How To Stamp Like You Own a Stamp Company

Stamping is an incredibly easy task: take object, coat with ink, press onto surface.

Stamping well is still very's just less intuitive. Close your eyes, wait, no, don't close your eyes or you'll never know to keep reading! Let's try that again, open your mind's eye and envision someone stamping.

What do you see? Do you see someone gripping a stamp by its handle, slamming it into an ink pad and then slamming it onto a piece of paper? Do you see someone pressing a stamp into an ink pad several times and then using two hands to press the stamp into the paper, rocking it back and forth slightly to make sure the ink really gets onto the paper? Those are some stereotypical ways to stamp – and they aren't necessarily wrong – and you might get okay results using one of those methods...

But you might not. You might end up with unsightly lines and marks around the stamp. And then you might complain to your friendly stamp maker that the stamp that they made you is defective...not that we ever get accusatory e-mails like that.

Here's the tough love – it's not the stamp, it's you. Or should I say, it was you, until after you follow our simple how-to outlined below. 

The cliff notes version: if you don't get ink where you don't want it to be on the rubber, there is no way for the ink to make weird lines and marks on the paper. Mind. Blown. Right?! 

Now, onto how to keep that pesky ink only where you want it:

Step 1: hold stamp in one hand, rubber facing up (first image below)

Step 2: hold ink pad in other hand, ink facing up (second image below)

How to use a rubber stamp correctly
How to ink a rubber stamp correctly

Step 3: here's where the magic happens! Take the INK PAD (not the stamp) and lightly (if you have to press hard to get ink onto your stamp, you need a new ink pad) tap the ink pad onto the rubber. Do. Not. Press. The first time you use the stamp after it's been cleaned off (you do clean your stamps, right?) it'll take a few taps, after that initial impression, one or two quick taps between impressions and you should be good to go. (first video below)

Look at the rubber, are the letters and shapes wet looking with ink? Yes, then proceed to Step 4. No, then tap some more. Still no? Might you need a new ink pad?

Notice how the ink isn't coating the entire surface of the stamp...

Notice how the ink isn't coating the entire surface of the stamp...

Step 4: confidently, but carefully, press the stamp onto the paper. Do not rock your stamp back and forth, if your stamp is properly wet with ink – the ink will leave your stamp and transfer onto the paper. Lift your stamp straight up. (second video below)

If you're using a quick drying ink, like StazOn, then you're done. If you are at all worried that your ink might smudge (perhaps you're stamping onto shimmery envelopes, or using an ink pad that stays wet a little longer), then set your newly inked piece of paper aside to dry.

Voila! Stamping this way will decrease your chances for uneven impressions and rogue lines.

But wait, what if you're in a stamping groove and you start getting a little careless with your inking, or maybe that ink pad is starting to run low and you find yourself pressing a little harder...dare I say, you're starting to rock the stamp a little bit and those pesky lines start showing up? It happens to the best of us (cough, me after spending 20+ hours stamping fabric in the span of 2 weeks, cough). What I do when I notice lines starting to show up is to pause, look at where in relation to the design the offending line has shown up, look at the stamp after I ink it, and wipe the edge of the stamp that has ink on it with my thumb or a paper towel.

And if you just finished reading this and are like no way am I putting that much effort (it's really not a lot, I promise!) into making a rubber stamp impression onto a page, might I suggest a self-inking stamp (many of our designs are also available as self-inking stamps).

If you love this ink color – I used StazOn in Claret.

If you love this ink color – I used StazOn in Claret.