Everything You Need to Know About Stamps For Paper Crafting

15 minute read

Extensively used in arts and crafts, stamps (also known as the activity of stamping) are widely used by crafters for creative and decorative purposes. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, and they are loved by crafters because of their versatile use in different paper crafting projects. Some of the most commonly used craft stamps include rubber stamps, wooden stamps, acrylic stamps, and photopolymer stamps.

History of Stamps and Stamp Materials

Today, the two main stamp categories are rubber and acrylic. However, in the history of stamps, they primarily used wood as the material for stamps. Dated as early as 220 AD in China, people extensively used wooden stamps for woodblock printing. Also known as block printing, woodblock printing is a method to print text, pictures, or patterns on a printable surface, such as fabric and paper. 

In 500 CE, people didn't just use stamps for decorations. They also used them to seal letters with wax and forge official documents and signatures. You may be familiar with some of these stamps as they are still in the market today. 

It was only in the 1860s that Charles Goodyear invented the rubber stamps we use today. So if you think about it, our ink stamps and rubber stamps are relatively recent concepts! 

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From then on, the rubber stamps available on the market were used for three primary purposes:

  • They were used as stamps for official documents. These stamps came in date stamps, address stamps, and signature stamps.
  • People also started using stamps for decorating objects or scrapbooking, which dates back from 15th century England to its rise in the early 1800s. 
  • Rubber stamps were also used for children's toys.

Find out more about different stamps collection, stamps designs, and how stamps work!

As time went by and technology became more advanced, acrylic stamps were invented to help artists with their crafting needs. Unlike rubber and wooden stamps, acrylic stamps come attached to a clear plastic liner.

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How do you use clear stamps with acrylic blocks?

To use them, you would first peel the stamp off the liner and then place it onto a clear acrylic block. Since it will quickly cling to it, there is no need to use any kind of additional adhesive or a cushion. In order to make sure it is well adhered to the block, you will have to press it firmly. Next, simply ink it up and stamp away. If you want to learn how to use layered stamps, watch this quick how-to

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The Rise of Photopolymer Stamps

The previous decade has seen a humongous rise in one of the most preferred kinds of stamps called photopolymer stamps. Photopolymer stamps have grown to such overwhelming popularity these days that they have become an essential part of any paper crafter’s kit.

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They are more commonly known as clear acrylic stamps, which are made up of photopolymer material. These stamps are transparent and are available on plastic sheets. Crafters can use these stamps with acrylic blocks or stamp positioning tools to stamp the desired image or pattern onto a given surface.

What is the difference between acrylic stamps and photopolymer stamps?

There are so many words and terms for stamps being used by crafters that it sometimes gets too overwhelming for beginners and non-craft people. There’s clear stamps, rubber stamps, cling stamps, acrylic stamps, polymer stamps, and photopolymer stamps. To lessen the confusion, here’s what you need to remember: with the exception of rubber stamps, all the other stamps mentioned in the previous sentence are types of clear stamps. They are called clear stamps since they are see-through, so you can actually see the design or pattern that you are stamping. With rubber or wooden stamps, you cannot see the design as you stamp them on a surface. 

The two most popular and widely used stamps for crafts are acrylic stamps and photopolymer stamps. Let’s check their features and differences.

Acrylic Stamps

Photopolymer Stamps

These are more cost efficient than photopolymer stamps.

These are slightly more expensive.

These are more “stretchy.”

These aren’t as stretchy and are usually slightly thicker.

These are lighter than photopolymer stamps.

These are noticeably heavier than acrylic stamps.

These do not stick to acrylic blocks that well.

These are very sticky and can stick to acrylic blocks and stamping platforms well.

These do not give a clean and crisp impression.

These stamp extremely well, giving a clean and crisp impression every time.

These are not durable.

These are higher in quality and more durable.

As time goes by, it gets stuck to the backing sheet.

They usually have a strong chemical smell when you first open and use them. This is due to the photopolymer resin used in their manufacturing.

The advent of photopolymer stamps have turned even older stampers into fans. Not only are they high-quality and durable, most stamps shops also offer a variety of stamps designs and stamps collection for them to choose from.

The Popularity of Photopolymer Stamps

Photopolymer stamps are popular among the arts and craft community for many reasons. Since the material used here is photopolymer, these stamps are clear. This means that, when using a clear acrylic block, crafters can view the exact position of where the stamp is going before leaving a mark on the page.

