Clear photopolymer stamps are used with acrylic blocks. No glue is required, the stamps have a self-cling finish. You can see through the stamp and the block onto your card, which makes positioning your text very simple. After use you can remove the stamp from the block and store it in your preferred way, or leave it on the block if you prefer. The stamps will cling to anything flat and shiny.
Remove the backing from the stamp
Place the smooth side of the stamp onto an acrylic block. Put the block onto a work surface and ink the stamp thoroughly by repeatedly tapping the ink pad gently down onto the stamp.
Pigment ink is recommended, Versafine is excellent and less likely to cause blobs. All clear stamps are designed for water based inks, you can use them with solvent based inks, ie Stazon – but this will stain the stamps and long term use will deteriorate them.
These stamps are not suitable for pressing into hot media such as melted Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE).
Because of the cling finish these stamps will pick up dust, so check before stamping.
Practice stamping on scrap paper first. The stamps only need a light pressure. Without letting go of the stamp, run your thumb gently across the block once it is in stamping position, this will help ensure that all characters stamp out evenly. If you press too hard the ink will spread out and the lines will be too thick.
Clean with a damp cloth, rinse under the tap or wash with soap and water (certainly do this if using for fondant icing) Rinsing will also restore the cling if the stamp becomes dry.
Store the stamps out of sunlight, preferably out of any light. They will discolour in the light and eventually turn hard. They can be returned to their backing paper for storage and kept in a box or stored on PVC sheets in a ring binder.
Heat Embossing Tips
For heat embossing you will get the best results by using Detail embossing powders. Ordinary powders are too coarse to give a good definition to fine lines and small text
Rubbing over your card with an anti-static pad before stamping will help prevent the powder from sticking where you don’t want it. After you have tipped off the embossing powder, tap the card lightly, then brush off any excess with a small dry paint brush.
A pin is very handy for getting out any powder that sticks between the letters!
Timing is crucial for the heating – too little, and the embossing will look lumpy and not shiny - too much, and it will spread out and go flat.
Run your heat gun for a minute before you start the embossing - the powder will melt more quickly and evenly and there is less chance of your card buckling
Heat Embossing Videos
I've found some demos on Youtube of heat embossing which will be useful if you've never done it before - Heat Embossing Demos
These demonstrate the use of clear and coloured inks with clear and coloured embossing powders. When embossing stamps with fine lines and small text you will get the best results if you use Detail embossing powders.