Tired of blurred images? Hate it when your solid images bead up when you stamp, leaving blotchy spots. Not happy with the ink coverage on your new stamps? Uneven images? Or dots instead of lines? Here are 4 ways to condition clear stamps to prevent all these issues.
Why do you even need to condition clear stamps? I mean, we are talking new stamps. Great question? The answer lies in how they are manufactured. Clear/photopolymer and red rubber stamps come out of manufacturing a little too clean. Some think they have oil on them and that is why they will not ink up smoothly right away. We are here to help you forward to happy stamping.
4 ways to condition clear stamps
1- Use a Pink Pearl Eraser
One way to condition clear stamps is to use a pink pearl eraser, but not one on the end of a pencil. It is too soft, and will crumble all over your new stamp. I like to use the rectangular ones because they offer a wider flat surface. When conditioning clear stamps using this method, you simply use a top to bottom stroke with the flat edge of your eraser. Repeating it 3-4 times should do the trick. Test it by inking of your post condition stamp. Repeat if necessary. Here is an example of a before conditioning and after conditioning using this method.
2. Use an embossing ink
Embossing ink is tacky, so once you have applied a generous amount of embossing ink, your dye ink will stick to the stamp easily. You will not need to wipe off the embossing ink but do be aware that it will dilute your dye ink for the first few times you stamp if you try to stamp with it right away. If you do wipe it off, taking off too much in spots could leave your stamping with blotches in places. Let it dry for a few minutes then test it by stamping on your junk mail. (More on this in a later blog post.) Here is an example of an embossing ink for conditioning your clear stamps with this method.
3. Use a fine 180 grit emery board
Don’t Panic! This is my favorite way to condition clear stamps. However, I must admit some people are afraid to use the emery board on their new clear/photopolymer stamps. First, you need the right kind of emery board, just like you needed the right kind of eraser and ink for the first two methods. I like to use 180 grit emery board or even sandpaper. For me carrying around sandpaper just does not fix in my traveling case when I go to crop outside the craft room. An emery board is small and fits in my pencil case. Conditioning clear stamps in this method, simply means rubbing the 180 grit emery board over the top of your stamping surface. Keeping your board flat to the surface of the top of the stamp will prevent any damage. This method is fast, easy and as you can see will give you the best results. I do like to wipe off the top of the stamp before applying ink just to remove any residue. Here are the result after only a few seconds of sanding the top.
4. Use a Chamois Cloth
Not sure what this is? Ask your husband, he uses it to wipe off his car after he has washed it and he might even use it to put on wax. As for me and Cindy; this is our favorite way to clean ink off all of our stamps. You only need water on your chamois cloth when conditioning clear stamps, but plan on it taking you a while. Remember water does not offer much resistance to the stamping surface, so this takes a little elbow grease. (You know the rubbing back and forward several times). One thing that I do like about this method is that if I leave home without my pencil case or my eraser or if I forgot my embossing ink, I always have my chamois cloth/shammy. After all, I will be cleaning my clear or red rubber stamps after each color change. You are going to want one of this with the storage container. Unlike other containers, I like keeping the chamois cloth in a salt container. I can wet it and use it for up to a week without needing to rewet it. But even better, you only need water, and because it gets a little air, there is no foul smell.
I hope this blog post has helped you learn more about using your clear/photopolymer stamps for the first time. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out in the comments below. Or if you condition your clear stamps with another method, I would love to pass it on. All of your comments are welcome.
Happy Scrappin and Yappin with your friends.