How do you use clear stamps with acrylic blocks?

The second reason why photopolymer stamps are so popular is that they are very cost-effective. Since they are far less expensive than rubber or wooden stamps, acrylic stamps can easily be accessed by crafters.

Photopolymer Stamps in Paper Crafting

Stamps, especially rubber and photopolymer, are top artistic tools extensively used in many creative projects. Stamps for card making, scrapbooking, creating planners, and journaling are on the rise.

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The rubber picture stamps (also known as picture stamps) were originally created for educational purposes, unlike business or craft use. Picture stamps first became popular in the field of education, and later on, they gained immense popularity in the world of arts and crafts. From centuries ago to today, stamping has become a very important part of the modern world, especially in the field of craft and artistry.

Industry Updates in the World of Stamps

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In order to make the most out of their arts and crafts, especially in scrapbookinga lot of people have shown an increased interest in using their stamps collection to embellish their work.

On the other hand, a lot of people are inclined towards stamping simply because they find it to be a stress buster. Using stamps for craft, people can enhance the the most plain piece of paper. To get some solid evidence about people’s love for stamping, check out the following statistics:
  • Over 4 million individuals in the United States make use of different types of stamps to enhance their craft work.

  • Over 4% of all people in the U.S. have stamps in their craft tool kit. Similarly, stamps are not just used to make scrapbooks. They are extensively used to make all kinds of craft projects including gift cardshandmade cardsscrapbook pagesdecorative ornamentsjournalingtags, and more.

  • Stamping is one of the largest categories that falls within the craft and hobby industryToday, stamping is considered an essential part of the crafting industry in the nation. From 1996 through 2004, the sales of different types of stamps have profusely increased across the United States. The year 2005 saw compressed sales for stamps for the first time after many back to back years of exponential growth.

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Browse More Stamps For Crafts

Types of Stamps

The stamping industry is thriving today and has come a long way from where it started ages ago. Today, crafters can find a variety of stamps to fulfill their artistic requirements. Mentioned here are some of the most popular types of stamps extensively used by crafters for their artwork.

Floral Stamps

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Floral stamps can be used by all beginners, as well as advanced crafters. Mostly featuring botanical artwork, floral stamps can be used to decorate scrapbooks, journals, and more. They can be used to enhance the appearance of any piece of paper. Floral stamps come in countless designs and they provide amazing depth and shading. People can also purchase layering stamps with floral designs on them.

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You can create exceptional patterns and designs with the help of these floral stamps collection. Every floral stamp has its unique design that can be combined with other stamps and embellishments. You can also try floral outline stamp sets to give your artwork a mind-blowing look! You can also use watercolor pencils and markers to enhance the designs.

You can add minute details in simple garden design with the help of floral stamps. This will add depth to your drawing and enhance the overall look. You can use different shades and tints of the same color for your floral stamps. This way can help you create a fading or a rising effect. 

Sentiment Stamps

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Sometimes you need to find the perfect stamp to say what's on your mind and in your heart. Sentiment stamps contain words and phrases to express or convey something beyond the images on the paper. Often used as sayings on cards or titles for scrapbook layouts, sentiment stamps are tailored to suit a variety of different occasions.

Don’t know what exactly to write about how badly you miss your friend? A simple sentiment stamp can do the perfect job on your behalf. All you have to do is use this stamp in your card. Even the days when you are clueless about what to tell your friend, you can use these sentiment stamps to express your feelings.

Some of the sentiment stamps are really funny and bring a genuine smile on your face. You can use these stamps to spread laughter and happiness. The simplest way is to take a paper and use a funny sentiment stamp on it. Make multiple cards and share them with your co-workers. This can be a good start for your boring week at work.

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Take a look at some simple but highly expressive sentiment stamps to share your feelings with your loved ones. You can search stamps online to choose the best one for your crafting needs. 

Nature Stamps

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People are often inspired by the world around them, and stamps with a natural theme can express one’s desire to be connected to the outside. Often categorized as flora or fauna, nature stamps can include luscious greenery, mountain ranges, animals, insects, and more.

The minute details in a drawing add the natural depth to the picture. If you intend to add such details to your drawing, then you can use nature-themed stamps. They help you to make your drawing all the more realistic. 

