Stamps – Different Types and Care

DSCN0429Different Types of Stamps:

Stampin’ Up! offers a wide variety of exclusive images to suit every taste.  The images are sold in coordinating sets so you will always have everything you need to create beautiful cards, gift wrap scrapbook pages or home décor.

The stamps are available in three styles; wood mount, clear mount and photopolymer.

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Wood Mount – The high quality red rubber images come pre-cut and include maple wood blocks for permanent mounted stamps.  These rubber images produce crisp sharp images and if taken care of, will last for years to come.  There is some assembly required, the images and need to be mounted on the wood blocks. The images are permanently mounted on the blocks.

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Clear Mount – These are the same high quality red rubber images offered for the wood-mount stamps but they are used with reusable clear acrylic blocks.   These stamps are perfect for those with limited storage space.  Since they are not mounted permanently, the storage case is no wider than a DVD case.   The blocks come in a variety of sizes to fit any size stamp and need to be purchased separately.  These stamps are not mounted permanently on the acrylic blocks so the blocks can be used again and again.

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Photopolymer – These stamps are made of a clear photopolymer making them perfect for when placement is critical such as with alphabets and two-step stamping. Another bonus they are flexible giving you more options for the images and your creativity.  They get mounted on the reusable acrylic blocks.  Since they are a clear photopolymer they will take stain very easily.  While they might not be pretty, they will still stamp perfectly fine.  I think a stained stamp shows how loved that stamp really is!

How to Mount Your Stamps For Use:

Tips:

  • To keep your wood mounted stamps clean and ink free wrap the block in clear packing tape before attaching the die to the block.  Ink will wipe right off!
  • Clear mount stamps not sticking to the acrylic block?  Try these tips  1) Make sure your block is squeaky clean.  You can use a microfiber cloth such as the Clear Block Cleaning Cloth (item #121779 $4.00)  2) Use lip balm on the back of the stamp.  Just rub a little on the label side and stick to the block.  Be sure it is the waxy kind not a gloss so it sticks better.  3) Apply a light coating of Multipurpose Liquid Glue to the label side. VERY IMPORTANT – let the glue dry thoroughly it will be tacky but not a permanent bond.
  • Photopolymer stamps lose some of their stickiness?  All you have to do is wash them in mild dish soap (not dishwaher but for hand washing), rinse and let air dry.  They will be sticky again! Added bonus they may be a little cleaner too
  • To remove ink stains and residue from your acrylic stamps simpley wash in warm sudsy water, rinse and dry

How to Care for Your Stamps:

If properly cared for your stamps will last for a very long time.  The rubber is tough, yet delicate, very similar to your skin.  After cleaning you need to make sure the rubber is conditioned to prevent drying it out.

You can use baby wipes, but make sure there is NO alcohol in them.  Alcohol will dry out the rubber or photopolymer and it can lead to cracks making the stamps unusable.

I highly recommend a cleaner specially made for stamps such as Stampin’ Mist. This product cleans gently and has conditioners to keep the stamps supple.  Also a stamp pad cleaner like the Stampin’ Scrub works beautifully.  It has little fibers that get deep into the image cleaning out all traces of ink.  This tray is two sided. You spray cleaner on one side and keep the other dry.  Simply scrub the stamp on the wet side, then wipe on the other side to dry the stamp.  Never submerge your wood mounted stamps in water.  This will cause the wood to swell and loosen the stamp from the base.

Very important: Photopolymer stamps are more delicate than rubber ones.  You cannot use any caustic cleaner on them such as Stazon cleaner as it will ruin the stamps. Use only Stampin’ Mist or  gentle dishsoap and water, making sure they are thoroughly rinsed.

Stamp Storage:

All Stampin’ Up! stamps come in plastic cases making them the perfect way to store your stamps. I keep mine on shelves with the names of the sets visible on the spine, just like you would store books.  These cases will keep dust and dirt off them.  Remember to store your stamps out of direct sunlight.  Although we love to soak up the sun, your stamps don’t feel the same way, sunlight will ruin them!