Clear Stamps 101

By September 9, 2007General

I have received MANY emails from those of you that have not yet tried clear stamps, having only used wood-mounted rubber.  I am so glad that the innovative designs at Papertrey Ink have inspired many of you to try something new.  I guarantee our quality photopolymer stamps will not leave you disappointed!

First there are some basic essentials that you need to begin you clear stamp experience. 

Essentials -A set of Acrylic Blocks.  Papertrey carries a great beginner’s set that retails for a mere $5.  It contains three sizes that coordinate with just about all of our stamps.  Having different size blocks available to use in conjunction with your stamps will allow you to be more successful.  For example, if you put a little 1/2" stamp on a HUGE 3×5 block, it will be difficult to stamp with since there is so much excess block around the edge.  Think of your wood-mounted stamps.  The blocks are similar in size to the images in most cases.  You want the same proportions when using clear stamps as well.

-A set of our clear stamps.  They come on 4×6-inch sheets already separated into individual images (in other words, NO trimming required).  $24 sets include two sheets, $15 sets include one sheet.  These carrier sheets are made our of clear plastic that is similar to that used to make transparencies, on;y slightly thicker.

Peel_away_film-Our manufacturer places a thin plastic film on the other side of the stamps to protect them.  Once you receive your stamps, you want to carefully peel away this film.

Peel_up_stamp-Next, you can remove your stamps from the carrier sheet.  You just carefully peel them away and adhere them to the inside of the CD case we include with each of our sets for storage.

Cd_case_3-You can put stamps on both sides of the interior of the CD case.  You would be surprised how much one of these cases can hold!

Carrier_sheet -Sometimes when putting stamps on both sides, the stamps can stick together, especially when the set is brand new.  I trim the carrier sheet down slightly on the long edge so it will fit in my case in between the two sides when shut.  As you use the stamps and they become "seasoned" they will not stick nearly as much and you will no longer need the carrier sheet.  As a finishing touch, you can use the label we enclose in each of our sets to identify the name of the set on the spine of the case.

Attached_to_block -When you are ready to stamp, you simply peel the desired image from the CD case and stick it to your block. 

NO adhesives or mounting tapes are required. 

They stick all by themselves, right out of the package.  For those of you new to this medium, you may be asking yourself, but how do they stick?  Well, think of the window clings you can purchase for the holidays.  Clear stamps are a similar concept.  If our stamps every lose their ability to stick, you just need to wash them in warm water, allow them to air dry, and they are good as new.

Eraser-Our clear stamps will perform better the longer they are used.  To speed up the conditioning process, you can rub a white eraser over the surface of the stamp, then give it a good cleaning on your stamp scrubbing pad.  The eraser helps to remove any residue that may have been leftover from the manufacturing process.

-To clean your stamps after use, a stamp scrubber misted with stamp cleaner is your best bet.  (My favorite mist is Ultra Clean, which is manufactured by the same company who creates our stamps, hence they are designed to be compatible with each other.)  Once in a while your clear stamps may benefit from a "spa treatment".  Fill a small bowl with warm soapy water.  Submerge each stamp under water and rub it gently between your thumb and index finger.  This helps to remove any build-up from extended use.  When you are done, rinse the stamps thoroughly and allow them to air dry before using.

-You can use any type of ink with clear stamps.  You can read —> THIS POST <— to learn more about my personal favorites.

I hope this helps to answer all of the basic question you may have regarding clear stamps.  If I missed something, feel free to post your question in the comments section or email me personally.

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 24 Comments

  • 1

    thank you!! this helps a ton!

  • 2
    Jenn in GA says:

    i don’t own any clear stamps, but have drooled over yours for some time now. this information was very helpful, and i hope to place an order sometime this month (my birthday is coming!).

    thanks for all the wonderful creative elements.

  • 3
    Gina K. says:

    BWahhhh, I love the part about how the stamps may benefit from spa treatment. Too cute!

  • 4
    Maureen says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for. I would like to get into using the acrylic stamps but had no idea how they worked or how/where to get started. Thanks for breaking it down for us!!!

  • 5
    Tammy says:

    Thank you so much!! I’m excited to get started!!

  • 6
    Kim says:

    No cutting and trimming?? This is for me!

