8 common mistakes when stampingby Laura RumbleNovember 22, 2021 |

Welcome to the second in a series blog posts that will teach you how to stamp!  If you have never stamped before and have no idea where to start this will get you up and running.  If you are relatively new to stamping you should also gain some tips on how to improve your stamping.  If you are an old hand… well, perhaps there’ll be some inspiration for you too!  (You can find the first post – How To Use Photopolymer Stamps In 6 Easy Steps – here!)

I’ve pulled together a few mistakes I made when learning to stamp with photopolymer stamps and an acrylic block.  I’ll be honest with you; I still make some of them now!

Over inking

This happens when you push too hard with the ink pad when inking up the stamp. You add too much ink to the surface of the stamp, even having ink pooling in the crevices of a detailed stamp.  This results in splodgy stamping that doesn’t show off the detail of the stamp.  You can fix this by tapping the ink pad lightly on to your stamp.

Under inking

This comes about by not having an even coverage of ink on your stamp, or even leaving part of the stamp unintentionally un-inked.  This results in an incomplete or sketchy image.  To help avoid this, daft as it sounds, make sure you ink up every part of the stamp!  Sometimes we get caught up in the fun of stamping and forget the simple things!  If this is the first time you have used the stamps you may find priming them helps. There may be left over residue from the manufacturing process which is preventing the ink from sitting evenly on the surface of the stamp. Running your fingers or palm over the surface of the stamp a few times should fix this.

Too much pressure

When you push too hard on the acrylic block can squash the photopolymer stamp.  This results in the stamped lines becoming overblown and thicker than they should be.

Too quick

Not giving enough contact between the card and the stamp will result in a sketchy image.  Don’t pull the stamp up right away, the ink needs a few seconds to transfer to the cardstock.

Uneven pressure

Giving more pressure to one side of the acrylic block than the other.  This results in an image that can be sketchy, splodgy, and have overblown lines all in one image.  To help avoid this you want to be using an even work surface.  For me the ideal stamping surface is a sturdy desk or table and something with a little bit of give under your project, like a piece of fun foam or a magazine.  Also, use an acrylic block that is an appropriate size for the image you are stamping.  It is much harder to stamp with even pressure using a 6×4 block with one 1×2 image on it.  Make your process easier and use a smaller block. 

Rocking the stamp

Moving the stamp slightly whilst it is making contact with the cardstock is guaranteed to give you a dodgy image.  This brings us neatly on to 7…

Not lifting straight up

The same as rocking the stamp, any movement that is not straight up and down runs the risk of smudging your image.  Aim for all of your movement to be vertical– not horizontal or diagonal.

Other issues

Ink on the acrylic block, fluff on the stamp and dropping the ink pad – make sure you don’t have ink on the acrylic block which could transfer to your project as you stamp and, finally, don’t drop the un-lidded ink pad on to your project!