The stamp, a tool that is used both in business and for crafts, comes in a variety of different stamp designs, materials, shapes and sizes. There are even various accessories to purchase with your stamp. This stamp Guide is designed to help you determine how to buy stamps.
>> What are you using your stamps for?
On e of the first factors when considering how to buy stamps is your intended stamp use. There are stamps for the office, scrapbooking and other types of crafts. If intended for office use, you will want to determine just how often you will be using them. For example, if you are often stamping the word "paid" on invoices, then you may want to consider purchasing a separate ink pad in order to extend this tool's use. Determining your purpose will help you to find the best stamps for your needs.
>> Consider the types of stamps
Generally, there are two different types of stamp materials available: rubber and acrylic. Rubber stamps often come pre-mounted on wooden blocks, although you may also have to attach them to the blocks yourself. Acrylic stamps are usually attached to clear sheets of plastic, and you can also attach them to glass blocks. Sometimes, they are actually referred to as cling clear stamps. After you are finished using them, you will want to clean them with a spray and cleaning pad and then place them back on the plastic sheet for storage.
When considering how to buy stamps, it is important to note that rubber stamps are known to last longer because they are mounted and are made of durable materials. However, acrylic stamps can also be beneficial because they are completely clear and you can see exactly where you are stamping. They are often more economical than rubber stamps as well.
>> Consider inking types
Another factor to consider when determining how to buy stamps is the inking type that will best fit your needs.
The most common inking method is hand stamping, which requires a separate ink pad. It involves pushing the stamp into the ink, ensuring that you cover the surface with a sufficient amount, and then you move it over to the paper, push down firmly and release. When finished, you may want to clean the stamp so that it does not become permanently stained.
Two other types are the self-inking stamps and the pre-inking stamps. These stamps come with the ink already included, and the colors are the same every time you use them. They are often used as office supplies, such as message copy stamps. These are good for a number of uses, but you will need to purchase a new set when they dry up. Some may come with the ability to refill them using either water-based or oil-based inks.
A fourth type is the stamp that comes with an ink pad attached to the lid, which is usually the least-expensive option. These are occasionally refillable, and they also last longer than the self-inking stamps. They use oil-based ink, which dries quickly, making it a great choice for office paperwork. A final benefit is that the refillable types usually require minimal cleanup.
>> Consider your storage availability
As you consider the different types of stamps that you would like to buy, you will want to consider how much space you have to store them, as well. The wooden rubber stamps will require more storage space than the acrylic varieties will. Acrylic stamps may be sold in stamp sheets, which include similarly themed stamps per sheet of plastic. These are flat and easy to store. If you have a large collection of stamps, such as multiple sets of alphabet stamps, you will need to find a safe place to keep these so that they do not become damaged.
>> Consider accessories
When you shop for stamps, you will find that there are many accessories to purchase along with them. Before heading out to the store, you might want to compile a stamp checklist with items such as ink pads, markers and cleaning supplies.
Ink pads, for example, come in many sizes and shapes. When considering which to purchase, you will need to note the stamp size and stamp style that you will use. If you want to ink the entire surface at once, you will need a big enough ink pad in order to do so.
Specialty markers, another accessory to consider, can be used to create multicolored stamp designs. You can color the surface of the stamp and then turn it over and press it onto the paper. Afterward, you can finish filling in any sparsely colored areas if desired. There are many decorative rubber stamps to choose from that you can color with specialty markers.
Finally, all stamp styles need to be cleaned. There are specialty spray-on ink removers that you can use to keep your stamp collection in good shape. Following its application, you will want to scrub the stamp against a cleaning pad. This will help remove the remaining ink from the stamp, thereby preventing staining. If done regularly, this extra step will also help preserve the life of your stamp collection.