Sunday, April 19, 2015

Getting the best impression

At my most recent workshop I chatted to some ladies about how to get the best impression from their My Acrylix stamps, and realised that it might be a good topic for a blog post.
There are a few little tips and tricks that I've learned over time. You can make sure you get lovely clear images by looking after your My Acrylix stamps in the following way. Plus, as always, practise makes perfect - you'll find that the more you use them the better you will get.

Straight out of its packet, your acrylic stamp (especially a large one) doesn't give a very consistent impression, because the coating on the stamp causes the ink to bead up unevenly.

Season your stamp

1. Place stamp on a block and rub gently on your arm. Your stamp will become cloudy.

2. Ink well (tap tap twist twist) in a pale colour such as Bamboo.

3. Stamp multiple times on scrap paper, until the impression you are getting is even.

4. Clean with the stamp scrubber and spritz cleaner especially made for My Acrylix stamps.


Over time your stamp will build up colour, especially if you use intense inks such as Ruby or Black. This is a natural process and can't be completely avoided, but you can minimise colouring by seasoning your stamp (as above).
Also b sure to clean the stamp after you have used it with Spritz Cleaner sprayed on the stamp scrubber. Don't let the stamp sit for long periods of time with ink on it.
I have been able to remove some colour by soaking the stamp overnight in a strong solution of Stamp Spritz.
Using Archival ink and Versamark ink will colour your stamp permanently and is one of the reasons I only use Archival ink when there is a very good reason.

Conditioning your My Acrylix stamp

When you use the Spritz Cleaner after using your stamp, you are not only removing the ink, you are also conditioning the stamp. This keeps it supple. Many lower quality acrylic polymers crack or harden over time and make stamping a clean impression impossible. When you condition your stamp you are increasing its stamping life, so don't skip this step!


Sometimes, especially with stamps that have large blocks of solid colour, it's difficult to get a flat, consistent image. The ink continues to swell up in some places and not in others. To stop this happening you will need to break through that oily (water resistant) layer left over from manufacture. I find that stamping it again and again on scrap paper will eventually reduce the beading, but you can speed up this step by rubbing the stamp gently with a clear rubber (or adhesive remover). Don't forget to use the spritz as well, and your stamps should be giving clear impressions in no time.

Your stamping surface

If you are still struggling to get a clear impression after following the tips above (and this sometimes happens with the centre of a large stamp), check the surface of your stamping station. I use the underside of my VersaMat, which is foam, and gives me a soft spongy surface so that the centre of the stamp can find the paper. However, if you don't have a VersaMat, use the foam packaging that comes with your My Acrylix stamp set. It's important that the surface underneath your paper is soft, and not hard.

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