Stamps generally come in two styles, outline and surface area. Outline stamps when inked and stamped on paper will give the effect of an image to colour-in. Surface area stamps have a broad area on the rubber so you can apply ink with a pad or brush marker directly on the rubber before stamping the image. Both styles of stamp are useful, depending on your project.
Mounted Red Rubber
Rubber stamps are the red stamps that are typically mounted to a woodblock, and ready to use right away, without additional supports like acrylic blocks and stamping tools. Rubber stamps are more durable and typically high-quality, making them more versatile with heavier substances. A downside to wood-mounted rubber stamps is that you cannot see through them to view the exact placement of your image. Red rubber stamps work wonderfully for stamping and embossing.
Unmounted Red Rubber
There are some companies that make red rubber stamps that mount on to acrylic blocks such as - Stampin’ Up and Tim Holtz. these red rubber stamps come mounted on cling foam so you can use them with any acrylic block. The stamps have been designed so they are space saving and as they are more durable than the acrylic stamps, they are becoming more popular with stampers.
Acrylic stamps are transparent, so you can see completely through them. They come attached to an acetate sheet, but without any support or backing (no woodblock like the traditional red rubber stamps have). An acrylic block or stamping tool is needed in order to use acrylic stamps. To use, the stamp is taken off of the acetate sheet, then put onto a block or press to begin stamping. Because they are clear, you can see exactly where your stamp will be positioned on your paper or project. You can stamp or emboss with acrylic stamps.
Foam stamps are great for stamping large or bold images. These stamps are light-weight and are also ideal for children. Foam stamps are best used with paints and are often used for interior decorating as well as smaller stamping projects.
You can also make your own stamps. There are a surprising number of ways you can create your own stamps, ranging from simple potato stamps to carving images in lino.
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