Fire Frog's

Rubber Stamping Hints

Storage: store stamps face down away from sunlight and dust. Stamp the bottom of the storage container and store the stamps on top of the images. Then you can see at a glance if any of the stamps are missing and which ones they are. Make up a book with all your stamps stamped in it, grouped in categories like Easter, Cat's etc. to keep track of what you have brought already.

Cleaning: blot with absorbent paper (a 'stamp off' sheet) for a temporary clean. Or - Wipe with non-alcohol/non lanolin baby wipes (a 'wipe off' sheet). Use a wet sponge to wipe/blot stamps on rubber side, rinsing sponge with water between different colours. Do not immerse base (ie. wood handle) of stamps in water. Clean small grooves in the stamp with a toothbrush and water. Before stamping, use a stiff bristle brush to remove glitter/grit from stamps. Coat the wooden base with clear nail varnish to prevent ink stains & over printing of the show picture on the wooden handle.

See Here for an example.

Stamping: stamp directly down onto the paper, avoid excessive pressure or rocking motions. Lift straight up to remove the stamp again. If ink beads on the stamp and produces splotchy results, lightly rub it with a pumice stone. Always stamp onto a flat, stable surface. You can also use textas to apply colour to a stamp, butterflies look good using this technique. Breath on the stamp to reactivate drying ink.

Mistakes: to re-stamp an incomplete image, stamp it out again onto tracing paper. Reposition using an L or T square, image over image. Or touch up with an embossing pen or texta. Or re-stamp over with a darker colour for a shadow effect. White out a mistake with liquid paper. Or hide it with glitter or a small solid colour stamp (i.e. a heart stamp). Or redo a stamp onto a sticker and place it over the mistake.

Embossing: use the longer drying embossing inkpads or pens. Put 2 clean sheets of paper under the card etc to be embossed. Stamp as normal, pour a generous amount of embossing powder over the image. Tip card to ensure the entire image is covered. Tip excess powder back into the jar using the first of the paper sheets. Lightly tap back of card to remove loose powder. Use a fine paintbrush or a finely cut post-it note to remove excess powder from image. Use second layer of paper to return this excess powder to the jar. Heat and set powder before applying next colour. (Clear paper of any powder etc before returning it under the card, and especially after changing colours.)

Use a toaster underneath or a heat gun from above to melt the embossing powder. It is embossed properly when the powder turns shiny. Be careful not to burn the paper, it will change its colour. A peg or tweezers can be used to hold the paper so you don't burn your fingers. For a heat gun a shoebox can be used for heating. Use the lid for applying the powder, the box for heating the card in without burning your fingers or blowing the card away.

Emboss an image before cutting it out to glue elsewhere. Glitter will not stick to embossing ink unless mixed with a greater amount of embossing powder. Glitter changes colour in heat so leave it till last to glue onto a card.

Ink pads: embossing ink dries slower than dye ink does. If not embossing heat the ink anyway to dry it. Dye inks work best on stamps with fine detail, especially if the ink is applied with a brayer (solid roller). Use dye ink on glossy or non-absorbent paper. It is hard to emboss on these papers, embossing works best on absorbent paper. Store older, drier inkpads upside down to bring the ink to the surface. Be sure to clean a stamp before changing to a different colored inkpad or you will stamp the old colour onto the new pad and muddy it.


* Make up 6 or more cards at one time, like a production line. It is easier to stamp out six fairy images, cut each of them out at once, glue them in place then add first gold glitter to them all, then silver glitter to them all. If done individually - stamp, cut, glue, glitter, glitter - stamp, cut, glue, glitter, glitter - stamp, cut, glue, glitter, glitter etc would take much longer and you would end up wasting a lot of material ie. glue and glitter.

* Stamp an image on a dark card in white, then overstamp it with pigments in a bright colour for a neon look.

* If punches or scissors are sticky punch/cut into wax paper. Cut scissors into aluminium foil to sharpen. Use punches upside down.

* Use hair spray to seal work (you can even use glitter hair spray!)

* To age paper, wet it, scrunch it and apply tea bags. Or use a match to burn the edges.

* Stamp and emboss aluminium foil. Seal work before cutting, glue only after embossing. Paint with glass paint.

* Use stamps looking "away" in different colours to create a crowd scene.

This is where the love grows!

Card I did for my brother and his family to say thank you for a great birthday present. You rock, little bro!

Inside card says: This is where the love grows. (PS - the tree in front of the cat on the right is covering a poorly stamped second cat. Oops!)

* Use textas to colour a stamped image and a barely wet paintbrush to blend, creating a watercolour look. Or use pens directly on the stamp. Breath on it to reactivate ink before stamping.

* Draw on ears, hats etc for theme cards. Glue, heat gun or sew on bows, rhinestones, googly eyes, cloth clothes, ribbon, glitter, dried flowers, buttons, sea shells, lace etc.


Two of these rabbits have pompom tails glued on, the one in the middle has googly eyes glued on. These stamped rabbits have been coloured in with textas. Inside the card says 'Hoppy Easter!'

* Punch in holes or fancy shapes. Save the cut out bits for confetti, put in envelopes as a surprise.

* Cut out messages from old cards or use clip art from computers (Seal before use, see decoupage page.).

*Also embed charms etc in wax, you can stamp into wax as well.

* Use post it notes to make masks for stamping images on top of each other to create a built up look. Keep masks in a marked envelope so you only have to cut them out the once. For tiny stamps, make a mask using a rubber glue and stamped bit of waste paper. Cover print and roll hardened glue off, use as mask.

Bunny and butterfly card

Here is a crowd scene created using paper masks. On the left I have the masks in place as they were when stamped on, on the right are two clean cut out masks so you can see better what they look like.

* Emboss on close weave fabric for best results. You can also stamp on walls, furniture, lampshades, doors or any slightly porous surface.

*  Stamping/decoupage idea! Stamp onto thin white tissue paper with small pictures, emboss them, cut out leaving plenty of space around the picture and glue onto curved surfaces. Then colour in, going over the tissue paper surround with the same colour as the curved surface background (do at same time.) This hides the fact that the picture was not done directly onto the curved surface, but stuck on! I'm sure there are lots of ways to use this idea, let me know!

* Stamp out sheets of paper and make your own boxes/envelopes/wrapping paper out of them. Use the 'stamp/wipe-off sheets' to do this as well. Or stamp out picture scenes on the front of envelopes (don't obscure address or area code).

BACKGROUNDS: Use a make-up sponge to sponge/blot/streak inks onto paper. Use lace ribbon or a doily etc as a template to blot colour over (like a stencil). Colour up a Brayer and roll solid, rainbow, patterned etc backgrounds. Layer cut/torn paper/paper bark in contrasting colours behind a stamped image. Cut 'stamp/wipe off sheets' into strips to weave into backgrounds. Build up a 3D picture with thick double sided tape.


Ye End

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 rose card.

These rose pictures did not come from a set, but look good together.


The sarong this Teddy is wearing is stamped with sea motifs ie seaweed, fish, shells etc.

This is a 'Happy Bowl'. On slips of paper you stamp out some pictures, then write something good that you have done, or were done for you. Then, when you feel a bit sad, you pick out a happy card and remind yourself, this too will pass. Good things have happened, and will again. Throw in some dried rose petals, a touch of glitter and some 'magic' glass stones, a magic floating candle (don't light it!) and there you go: a happy bowl.


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