Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tips on using clear stamps

Whether you are new to using clear acrylic stamps or not, here are some helpful tips to ensure a crisp image and that your stamps last many years.

How do you use CTMH Clear Acrylic Stamps?
CTMH stamps come on a smooth storage sheet and are ready to be used. You don’t need to spend time trimming your clear stamps or figure out how to mount the stamp on a wood block. Instead, you can just start stamping.

Choose your stamp:
Select a clear block that is slightly larger than the stamp that you are going to use. Gently peel your clear stamp from the acetate storage sheet. (Although the clear stamps are strong, if you pull them off too fast or use to much force, you might tear your stamps especially in thin, detailed areas.)

Place the stamp on a clear block:
The smooth side of the stamp should be against the clear block. You can also arrange multiple stamps on the clear block for ease of stamping.  This is especially helpful when stamping a word with alpha stamps or arranging a set of stamps in an arc or other shape. 

"Prime" your stamp:
Sometimes a new clear stamp straight from the factory doesn’t take ink very well. The solution is to "prime" it, rough up the stamp’s surface area. This will usually make your stamp grab and hold ink more evenly so that you can get perfect stamped images. You can do this by rubbing your stamp gently on your forearm.

Apply ink to your clear stamp using the following tips:

Place your clear block on a flat surface with the stamp side up, then tap your inkpad down directly onto the surface of your stamp. Use firm and even tapping pressure. Tap-Tap-Tap Twist-Twist Tap-Tap-Tap. Don’t drag it across your inkpad. Hold the block up to the light to see if there are any bald spots missing ink. Remember too much ink often is just as bad as not enough ink.

Do a test stamp before applying to your project:
Once you have inked up your stamp, consider stamping on a scratch piece of paper from your project surface. Ink can look very different on different types of paper, colors of paper, or other project materials.

Generally you will get the best image when your paper is on a flat solid surface. To ensure stamping an even solid image, place the foam mat that comes in the stamp envelope underneath your paper to help distribute the ink.

How do I clean my clear stamps?
To keep stamps clear and free from ink stains clean each stamp immediately after use by stamping off remaining ink on scrap paper and spritzing with CTMH cleaner and scrubbing across the CTMH scrubber brush, it gets in all the nooks and crannies. If ever the stamp looses its cling, rinse it in warm water and its surface will return to its original sticky condition.

Just like rubber stamps, some colours of ink and some types of ink will stain your clear stamps. As long as you have cleaned your clear stamp, the remaining transparent tinge of colour will not affect the stamped image that your clear stamp makes.  The transparent tint of colour often makes it easier to tell what the stamp image is.  With proper care and quality ink choices, your stamps should last for many years.

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