Three steps to a perfect print

Sealing sounds so easy doesn’t it? You buy a stamp, put some ink on it, and tap it on the paper, right? Wrong!

You can find Your images will smudge, twist, or look a bit smudged with this embossing method. Usually that is not what a stamper wants. Well, I’m going to tell you the little secrets to creating patterned images that you may not have seen before. But let’s start a couple of steps before we start stamping. Let’s see the quality of the stamp and the type of ink you are going to buy.

Before purchasing your stamp, it is important to examine the rubber or acrylic and decide if the image is carefully chiseled. A good, firmer, high-quality rubber or acrylic stamp will be made and the image will be cut thin and deeply. If you buy a stamp that is smoother and less defined, that’s the kind of image you’ll get from it, regardless of your technique.

Now consider the ink you want to use. There are actually five basic types of inks and each one gives you a different effect. There are dye-based, pigment-based, permanent, fabric, and embossing inks. Which will produce the result you want? Here are some ideas on how to choose between them:

Dye-based inks They are water-based, so they react to water, paint or other moisture staining. What they do is dye the paper, so if you want to color your stamped images in some way, don’t go for dye-based inks. If you want fast-drying ink or sharp images that you don’t want to color or alter in any way, choose dye-based inks. You will also get a softer color with dye-based inks. You can usually clean this type of ink from your stamps with water, but be careful not to saturate and therefore warp wood block mounted stamps.

Pigment The inks are also water-based, but they are manufactured differently than dye-based inks. They have small color particles, so they are brighter than dye inks and less likely to smudge. They are best used on matte paper. When used on glossy cardstock, they will smudge if touched. They also take longer to dry, so you can highlight powder on them and heat it up.

Permanent ink it’s just that – a fast-setting, water-resistant ink. You can stamp on many surfaces with it: glossy cardstock, glass, acetate, even wood or paint. Once attached and dry, the image is there to stay. This type of ink will also stain your stamp unless you use the specially made permanent ink cleaning solution that can usually be found on the store shelf alongside permanent inks.

Fabric ink It is made to print on fabric and you will probably need to “fix” it by ironing on it once you have printed your image. You can also use fabric ink on other surfaces (like chipboard). It is a semi-permanent ink, so use a stamp cleaner with it to avoid staining your stamps.

Embossing inks They are stickier and take longer to dry, making them perfect for catching and holding highlighting powders. Just be careful not to touch an embossed image until it has heated up or it will smudge. If you stamp on colored cardstock with clear embossing ink, your image will be two shades darker than the color of the cardstock. You will also need a stamp cleaner for this type of ink.

OK. Once you’ve chosen your ink, you’re ready to start stamping. The three secrets to obtaining clear and sharp images are:

  1. Place your stamp face down on the ink pad and tap it gently. Avoid pushing the stamp into the ink pad as you will end up with too much ink on the stamp and this, in turn, will make your images blurry or imperfect. Now turn the stamp over and check if all areas of the image have been evenly inked. If not, turn the stamp upside down again and tap it on the ink pad until it is properly inked.
  2. Turn your stamp back over and hold it firmly with both hands by the edges. Lower it onto your paper as straight as you can. Press the stamp in the middle with one finger, then press around the edges of the image to make sure the entire image has made contact with the paper. Be careful not to press so hard that you tilt or bend the seal.
  3. Then carefully and gently lift the stamp from the paper, avoiding skewing or twisting it.

You should have a clean, sharp, and complete image!

More stamping tips:

If you have a very large stamp, place it face up on your table. Lightly tap the ink on the stamp, checking that everything is inked correctly. You may get a better result if you place the paper on the stamp and gently smooth it out by hand before lifting the paper up and out of the stamp. In this way, you avoid “lost” stains caused by imperfections on the surface of a large stamp.

Try cleaning your stamps before the ink dries. Using a stamp cleaner will condition the rubber and maintain the quality of the images.

Now you have the three steps to a perfect print. Perfection can be achieved if you practice these steps. It might take some practice before consistently getting perfect results, but the time you can put into it is well worth it.

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