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Old 06-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Basic Stamping question

Aloha - I am a newbie - about a year - and have not spent much time stamping before this month. I really want to learn to stamp well. I've been practicing, and my stamping is still not clear and consistent. Seem to have a problem with the middle part of the stamp not stamping. I'd appreciate any and all suggestions. My stamping goal this summer is to increase my stamping skills!! Mahalo plenty stamping gurus!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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Hello! I would suggest stamping on a stamping mat that is designed to level the surface and give a crisper image. Here is a link so you can see the product:

Darice RubberStamping Surface Mat*: embellishment tools*: scrapbooking tools*: scrapbooking*: *Shop | Joann.com

I tried to find it on the Darice web-site but I couldn't ever find it. I recently got very slooooow service from Joann.com so I personally couldn't recommend ordering from there. I have seen the mat at my local JoAnn Fabrics store.

HTH!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:22 AM   #3
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I find that standing when I stamp helps me especially if the stamp is larger. Make sure that you are inking the entire surface well....over time your stamp pads sometimes get a little "dip" in the middle and it takes a little more effort. I've also heard people talking about quality of stamps and quality of inks in regard to getting the best stamped image. Hope you get lots of helpful ideas.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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I always have a cheap fun foam sheet under my craft mat when I stamp. That helps me get a good impression. With larger stamps, I stand up (like Gail), when stamping. It helps applying even pressure and stamping a good image.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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It sounds like some people use a Fiskars Stamp Press (available at Joanns or Michaels) for clear or cling stamps, especially if you're trying to use larger ones or background stamps. I haven't tried it, but I've read recent discussions of them and it seems to help.

Also make sure that in addition to standing, you're using a sturdy table. I tried stamping on one table and couldn't get it to ink evenly on paper. I moved to a sturdier table and had a perfect image the first time.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:15 AM   #6
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I'm another fan of a "cushy" surface under the paper, especially if it's a larger stamp or it has no cushion of its own (bare rubber or photopolymer on an acrylic block). It doesn't need to be a special "stamping mat" (for that read extra $$$!) - a piece of fun foam will do fine or even a magazine or old telphone directory will have enough give to make a difference.

The paper you stamp onto will also have an effect on how crisp and detailed your image comes out. A really smooth surface will give the best results - stampers on your side of the Pond may be able to give you more brand names but SU! Whisper White, Simply Smooth (Bazzill) and Neena Classic Crest are popular choices.

Inks choice comes into play too. If I'm not using Copics to colour then Versamark is usually my ink of choice as it stamps beautifully with all types of stamp and captures even very fine detail. For a dye-based ink I usually choose Adirondack and get good results with that.

HTH!
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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Mahalo plenty for all the good sound advice - I never expected so many to respond to my question - and I really appreciate it!!

Okay - I guess stamping on textured paper on top of may not be perfect plastic sheet on an ottoman while sitting just about goes against the grain of all your suggestions. I'm sure you can picture what I was doing and can understand at least some of my problems!!

Before spending any money, I am going to try all of your suggestions - and I just happen to have some fun foam in my classroom!!

Shall return with the fruit of your suggestions - Mahalo!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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I have found that an old mouse pad works great to give me a top quality result.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauiueno View Post
Mahalo plenty for all the good sound advice - I never expected so many to respond to my question - and I really appreciate it!!

Okay - I guess stamping on textured paper on top of may not be perfect plastic sheet on an ottoman while sitting just about goes against the grain of all your suggestions. I'm sure you can picture what I was doing and can understand at least some of my problems!!

Before spending any money, I am going to try all of your suggestions - and I just happen to have some fun foam in my classroom!!

Shall return with the fruit of your suggestions - Mahalo!!
I don't have anything to add that would be helpful (except to agree with everyone else) - I just wanted to thank you for starting my day with a giggle! Very amusing... Good luck, and welcome to the highly-addictive (and highly rewarding) stamping world!
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:09 AM   #10
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I teach classes and one thing I notice is that some stampers don't give the ink time to soak into the paper. Many stamper just do a quick "touch and go". Instead, try letting the stamp sit on the paper a couple of seconds longer so all or most of the ink soaks into the paper before you lift the stamp. This really helps with solid stamps, juicy inks like pigment, Ancient Page, or the new SU foam stamp pads.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:57 AM   #11
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I really love my rock-a-blocks for getting perfect images even with the most detailed stamps. I got a set from Joann's Fabrics online on sale for 40% off and theay are awesome. I recently bought the mega mount from impressuin obsession for larger stamps and I an so glad I did! no more wasted paper!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:12 AM   #12
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I will add this. For years I was frustrated with poor images until one day I realized it was the uneven surface of my table! Now I stamp on a counter top. This solved most of my issues. I also have to remind myself that textured paper often results in an imperfect image.

Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:57 AM   #13
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One thing I learned works well also is to turn your stamp on it's back and push the ink pad onto the image. You get better ink coverage that way especially on larger stamps. You may want to use a brayer on some of them also if they're really detailed. I've had stamps where that was the only way I could get a good impression.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:34 AM   #14
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I would like to echo that a firm flat surface under a cushion (mousepad, craft foam) make a huge difference in getting a really good impression, assuming a well-inked stamp. It is important, too, to make sure that the stamp isn't over-inked, though, or it will produce a blurry image when stamped.

One thing you are doing exactly right, though, is to PRACTICE. It does take a little getting used to various different kinds of stamps, and even the mounts can make a difference. I always stamp an image on a scrap before attempting to stamp on my final project, just to be sure I have the "feel" of the particular stamp.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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I agree with others regarding the stamping surface. I have folding table that I love for everything but stamping. Never can get a good image when I stamp on it. I have an old desk with a stamping pad on it that I use for stamping. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:04 AM   #16
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you might find it easier if you stand up to stamp. that way you can get a good even pressure.
also i find i get the best results if i turn the stamp upside down and tap the ink pad over the stamp so i can see there is a good coverage of ink over the surface. then place the stamp on the card with a single definite movement. keep one hand on the stamp at all times and then walk your fingers over the stamp pressing all over. then lift up the stamp straight up.
don't rock the stamp block (inless you are using rock-a-blocks!)

i tend to stamp on my glass mat but you could use an old mouse mat or magazine to give you a bit of cushioning, esp with UM or clear stamps.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #17
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More great ideas - mahalo!! Yesterday I had a few extra minutes at school and was able to stand, use smooth paper and stamp - amazing difference already!! Practicing is next on my agenda - oh why did I think I didn't need to LEARN this skill and PRACTICE to become good at it!!

And all those sheets I stamped - colored paper no less - will be turned over and used for something creative for sure!!

Mahalo everyone - I appreciate the speed and quality of your responses!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:16 AM   #18
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All of the tips listed above are great advice. Recently the lightbulb finally went on in my brain. Just like your kids, which may resemble each other, every stamp is very different from every other stamp. It took me a long time to learn this fact, but now that I have, my stamping is much easier. Every time I take out a stamp I have to "get to know" it. I stamp several tests if needed, and then I find out if it needs a little more or less pressure in certain areas,lighter or heavier inking, or some other adjustment. I have a folder of recycle paper on my desk and sometimes there are more images on my practice sheet, than actual images for my project. It sure help me to be less frustrated when I know how the stamp will stamp.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #19
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I hope this isn't a repeat, but i was made an example of in a class I took, the teacher saw me stamp holding just the wood sides of the stamp. She said that she had a pet peeve about that - you have to press down on the top of the stamp - so that is what I do now. Also, I just use a large magazine under my project, instead of buying a cushion or foam sheet. Works for me.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #20
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These are all great suggestions!!!

I was introduced to stamping about 20yr ago. I bought about 1 dozen wooden stamps and 1 black ink pad. I think I tried about 10 impressions and NONE came out "clean and crisp." That was it! I quit! Stamping was not for me.

Well...fast forward about 15 years and a few youtube videos and there were several things I had done wrong.

No padding under my paper, now I use that foam mat from Joanns

I was using a card table with a lot of "give" so as I pushed down the table bowed. So now I use a Hard surface table or my granite counter tops in my kitchen.


But the one thing that was my AH HA moment was how I applied the ink to the stamp. I was originally just giving the stamp 1 or 2 taps on the ink pad.

I found that most of you guys had held the ink pad in one hand and tapped the stamp at least 12 times or so. WOW...I had to tap that many times.

So make sure that you are applying enough ink on the stamp. I did not realize just how much ink to apply.

HTH,
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:12 PM   #21
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The type of stamp definitely makes a difference. If it already has foam or is a soft clear stamp, I don't use foam. It's too much cushiness and can result in the edges of the rubber marking the paper. I only use it unless I need it and I mark the stamps that need it. I also mark stamps that are uneven and require a lot of pressure in a very specific spot by marking with a permanent marker on rubber and on the packaging of clear stamps.

Stamps with thin lines and little coverage/density like script sentiments needs a light touch. Stamps with thin but densely places lines need medium pressure as do small solid stamps. Large solid or very dense thin line stamps like photo stamps need a lot of pressure. If you press hard on thin script or outline stamps you will get very fat lines and the image won't look right.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:34 PM   #22
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Echoeing what the others have said about having a firm flat surface, and plenty of ink.

