky look with whitish residue or "chalky look" visible in reinkers
  • dye ink typically in a skin-foam ink pad
Techniques :
Soft, matte shades for stamping and coloring.
Direct to paper techniques and used for backgrounds.
Does not give fine detailed stamping.

Archival ink
Brands: Ranger Archival, Colorbox Archival
  • These permanent dye based ink pads are acid free. 
  • Archival Inks do not deteriorate paper or precious photos. 
  • They will not bleed .when painted or brayered over with watercolors, colored pencils, water-based inks and markers or pearl pigments. 
Perfect for painting or brayering over with watercolors, colored pencils, water-based inks and markers or pearl pigments. 

Distress ink
Brands : Distress ink, Ranger
  •  Acid-free, non-toxic, fade resistant, water-based dye inks.
  • They’re perfect for the new vintage, stained, aged effect , distressing papers and coloring photos
  • Slow drying inks (stay wet longer) allowing you to blend, shade and emboss on photos and paper
  • The fluidity of this ink allows the color to wick and spread out, traveling across the surface of your paper when spritzed with water. 
  • Color stability - the integrity of these colors remain true after being watered down or heated, allowing for greater color control. 
Too much to share here :)  Find all the distress ink techniques in this link


Adirondack Pigment Ink Pads, Ranger
Brilliance Fast Drying Pigment Ink Pads, Tsukineko
Color Box Pigment Ink Pads,Clearsnap
Ink it up Pigment, Darice

  • Pigment based inks stay wetter longer, as they have ingredients like glycerin
  • They contain little pigment particles of color and has vivid colors
  • They are also water based , but thicker in consistency  and opaque.
  • They can be cleaned easily from the stamps (Use Mr Muscle Kitchen cleaner :)) 
  • Color on ink pad looks same as the color it stamps.
  • will show up on dark colored paper
Since they take longer to dry, they are suitable for embossing.
Can be used to distress the edges.
Difficult to use on glossy card stock, as they might smear easily.


Brand: VersaMark , Tsukineko
  • Embossing ink stays wet for very long time
  • It is relatively sticky and should be removed with stamp cleaning solution.
  • This sticky ink attracts  your embossing powder. 
It is used only if you intend to emboss the image. 
You can use it alone to create watermark images.


Brands : Staz on

  • Solvent, or permanent ink is opaque and quick-drying. 
  • Acid free, Archival quality with a little odor.
  • It works great on slick surfaces like  plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, laminated paper, coated paper and leather.
  • They don't clean easily off your rubber stamp with standard stamp cleaners. 
 It's also great for home decor stamping, including surfaces like walls, furniture, or glass.
 Permanent inks are not recommended for fabric


Brands: Palette, Stewart Superior and Paper Trey Ink  pads

  • combination of dye and pigment ink (does not contain solvents)
  • works on most surfaces including glass, plastic, acetate, metal, fabric and more
  • does not smell bad and is nonflammable
  • dries instantly on paper and porous surfaces; can require heat setting on glossy surfaces and fabrics
  •  eliminates all the confusion over which ink to use for what surface - because it works on everything and is a non-solvent ink
           Cannot be used for embossing as it dries fast

If you have read till here, then you have got that patience and the interest in stamping!!I would love to reward you for that!You can mail me at, with a coupon code of INKSAVE5 to get 5% off on the purchase of 3 or more ink pads. Offer valid till Jan 15, 2013.

Click on the link to see the ink pads in stock.

Thanks for stopping by!
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