Stamping 101: Getting Started.04 June 2010
STAMPS: the star of the show
Acrylic? Wood? Unmounted Rubber? It can be confusing and hard to choose. I know. It wasn't that long ago that I started stamping myself. There is no right or wrong answer, and I don't like to play favorites, so I have a little of everything.
Rubber stamps (wood or unmounted) seem to cling to ink best. The image comes out crisp and the color intense. However, placement is an issue. You can't see what you are doing. (This can be solved by using the stamp-a-ma-jig, a stamp positioner, but that takes more time and effort than I am normally willing to use.) I love the surprise of a perfectly stamped image when pulling the wood block away.
Acrylic stamps are clear, so you can see where you are stamping. Genius! However, clear stamps seem to resist dye or water-based inks. To solve this, I use solvant, pigment or embossing ink. Another great thing about acrylic stamps is the storage. They take up virtually no room! I store mine in jewel cd cases.
My thoughts on stamp type: buy the stamp images you like. Don't worry whether it is wood or acrylic. Both have positives and negatives; both will make great cards/crafts.
Starting-out Stamps: There are a few of stamp sets that I consider essentials and I would highly recommend buying when you are starting out. (Remember that you don't need to have ALL of these before you begin. I started out with one lonely wood-mounted stamp and one little green stamp pad.)
Backgroud Stamps: I adore making my own patterned paper with a background stamp. I really love Papertrey Ink's Polka Dot Basics and A Little Argyle, Stampin' Up's Medallion, Wplus9's Woodgrain and brand new Hearts stamp sets.
Sentiment Stamps: Because I am a card maker, sentiments are a must. I love All Occasion Messages by Hero Arts, Signature Greetings by Papertrey Ink and Short & Sweet by Stampin' Up.
Flower/Nature Stamps: Wplus9's Woodgrain Silhouettes Bundle is a fabulous all-around nature set. It is both masculine and femine. Very versatile. If I could only own one stamp set, this might be it.
Birthday Stamps: I adore Lawn Fawn's bake me a cake set! So cute. Just ordered it yesterday.
Baby Stamps: Papertrey Ink's Baby Button Bits is my favorite baby set I own. Such a clever idea! I also love Wplus9's Kisses and Cuddles set, but I don't own that one yet.
*I am still on the lookout for a good wedding set & a sympathy set. Let me know if you have a suggestion.
I must make a disclaimer before talking about ink pads: am not an expert. I am still trying to find my favorite brand.
Dye-based ink: Good on all paper, but fades over time. Not waterproof. I like Stampin' Up!'s dye ink a lot, especially with rubber stamps.
Chalk ink: Fabulous rich, matte finish. Stains clear stamps. I like ColorBox Fluid Chalk ink.
Pigment ink: Vibrant colors. Can be used on mediums other than paper, like fabric. Stampin' Up!'s craft line of inks are awesome.
Solvent ink: StazOn is so fun! You can use them on metal, plastic, acrylic, foil, leather and some even some glass surfaces.
*I use Memento ink when I color with my Copic Markers because it won't bleed. However, I don't feel like it is a very dark black. I am still looking for an alternative.
There are so many brands of paper out there, so I am not going to really get too into this. However, I do want to tell you my favorites. When coloring with copics, I prefer to use Neenah Solar White paper. I buy a huge ream at Xpedx for a great price. I also use Neenah's kraft cardstock. For colored cardstock, I like both Stampin' Up and Papertrey ink. They both have matching products, so it is fun to buy the inks, accessories and paper that go together. Papertrey ink's cardstock is really thick, so if you use a Silhouette or Cricuit cutter, it doesn't work as well. It does make a fabulously sturdy card, though.
Good luck with your new hobby! Comment or email me if you ave any questions.