Thursday, January 7, 2010

How To ~ put your new stamps together so they work like a champ!

First, Have you seen a sketch that resembles this card? If so, please email me at Silly story... When I completed this challenge, I went back to find the site where I found the challenge.. I looked HIGH and LOW and cant find it anywhere! LOL A sign of my crazy artsy brain... Or maybe a lack of sleep... Either way, Oh well...

Now ~ down to the tutorial!!

When I purchased my first new clear mount stamp set, totally tess. I ripped the package open and put my stamps together. I used this stamp set right away, and came away thinking that the clear block option might not be for me. I used the stickers that come with the stamp set on the back of the foam mounted rubber, and it was making things a little slick.

Meaning ~ I wasn't sticking to the block when I went to clean my stamps and came away a little frustrated. However ~ I LOVED the fact that I could see through the block for perfect placement of my stamp on a card which takes away the need for a stamp a majig AND saves me money! The stamps that you mount on the clear block are about 1/3 less expensive, but and you still get the nice solid rubber image.

The next thing I tried is NOT putting the sticker on at all, and I found that it worked wonderfully, but wasn't thrilled about not having something there to guide me for my image! This tutorial is all about what I learned, and my solution to this problem.

Now, I not only trim my rubber when it comes in, I'm trimming the stickers too, and using the foam part of the stamp to help stick to my clear blocks. Problem solved and I want to convert!!!

First ~ I've had many customers ask me why I would trim a DIE CUT stamp set! Well, I meet many people... Some have never touched a stamp. If THEY rock their stamp while stamping at a workshop or club meeting, they may get frustrated or not like their project. In addition, customers that come behind someone that rocks, will have the mark on their project too if it goes unnoticed or uncleaned. So here's the first tip. When I trim my stamp set, I try not to cut the padding underneath, I ONLY trim the red rubber. This does a few things.. If you cut (at a 90 degree angle) up and down, you could angle the scissors and end up cutting off some of the padding underneath. When you mount this to ANY style block, if there's not enough padding underneath, there's no pressure under the rubber on your stamp and you could lose some of your image. I have one set that I cut too much of the gray foam, and in order to get a solid image I have to roll the stamp backwards after. It's okay, but not ideal. I like it when I can see the foam all the way around, yet I have no straight edge that could end up on someones project if they rock when they ink up their stamp..Next ~ for the clear mount option, from now on, I'll be trimming my stickers super tight to the image. it only takes a minute. Read on to see why.After all that is done, I peel back the protective wax paper layer on the back of the foam.They have made the stickers very easy to get to. There is a slice across the middle to make it easier to remove the backing.Now I hope you can see this one above well... There is a little over an 1/8th of an inch going all around the stamp. Exposing the foam. This REALLY helps keeping your stamps in place when they are mounted to the blog. The stickers are a little slippery by themselves and cleaning isn't optimum.

After you've mounted your set (wood or clear mount option) you should condition your stamps. Click here to see a tutorial written by my friend Robin Merriman. (you may recognize my hands in the pictures ~ we have a really awesome team at the stamping 411 blog). Next ~ select a block size. I purchased a whole starter set of blocks and I'm so glad I did! My friend Barbara brought her box of new goodies to my house to play. (i couldn't afford a preorder right away or expedited shipping, so I waited a bit). Once again, thank GOD for friends! I've heard some say that they are worried that one set of blocks wont be enough.. You don't need to fit the block perfectly... You CAN use a larger block on smaller sized stamps and they work fine. I think one set will be good for me, even in a large class setting.

I'm guilty of not cleaning my stamps.. Well the new clear mount option helps me stay on top of that. I clean them, and the block using my stampin mist and scrub and my new stamps are staying really nice.

You want to make sure that the blocks stay very clean. If you get a film or anything on the clear block, your next stamp may have trouble sticking.

Can I also say, my friend didn't buy the clear blocks from SU, and we used these other "things"... They were thin (like maybe 1/4" and plexi-glass like... Hard to hold and I found my hand slipping and my images were not as good. Stampin up's clear blocks are JUST like holding a wood block. Nice rounded edges and easy to hold on to! I'm a big fan!
Now that I've selected a block I flip my stamp over and use a finger to apply a little pressure all the way around. That's it.. I can stamp, clean and reposition. When storing clear stamps, you can apply the same pressure to the stamp case, and your stamps will be hanging out (sticking to the side of the container they come in) so they won't be all over the case.

So you may ask what is the best advantage to clear blocks? Perfect Placement!
Check out how easy it is to hit an already punched shape with a clear block stamp! CLEARLY this is a great choice that we have.
This die hard "wood mounted stamp" girl is quickly converting and seeing all the possibilities with clear stamps.

Here's my finished challenge card again... I looked for over an hour yesterday and could not find that challenge site again for the life of me!

If you have a demonstrator and this tutorial inspired you, go place an order with them! Otherwise, you can shop through me 24 hours a day 7 days a week, by clicking here, then select "shop now" in the top right corner. However, if you want my help placing your order just email me or call. I love to help out with orders and make suggestions on what to buy vs what not to buy.

I hope you are all well today and you have a chance to stamp something fun!
Rubbah hugs, Selene Kempton


Kathy W said...

Thanks Selene- I did not purchase these yet (thought I would wait to new IBC if they are in there and make sure set is current. Also a wood purist and lazy, but want to be able to share information with customers

Sharon Keanly said...

A lovely tut thanks so much Selene. Hugs Sharon

judy E said...

Thanks Selene - Great tutorial. I have purchased the blocks and some stamps, but have yet to mount them. I've been hearing pros and cons. Your tutorial should save lots of frustration for all of us!

Rosie said...

Excellent tutorial Selene! I totally didn't read the directions and mounted my first set wrong! I am so glad you posted this... I will be sharing it! =)

jeannen2 said...

Great tips Selene! I also found that the stamps didn't stick to the blocks well at all -- my solution was to moisten the sticker'd stamp and apply to the block. Your tip/tutorial is better! Lovely card too!

dotygirl said...

Great tutorial and love the colors for the challenge card. I have made a lot of my stamps into unmounted I think they stamp better. As for finding your challenge blog..what I did since I do different blog challenges I made a seperate folder in my blog favorites and put them there so I always know who I post to. Maybe it will help in the furture. Love the card.I'll keep an eye open for the sketch.

Kay Kalthoff said...

Hi -
I was interested in reading how you cut the sticker nice and tight. That will be a good idea to pass onto my customers if they have trouble with the stamp clinging. So far, I haven't had any issues mounting them as directed by SU, but I'm glad to know about this option if the situation comes up for me!

Anonymous said...

Nice tutorial - I will definitely be following these instructions on my next unmounted set!
- Christine M.