If you are a scrapbooker or papercrafter, you are used to buying
paper, stickers, rub-ons, and pre-made embellishments. You have
also probably purchased some tools such as a paper trimmer,
scissors, or hole punches. During the last couple years, many
scrapbookers have discovered that clear stamps are another
tool that they can use to make beautiful scrapbook pages and
papercraft projects. If you are considering purchasing clear
stamps, you have a number of choices about what kind of clear
stamps to buy. In this article, we will help you answer two
Why should you invest in clear stamps?
How can you tell a high quality clear stamp from a low
We hope that this article will answer those questions and
provide information that will let you make wise purchase
Why Invest in Clear Stamps?
Stamps are a tool. People buy a tool because they think the
tool will do a good job for their particular task, because
they plan to reuse the tool on a number of projects, and
because they expect the tool to last. Inexpensive clear stamps
often don’t work very well. They are made from materials that
won't stick to a block. The inexpensive materials do not accept
and transfer ink,
producing poorly stamped images. These materials can also
deteriorate and fall apart. When you make an investment in a high-quality clear
stamp, you get a stamp that will cling to the clear blocks and
storage sheet, create well-defined images time after time, and
that will last indefinitely.
How Do I Choose a Quality Clear Stamp?
Once you realize that not all clear stamps are created equal
and that you are making an investment in a tool, then you have
to ask, how can I tell a high-quality stamp from a low quality
one? Especially when all those clear stamps look the same?
Here are some quick tips about what to look for when you are
selecting clear stamps for your collection.
Consider purchasing clear stamps made in the USA.
Stamps manufactured in China or Taiwan are made from inexpensive vinyl,
silicone, low-quality polymer, acrylic, or other inferior
materials. These substances won't stick well to an acrylic
block, cause ink to pool on the stamp, and don't produce
well-defined images. In addition, these lower quality stamps
are made from materials that may weaken or even break down
when they come in contact with ink, paint, or other common
household materials. A high-quality stamp should be clear and
not cloudy, will feel firm, but not hard, and will give when
you press on it without feeling gooey or squishy.
Look for thicker stamps. To cut costs, some companies use
less material and rush the manufacturing process. This produces
thin stamps that are easy to tear. These thin stamps also have
shallow peaks and valleys. When you press down, the peaks
flatten out and produce poorly defined or partially stamped
images. Before you purchase a set of clear stamps, look at the
stamps from the side. High quality clear stamps will be about
1/8 of an inch thick, and you will be able to see distinct
peaks and valleys.
Look for very little material around the stamp image.
companies make stamps with wide areas around the stamp image.
The wide areas mean that the stamps can't be placed close
together on a block to spell out words or phrases. The extra
material or cut edges can also catch extra ink and easily mar
your project. Look for images that are in the center of the
stamp and have less than 1/16 of an inch of material all the
way around the ends of the stamp image.
Whether you are considering Technique Tuesday Clear Stamps or
stamps from another company, we hope that these simple tips
will help you select the best quality clear stamps!