So you’ve discovered clear stamps, and you’re now looking to invest in clear stamps for card making. Are you excited to fill your crafting stash with lots of stamps but don’t know where to start or which ones to buy? Do you want to get more paper crafting ideas and inspiration using stamps?
Hold your horses!
Before you go and start your shopping spree, there are a few things you need to know about clear craft stamps. With so many arts and crafts stores and online crafting companies manufacturing their own clear stamps, it could get a bit overwhelming for those new to the practice, a.k.a. crafting newbies. Even seasoned crafters still have a few questions about stamps since crafting companies are now releasing unique and innovative multi-layered and 3D stamp sets.
What exactly are clear craft stamps? These are often called photopolymer stamps, polymer stamps, acrylic stamps, or clear rubber stamps. As the name suggests, these are stamps that are clear or almost transparent. The variety of stamp designs and patterns make it ideal for paper crafting projects and hobbies such as card making, scrapbooking, journaling, mixed media art, and DIY home decoration. Here are some of its features:
- It is clear, almost transparent, or see-through.
- It has an imprinted design.
- It is made of photopolymer or clear vinyl.
- It has a flat side and a raised side.
- One side is smooth, while the other side is tacky or sticky.
- It comes with an acetate backing sheet and a protective sheet.
- Depending on the manufacturer, each stamp design can come in individual packaging, or one package can have multiple stamps featuring different designs on one sheet.
- It comes in different sizes - the most popular are 6” x 8” stamp sets.
If you’re wondering how to use clear craft stamps, especially for card making, read this QUICK GUIDE ON STAMPING!
Here Are 5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Clear Stamps for Card Making!
1. Clear Acrylic Stamps Stain. After using your stamps for card making for the first time, you will notice that the ink color (whether it is dye ink, pigment ink, or mixed media ink) you’ve used will leave a stain on it. Do not panic! Do not start complaining to the crafting store or company where you got it. And do not burn your stamps. This is perfectly normal. There is not one single clear craft stamp out there that won’t stain when used with inks. The most important thing to remember is to ALWAYS clean your stamps after using them. Since it is created using light, a little yellowing can be expected over time, especially for well-loved stamps. The best thing to do is to store them in a cool, dry place and away from sunlight.
2. Stamps Need to Be Seasoned. We don’t mean sprinkle your stamps with some salt and pepper! That would make for an interesting stamp pattern or design, but we don’t recommend it. If you want to know how to use clear craft stamps, this is one of the most basic things to remember. To get a clear and crisp stamped impression, you need to get rid of the shine and a little bit of the stickiness, especially for new stamps.
Here are a few tips and hacks on how to season your new stamps:
- Ink it up using light-colored ink (yellow, light green, or light blue).
- Stamp it on scrap paper a few times until you get a clear, crisp, even stamp result.
- Use an eraser and rub it all over the stamp’s surface. This will remove any shine from the new stamp and give you a prepared surface. It will also ensure that the ink sticks well to the new stamp. Check out this quick video featuring Altenew’s Stamp Conditioning Eraser Set!
- Some crafters also choose to use a sanding block. You can lightly sand the stamp surface to remove any shine from your clear craft stamps. We recommend doing this very gently to avoid damaging your stamps.
3. They Must Be Stored in a Cool Place. Before you go and look for stamps to buy online, you need to remember this: store your stamps for card making in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. Like vampires, stamps cannot endure too much heat and sunlight because they are made of plastic. The stamps, not the vampires. This is one of the most important rules that of stamping and card making. Most crafters invest in storage pouches, drawers, carts, and other types of organizers to help them store and properly take care of their beloved stamps.
4. They Must Be Cleaned Every After Use. As mentioned earlier, clear stamps stain easily (more than rubber stamps), so they must be cleaned after every use. Don’t worry. Even if you cannot remove the stain completely, this won’t affect the stamp’s quality. Once you’ve wiped off the ink residue on it, you can use another ink, and it won’t affect the color, the design, or the pattern of the stamp. When looking for stamps to buy online, you’ll also find most craft stores selling stamp cleaners and stamp shammy. You can use either or both of these; it doesn’t really matter. You can also opt for just clean water and mild soap. Some crafters find wet wipes and baby wipes effective as well. A paper towel or a hand towel can help you dry your stamps. Cleaning your stamps with water won’t affect their stickiness or quality.
5. You’re Going to Need an Acrylic Block. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Just like other types of stamps, you’ll need a stamping platform or a stamping block to use your stamps for card making. Acrylic blocks are must-haves for stampers and paper crafters alike. These are clear, transparent blocks made of acrylic. Since these are see-through, it allows you to see where you’re stamping or where your image goes. Stamping blocks have grid lines on them to help align the stamps better, and they also come in various sizes and shapes. It is advisable to get clear acrylic blocks in different sizes because you will need them for various-sized stamps.
Looking for stamps to buy online is easy peasy, especially with the number of paper crafting companies and stores that release a plethora of stamp designs weekly and monthly. However, before you dive into the wonderful world of paper crafting, you need to learn some basic rules, essential tips, and important hacks, especially when buying stamps. We hope this short blog has educated you about stamps for card making. Now that you’re ready to buy your first stamp CLICK HERE to see our wide range of paper crafting stamps and other supplies.