Before you apply ink to your stamp make sure it is clean and lint free.  If you have a different ink from a previous stamping on it you should clean off any excess ink so it won’t muddy your ink pad.  If there’s any lint on your stamp not only will it possibly transfer to your stamp pad but will most likely interfere with inking up your stamp and cause a speck or hole in your image.

For all intents and purposes there are 2 main types of stamp you are likely to come across – rubber and clear and the rubber ones may be mounted in several ways so I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of all these.  
  • Wood mounted– the old fashioned way.  Originally this was how nearly all stamps were sold.  They are expensive to manufacture (and therefore to buy) and bulky to store.  The advantage is that they’re ready to use and you don’t require an acrylic block.
  • Unmounted Rubber stamps- some companies sell their designs as plain rubber sheets.  You do all the work of cutting up the sheet into individual images and then mount this either on Easy Mount™ .  Easy Mount is a spongy material which has adhesive on one side to attach to you stamp and a surface which adheres readily to an acrylic block on the other.  You can also adhere your rubber stamp sheet directly to your acrylic block with  Pritt but this is messy and time consuming - you will have to apply the pritt before each acrylic block application and clean it off afterwards.
  • Cling Rubber Stamps– these have been mounted on the Easy Mount ™ (or equivalent) by the manufacturer and are ready to cling to your acrylic block - more expensive than the unmounted rubber but much more convenient.Clear or
  • Acrylic Stamps– are clear and therefore excellent for lining up images on your design.  They stick directly to an acrylic block.  If you find they lose their stickiness, wash with detergent and allow to air dry.  You may find some inks, notably Stazon and water based dye inks such as Distress Inks, tend to bead and you get a blotchy image.  Try going over the surface of your stamp with an eraser before you apply the ink.

Caring for Your Stamps
  • Keep all your stamps clean, dry and away from light and heat sources.
  • Keep your acrylic stamps on the clingy index sheet they come on, with the other cling sheet on top.  Store them in a sealed bag to keep the set intact.  You might like to consider storing them in a box so you can flip through them easily or in a binder. Simply slip each set into a sheet protector.
  • Don't put too many stamps in each binder, or they’ll be too heavy to stand up
  • Don’t toss your stamps into a box or basket or store them under anything heavy.  Stamps are pretty durable but you still want to treat your investment with care!

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