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Old 10-27-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default How to get sharp image with clear stamps

I'm not enjoying my clear stamps these days!! Seems I'm always disappointed with the less than sharp image when I use them. I've tried rubbing them with an eraser before I use them. That doesn't seem to help. What's the best ink to use? Do certain inks work best with certain brands of clear stamps?
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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This sounds horrible, but sometimes drastic measures can work. I keep a coarse/fine emery board in my desk and I have been known to gently "file" the surface of the stamp. This works really well on those cheap stamps from the bin at Mike's and the image looks so much better. For me, it's either this or never use the stamp again...worth a try!! (If you dare)



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Old 10-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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Memento ink works well on clear stamps.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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The type of ink you use makes a huge difference on how well the image turns out when using clear stamps. Also, the material the stamp is made of affects the image - photopolymer stamps work the best, but I've use all types and can generally get them to stamp cleanly by using the proper ink. Pigment ink works best with clear stamps. I particularly like the Studio G inks for stamping with the cheap clear stamps. I also like Colorbox & Versa Magic - they work really well also. The pressure you stamp with affects the image too. The non-photopolymer stamps most of the time will be more squishy, so you have to have a lighter touch with them otherwise the image gets distorted and blurred when stamped. Most times, I don't have to "season" the stamp (using the eraser or sanding block) if I remember these things and adjust for the stamp characteristics. I use seasoning the stamp as a last resort to get the stamp to accept the ink evenly (I've even had to do this to rubber stamps). If you're trying to use dye inks with clear stamps, you can try coating the image with Versamark first and then into the dye ink. I also discovered by accident if you stamp in ink and let it dry on the stamp (with Stazon or a hybrid ink) the stamp will then take ink better too.

Hope this helps...
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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The paper you use will affect the stamping too. I was having a problem on a clear stamp using cheaper cardstock. Then I used Gina K 120Lb and it worked like a charm. And as said earlier too stamping on Versamark then into the colored ink helps too.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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I have a piece of fine sandpaper on my desk - I use that to lightly sand my new stamps. I use it on most stamps, regardless of materials - but all clear stamps seem to need it to give them some tooth so the ink takes better. I, too, have found you need to use a lighter touch with some clear stamps.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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VersaFine ink works awesome on clear stamps.. and gives a finer detail
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Another vote for Versafine here!
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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Another vote for Versafine too- although it is true that not all clear stamps are made equal! Some never give a good print, no matter what. 'Wet' inks, like Distress for instance, don't take to the stamp well, they just sit on the surface, and you get a poor print. I did some comparisons here on my blog recently, it may help you choose. Just ignore the Clearly Better inkpad I compared them too, as I heard yesterday that it is being discontinued!
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:28 AM   #10
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I like versafine too (to a degree). Does it dry on glossy cs,? and I really wish it would come in more colors.
I have some colors but hardly ever use them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:37 AM   #11
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I find it usually dries ok on glossy, but to be on the safe side I give it a quick blast with the heat gun, as some glossy seems to take longer than others.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Another vote for Versafine too- although it is true that not all clear stamps are made equal! Some never give a good print, no matter what. 'Wet' inks, like Distress for instance, don't take to the stamp well, they just sit on the surface, and you get a poor print. I did some comparisons here on my blog recently, it may help you choose. Just ignore the Clearly Better inkpad I compared them too, as I heard yesterday that it is being discontinued!
Thanks for the detailed comparison on your blog! Very helpful. I am sad to hear Clearly Better is being discontinued, as that has worked really well for some of my really cheap clear stamps.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Memento ink works well on clear stamps.
Here are 4 stampings. 3 with Versafine and 1 with Memento.
You can see the comparison and decide which you like better.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
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Looking forward to Gina K. Ink pads she will be introducing in January. I am sure if she puts her "stamp" of approval on a product, it will be the best!
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
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I love my photopolymer stamps. I use Memento, Versafine, Versamagic, Brilliance and A Muse Studio inks the most.

I'll use Adirondack or Distress Inks for a different effect.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:41 AM   #16
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I love VersaMagic inks for solid clear stamps. They are pigment inks with a chalk finish and come in some fun colors.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:55 AM   #17
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As well as the whole ink and paper story, I also think you need to take care not to press less firmly with clear stamps compared to rubber. I think they squish a bit more if you press too hard!
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #18
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When I started this thread I knew I'd get some really good info. You've not disappointed me! I rubbed some of my clear stamps with a really coarse emery board and that helped. Next I'll try some of the inks that have been recommended. Thanks to all!
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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In addition to having the right ink and paper combination, it's helpful if you are using a clear stamp made from photopolymer (made in the USA).

Clear stamps that are made in China/Taiwan are not going to produce the same crisp, clean image that a made in the USA, clear photopolymer stamp will make.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsalamon View Post
In addition to having the right ink and paper combination, it's helpful if you are using a clear stamp made from photopolymer (made in the USA).

Clear stamps that are made in China/Taiwan are not going to produce the same crisp, clean image that a made in the USA, clear photopolymer stamp will make.
Not all photopolymer stamps are made in the us. There are a lot of stamp companies from all over the world that use this product to make high quality stamps...
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:08 AM   #21
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For some Christmas cards I bought new clear stamps and a new Memento pad. I love how they work together!
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #22
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My favorite combination is Memento ink, Neenah cardstock and clear photopolymer stamps. Perfect impressions every time!
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:29 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormlady66 View Post
I'm not enjoying my clear stamps these days!! Seems I'm always disappointed with the less than sharp image when I use them. I've tried rubbing them with an eraser before I use them. That doesn't seem to help. What's the best ink to use? Do certain inks work best with certain brands of clear stamps?
Ink pads from Stamp'n Up are wonderful. Bit expensive but they give you a nice sharp image
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:40 AM   #24
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This is a great thread- thanks!