Someone said get to know your stamps, that every one of them is different. That is sooo true!

For practice, I use mostly scraps of misprinted printer paper to do my test stamping on. Even though that type of paper grabs the ink differently than most cardstock will, doing a few (or several!) practice images first definitely helps me achieve a sharper image when I go to stamp on my project.

Have fun with your new hobby! I began stamping in early 2000's and it is one of my favorite crafts. My only complaint is that I don't get to do it more often. lol
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:37 AM   #23
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One other thing that I've tried but haven't seen mentioned here is to ink up your stamp, put it stamp side up on a firm surface, and cover with your cardstock. Press down on the C/S using your hands (not fingers, usually) or a brayer - this works really well when you're using a large image or background stamp - just be careful to not fold your C/S over the edge of the stamp!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:16 AM   #24
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What a helpful thread! A couple of things I have noticed, especially at classes or workshops that just echo all the sentiments already voiced. Those light, foldable, very transportable Lifetime type tables that many demonstrators use are horrible to stamp on! Use the counter or an old wood table for better results. Also, most workshop hosts give you a grid sheet or some such paper. At the end of the prooject, I look around and everyones' paper is still all clean, but mine is covered with stamps. I stamp every single stamp at least a couple of times on scratch ppaper before putting it to my cardstock. Then you can see if there is an edge that shows, or figure out how much pressure to use.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #25
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I too make sure my stamp is inked well. Rub the stamp over the surface of the stamp pad for a few seconds and then tap it up and down a few times. I don't use a stamping mat, just a good solid table and a cutting mat covered in scrap paper.
I recently had the same problem of the middle of my stamp not imaging well, I eventually worked out that my stamp pad actually needed reinking.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #26
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I so appreciate you all taking the time to think about what you really do when stamping - especially since it is so automatic for everyone who's a seasoned stamper!! It's amazing how I was doing everything wrong - so glad that I came here in search of an answer. All of your responses have helped so much - mahalo!!
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #27
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I didn't see it mentioned but sometimes a new stamp will have a residue from when it was made. Just clean it real good and it should help.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #28
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That makes sense - to clean the stamps beforer using them - no matter how anious I may be to try them out!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:08 AM   #29
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Some stamps have a lack of cushion (probably cheaper/older brands). You can make your own cushion from an old mouse pad and glue it to both rubber and wood block (or even a foam block) with rubber cement. I usually stamp on a magazine. Recutting the rubber (with or without adding a cushion) to follow the stamp contours better can help avoid side smudges, especially with stamps that are cut as a solid rectangle.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #30
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I didn't see it mentioned but sometimes a new stamp will have a residue from when it was made. Just clean it real good and it should help.
This is a great point! Every time I get new rubber stamps, I rub over the rubber with Stampin' Up!'s Adhesive Remover. It's safe to use on the rubber, and removes all the residue. The ink adheres much better to clean rubber!
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #31
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Quote:
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What a helpful thread! A couple of things I have noticed, especially at classes or workshops that just echo all the sentiments already voiced. Those light, foldable, very transportable Lifetime type tables that many demonstrators use are horrible to stamp on! Use the counter or an old wood table for better results. Also, most workshop hosts give you a grid sheet or some such paper. At the end of the prooject, I look around and everyones' paper is still all clean, but mine is covered with stamps. I stamp every single stamp at least a couple of times on scratch ppaper before putting it to my cardstock. Then you can see if there is an edge that shows, or figure out how much pressure to use.
I agree! Because I only have a folding table in my craft room, I use an extra shelf from my kitchen cupboard - I put the shelf on top of my table and use that as my hard, unmovable stamping surface. Works great! It adds about 3/4 inch to the height, but I just adjust my chair higher. Also - I encourage the gals that attend my classes to ALWAYS 'sample stamp' on their grid paper before taking the stamp to their project! Lots less regret that way!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #32
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... - I encourage the gals that attend my classes to ALWAYS 'sample stamp' on their grid paper before taking the stamp to their project! Lots less regret that way!
That's a good tip I'm learning slowly the hard way. Too often I've stamped on my good paper and there's been a stray bit of fluff or something on the stamp which spoils the image.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:00 PM   #33
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Really good advice - also just check your stamp pads. Sometimes they can have a slight dip in the centre which means your stamp isn't inked as much as you think and it wont stamp properly. And I couldn't be without my grid paper especially if you're using word stamps to check if they stamp straight. If not you can adjust them so when you stamp on the 'real' thing, they wont be crooked.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #34
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More great ideas - learning is such a wonderful process!
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