Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stamp Conditioning and Birthday Whimsy

I mounted this balloon stamp today to make this card for my son's birthday and it got me thinking.

The difference between excellence and mediocrity with stamped artwork begins the minute the ink hits the paper. You can have an excellent design that no-one will ever notice if the images on the paper are not clear and fully inked. It is one of my pet peeves to see splotchy images because I know that it can be avoided easily.

After the rubber stamp manufacturing process, a thin layer of residue remains on the rubber that needs to be removed before using your stamps. This is especially important with bold or solid images.
Below is a comparison of two images stamped from my balloon; one before conditioning and one after. I made a true effort to really try to get a full image when stamping the "before" image. This side-by-side comparison of the same stamp after conditioning really shows the difference:

Below are several ways to condition your stamps before you use them to help the ink to grasp the rubber and transfer to the paper in the best possible way. These represent the various ways that I use personally to condition my stamps.


StazOn Cleaner
Personally, I think this works the best. The solvent in the StazOn cleaner is strong enough to remove the film on the stamp. I like to douse my stamp with the solvent, rub it several times on my stamp scrubber, then clean it again with my regular stamp cleaner.

Sanding Block
I use this method frequently. Gently sand the stamp with a sanding block in one direction, then 90 degrees in the other direction. Then clean with stamp cleaner. This method tends to freak people out, but honestly, a gentle sanding does NOT hurt your stamp.

Eraser
This was the way I originally learned how to condition my stamps. This is a great solution for removing the film, but it takes some elbow grease! Rub your eraser all over your stamp, then clean with a stamp cleaner and scrubber.



After conditioning, test the stamp by inking and stamping again. If the image looks blotchy, condition the stamp again before using. One additional note -- It is critical that good paper is used for bold stamps. Cheap paper will look blotchy no matter what! I hope these tip help YOU get better images!

36 comments:

Cyndi - DreamsUnltd said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to write and illustrate the answer to my questions about conditioning!

Cyndi - Dreams Unltd

Nikki Bond said...

Great advice! I'll try that out today! {SMILES}

huntla1 said...

Thanks for this tip. It is not that I have never heard this, nor am I a new stamper. But the other day I was trying, and trying and trying to get a good image off my Fabulous Flower set (I think that's what it is called) and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why it kept coming out blotchy. Well, I had never used it before. I did scrub it first, but not with stazOn. I will have to give that a try as I was going to stamp that one again today!

Jamiestamps said...

What a great tutorial on conditioning the stamps. I never thought there was away to not get blotchy images. I will definetly try this out. Thank you so much!

Jamie

Adair said...

Great article, Pat!!!

Shirley said...

Great advice for all of us!! You gave some really wonderful tips for cleaning and preparing my stamps. TFS

Diane said...

Oh so true but scary when you sand but it does make a world of difference.You are so right about the quality of the paper...I may cheat for a card base but solid images have to be on SU paper.Thanks for making us remember this.

Dee

Linda said...

Thank you Pat for the great information! I've often had that same issue and just didn't realize the solution was that simple.

stampin_melissa said...

Thanks for this info. I had never heard of the Staz-On method and I almost always forget to clean my stamps before using them the first time. Now when I forget and notice it I have a method that is quick and easy to fix the blotchy problem!

Barb said...

Thanks Pat for this great tip. I use Stazon Cleaner almost exclusively, but had never thought about conditioning my stamps before. Now I know why my bold images are so hard to ink the first time or two.

Juliet A said...

Thank you so much! I just couldn't get my bold stamps to work well...

Barbara Parker-Sanders said...

See this proves that you are never too old to learn a new trick!! Pat as long as I have been stamping I did not know that conditioning a stamp is was as important as this. Boy do I appreciate the information and it really explains why I have been getting such awful looking images. THANKS SO MUCH!!! (Yes, I am yelling in my mind - this is some very valuable information!) It explains alot to me! Thanks a bunch Pat!!! I am going to purchase the STAZ On cleaner first thing this morning as soon as my stamp store opens!!

Darlene L said...

This is good to know. I had no idea--thanks for sharing this great tip. Darlene L

Lisa said...

thanks for posting. I didn't realize there was a film keeping me from a great image. Although I had heard of sanding bold images, it does freak me out.

Korin Sutherland said...

Awesome tips, Pat! You sure know how to take care of us stampers! :)

Your card is fab, too, BTW!

papersunshine said...

That's whats wrong with them! I had no idea, thank you so much for this!

suzy said...

Pat - I have a questions about conditioning clear stamps. Recently I was doing some stamping with the clear stamps from "My Favorite Things" and from Hero Arts. Almost every time, I had problems with stamping them. They seemed to want to stick to the paper & not stamp. I was using black classic ink & Staz-On ink. Any suggestions??

Sharon

Lyn S said...

Great tips Pat, TFS. I'll have to try the Staz-On cleaner next time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great conditioning tip! I use the Stazon cleaner for everything. I'll give sanding a try. I don't like blotchy images either!

Donna
daplqst@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,
I hardly buy blotchy images. Now I might try this tip. pat.kuhnapfel@sympatico.ca

Patty Bennett said...

How funny, Pat... I just posted something about this last night!! I could have just referred everyone to your blog! :) Great minds think alike!! :) Patty

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip! Never knew I had to do this before!!!! Makes total sense though when you think about it!

dasimonds said...

Thanks for the great tips.
It does make sense...you can really see the difference.
I will give this a try..Thanks for sharing.

busickhall said...

Thank you so much! I've been stamping for 9 years. I've been through about 6 different SU consultants and several CTMH consultants. I visit crafty blogs often and I visit Split Coast occasionally. This is the first time I've ever heard this information. Splotchy images are a huge pet peeve of mine too but I thought I had to live with it before today. I'm going to try these techniques TODAY! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I too am curious about the clear stamps - can they (or should they) be conditioned the same way?

Theresa said...

Thank you so much for these tips. I just received Birthday Whimsy today and have been struggling to get a decent image. I finally gave up and headed to SCS for advice. I found a link to this post on a thread there. Great advice.

Debbie McNeill said...

Great advice Pat. I especially appreciate the way you wrote the article. I've always used the Sanding Block method but I think I'll give the StazOn cleaner a try. Thanks again!

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

Thank you so much for sharing. In all of the almost 12 years I've been stamping, no one has ever told me this. I have shied away from solid stamps, because I was tired of the ink not adhering.

Carole said...

How interesting. I never knew that. You have peaked my interest and can't wait to see what other information tutorials you will come up with. Thank you for ideas to help become a better stamper.
Carole Miller

StampinCarol said...

I never thought to use my StazOn cleaner! Thanks so much. And love the tutorial. Wonderful!

Shelly H. said...

Pat, you totally ROCK!! Thanks for the tip!

Nana Jo said...

Thank you for the tutorial - even though I normally do this - it's good to see I am doing it right.

Nana Jo
mmlmn@polarcomm.com

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