The Art of Rubber Stamps Crafts

Rubber stamps crafts, often called art stamping, is easy to learn and versatile enough to keep even the most experienced crafters challenged and interested. Rubber stamps can be used on a variety of media, including wood, glass and metal, but show up primarily in scrapbooking, stationery, invitations, greeting cards and gift wrap and fabric.

Where Did Rubber Stamps Come From?
The rubber stamp was originally created to ease the burden of repetitive business tasks, like marking paid invoices and receiving mail. Still widely used in the commercial business world, rubber stamps have found new homes with greeting card entrepreneurs, scrapbookers and stationery lovers around the world.

Today, art stampers can choose from thousands of stamp designs and many stamp manufacturers offer custom stamp-making services for the ultimate in personalization. Art stamps are available in two forms: mounted and unmounted.

Mounted stamps come pre-assembled with the stamp already adhered to a wooden or acrylic block to make handling and stamping clean and easy. Unmounted stamps require a bit of work-you'll need to keep several different sizes of mounting blocks on hand and purchase special adhesives that allow you to remove the stamps from the blocks when you're finished. However, unmounted stamps are easier to store and organize and, as any stamp lover can tell you, it's easy to build up a large inventory of designs very quickly.

You'll find rubber stamps available for purchase at your local craft and stationery stores as well as hundreds of online retailers.

Selecting Ink Pads
When it comes to choosing ink for your art stamps, you'll want to take more than color into consideration. What works on paper may not work on fabric or metal. Some inks are made for layering, while others are formulated to stand on their own.

In any case, once you decide what you need for the kinds of projects you'll be doing, it's a good idea to purchase two of each kind and/or color so you don't run out if you're stamping en masse. When you open the second pad, make a note to replace the old one the next time you're at the store.

So Many Projects, So Little Time
Experienced art stampers are masters at layering inks and creating intricate, detailed designs that deliver exquisite results, but beginners can just as easily start turning out beautiful handmade greeting cards or adding motifs to scrapbook pages.

Art is subjective. If you like simple designs, create simple designs. Likewise, stamp away madly and often, just take care not to overwhelm smaller scale projects like recipe cards or bookplates with too many elements. Too much detail on a small scale can confuse the eye, especially when heavy use of color is involved.

Beginners would do well to start with cards, gift tags and gift bags. Although stamping is easy, you will need to practice loading the ink onto the stamp and how much (or little) pressure is needed to transfer the image to your medium in a way that you like the results. If you find that rubber stamps aren't your thing, you're only out a few dollars for stamps and ink and some paper. If you find the craft additive, beware: you could easily spend hundreds of dollars building up your inventory. On the up side, your rubber stamps can last a lifetime if you care for them properly.

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