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Cover up stamped mistakes (orange mark at the left edge of the scallop panel) with paper flowers, message strip or ribbon.

The top image is freshly stamped with Shadow ink, the bottom image shows how the ink softens into the paper after ten minutes.

To remount a stamp, microwave for 10 seconds, (1) peel away from the wood, (2) reposition, (3) it's ready to use again.

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Tip: Clean new stamps with Ultra Clean before using to remove any residue left on them from production.

Successful Inking and Stamping Tips
By Shari Carroll

Great stamping skills begin from the moment the stamp meets the ink onto when the stamp unites with the paper surface. Learning the correct way to use ink pads is essential for successful crisp stamped images.


Tiny Stamps: These are little stinkers. The smaller the stamp means it's time to pay closer attention. One of the first things I do is check the mounting. I do test stamping to see if these little guys are straight on the block. If not, I send them to the microwave for 10 seconds, peel the rubber from the wood and place it back on again where I want it.

When I’m stamping, I really watch how I ink them. The reason is: because there is less surface area on the small size of the stamp, it's easy to set them down on the ink pad at an angle. These stamps are smaller than the ink pad so they tend to “sink” in more. Simply hold the stamp in one hand and gently meet it to the ink pad with the other.

Trial and Error: So you’ve caught an edge and have made a mistake, we all do it from time to time. What next? How can you fix it? Depending on the location of the mistake, covering it with embellishments like paper flowers or gemstones may render good results. You could always stamp an additional image onto colored cardstock, trim and mount over your error. (See Example 1).

The best way to avoid over-stamping is to remember less is more! When inking the stamp (especially foam type pads), don’t press the stamp in too hard, just tap the ink onto the surface. I prefer to hold the stamp in one hand and the ink in the other; I can keep a watchful eye on what I’m doing.

Note: If you find yourself trying to get more ink on the stamp and having to push hard, it may be time to re-ink or replace your pad.

Large Stamps: Yep, they may seem intimidating, but have no fear. My theory is: The larger the stamp, the larger the ink pad. I tend to get better ink coverage on bigger stamps with a full size ink pad. This theory works when applying one color to the stamp. For these stamps, set them down on your surface rubber side up. Press the ink pad onto the stamp and tap until the entire image is covered. Now you’re ready to stamp.

Note: I use Chalk Queues when applying several colors to one stamp.

Another tip to try when stamping large images is to look at what you have under your cardstock. I work on a surface that has a little give to it. A mouse pad is ideal and a perfect fit for card sizes. A mouse pad is the best tool to use when stamping with large Clear images since they have no padding.

Jennifer McGuire did a great video showing how to stamp with large images. You can check it out below.

Wait and See: When using Soft Shadow inks, remember they stamp a little splotchy but smooth out over time. This is the nature of the ink, it's doing what it needs to do to achieve the Shadow. I call this the wait and see. You may think you haven't stamped correctly, but give it a couple minutes to know for sure. Check out example 2, the bottom image was stamped ten minutes before the top one, see how the ink has blended into the paper.

Microwave: The microwave, really? Yes, I use it especially to remount stamps that I use to create backgrounds. There are certain stamps that I do repeat stamping with such as the Houndstooth.

I reposition it on the block so I can easily see where to match up the pattern when stamping. I prefer it to be flush with the bottom and one side of the wood. Remember, only 10 seconds! Peel the rubber and mount off from the wood and reposition. (See example 3.)

Remember to practice with new stamps to get the feel of them, and see how they perform with various inks.

For more information on the properties of ink, visit this article HERE.