Handstamping: A Tutorial

Hello there, New New Blog readers! I'm Kerry - a new contributor here. My Etsy shop is K. Batty Design & Stationery (or kbatty.etsy.com) & it's filled with personalized stationery, custom invitations, greeting cards & a few other paper products coming soon. Many of the items in my shop are hand stamped so I thought I'd kick off with that - a little tutorial on hand stamping with a simple one-stamp greeting card. Heeeeeeere we go...

Supplies: a CLEAN rubber or polymer stamp, a CLEAN ink pad (not something your toddler has been playing with - you know how they are with the paints...), something to stamp on – for this tutorial, as I said, we’re hand-stamping a card, but you could easily personalize notepads, notebooks, gift tags, address labels…you get what I'm saying. You can purchase any of these things at your local craft or stationery store.

Step 1: Prepare your surface – any flat surface will do. Make sure it’s clean - let’s not get the jelly from your morning toast on your project. I like to stamp on my cutting mat..

Step 2: Placement - Decide a head of time where you’re going to place your design. Line up your clean stamp on your paper until you get a design/placement that you like.

Step 3: Ink up! Lightly dab your stamp around the pad. Check your edges for over inking (places where the ink pools in your design or on the stamping block, like that spot on the right side of my stamp. Oops!).

Step 4: Stamp! Use even pressure on the stamp, particularly in the center if it’s a large stamp like this one. Avoid “mashing” the stamp on the paper – the design will look fuzzy & bloated. Oh! This is why I like using my cutting mat. I use the grid to help line up my stamp on the paper.

Step 5: Let it dry! As you stamp, carefully move your pieces aside to dry. Some colors will dry quickly; others take a while, particularly the metallic inks so be patient. Don't smudge it! Also, some surfaces/papers will absorb ink faster than others. Just leave your project on your work surface while you go on to the next step…

Step 6: Clean up! Cover your ink pads first to help keep them from drying out, ensuring a long life for your stamp pad. Wash your stamps & leave them to dry. Usually, I just wash my stamps with water, especially if I get to the sink as soon as I’ve stamped, but it depends on the ink you’re using. Some of it can be a little stubborn, especially if you have been stamping a lot of pieces.

Ta-da! You have a greeting card (or any other paper-product you can dream up)! All you need is an envelope, which can also be stamped if you want. It’s relatively easy & quick but takes some preparation & practice to do it consistently. If you’re a newbie, definitely practice your impression & alignment on a scrap piece before you move to your stamp surface.

Questions or comments? Leave them here & please do report back on what you create! Happy Stamping!