Not all clear stamps are created equal. Some will yellow with age and you know they were not well made. The clear stamps that yellow will also start to break down eventually, leaving you with a sticky stamp that's not pleasant to work with. Fine if you are making cards for a special event and probably won't use it again, but not so nice if you are on a budget and investing carefully in your supplies.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:31 AM   #25
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I'm so surprised that no one has mentioned Memories ink. It is far and above my favorite all purpose ink (except for embossing!) as it is a nice black black (if you know what I mean) and is color fast with watercolors, crayons, other inks, pencils (I don't do Copics), even though it is a dye ink. I have a black Versafine I forget to use and Jet Black Archival Ink from Ranger that I use occasionally. All the rest of my inks are SU dyes and Color Box pigments as I've given away all the other brands to simplify my life. I use few clear stamps, but these seem to work for those as well.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:42 AM   #26
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No one has mentioned that if you use that bubbly type of mat that comes with the close to my heart stamps under the paper it also helps with a good image. It is true that some "cheaper" stamps will just not cooperate no matter what you do. If you are coloring I have found that for me using OMS Momento was the only ink that did not run while I was coloring. The versa fine and memories both did not work for me, and I love both of those inks.


Don't fuss over a stamp that is cheaper and not working for you. Life is too short to get angry over our wonderful stamping hobby. This from the lady that spent and hour die cutting out little letters to make 7 "thanks" cards for hubby. The frickin paper kept moving and finally I just used a large sheet of paper and took only what I needed from the letters.

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Old 10-31-2012, 07:10 AM   #27
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Buying cheap clear stamps may seem like a good deal, until you have to buy special cardstock and other inks to make them look decent. Doesn't seem worth it when good old fashioned rubber works everytime!
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Buying cheap clear stamps may seem like a good deal, until you have to buy special cardstock and other inks to make them look decent. Doesn't seem worth it when good old fashioned rubber works everytime!
I couldn't have said it better!
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #29
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my 'go to' inkpad for fussy clear stamps is always versafine. it seems to stick to the stamp - think it's cos it's oil based rather than water based so doesn't pool up. not a great range of colours but about 10 to choose from i think.

alternatively i think you can ink up with versamark and then add your normal dye based ink over the top - not tried it myself but i have heard others have tried it.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Buying cheap clear stamps may seem like a good deal, until you have to buy special cardstock and other inks to make them look decent. Doesn't seem worth it when good old fashioned rubber works everytime!
I don't know whether you mean "cheap" as in price paid or quality (or both), but clear stamps are not created equally. Clear photopolymer stamps work every time too, just like your "good old fashioned rubber".
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #31
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Not all photopolymer stamps are made in the us. There are a lot of stamp companies from all over the world that use this product to make high quality stamps...
Which ones, please? The only company I know of outside the US with nice photopolymer stamps is Waltzingmouse, and even though she's in Ireland, I believe her stamps are made in the US.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:50 PM   #32
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All stamps will get damaged over time if not treated properly. Rubber will harden and even crack with exposure to light especially the sun. Clear stamps will yellow from exposure to sun and from use with some types of ink. Even the very best brands like PTI. Some cheap stamps age all squishy and some harden, others rip even if you treat them well. Cheap stamps will only work well with pigment ink and sometimes not even then. Not worth it unless you have a very unique image you can't get any other way. I've learned after buying thousands of stamps over 8 years that very little is so unique it is worth the headache of dealing with a cheap stamp!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #33
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Memento and
Stampin' Up Classic Ink - the new pads.


The new pads on SU inks make a huge difference. I've tried it even using the cheep acrylic/polymer stamps and love how they've turned out. Now I do stamp on a foam pad when using acrylic/polymer stamps.

Here's the same image stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black on top and Stampin' Up Basic Black on the bottom.



Sorry the image is so large. I uploaded from my cell and didn't get to resize.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:14 PM   #34
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Wow, I am such a fan of the Memento Tuxedo Black...it is my go to Black ink pad....but your pic really has me tempted to try the new SU pad!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:28 PM   #35
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Wow, that's a pretty obvious difference. Was the Memento pad older? Was the Stampin' Up pad newer? How does the Stampin' Up pad hold up when you color in, does it smear?
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #36
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Looks like the Memento pad just needs a re-inking???
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:11 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Which ones, please? The only company I know of outside the US with nice photopolymer stamps is Waltzingmouse, and even though she's in Ireland, I believe her stamps are made in the US.
I'll have to find the names again, but I know there are a some UK companies, I think one from the Netherlands, and a few more from Australia, and I think a Canadian one. I'm sure there are more. I do know when I was researching how to make photopolymer stamps, I came across quite a few companies overseas using photopolymer to make their stamps.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:01 AM   #38
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Gina K at Stamptv has started producing clear stamps of very high quality. I have used mine right out of the package with great results. Her's are the photopolymer also.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:03 AM   #39
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Chalk inks work well on stamps that just don't seem to like regular ink pads. I also keep an old mouse pad handy when stamping with acrylics.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:36 AM   #40
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Looks like the Memento pad just needs a re-inking???
I'd say that too. I know there have been times that I felt my ink pad wasn't doing a very good job and then realized it was just running low on ink. I use Memento black quite a lot also and forget sometimes that it will run out more quickly than others.
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