Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to ~ assemble your stamps

When I purchased my first new clear mount stamp set, totally tess. I ripped the package open and put my stamps together.

I wasn't sticking to the block when I went to clean my stamps and came away a little frustrated. However ~ I LOVED the fact that I could see through the block for perfect placement of my stamp on a card which takes away the need for a stamp a majig AND saves me money! The stamps that you mount on the clear block are about 1/3 less expensive, but and you still get the nice solid rubber image.

The next thing I tried is NOT putting the sticker on at all, and I found that it worked wonderfully, but wasn't thrilled about not having something there to guide me for my image! This tutorial is all about what I learned, and my solution to this problem.

Now, I not only trim my rubber when it comes in, I'm trimming the stickers too, and using the foam part of the stamp to help stick to my clear blocks. Problem solved and I want to convert!!!

First ~ I've had customers ask me why I would trim a DIE CUT stamp set! This part applies to wood mounted sets too. Well, I meet many people... Some have never touched a stamp. If THEY rock their stamp while stamping at a workshop or club meeting, they may get frustrated or not like their project (when it has a big line on it from the edge that hit the paper). In addition, customers that come behind someone that rocks, will have the mark on their project too if it goes unnoticed or uncleaned. So here's the first tip. When I trim my stamp set, I try not to cut the padding underneath, I ONLY trim the red rubber. This does a few things.. If you cut (at a 90 degree angle) up and down, you could angle the scissors and end up cutting off some of the padding underneath. When you mount this to ANY style block, if there's not enough padding underneath, there's no pressure under the rubber on your stamp and you could lose some of your image. I have one set that I cut too much of the gray foam, and in order to get a solid image I have to roll the stamp backwards after. It's okay, but not ideal. I like it when I can see the foam all the way around, yet I have no straight edge that could end up on someones project if they rock when they ink up their stamp..Next ~ for the clear mount option, from now on, I'll be trimming my stickers super tight to the image. it only takes a minute. Read on to see why.After all that is done, I peel back the protective wax paper layer on the back of the foam.They have made the stickers very easy to get to. There is a slice across the middle to make it easier to remove the backing.Now I hope you can see this one above well... There is a little over an 1/8th of an inch going all around the stamp. Exposing the foam. This REALLY helps keeping your stamps in place when they are mounted to the blog. The stickers are a little slippery by themselves and cleaning isn't optimum.

After you've mounted your set (wood or clear mount option) you should condition your stamps. Click here to see a tutorial written our operator Robin Merriman.Next ~ select a block size. I purchased a whole starter set of blocks and I'm so glad I did! I've heard some say that they are worried that one set of blocks wont be enough.. You don't need to fit the block perfectly... You CAN use a larger block on smaller sized stamps and they work fine. I think one set will be good for me, even in a large class setting.

I'm guilty of not cleaning my stamps.. Well the new clear mount option helps me stay on top of that. I clean them, and the block using my stampin mist and scrub and my new stamps are staying really nice.

You want to make sure that the blocks stay very clean. If you get a film or anything on the clear block, your next stamp may have trouble sticking. If you're blocks are looking very dirty, try dawn dishwashing detergent to remove any oils that may be on them as a result of handling.

You should also try when you can, not to touch the foam part too much. We all have natural oils on our fingers that can make the stamps less sticky.

I just love Stampin up's new clear blocks which are JUST like holding a wood block. Nice rounded edges and easy to hold on to! I'm a big fan!
Now that I've selected a block I flip my stamp over and use a finger to apply a little pressure all the way around. That's it.. I can stamp, clean and reposition. The stamps stick and it almost seems like magic. I'm so excited to be able to choose this option for my storage needs.

When storing clear stamps, you can apply the same pressure to the stamp case, and your stamps will be hanging out (sticking to the side of the container they come in) so they won't be all over the case.

So you may ask what is the best advantage to clear blocks? Perfect Placement!
Check out how easy it is to hit an already punched shape with a clear block stamp! CLEARLY this is a great choice that we have.
This die hard "wood mounted stamp" girl is quickly converting and seeing all the possibilities with clear stamps.

Here's my finished card (just for example).

I hope you are all well today and you have a chance to stamp something fun!
Rubbah hugs,
Selene Kempton


  1. I have taken your advice and trimmed my stamps differently than before. I tried trimming only the red rubber part. That is an interesting experience. I'm sure I'll get better at it. I also trim the die cut stamps. They are not cut close enough for me. If there is a big opening in the middle of a stamp I cut that out too. Thanks for sharing about your clean mount ways

  2. Hooray! Someone else who trims all their stamps!

    I've always trimmed my stamps for the same reasons you mentioned. All you need is one heavy handed stamper at a workshop and you get outlines. I used to trim all of the stamp, but soon realised that the extra padding helps to keep the image steady - especially with smaller images. I often have people comment on my trimming job, because it doesn't exactly look neat, but once I explain I see people have that 'lightbulb moment'.

    Thanks for you well worded tutorial!

  3. Fabulous information - thank you!

  4. Great tutorial Selene and super cute card too!

  5. I bought three different sets of the new stamps. I thought they would be easier to use. I am not happy with them at all. I definately will not buy another set of these!

  6. What a fabulous tutorial! Thanks for putting it together!

  7. Thanks for sharing. I am going send a link to this post to every one in my group!
    thanks a lot!
    Patty Mickle
    Stampin' Up!