Saturday, 15 July 2017


Hi lovely Scrappers! Today the team are having a chat about ink pads and stamps...

Claire: I love stamps! I just do not use them enough, I collect and hoard them. I have done a few layouts that have been focused on stamping and I love the end results. However, I think the reason that I don’t stamp more is the fear of messing it up. Stamping is definitely a technique to master. I also own 15 (yes 15) roller phrase stamps and I use these frequently to add finishing touches to my layouts. I generally just stamp these in black Versafine ink and often do a “ghost” stamp where I stamp multiple times without re-inking to get the ombre stamped effect (I feel I’ve just made that term up - ha ha). I think the general consensus for most scrapbookers is that they own stamps and do not use them enough. So, my commitment from here on in is to use my stamps more!

Gemma: I only have a small selection of stamps, which I really need to use more. My favourites are my two rolling stamps, the Shimelle date stamp and a Dear Lizzy phrase stamp. I like to use these as a final touch to a layout, stamping a few lines near a cluster of embellishments. My favourite ink pad is StazOn which I have in black.
If I want to get messy for a mixed media look, I have some of the large Tim Holtz Distress ink pads. I use these with the packaging technique. To do this I stamp the pad straight onto some plastic packaging, then I spray some water on top, which makes the ink react. The ink applied onto cardstock creates a pretty watery effect for a background.

Lisa-Jane: Using ink pads and stamps either alone or together, can really expand your crafting stash in a cost effective way. You can make your own patterned papers to use as backgrounds or extra layers if you don't have the exact piece that you feel you need or you can add little pops of interest and detail with the smallest of stamps, and anything in between. I do use stamps on my layouts now and then and I really need to use them more as I love the extra layers that they can create. I'm a huge fan of Tim Holtz Distress inks and the new Distress Oxides and I definitely wouldn't be without my Vintage Photo ink pad and blending tools for inking the edges of most of my papers etc on a layout. I used to think they were all about the grunge and eleventy billion shades of brown but as you can see from this layout they can also be nice and bright too. This page is from a holiday album where I used a particular collection right the way through. I was getting short on full pages and I had an idea to make a matching background sheet and I was so happy with how it turned out. I used thin washi tape to make a geometric pattern over some white cardstock and then used the blending tool and two bright colours of Distress Ink over the top. I pulled off the washi tape and hey presto, a full, matching, background sheet for the price of a plain sheet of cardstock! The inks and stamps might be an investment to begin with but as long as you choose generic styles or colours you scrap with a lot then you will definitely get your money's worth.

Sarah T: I love the idea of stamping, especially on Pocket Page layouts. I really like; stamping on photos, repeat stamping, creating stamped embellishments, and a good old date stamps. I did some repeat stamping recently as a title card and really loved it. I used an alpha stamp and black StazOn ink. I'm actually really pleased we've covered this topic because stamping is something I'm always keen to do more of and I've picked up loads of tips from the rest of the ladies. I hope you have too.

Vicci Lou: Stamps are by far my fave thing to use ever! I think every new scrapbooker should invest in a couple of cool sets. They're so versatile; mix that in with some scraps and different coloured inks and you can make lots of embellishments, which is great if you're on a small budget. Stamps are great for adding texture and interest to backgrounds and also for adding those little final touches to layouts instead of say enamel dots or sequins. Yes, they are a flat element on the page but if you use the right contrasting colours you can really make them pop!

Kirsteen: I'm more of a collect and hoard kind of stamper. I love the idea of stamping, being able to reuse an image I really love but the reality is my stamp collection lives in a pretty box that I swoon over every now and then.

Susan: Hmm stamping? Not my favourite technique. I am not good at getting an even pressure and so end up with extra ink, or not enough ink, on the finished image. I recently invested in a We R Memory Keepers Precision Press Tool which should help but I haven’t opened it so can’t report back yet (I bought mine from UK company, Cre8tive Online). I have found that ‘you get what you pay for’ both with stamps and with inks and also that it is worth experimenting to get the right ink for the job. I use a lot of inking on the edges of cut papers on my scrapbook pages; it gives a more finished look, I think. Some inks are just too ‘inky’ for that but Tim Holtz Distress Inks do the job perfectly. However, they are hopeless for stamping a crisp, clear image and, to be fair, they were never intended for that purpose. Cheaper stamps and especially some of the freebies on magazine covers, seem to splay out a little and smudge the image; I am happy to pay a bit extra and buy a really good stamp; those from Stampin’ Up, for example, are excellent. And a wee tip - did you know the little round blending foam pads fit perfectly in the bottom of the mini Distress Inks? So you can store each one with its own colour.

Maria: Confession time! I only have a handful of ink pads. Until recently, my idea of stamping on a layout consisted of adding the date with a date stamp! (and I do this on my layouts 90% of the time). However, I have ventured into making a feature of stamping on my layouts in the last few months. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I go big! I like stamping directly onto the background, and if the cardstock is textured you have to make sure that you are impressing your stamp correctly, otherwise it may not look sharp. And beware the stampers nemesis: dropping your stamp on your layout by mistake! I must confess that it has happened to me more than once! My favourite ink is Versafine; I use it for stamping my date and for other bits and pieces. For colour inks I have a couple of colours of Distress Inks and a couple of colours of Stampin’ Up pads. I am currently saving a bit to invest on some more pads!

Emma C: OK, one thing to remember is not all ink pads are created equally and the one you choose is totally dependent on what you want to do with the image. First of all there are different formulations of ink. Pigment ink, dye ink, hybrid ink, embossing ink, waterproof ink ... I know, it's a minefield! I would recommend checking out Jennifer Maguire’s YT channel as she has great videos explaining the differences between the lot. From a personal point, I love Tim Holtz Distress Inks for water colouring and blending. I use Ranger Archival Jet Black a fair bit because it gives a fab crisp image. I've also recently started using Clearly Kelly Hybrid ink by Hero Arts, which look blotchy to begin with but smooth out when they dry.
In terms of stamps, I prefer to use clear stamps, usually the ones made from photo polymer are of a higher standard and give a better image when stamped. Clear stamps also let you see where you're stamping as you can see through them - bonus.
*psst* Don't worry if you're like me and never clean off your stamps, it doesn't hurt them!

Jess: So I swore I was never going to be a stamper. I tried it a few times with a variety of bad results. I even sold all my studio calico stamp sets online. Then a pen pal sent me a pad of StazOn black ink. This is now the only ink I use. I have a Project Life roller date stamp and a Heidi Swapp stamp set and that's all I use. The StazOn ink is great and as Emma said, its OK to not clean them, especially if you only use one colour. One technique I do like to do is to repeat the stamp until the ink on it has run out, to give kind of a shadow effect. Its a nice quick and easy way to get an interesting feature on a page.

Michelle: I absolutely love to stamp, it's my favourite thing to do! I don't own a massive variety of stamps but the ones I do have are excellent quality and can be used in a range of techniques. I'm not particularly an arty person so the stamps that make up a scene or the stamps that have two parts (dual stamp) are my favourite, when you combine them with good quality ink pads you can use them again and again without your layouts ever looking the same.

Some great hints and tips there from the team, I know I learnt some new ideas too! 

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