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You might not be able to add the natural green shade for trees in your drawing. But, you make-believe a viewer that the tree you have drawn is real with the help of nature stamps. Besides, this is not only possible for one specific type of tree but also a variety of different leaf designs

You can also add the minute detail of a mini branch to give a natural look to your tree. Apart from this, you also get butterflies, cats, and many other natural elements for your drawing.

Here's a quick and easy video tutorial on featuring nature-themed stamps:

Geometric Stamps

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As a contrast to all things natural and organic, geometric stamps help to express mathematical uniformity, shapes, patterns, or symmetry. Geometry is prevalent in the modern world, and therefore, there is a desire to have these themes available as stamps for creative purposes.

Have you ever looked at a picture of a never-ending design? You are naturally drawn towards these designs. They help you clear your mind and come across a different perspective and they bring you peace and clarity.

You can create such intricate designs with the help of geometric stamps. There are a variety of designs and frame sets that you can use to create an intricate design. You don’t have to refer to any video or images to create them. You can simply follow the rhythm of your heart and use geometric stamps in flow to create a never-ending design.

You can easily search for stamps shop to purchase these themed stamps. However, you can use different colors to give a striking feature to your design. Besides, every color shares a different vibe. Using the right color combinations can spread positivity and happiness. You can frame this design and hang it in your room to enjoy this energy.

Original Stamps

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Unique themes that don’t quite fit into other categories can be classified as original. Imaginative and innovative stamps  typically find their way here. When you want to make a one-of-a-kind statement, it’s best to reach for originals!

Nothing can replace an authentic design. Therefore, you need an original element in all your designs. You can look for stamps online to acquire good authentic designs. You also get a variety of themes and styles to choose from. These original stamps can enhance your stamping experience and you are likely to enjoy it.

Create a design using original stamps to make an unusual pattern. You can draw inspiration from nature, people, or some other art form. This way, you can enhance the overall vision of your design. Besides, you can use the stamps in an innovative way rather than creating cliché designs on your artwork.

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Occasion-Based Stamps

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Families and friends across many different cultures celebrate different occasions. birthdays, holidays, parties, patriotic days, and more are what can shape us into the people we are. When these occasions arise, there are stamps you can use to document and celebrate the moments that matter most.

You cannot use a zoo stamp on a birthday card! There are certain special occasions where you have to use the original symbols and stamps. For instance, you need a cake, celebration stamps for a birthday card.

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You need a “congratulations” stamp to send your warm wishes to someone. You can search for stamps USA to get the best occasion stamps for your card.

Drawing red and white socks, again and again, every Christmas can be boring. Instead, use stamps to enjoy a quick and hassle-free card making experience. You can teach your kids how to use these holiday stamps and they are likely to enjoy it. Moreover, they will be glad to learn something new. If you have Christmas tree stamps, you can use those as well.

Christmas tree stamps for card making - Altenew

With the variety of stamps designs in your stamps collection, you get an opportunity to be creative with all the elements. You can combine multiple celebratory stamps to express your happiness, excitement, etc.

Edible Stamps

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Edible stamps include fruits, veggies, sweets, and drinks - pretty much anything that you can eat! These types of stamps can add a whimsical touch to any project and can be paired with your favorite sentiments for a memorable look. You can simply search online for food-themed stamps collection

Profession Stamps

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Profession stamps feature themes related to various careers and trades. Let the doctor, teacher, or engineer in your life know how important they are! Profession stamps have everything you need to thank, congratulate, or simply appreciate these amazing people in your life.

Do you run a business of handmade cards? Well, if you do, then you need a helping hand to speed up your card making abilities. Designing and making an increased number of handmade cards for a variety of clients can be a daunting task.

You can quicken this process with the help of profession stamps. Instead of manually drawing designs and coloring them, you can use these stamps. This way, your cards will get ready at a rapid speed. You can take more orders and earn more profits.

Doctors rule card

You can search for these unique sets in stamps shop and easily order them. You can also send your warm wishes to professionals like teachers, doctors, and engineers by sending your warm wishes through customized cards.

Engineers rule card

For instance, you can send a “Happy Engineer’s Day” card to all the engineers in your life on World Engineers' Day.

Iconic Stamps

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To honor well-known cities, buildings, and locations, look no further than iconic stampsThese can lend an industrial feel to any project, and will leave a lasting impression on any recipient or viewer.

