I'd like to share some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years. Hopefully you'll find something that will help you with your stamping! If you have something to share, let me know and I'll add it to the list!
* To decrease the amount of staining with Photopolymer stamps, ink them with a very light color or Versamark ink the first time. The first ink seems to stay with the stamp, so the lighter inks will keep darker inks from staining as much. They will still stain, but it won’t be so dark.
* To get clear, crisp images with Photopolymer stamps, always use a Paper Piercing Mat under your card stock when you stamp. The mat acts like the foam layer in the wood and clear-mount stamps and gives you a good stamped image.
* The Archival Stampin’ Pads in Basic Black and Basic Gray will stain Photopolymer stamps no matter how careful you are with them. That’s just the way the ink is made. The staining will not affect the way stamps work, but it doesn’t look very nice.
*Staz On Cleaner is not recommended for Photopolymer Stamps. If you do use it, immediately clean the stamp with Stampin’ Mist to remove the Staz On Cleaner.
* To attach your clear-mount stamps to the acrylic block, set the stamp with the raised edges down on your work surface, then press the block to the stamp. If you watch closely, you can see the stamp adhering to the block.
* Sometimes the stamp just won’t stick to the block! Try rubbing the block on your pants. This will clean the block and the friction helps warm it up so the stamp will stick better.
* If you’re still having trouble with stamps staying on the blocks, put a little bit of the Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755, $4) on the back side of the stamp, spread it around for a thin, even coating and let dry. It will be tacky so it will stick to the block, but will still come off when you pull it away. Repeat if it loses it’s stickiness.
* Always store your ink pads so the ink is upside down. This keeps the ink on the surface rather than letting it soak down into the pad where it won’t ink your stamp. Stampin’ Up’s Classic Stampin’ Pads are designed so the top of the ink pad is upside down when the pad itself is right-side up (so you can read the label). Most other pads (Memento, Staz On, Versamark, etc) will need to be upside down to store them correctly.
* When you buy an ink pad, buy the refill at the same time so you never have a pad that can’t be re-inked!
* Always store your markers so they are flat, not standing up. This will keep the ink evenly distributed to both ends of the marker rather than having it all go to one end.
* A standard card is 4 ¼ x 5 ½. Here’s a handy chart for layer sizes:
4 x 5 ¼
3 ¾ x 5
3 ½ x 4 ¾
3 ¼ x 4 ½
3 x 4 ¼
* When you buy a package of the Thick Whisper White card stock, highlight the name on the label so you don’t mix it up with your regular Whisper White card stock.
* You can watercolor on Shimmery White card stock in addition to Watercolor Paper. If you don’t use much water, you can also use Whisper White or Very Vanilla, but they will tend to pill and curl.
* The Clear Medium Envelopes are great for storing cards! They keep them clean and the embellishments intact!
* If you’re using a matching /coordinating punch, always stamp first and then punch. It will be much easier than trying to stamp on the punched shape.
* Turn your punch upside down to see exactly where you want to punch.
* The Envelope Punch Board has an awesome corner rounder on the back side of the punch!
* Many of the embellishments can be colored with Sharpie Markers if you don’t have the color you need.
* When using Fast Fuse adhesive, use a light touch and always make a check mark at the end before you lift the adhesive. Alternating the direction will keep it from sliding off to one side and getting stuck.
* When using Mini Glue Dots, stick the item to the dot while it’s still on the roll, then remove from the roll. Much easier than keeping those little dots from sticking everywhere they don’t belong!
* If you stamp off on scratch paper before you clean the stamp on your Stampin’ Scrub, your scrub will stay cleaner longer.