Clear stamps are transparent, so you can see completely through them. They come attached to an acetate sheet. Red Rubber Stamps like the ones IndigoBlu make are mounted on a foam backing and are cut out so they are ready to use right away. With both types of stamp, you will need to use an acrylic block or a stamping platform to stamp with them. We chose to make red rubber stamps as they are much more durable than acrylic and can capture finer detail. Red rubber stamps have been created by vulcanising rubber at a temperature of 400 degrees, so they are pretty much indestructible.
Stamping blocks or acrylic blocks are used with stamps and are sold separately from the stamps. They are transparent blocks that come in a variety of sizes to suit different sized stamps. A stamp will cling to a stamping block, then you can use the block to press the stamp onto your paper, fabric, or material of choice. IndigoBlu sell stamping blocks called Slim Jims as they are only 3mm thick. This means that they are easier to use and lighter to hold for people with dexterity issues.
As with most things there is not a best way to stamp – there are several different techniques and tools that you can use. Some people prefer to use a stamping platform, while others are happy to use acrylic blocks. You can also use ink or paint to stamp with, although ink is more commonly used. When using ink, the key thing is to apply ink onto your stamp in a dabbing action with an ink pad. Ink should be applied evenly across the face of the stamp. Once the ink has been applied then press the stamp onto your substrate (paper, fabric, card) firmly without rocking. For a clean image Kay recommends using the palm of your hand so there is a good firm pressure applied. After a few seconds lift the stamp cleanly off.
Some people prefer using a stamping platform which has a hinged acrylic lid. The substrate is held in place on the base of the platform with magnets while the stamp clings to the lid. The benefit of this platform is that a cleanly stamped image is almost guaranteed, as you can reapply ink even after you have stamped because neither the stamp nor the substrate will move.
Stamping with paint is different to using ink as you first apply the paint to your craft mat and create a small block of solid paint. You then stamp into this area to apply the paint to your stamp. Press the stamp onto your fabric firmly but without moving the stamp to get a crisp image. It is then especially important that you wash the paint off your stamp straight away, as if the paint dries it will ruin your stamp.
IndigoBlu paints are great for this technique, as they are high in pigment so you can capture great colour but they are also acrylic water based paints, so they wash off your stamps very easily once you have stamped.
Sometimes when you apply ink to your stamp you may catch the trimmed edge of the stamp – not part of the image. When this stamp is then pressed hard onto the surface you are stamping onto the edge of the stamp may meet the area you are stamping, leaving an inky line.
There are two ways to prevent this happening:
Make sure the stamp is trimmed close to the raised area of the stamp as this will reduce the likelihood of over inking.
If you see that you have over-inked your stamp just clean the edge before you stamp
Kay recommends using either Versafine or Stazon inks for stamping with IndigoBlu stamps. Both inks will capture the fine details of our stamps, especially if you stamp onto very smooth card.
We do indeed! Some products have a little video in the description box of the product. We also, have a YouTube Channel which is filled with hundreds of Videos and Streams of how to use our products.
Mixed Media is a form of Crafts that uses multiply mediums in one project. You can be as adventurous as you like!
All our Paints are multi-surface paints and can be used on Fabric – including being washed! This means you can use any of our Paints on Fabric.
We have many classes throughout each year. We hold Virtual Classes which are held on Zoom so anyone from anywhere in the world can join – we are based in the UK and have people from USA and Australia join us! We also hold Retreats in Retford, Nottinghamshire, which is a 3-day class. We also take IndigoBlu on the road and travel around the UK for Dirty Weekends, which are 2-day classes. Our classes are all ran by Kay Halliwell-Sutton. You can be at any level to join Kay’s classes as she will take the time to explain every detail of the techniques you learn so you’ll feel confident and comfortable with how your project comes together.
Check out our Events section on our website to find the perfect class for you.