Acrylic stamps are everywhere these days. Here are a few fun and easy techniques to add a little zest to your acrylic stamping.
First of all, most stamps come with some sort of cover. Similar to this (or a plain plastic cover) Don't discard that. Replace it after each use. It will help to keep your stamps free from scraps and debris.
If your stamps do collect some debris, a quick rinse with soap and water should revive their "stick".
When removing your stamps from their backing, you want to roll them with your thumb, away from the plastic. If you grab them and peel them up, thinner areas of the stamp may rip.
It's fairly easy to stick them to your acrylic block, and stamp away. But, if you need a more custom placement. Let's say you want to follow a curve or another shape on your layout or card, try this:
Place your stamps face down on the card or layout in the postion you desire.
THEN, take your acrylic block and place that over the stamps, push down. When you pull the block up, the stamps will be in the exact position you wanted.
Ink your stamp. To get the best ink coverage, rock your stamp back and forth over the ink pad rather than pushing the stamp directly into it. Check the image to ensure adequate coverage.
Stamp. When stamping, apply even pressure.
For a masked image, place your acrylic stamp on the block. Select the part you want to be "ink free" and apply tape over those spots. I use painters tape because it's fairly gentle and doesn't leave a residue.
Once you have them covered, ink your stamp with the tape on.
Then, remove your tape, and stamp. Don't forget to remove that tape! It gets really messy if you don't. :)
Once you've done that, wipe any remaining ink from the stamp. A quick rinse with water or an alcohol free baby wipe will do the trick. Ok, truth be told, I use my shirt sleeve. I'm telling you this because you'll see it later in the demo. (Sorry, Mom!)
Next, mask the parts of the stamp that weren't covered the first time.
Ink. And stamp. This is where the real beauty of acrylics comes in, you can easily see where the stamp needs to be set.
For a mulit colored image, it's much the same, but a bit easier.
Ink one side of the stamp with one color.
Ink the other side of the stamp with a second color, getting as close as you can to the first color. Again, you can see where you want to place it because acrylic allows you that freedom!
Stamp. It's that easy. If you were really brave you could try more than 2 colors.
For a more dimensional look in your stamping, try layering. Ink your block with a darker color. And stamp.
Rinse or wipe down the stamp. Then, ink your block with a lighter color.
Then, off-set your stamp just a bit before setting it down, and stamp.
It adds such a great look to the design. It really does work best if the darker color is stamped first.
Don't forget that your acrylic stamps are really flexible. A straight stitch stamp doesn't need to stay that way! Experiment with twists and turns to produce some fun looks.
This technique was used under the stars, in this LO.
Clean your stamps and the block immediately after use. The longer ink is left on your stamps, the more difficult it will be to remove. It's easiest to clean your stamps while they are still on the bocks. If you're working with swirls or a very detailed image, use a very soft toothbrush to get ink out of the creases.
Pigment inks and Staz On will permanently discolor the stamp image. Darker inks, over time will also cause discoloration.
Use an Acrylix Spritz or Stamp Cleaner for regular cleaning. Use soap and water to restore stickiness. (Continual use of soap and water will eventually cause a build-up. Use this method occasionally, only as needed.)
Reader Comments ...
Thanks for the directions. They don't look so scary to use now.
thanks for the article! great instructions!
Thank you for explaining how to use acrylic stamps and blocks. Now I will Have to them!!
increíble...! now i can do it!
Great directions! Thank you!
Excellent techniques and great explanations! Thanks so much for writing this!
Thanks, Miranda. I have only been using acrylic stamps for a few weeks, so this was really helpful.
Great article Miranda!
Cool. I have not used these types of stamps yet! (MUST RESIST THE URGE!)
Thanks for the great article Miranda. I love the AL - Rhonna Farrer stamps & use them a lot but these tips now make me want to buy even more stamps.