  • 7
    Cindy says:

    I bought my first set of clear stamps last night, came home and was totally bewildered on exactly how to use this new tool. Low and behold, I log in, click on your site and this is the first item I see…clear stamps 101. I LOVE this site….thank you so much.

  • 8
    Megonn says:

    WOW! answered all my questions!! thank you!!! =]

  • 9
    Beguis says:

    How can I buy the cuttlebug, please?

  • 10
    Carolyn Orgar says:

    You completely inspire my dedicated friend and I. We are in awe of your quilter’s square stamps, and are wondering if they are available in Canada? Could you tell us how we can purchase them? Absolutely beautiful work, and please keep blowing us away up here in Canada, we love it.
    Carolyn and Christine

  • 11
    Donna says:

    I have a question. Some of my acryli stamps have lost their “stick” I have cleaned with water & it has not helped. Any advice on the next step to restore? I am not sure what brand I have, but I have not found an answer to this one anywhere. Thanks for your time.

    Donna, You can try swiping a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the back of the stamp. This can help restore stickiness, as long as the stamp is made out of photopolymer. If the stamp is made overseas using silicone, there isn’t really much you can do, since that is an inferior material for stamps that won’t work well no matter what you do. Hope this helps.

  • 12
    Jill says:

    Do you have any ideas on how to hold stamps besides cd cases? I have many alphabet sets and they don’t fit in the cd cases because there are to many. I would love any ideas and where to buy.

  • 13
    kmorakefet says:


    How can I suscribe to your blog ? It’s wonderful !!!


  • 14
    kat says:

    I found your information really useful, but there’s just one thing i don’t get, do you need to buy a clear block for each stamp or will just one do, in other words, are the stamps removable from the block??

  • 15
    Mona says:

    Hi Nichole! Thanks so much for sharing this info. I am pretty new to stamping, only 3 yrs & my first intro was to SU. So I have been terrified of clear stamps! Your DT members all have wonderful examples that make me want to buy your stamps! On a side note, my favorite DT member is Dawn Mcvey. She has such an inviting blog, just wanted to let you know that rather than just her.:) Her site has inspired me to place an order with PTI, I am just deciding exactly what I “need”. Thanks for all your great tutorials & templates. When I create a project using one of your templates, I link them back to you! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Mona

  • 16
    Quirky says:

    hey Nichole, erm… what if I kinda messed up with the pasting of label on my CD case… do you sell extra labels?

    First time pasting it and made a mess out of it… well, the following ones were better but the first two were kinda messed up. Can you help?


  • 17
    J.J. says:

    Here is a short video on how to use clear stamps! Just click the link:

  • 18
    J.J. says:

    Here is a short video on how to use clear stamps! Just click the link:

  • 19
    Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the information on clear stamps and inks. I have never used them and I am going back and forth with myself whether or not to purchase them. Some friends don’t have very good things to say about them. But I love so many of the designs I have seen at Papertrey Ink. I first saw them in Stamp It!. I think I might just have to take the plunge and go for it!

  • 20

    Our company, Dermagraphics Inc., designed and sells clear stamps for the cosmetic field.
    We are very unsatisfied with our current manufacturer of our product.
    Currently, our sheets of stamps are on 12″x8″ sheets. We have the necessary files on all our artwork and are looking for a more dependable company to make our stamps.
    Unlike most stamps, our designs are stamped directly onto the face so the elevation of the stamps needs to be slightly higher than stamps designed for paper.
    We ran across your site and hope you can direct us to a trusted company.
    We look forward to hearing from you.
    Paula Pilmanis

  • 21
    LaRue says:

    How do you make wood stamps into clear mount?
    I have a lot of stamps on wood blocks and would like them to use on clear blocks.

    How do you make wood mount stamps into stamps I can use with clear blocks.

  • 22
    Jean says:

    I am disappointed with the stamps because you cannot stamp off and re stamp like with the rubber stamps. Do you know of a solution to that?

  • 23
    Connie Shindeldecker says:

    You mention that your clear stamp sets come with clear CD cases. I have ordered several from Papertrey Ink and have never gotten any storage cases. Is there a spot to order them seperate. Can’t seems to find them on the site.

  • 24
    HJ says:

    This is a great video. I learned a few tips from it. I love clear stamps and use them all the time. Thanks so much.

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