How to Color your Stamps
There are several ways to add color to your stamps. The most common is an ink pad. You can simply tap your smaller stamps on the inkpad, or tap your inkpad on your larger stamps. This second technique helps guarantee better ink coverage as you can actually see where you need to add color. Inkpads come in a variety of colors and styles from large to small “cat’s eye” sized pads. They can also have several different colors on one pad, usually with the ability to remove one color piece at a time and use it individually. They also come in dye ink and pigment ink varieties.
I have found that I prefer the small Colorbox ink pads which come several colors to a package. They are pigment inks and come in metallics, chalk, and regular pigment ink. They give good even coverage on both rubber and silicone stamps. You can also purchase these in the small cat’s eye stacks, long straight pads or wedge shaped designs. You can take one smaller color pad from the larger and use it individually.
Dye inks are another common option which are readily available. They dry much faster than pigment inks and you don’t have to worry about smearing them as much as they soak into the paper more than the thicker pigment inks. They come in a variety of colors and are wonderful for making a quick card or scrapbook page. The coverage on silicone stamps is not quite as good with dye inks as with pigment ink however, they are wonderful on the classic rubber stamp.
You can also use markers to color your stamp prior to stamping. This will allow you to put several colors into one stamped image. For instance it you have a stamp with an iris on it, you could color the stem and leaves green, the flower purple, and the stamen yellow. When you are done you simply huff on the stamp (deep moist breath, not blowing) to remoisten your marker ink, then stamp.
Acrylic paints can be used either full strength or watered down on chunkier stamps and can give you some great textural results. If you stamp with full strength paint and a chunky stamp you will get a very textural result as the paint will pull up a bit when you remove the stamp. This is not a technique to use with very detailed stamps but rather with more solid shaped stamps.
Bleach is another way you can stamp with interesting results. Pour a small amount of bleach on a piece of white felt placed in a waterproof dish and use the felt as your ink pad. After you stamp wait a couple of minutes and watch as your picture emerges from the paper. The darker the cardstock the better this works.
There are many more wonderful ways in which to color your stamps, and these are just a few simple ways to get started with. Don’t be afraid to play around with colors, textures, and techniques. You never know what the results will be, and who knows, happy accidents happen all the time. If you don’t like your first attempt, don’t give up, simply try another method. And remember, stamping is an art form, and no two people ever see art in quite the same way.
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