This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of stamping, looking at the different types of stamps available purchase and how to care for them, all the way through to the other stamping supplies that you need to use alongside them!
Stamps have been around since ancient times, however not in the form that you'd expect to find them today. In India, mud was used to create moulds of designs to then recreate again using juice from flowers, fruit and other plant-based substances. Meanwhile in other cultures, thick hide and wood were popular due to their resilience, meaning they could be easily carved to create detailed impressions.
It wasn't until 1736 that popular modern stamping material, rubber, was discovered in the Amazon River Basin. French explorer, Charles Marie de la Condamine, came across the material and took a sample of it back to France, which over the coming years was turned into pencil erasers. However this form of rubber proved to be an unstable material, and it wasn't until Charlies Goodyear spilled a composition of gum rubber and sulphur on a heated stove in 1839 that the vulcanisation process of rubber was created, and the material was stabilised - a process that would soon be adapted to a multitude of other different uses.
The vulcanisation process was patented in 1844, which lead to the invention of rubber stamps around twenty years after, however there is much dispute as to who actually invented them! L. F. Witherell believed he introduced rubber stamp in 1866 when he attached rubber letters to wooden bedposts, however James Orton Woodruff also claims the invention around the same time - when he allegedly borrowed vulcanised rubber from his dentist uncle and mounted it to walnut. As well as these two cases, there are many other invention stories - but none convincing enough to be deemed true.
By the 20th century, the stamping industry was thriving - and as time passed, this popularity eventually lead on to the use of other, more modern materials in stamping, most notably polymer and acrylic. Today, stamping is a favoured crafting technique worldwide due to its accessibility, versatility, ease of use, and how inexpensive it is to take up. As it's a simple technique to master, even creative novices can achieve beautiful results! From making handmade cards and scrapbook pages, to upcycling old furniture, stamping surely is an extremely handy technique to use - one that we're sure will still be flourishing in many years to come.
To ensure that you buy the perfect stamps for your personal needs, you must consider a few things first. There are so many different types of stamps available on the market today, so this checklist aims to help narrow down that all-important decision-making process!
What type of project are you likely to use stamps in? Are you thinking about sending out invitations to the party of the year, making a special card for a loved one, or even straying into the world of interior design?
How big is the project you're likely to undertake? There's no use buying a size too small when attempting a larger project, or a big stamp that won't fit the entire design on your material!
Are you looking to colour and decorate the image further after you've stamped, or would you prefer to stamp a fuller image? Stamps will either feature an outline of a design or a solid image to fully cover with ink.
Do you need a durable, long lasting stamp that can handle repetitive stamping? Do you need to see precisely where you're stamping for total accuracy? Do you have a lot of storage space? Or do you just need simplicity at its finest? Click through to the next page to find out which type of stamp is perfect for each and every one of these requirements!