Do your friends enjoy a glimpse of the beautiful city landscape? If they do, then you can use iconic stamps when you send them a card. You can also use these stamps while writing a letter to your long-distance friends. This will remind them of your beautiful city.

You can search for stamps USA to view all the beautiful iconic stamps available to you. You can pair stylish landscapes with other stickers and embellishments.

These stamps are also perfect to create danglers, wind chimes, and also table mats. You can use imprints created from these stamps for a variety of purposes. You can also design a book of all the places you have been to in the world. You can use these stamps in that book as well. Are you ready to embark on your card making journey? Need some inspiration? Here are some tips on how to make beautiful handmade cards with stamps and dies.


Raw materials:

  • wood, latex rubber, adhesive-backed padding, adhesive-backed labels, etc.


  • Primarily, you need a good design. You can ask artists to provide you with exceptional designs.
  • Make sure that you get a copyright for these designs.
  • You can also use existing artwork to create your rubber or clear stamp.


  • Once the design is confirmed, multiple copies of the design are transferred to the aluminum plate. The plate is then washed in acid to get rid of the unwanted metal. This way, the image is etched on the plate.
  • The actual design is placed on a Bakelite sheet. The sheet is then passed through the vulcanizer. The tremendous heat under the vulcanizer helps etch a negative image on the rubber.
  • This negative image on the rubber, when depicted on the paper, transforms into the desired image.
  • The next step is to press the rubber sheets on the adhesive sheets with the help of the adhesive material.
  • This manufacturing process can be altered as per your business needs.

Usage of Stamps

These stamps are often used to:
  • Design your own greeting cards, wedding cards, etc.
  • Design your own gift wrapper
  • As a marketing tool
  • Stamp your address, date, name, etc.
  • Customized gifts, bags, etc.
  • Professional branding
  • Decorate vases, paintings, and other artworks
  • As stationery in your documents - letterheads and envelopes
  • To customize your belongings - bags, uniform, dresses

Advantages of Stamps

Saves Time

Rubber stamps save you from the lengthy process of drawing and painting a design. Instead, you can use these rubber stamps and imprint your design at a quicker pace and as many times as you want. You can also use photopolymer stamps for this use as they are easy to use, easily available and offer better output.

Organize paperwork

Regardless of digitization, there are certain cards and processes for which you have to use a hard copy of the document. In order to save a lengthy time of printing or designing, you can simply use a photopolymer stamp to arrange your multiple cards.

Create brand awareness

When someone mentions Starbucks all you can think about is either coffee or its logo. The logo represents the company and hence it is important to use it wisely to promote your business. These stamps allow you to create brand awareness about your design. Besides, you can create an effective call to action to attract more customers.

Reduced confusion

Often, there are multiple copies of a specific design. It becomes difficult to know which one is the correct one. The mere presence of a stamp can help you eliminate this confusion.

Final Words

Stamps for crafts are a cost-efficient and useful tool. They are not only useful for personal but also professional work. It is important to make optimal use of these stamps.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You will need stamps, acrylic blocks, ink, and cardstock. Pick a stamp set that you think you will get the most use out of and something that will not go out of style. Florals are a good place to start as they are always a classic. To start removing your chosen stamp from the carrier sheet and place it onto your acrylic block, you will need an acrylic block larger than your image but not too much larger as it will be more difficult to handle. 
You can stamp onto many different surfaces depending on what kind of ink you are using. The best kind of cardstock to use with dye inks is smooth white cardstock. This will give a great smooth surface for solid as well as outline stamps, the smooth surface will absorb the ink smoothly to create a smooth stamped image.
Start by removing you’re the stamp from the carrier sheet and place it onto your acrylic block. Use an acrylic block larger than your image but not too large. Ink up your stamp using an ink color and leave the acrylic block with the stamp attached on a solid surface and take the ink pad to the stamp, gently tap the pan pad over the image until the ink is covering the stamp’s surface.
Depends on what you want to stamp. For porous surfaces any ink will work, for non-porous surfaces, an alcohol ink would work best. For stamping solid or layered stamps it’s always best practice to stamp onto smooth white cardstock using dye ink. Dye inks are translucent so look best on white or light-colored cardstock. They dry fast so are the best choice when stamping layered images.
There are many ways to clean stamps, baby wipes or the clean water on a shammy work well. For inks that may stain you can always use a stamp cleaning liquid or spray.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Paper Crafting

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