I have received MANY emails from those of you that have not yet tried clear stamps, having only used wood-mounted rubber. I am so glad that the innovative designs at Papertrey Ink have inspired many of you to try something new. I guarantee our quality photopolymer stamps will not leave you disappointed!
First there are some basic essentials that you need to begin you clear stamp experience.
-A set of Acrylic Blocks. Papertrey carries a great beginner's set that retails for a mere $5. It contains three sizes that coordinate with just about all of our stamps. Having different size blocks available to use in conjunction with your stamps will allow you to be more successful. For example, if you put a little 1/2" stamp on a HUGE 3x5 block, it will be difficult to stamp with since there is so much excess block around the edge. Think of your wood-mounted stamps. The blocks are similar in size to the images in most cases. You want the same proportions when using clear stamps as well.
-A set of our clear stamps. They come on 4x6-inch sheets already separated into individual images (in other words, NO trimming required). $24 sets include two sheets, $15 sets include one sheet. These carrier sheets are made our of clear plastic that is similar to that used to make transparencies, on;y slightly thicker.
-Sometimes when putting stamps on both sides, the stamps can stick together, especially when the set is brand new. I trim the carrier sheet down slightly on the long edge so it will fit in my case in between the two sides when shut. As you use the stamps and they become "seasoned" they will not stick nearly as much and you will no longer need the carrier sheet. As a finishing touch, you can use the label we enclose in each of our sets to identify the name of the set on the spine of the case.
NO adhesives or mounting tapes are required.
They stick all by themselves, right out of the package. For those of you new to this medium, you may be asking yourself, but how do they stick? Well, think of the window clings you can purchase for the holidays. Clear stamps are a similar concept. If our stamps every lose their ability to stick, you just need to wash them in warm water, allow them to air dry, and they are good as new.
-Our clear stamps will perform better the longer they are used. To speed up the conditioning process, you can rub a white eraser over the surface of the stamp, then give it a good cleaning on your stamp scrubbing pad. The eraser helps to remove any residue that may have been leftover from the manufacturing process.
-To clean your stamps after use, a stamp scrubber misted with stamp cleaner is your best bet. (My favorite mist is Ultra Clean, which is manufactured by the same company who creates our stamps, hence they are designed to be compatible with each other.) Once in a while your clear stamps may benefit from a "spa treatment". Fill a small bowl with warm soapy water. Submerge each stamp under water and rub it gently between your thumb and index finger. This helps to remove any build-up from extended use. When you are done, rinse the stamps thoroughly and allow them to air dry before using.
-You can use any type of ink with clear stamps. You can read ---> THIS POST <--- to learn more about my personal favorites.
I hope this helps to answer all of the basic question you may have regarding clear stamps. If I missed something, feel free to post your question in the comments section or email me personally.