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Monday, March 4, 2013

Kill Your Monday Blues with Hils Hints: Stamping 101 - Stamping!

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You’ve learnt all about stamps, inks and stamping tools – now it’s time to start playing!  This is definitely the fun bit, but it can be a little frustrating at first if you don’t know how to get the best results.

So here is a foolproof guide to stamping – follow these few simple hints and tips, and you will be well on your way.


ONE
Make sure the surface on which you are stamping (eg your crafting table) is clear and smooth.  Any lumps, bumps or indentations can make a difference to the quality of your stamped image.  You can buy stamping or craft mats to help avoid this, or you could use a mouse-mat or an old magazine instead.

TWO 
Using a mat or magazine is particularly important if you are using clear stamps.  Unlike cling or mounted stamps, clear ones have no extra cushioning, which is important to get a crisp image.



THREE 
Take the ink to the stamp, not the stamp to the ink.  In other words, don’t tap your stamp onto the inkpad.  You get more control over where you put your ink, and consequently a more even ink coverage, if you tap the ink pad onto the stamp.  This also means you can use any size inkpad with any size stamp.


FOUR
You can stamp onto textured surfaces, eg textured card or canvas, but you might prefer to start with a smooth card surface, at least until you’ve perfected your stamping technique.

FIVE
Once your stamping surface is ready, and your stamp is inked up, place the stamp firmly onto the paper/card.  Don’t move it around, don’t rock it.  Just press firmly.  You can just press and lift, but I prefer to hold the stamp onto the card for ten seconds or so to give the ink time to transfer.

SIX
Unless your stamp is very small, you need to ensure that the whole image is stamped.  Holding the stamp in place with one hand, “walk” or smooth the fingers of the other hand around the stamp, pressing firmly (but not too hard) as you go.  Make sure the stamp doesn’t move, otherwise you will smudge your image!  Sometimes it can be easier if you stand up to stamp, especially if you are using a large or detailed image.

SEVEN
When you are ready, lift the stamp off the paper, again being careful not to smudge the image.

EIGHT
You should now have a beautiful stamped image!

NINE
Don’t forget to clean your stamp using a recommended stamp cleaner, an alcohol-free baby wipe or mild soap and water.


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HINTS!!! {hot tips}
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Sometimes stamps can attract ink at the edge of them, leaving an unsightly mark next to your image.  If your stamp repeatedly does this, and in the same place, you can trim the edge a little – just make sure you don’t cut into the image.  Alternatively, you can simply check each time before you stamp, and remove any excess ink from the edges with your fingertips, a cotton wool bud, tissue or baby wipe – whatever works best for you.

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