Perfecting your stamping technique

custom rubber stamp

Stamping is imperfect in nature (and why we love it!), and it can take a bit of practice to hone your technique and achieve the look you want. So, we thought we’d round up a few tips for getting the best possible print from your stamp.

Your ink

Make sure your ink pad has enough ink. Brand new ink pads can be a little bit ‘juicy’, if you find this try blotting up some of the excess ink with a paper towel. A neat trick for getting the most value from your ink pad is to store it upside down (lid on!) to keep the ink always at the surface of the pad.

Prepare the area

Always use a solid, flat surface to stamp on. Put some paper, or a magazine under the surface your stamping onto to provide some padding.

Your technique

Press your stamp reasonably hard onto the ink pad. If you have a large stamp and a raised ink pad, try flipping the stamp face up and bring the ink pad downwards onto the surface (this way you can see where the ink is applied). Before you stamp, take a look at the surface to make sure it’s well inked. Then, press straight down onto your surface with firm, even pressure, and pull straight up. Don’t wiggle or rock the stamp – you’ll end up with a blurred image.

Note – larger stamps and stamps with lots of solid area need more ink, and more pressure. With larger stamps, press down on the stamp with your fingers, but don’t let the stamp move. Standing up can help add more pressure.

For smaller stamps and stamps with fine lines need less ink, and less pressure.

Once you’re done stamping, allow a bit of time for the ink to dry before touching. Most dye-based inks dry almost instantly, but other types of ink can take a little longer.

Look after your gear

Keep your stamp clean! Build up of ink over time can impact the print, so after you’re done using your stamp, give it a little wipe with a damp cloth (or alcohol-free baby wipes also work well!) If it’s been a while between cleaning, try using a soft toothbrush and some mild soapy water – just don’t get water onto the timber block. Store your stamp in a dry, shaded environment, keeping it out of direct sunlight will help avoid ‘yellowing’ of the rubber.

If you have any of your own tips, feel free to share in the comments!

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