Craft­ing en­cy­clopae­dia

This handy guide cov­ers the es­sen­tial stamp­ing tools that you need to know and sug­ges­tions for your stash!

Cardmaking and Papercraft - - Contents - By Jo Sten­lake

Learn about must-have stamp­ing tools

Acrylic block

These come in var­i­ous sizes and are used with un­mounted clear stamps. Re­move the stamp from its back­ing, and then at­tach it to the acrylic block – the tacky sur­face of the clear stamp means it will cling on eas­ily. Be­cause it and the stamp are clear, you can eas­ily see through to the sur­face you’re stamp­ing on. Once com­plete, sim­ply peel off your stamp and the block can be used again.

Anti-static bag

This is a small fab­ric bag which is filled with a min­eral pow­der. Sim­ply rub this bag over your card or stamp­ing sur­face when heat em­boss­ing to re­move static and pre­vent any stray em­boss­ing pow­der from stick­ing to your sur­face. The bag is also use­ful when cre­at­ing shaker cards to pre­vent the in­ter­nal el­e­ments from stick­ing to the ac­etate.

Ink blender tool

A ver­sa­tile tool, the ink blender has a foam end that is per­fect for ap­ply­ing inks and paints to stamps, card or other sur­faces to achieve a smooth fin­ish. It can also be used to blend or layer inks to­gether. You can buy ex­tra foam pads to use with dif­fer­ent colour pal­ettes or even cre­ate your own ink blend­ing tool with a kitchen sponge or makeup sponge and a binder clip as a han­dle.

Brayer

This is a typ­i­cally a hard rub­ber roller that can be used to ap­ply ink to larger stamps or for cre­at­ing an inked back­ground on pa­per or card. Some bray­ers also have a dec­o­ra­tive sur­face that cre­ates a pat­tern when rolled. They come in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent widths and ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing foam and rub­ber, suit­able for dif­fer­ent ef­fects. A pop­u­lar brand is Speed­ball.

Ink blend­ing mat

Ink blend­ing mats are per­fect for craft­ing and keep the ink wetter longer so you can ex­per­i­ment and play with dif­fer­ent colour com­bi­na­tions and achieve seam­less ink blend­ing. Plus, they’re sol­vent re­sis­tant, which means that they’re su­per easy to clean and your inks won’t stain them.

Mask­ing sheets

Get clean, crisp re­sults for any size stamp with mask­ing sheets. Just stamp the im­age you wish to mask onto the spe­cial­ity pa­per and peel off the back­ing sheet. Place it over the im­age on your card and stamp on or around the mask – then sim­ply peel it off for a pro­fes­sional fin­ish!

Spray bot­tle

This is used to ap­ply a fine mist of wa­ter to wa­ter­colour pen­cils or crayons when colour­ing in. You can also use a spray bot­tle to ap­ply inks to a sur­face for in­ter­est­ing ink tech­niques such as ink smoosh­ing – adding wa­tered-down ink to your stamped im­age by trans­fer­ring it with ac­etate.

Stamp cleaner

Use this af­ter stamp­ing to re­move ink from your clear acrylic blocks and pho­topoly­mer stamps and to pro­long their life. It ei­ther comes as a liq­uid that you ap­ply with a cloth, or in a moist pad that you rub the stamps against.

Stamp­ing mat

Usu­ally made from foam or rub­ber, these mats have a grid to as­sist with stamp­ing. The padded sur­face helps your inked im­age to make con­tact with the pa­per, which elim­i­nates un­even stamp­ing.

Stamp po­si­tioner

This helps you to po­si­tion your stamps ac­cu­rately, es­pe­cially if you’re stamp­ing images over each other. The sim­plest ver­sion comes with a po­si­tion­ing sheet and an L-shaped acrylic block. You stamp your im­age onto the po­si­tion­ing sheet, nes­tle this against the tool to achieve the po­si­tion you want and then use this po­si­tion to stamp your im­age. Other types in­clude a stamp press ver­sion on four sponge feet, and a hinged lid with a grid for align­ing your stamps. Brands to look out for are the Tonic Studios Stamp­ing Plat­form, Hamp­ton Art Stamp Per­fect, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, MISTI and Fiskars.

Water­brush

This is a hol­low paint­brush that you fill with wa­ter, which then al­lows you to eas­ily blend wa­ter­colour crayons or pen­cils when colour­ing in. It’s less messy to use than a paint­brush dipped in wa­ter, easy to trans­port and lets you con­trol the flow of wa­ter.

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