By using scrapbooking stamps, you can bring all sorts of design and colour embellishments to your layout, and if you look after your stamps they'll be with you for years. For a themed scrapbook, a collection of related scrapbooking stamps would be a great addition to your stash. (Watch the pennies though - buying stamps can be pricey if you get carried away!)


- Try to buy quality stamps.
If the stamped image is always a disappointment because the rubber hasn't been etched evenly - then buying cheap was a false economy.

- New stamps might need some 'breaking in'. Ink and stamp on to some scrap paper several times until the image becomes even.

- Press the stamp into your ink pad more than once and make sure the image on the rubber has good even ink coverage before stamping.

- Stamp on a flat surface! Make sure your glue pen hasn't rolled under the paper you're about to stamp on.

- Press firmly on to the ink pad and then just as firmly on to your page. Don't thump the stamp down like they do in the movies! It will blur the image or transfer unwanted ink from the grooves in the etched image.

- Stamp lighter colours first if you're going to use your stamp for more than one colour - a bit like as with paint brushes.


- 'Stamp away' unwanted ink by stamping on some scrap paper until the image all but disappears. That alone will do 90% of the cleaning.

- Use a stamp cleaner.
They come with either a roll-on applicator top, or a scrubber - which can sometimes be more effective in getting to the ink trapped in the etched image. Apply directly on to the stamp and then use kitchen tissue or the like as blotting paper.

- A couple of 'do-nots'!
a) Don't use oil-based solvents to clean your stamps as they will corrode the rubber and ruin it and b)Don't leave stamps to soak in water - soapy or 'unsoapy' - because it will start to loosen the adhesive.


Dye-based Ink

A fast-setting ink, this will help avoid smudging of images you've just stamped. Can be used on regular or glossy paper and acetates especially when heat set. Can be used on photos but you'll need extra drying time as heat should not be applied.

Pigment Ink
These inks will give you the brightest and most impactful colours - though more drying time is needed. This makes it the perfect ink for embossing with. In fact on the less porous surfaces like metallic stock or glossies, this ink will only dry when heat set.

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