Clear or Wood?
Something of a guide
When Stampin’ Up! Introduced their clear stamps my poor noggin had a lot of questions, so if like me you’re feeling a little confused, then this guide is for you.
The pro’s of clear blocks
The unmounted stamp system is a great space saver – all the stamps come in DVD sized cases, which allows neat storage in conventional systems with a fraction of the space used compared to wooden.
The cases have images of the stamps on the spine for easy location and selection.
The same set of acrylic blocks can be used for all of your stamps, reducing storage needs again.
They are manufactured so the label matches up exactly where it’s going to stamp - if you peel back the split label papers and apply the rubber to the sticker to fit in the shape of the sticker - the alignment is perfect.
Being able to see the image of the stamp through the block means that it’s a little easier to judge placement – meaning quicker stamping with less need for a Stamp-a-ma-jig (though for 2-Step and precision stamping I would always recommend using a Stamp-a-ma-jig).
If you want to stamp two or more images as a group, all can be mounted on the block at the same time, halving your work load.
The stamps themselves are made of the same red rubber as the wooden ones meaning high quality results and the long life for your stamps.
Unlike most blocks on the market, Stampin’ Up!’s blocks feature tactile rounded sides for comfort of handling – a better grip with no rough/sharp edges.
On the whole the clear stamp sets cost less than wooden equivalents!
And a few cons
The clear blocks are heavier than the wooden ones, which may not be so good for stampers with wrist problems.
You have to take care not to lose the stamps on a busy worktable whilst changing the stamps on your block – some are quite tiny!
The blocks are sold separately, meaning your initial investment is higher.
Some people have experienced problems getting the stamps to stick to the blocks – if you do so, read the tips below.
Tips on using the clear blocks
Keep them clean and scratch free – Store your blocks in a container with tissue, foam or bubble wrap to cushion them, and clean with Staz’on cleaner if you experience any problems with stick. This should help prevent loss of adhesion due to deep scratches and dirt etc.
When adding the image to your stamps, a handy guide is included in the pack, follow this closely to achieve a neat, accurate image.
If you retain the "waste" rubber and stick it onto the case inside it holds stamps large and small securely in place. When you open the case they won't fly out and you also have somewhere to immediately put stamps back to - and you’ll know instantly if one is missing before you do the bin sweep!
When mounting on the block you may get a better result if you place the stamp on your work surface, ‘huff’ (breathe sharply) on your block then press the block hard onto the stamp and hold for several seconds.
If you do experience problems with your hands or wrists, use the smallest block you can for your image, cushion your paper with a mat (or a block of paper like an SU scratch pad or an old phone book), try not to press overly hard and if you are doing a lot of repetitive stamping remember to take frequent breaks or intersperse the stamping with another task.
When cleaning your stamp after use, don’t scrub too vigorously – especially if you need to use the stamp again in the same position.
If you have a lot of trouble with getting blocks to stick, try rubbing the block first against carpet or clothing to create some static, or as Jenni, a fellow Demo discovered – use a little Versamark to ‘stick’ it on!
Remember I’m always available to help, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you need a hand!