A New Video: Three Types of Stamps

I could talk about stamps, papers and inks all day.  You don’t have all day, so I’ll try to keep it sweet and simple.  Today, it’s all about stamps.  Because I know there are a lot of new stampers on my blog, I thought I would take a step back to review the types of stamps and some tips for mounting and using each:

Wood-mount stamps

Clear-mount stamps

Photopolymer stamps

Back in the day, Stampin’ Up! only offered red rubber stamps that were permanently affixed to wood blocks (wood-mount stamps).  Yippee!  Fast forward many years when clear-mount stamps made their way on the scene.  Still red rubber but without the wood blocks.  Clear-mount stamps are mounted on clear, acrylic blocks – that’s the “clear” part of “clear-mount.”  Just a few years after that, Stampin’ Up! introduced photopolymer stamps – these are fully clear and mount on the clear, acrylic blocks.  As such, they are truly clear stamps.

To share a recap of the three types of stamps and offer some tips for preparing them for use, I’ve filmed a fun video.  Enjoy!

Some other tips for using photopolymers that I couldn’t pack into the video:

  • Mounting Photopolymers.  The best way to adhere a photopolymer stamp to the block is to place the stamp (face down) on a flat surface – your grid paper or table works fine.  Press your clear block over the stamp to stick the two together.  This ensures the stamp will mount smoothly to the block with no hiccups, giving you a smooth image.
  • Staining.  These babies are going to stain – get used to it.  🙂  Reds and browns are the biggest culprits – even if you clean them right away.  No worries, though – they might be holding the color of your ink even after you’ve cleaned them, but they won’t transfer that ink to your next project.  Unless your Stampin’ Scrub is pristine (and who has a pristine Stampin’ Scrub?), I suggest using a baby wipe (no dyes, no perfumes) to wipe your photopolymers and clear block after use.  Use a lint-free cloth to dry them off after.  I hang my baby wipe over the edge of my trash can so that I have it for the next stamp I use.
  • Don’t Lose Them!  If you are like me, you think you can just peel off the photopolymers and stack them in a little pile until you are done.  It doesn’t work that way.  Inevitably, you move something else on your table – and those sticky little stamps will go on a road trip.  If you don’t want to put them back in their case immediately, try staining them intentionally from the moment you open them – dip them in some Real Red ink and don’t wash them off for a short bit.  That way, you’ll be able to see them when they are hitchhiking on a stamp case or ink pad.

I’ll be back tomorrow to share some fun pictures of my time at Stampin’ Up!’s Leadership Conference, so please come back to check those out.  I always have a great time at these events – it’s such a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and see great friends

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. Thank you, Brian, for another thoughtful and informative video. I prefer the poly stamps and never knew about conditioning them or the red rubber stamps before using them. I live in the Pacific NW and thanks to you I now know why my clear stamps were not adhering well to the acrylic blocks–it is due to our moist air!

  2. I’ve always disliked SU!’s use of the term “clear mount” stamps. In the “outside” world of stamping, such stamps are referred to as cling mount. I find this to be very confusing to customers, especially with the addition of the clear, photopolymer, stamps.

  3. Brian

    I have been a demo for 8 years and just wanted to say your video about the stamps was excellent. You explained the difference in the stamps very clearly – Thanks for sharing. I am sure the new demo’s will learn a lot from this video.

  4. Thanks for doing this video!! I did not know the tip for “conditioning “the polymer stamps! I too prefer the wood but love being able to “see” where the image is on the paper, because I usually “Eyeball ” my placements.

  5. Brian, thank you so much for your training, tips and treasures. I am a hobby demonstrator, for two years now, and I have learned so much from you. In my circle of demonstrators we are always talking about you and how well you teach us all. Thanks again and I look forward to your blog every day.

  6. HI Brian:

    I have been stamping for about 12 years now and still learned new things from your video. For instance, I didn’t realize that using the eraser on solid stamps would help them better hold the ink or that photopolymer stamps needed to be “conditioned”. So, as you can see, this video didn’t just help the “newbies” but also the “oldbies”! LOL Thank you for the great video and for a terrific blog that is such a joy to read every day. Hugs.

  7. Great tips Brian, especially how to condition the photopolymer stamps.

  8. I agree with you about those Photo P. stamps ….they can hide from you . All the more the reason to get them stained . That way you can see those “rascals’ when they hide from you ! Great tips on the video (as usual) . Looking forward to seeing pix from Leadership !

  9. Hi Brian, I never saw anyone place the clear mount labels in the back of the case and add the stamps to match. Funny, that is exactly how I store my photopolymer
    sets. I place the printed sheet I the sleeve of the case and match up the stamps to it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Loved this video on the 3 kinds of stamps, Brian! Great tips! I did NOT know about the photopolymer stamps and the Versamark ink!
    Perfect! And I’d heard of gently sanding the stamps with larger smooth areas, but like the eraser idea better! As always, you’ve educated us well, Brian! Thank you so much!

  11. Brain,
    Just so you know years ago Stampin’ Up offered stamps on foam also. I have a few sets mounted that way that I have been converting to our “Clear Stamps” with the help of tissue paper and a clear vinyl that I can stick to the rubber and see what the image is. Loved your video tips, proves you can always learn something new, even if you have been doing something for a long time.

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