This handy guide covers the essential stamping tools that you need to know and suggestions for your stash!
Learn about must-have stamping tools
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.