Stamped images can have many uses, such as card making, scrapbooking or decorating objects etc.  There is a huge range of stamps available to purchase with numerous different designs.  The image is usually stamped onto card or paper with ink.  I have chosen to demonstrate a method of stamping with a flower image stamp, shown below.

These types of stamps come packaged between two pieces of acetate, which need to be removed before use.  Carefully peel the stamp from the acetate.  This can be quite tough with new stamps and can take quite a bit of pulling!

For this demonstration I have used an acrylic block to mount the stamp onto.  This kind of stamp will just cling to the acrylic and then peel off after use.

You can purchase a range of ink pads to stamp your image with, depending on what you want to use it for.  Some are water based if you want the image to run when water is applied.  If you don't then it is best to use an ink like the one shown below that will stay put if it comes into contact with a water based medium when you colour in your image.  For scrapbooking where the stamp is likely to come into contact with photos it is best to use an acid free ink to prolong the longevity of your photo.

When stamping with an acrylic block it can be useful to use a foam pad or other soft layer beneath your card to ensure an even contact between the stamp and the card.  This gives a clearer finished image.

Apply your ink evenly to the rubber stamp.  Brand new stamps of this type often need a bit of a clean/rub before the first use as I have found that the first few stamped images tend to come out a bit uneven, light or patchy if this is not done. Just a bit of a scrub over the stamp surface with a baby wipe or damp cloth will do the job usually.

 When you are ready, hold your acrylic block with the stamp facing the card, ink side down and gently but firmly press it against the card.  Try not to move the stamp from it's position once in contact with the card so that the image doesn't blur. Carefully lift the acrylic block straight up away from the card, again, trying not to smudge the ink on your image. 

Below I have shown an example of how the image can turn out if the new stamp has not been cleaned off first before stamping.  Not all of the image is clear as the ink has not sat evenly on the stamp when applied.

The image below shows a stamped image after the stamp has been cleaned and used several times.  It may be that you need to 'break in' a new stamp using cheap paper rather than expensive card initially.  Bear in mind that using this method of stamping with the acrylic block means that you should not attempt to apply the stamp a second time to the same image to make it darker as it is unlikely that you will be able to position the stamp in precisely the right place again.

It is possible to purchase stamping pads that have a lift up surface to stick the stamp to so that when you lift the upper surface you can reapply ink to the stamp and place it down again in exactly the same spot providing you don't move the card.  This has been an invaluable piece of my stamping kit and has saved me a lot of wasted card!

This is the Tim Holtz stamping press by Tonic Studios. It's really useful.  The magnets are very powerful though and should definitely be kept apart from each other if you want to be able to separate them again and should also be kept away from small children.

I have wrapped my magnets in masking tape so that they are easier to pick up and separate if they happen to get stuck together.  The rubber stamp is placed on the lid of the stamper, facing inwards. You can position your card below it and secure the card with the magnets so it doesn't move around while you work.

Remember to clean your stamp as soon as you have finished using it to remove the ink.  This can be done with a baby wipe or damp cloth quite effectively.  I usually just dry them off with a piece of kitchen roll then so that I can put them straight back into the packet rather than leaving them to air dry. 

Here are some examples of coloured in stamped images that I have used to make card toppers for some of my cards shown in the gallery.  These were all coloured in using Promarker pens.