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!
Your stamps are the main component in your stamping experience, however you do need a few other essential accessories for to create some spectacular designs! These supplies are as follows...
Finding the perfect ink pad for your projects can be a little bewildering – there are so many different types to choose from! But what makes each ink type unique? Here, we've chosen some of the most popular types of ink and clarified their pros and cons.
This general-purpose, water-based ink is quick drying and suitable for use with a variety of porous surfaces. The ink will soak into the material and stain its fibre, setting within minutes. However, this ink is not recommended for use with glossy or other non-porous surfaces as it struggles to dry and is prone to smudging. Dye ink is quite thin bodied, so lighter shades can give a transparent pastel-like finished effect, while darker shades can give a brighter effect. This ink is generally easier to remove from stamps.
Distress inks are very popular forms of water-based dye ink that feature worn and weathered colour shades. Differently to dye ink, they stay wet for a longer period of time which can give you more design opportunities. This ink can be easily blended, shadowed and antiqued to produce a distressed effect, working better on glossy materials than general dye ink.
This ink isn't dye-based, but instead has a glycerine base. This means that it's thicker bodied than dye ink and doesn't soak in to stain the material – it sits on top. Although it takes longer to dry, these opaque colours have much more vibrancy and are fuller than dye ink colours, fading and smudging less. Pigment ink is also not suited for non-porous surfaces like glossy paper, plastic or metal as it struggles to set, even with a heat gun. This ink is generally more difficult to remove completely from stamps.
Unlike distress ink, chalk ink is designed to create a soft chalk-like effect on material, without the dusty residue chalk produces. Falling under the pigment ink category, this ink is available in a variety of muted, pastel shades that set with a matte finish. This fast-drying ink resists bleeding and smudging, also working well on glossy or coated materials.
It's possible to stamp on almost any material! In general, it's better to stamp onto porous surfaces as the ink finds it easier to dry, however with hundreds of porous materials available, where do you start?
Paper and stamping card are a safe bet in stamping - especially when using the stamped designs in papercraft projects! These materials are specially designed for manipulation, meaning you can easily add colour and create some stunning effects. As an alternative, some crafters like to stamp onto fabric to add another texture to their papercraft projects, or even upcycle old furniture!
Once you've found the perfect image and stamped onto your chosen material, what comes next? Stamped designs are usually simple outlines of an image that require colouring in afterwards, completely transforming it into a fuller, more colourful design. Better yet, there are so many colouring mediums to choose from!
The colouring medium you choose completely depends on what you want the final outcome to look like. Pencils provide soft, simple shading, while pens and markers supply fuller, bolder tones. For something different entirely, there's a range of other art mediums that can be incorporated into your designs - think strong paint strokes, or even glittery accents! The creative possibilities are truly endless here.