Introduction to Rubber Stamping

So now you have your stamps and inks chosen it is time to get stamping, check out the menus on the side if you have arrived at this page first.

There is a section dedicated to stamping on the forum: rubber stamping forum

What you need

  • Your chosen stamp
  • ink pad
  • smooth matt card
  • paper towel/baby wipes (non alcolholic)

    You can stamp onto all sorts of surfaces, but as a beginner we will start off easy.  Choose smooth matt card that is not too thin, you can move onto different types of card and surfaces once mastered.

    Place your card onto a flat surface, put some sheets of paper down first or a magazine, if the surface is too hard it can make it more difficult.  You can see I always collect used paper and have this ready on my desk.

    I have chosen to use a wooden mounted stamp today - but the method should be the same whatever stamp you choose.

  • My stamp, stamp pad and card ready to go

    Inking up
    So take your stamp and start inking it up….it is sometimes easier to lay your stamp face up on a desk and tap an ink pad onto it, particularly if the stamp is larger than the pad. 

    Depending on the stamp pad you have chosen it will have a different surface, pigments and chalks are 'sponge based' others are harder.  Do not squash them onto the stamp you need to do lots of light tapping, often twisting the stamp pad first followed by tapping will give it a good coverage of ink. Have a look at your stamp and that you have an even covering all over.

    This is my stamp covered, after I have inked it.  It is shiny where it has ink on it. 

    If you manage to get excess ink on the edges of the stamp try and wipe this off with a paper towel or baby wipe, if you use your fingers like I do - don't put them on your clean card!

    Putting it on your card
    Rather than spoil expensive card I would experiment on scrap paper, for your first few goes. I still do this when I get a new stamp as they often behave differently, and need pressure in different places. 

    Place the stamp down on your card and press down, do not move the stamp, so keep one hand on it at all times, I find I keep my left thumb on it and press with the other hand- press it down all over.  Do not rock the stamp.

    You will find that acrylic (clear) stamps need less pressure than rubber, and too much pressure will give it a squashed/fuzzy look.



    Finished stamping
    So here is my image below, nice and clean, no edge marks from the stamp, no smudges or blurs. It may take some practice - but you should be able to produce these results.

    Where did it go wrong?
    It is splodgy/blurred:
  • you have overinked it
  • you rocked, lifted or moved the stamp slightly
    It is faint in places:
  • you have not inked it enough or evenly
  • your stamp needs cleaning
  • you didn't put even (or enough) pressure onto the stamp
  • it often helps just to leave the stamp on the card for a few seconds after – particularly on a very detailed stamp, the ink appears to fall down
    I get extra marks on the card:
  • you may need to trim excess rubber from your stamp if it always leaves a mark
  • Clean off the ink in the edges of the rubber
  • keep your hands clean
    It just won't work:
  • try different type of card or paper
  • try a different stamp pad or even a different stamp
  • Study the stamp and make sure it isn't faulty/damaged
  • Finished project
    I have coloured my stamps using twinkling H20s and added some glittered card, a charm and ribbon. I sometimes choose my papers first and colour the stamp to complement the colours.

    If you do make a mistake you may be able to cover it with a flower or something, or cut the image out.

    I stamped the greeting as well.