Learn How to Use Rubber Stamps For Card Making
Craft rubber stamps for card making come in every shape and for every occasion you can imagine. The most common use of craft rubberstamps is for making handmade cards, but they are also used for other paper crafting projects and can be used for texturing polymer clay or stamping on nonporous surfaces like metal, glass, and plastic.
Rubber stamps can add a decorative touch or provide words or sentiments to a project. For every holiday, season, celebration, and occasion there are rubber stamps for making a fun craft.
I have been rubber stamping for over ten years. I have quite a collection of shaped rubber stamps and also sentiment rubber stamps that I love to use. I make cards, party favors, scrapbook pages, and other paper crafts.
One of my favorite places to go to learn about Rubber stamping techniques is Lindsay the Frugal Crafter on YouTube. Her videos are so informative. She gives wonderful tips!
What Types of Stamps Are There?
The first thing you need to understand about how to use rubber stamps is all of the different names for them. Rubber stamps is a generic for any type of stamp that you use for crafting. Just like all tissues are called Kleenex, all types of stamps are called rubber stamps even though they may be wood mounted, clear acrylic, foam, or digital.
Wood mounted stamps are the original rubber stamps. They are made from rubber and mounted onto a block of wood so that you can hold them. There is usually a layer of foam between the rubber and the wood so that you can get a nice crisp image.
Polymer stamps stick to acrylic blocks without the use of adhesive. This type of stamp is very popular, because you can see through them and see where you are stamping. They are great for sentiments and two part stamps that require precise placement.
There are two types of foam stamps. You can buy inexpensive foam stamps for crafting projects. They are usually pretty thick, and the images are large simple shapes. They are wonderful for using with craft paints. The large chunky shapes are great for kids to work with. You can stamp shapes on T-Shirts, Tote Bags, flower pots, wood, and much more. The other type of foam stamps are smaller and are for card making a paper crafting. They are more detailed and cling to clear acrylic blocks. They can either be shapes or sentiments.
Digital stamps or digis are very popular with tech savvy crafters. You purchase them online from the designer and download them to your computer just like you would a photo or other file. With the growth of technology, websites and blogs now offer a huge variety of these stamps. You send payment by credit card or Paypal, and download the images you purchase are emailed to you or you download them. The advantage is that they are inexpensive, take up no storage space, and they can be resized to fit your project. The designers often have a design team to showcase projects using their digis to help inspire you. Many websites offer free digis.
Tips for Purchasing Stamps
Rubber Stamps have been around for years, but with the boom in the scrapbooking and papercrafting industry in the 1990’s, stamps have become very popular for card making. There are stamping conventions in major cities and craft stores have a good selection. They can be purchased from tons of online stores, Amazon, and Ebay.
Amazon and Ebay have a huge selection of stamping supplies for card making, with very competitive prices. Ebay also sells used rubberstamps, which are wonderful for beginners or adding to your collection.
Craft stores is another outlet for purchasing craft rubber stamps. I do not recommend buying inexpensive products that are often offered in big box stores. The rubber is not deeply etched, and you end up with a lot of ink around your impression. Oftentimes, they don’t leave a good imprint.
Home party businesses like Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart are a great way to purchase products and to learn about rubber stamping. Consultants have lots of ideas and can help you select the correct supplies for your projects.
How Do I Color My Craft Rubber Stamps?
Ink Pads can be purchased wherever craft rubber stamps are sold. For good results, purchase good quality stamp pads. There are tons of different types of inks. To get started, choose a water base or dye ink. It is the most popular and generally comes in the most colors. If you are using a stamp that needs to be colored, like the angel in this card, use black ink. I like Tuxedo from Momento for a good quality black ink.
There are many ways to color stamps. I used brush tip markers to color the image of this pretty garden angel. Water color pencils and blending pens is another way to color images. For soft colors, you can use chalks or ink and a water brush.
For beginners, I recommend a set of brush markers in a wide variety of colors. They are wonderful for coloring images, but you can also color directly to the stamp instead of using an ink pad. If the stamp is large or if you are coloring it more than one color, you will need to “huff” on it before stamping. Huffing is putting it to your mouth and breathing on it. It helps to rewet the ink, so that you get a nice image. Many marker sets come with a brush tip on one end and a thin tip on the other end that you can use for coloring small areas or for writing.
Home party businesses like Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart are an excellent way to learn about stamping supplies. Consultants hold workshops to teach you how to use supplies and can help you select the correct materials.
First let me say…..I have been stamping for over 10 years, and I still don’t always get a good impression on the first try! Be patient. You may be a natural, or it may take you some time to get the hang of it.
- You will want to use smooth cardstock. If you’re worried about messing up, start with copy paper. When you begin to make cards, you will want to buy nice quality cardstock so you get professional results. Lay the cardstock on a FLAT surface. I put a spongy mouse pad under my cardstock. It gives me a nice firm surface but also a cushion for a crisp image. A phone book or magazine will work also. For less detailed stamps, you can probably won’t need anything under your cardstock.
- It’s time to put ink to rubber! Most ink pads are raised, meaning they sit higher than the container that they are in. For small stamps, I find it easier to touch the stamp to the ink while the ink is sitting on your work area. If you are using a large stamp, it may be easier to wipe the ink pad across the stamp. It’s a matter of preference, and after experimenting you will decide what works best for you.
- With firm pressure, press the stamp to your paper. Try not to rock the stamp. It may leave a smudged impression or if there is extra ink around the outside of the image, it will come off on your paper. Large stamps take some practice and often don’t turn out the first time. Don’t get discouraged. If the stamp is 4″ or more, you may need to rub your thumb across the top of the stamp to get the middle to imprint.
How To Clean Rubber Stamps
When learning how to use rubber stamps, it is important to learn how to properly clean them so they will last a long time and produce good results.
If you are using dye ink, rubber stamps are very easy to clean. You can purchase spray stamp cleaner and a cleaning pad or stamp scrubber. It has a velour type texture which helps get into the grooves of the stamp. You spray the cleaner on one side, rub your stamp across it until the ink comes off, then rub it on the other side to dry the stamp.
Some people use baby wipes to clean their stamps. This works well especially with light colors of ink or as a temporary cleaning until you can clean them properly. Do not use the type of baby wipes that have lotion in them though, and do not use Clorox wipes.
You can purchase a large cellulose sponge to keep on your work table. Rubbing a stamp across it makes for quick clean up.
Some manufacturers make roll on or spray stamp cleaners that work well too. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure you get the ink out of the crevices. Most craft rubber stamps will eventually become stained if they are used often. This is only cosmetic and does not effect the quality of the image.
I hope these tips help you get started. I can’t wait to hear about your rubberstamped projects! Sign up for my newsletter for lots of crafty information!