Here at Simon’s Stamps, we regularly receive emails about file requirements for custom art. It’s pretty simple: our laser engraver needs a file to be a 500 DPI monochrome bitmap. Below are the steps to get just that.
Before you get started, make sure your file has been cropped to eliminate any extra white space around the edges. You can crop right up to your art. This will ensure you get the correct size for your finished stamp.
First, in Photoshop or your image editor, click the “Image” menu option and scroll down to “Image Size…”
A new pop-up menu will appear. Make sure the “Resolution” option is set to 500. And also make sure your image dimensions are what you’d like your stamp size to be. Click “OK.”
Next, also under the “Image” menu option, click on “Mode” and choose “Grayscale.”
Then, again under the “Image” menu option, click on “Bitmap…”
A new pop-up menu will appear. Make sure “Output” is set to 500 and the Method drop down option is set to “50% Threshold.” Click “OK.”
An that’s it! When you save the image, make sure to choose a BMP or TIFF file.
Believe it or not, there is a bit of a learning process with stamping rubber stamps, particularly if you are using them for a business purpose where consistency is key.
Before we talk about the how-to, let’s clear up what a rubber stamp can do. It can make impressions on flat surfaces best; think paper, glass, plastics. You can carefully use your rubber stamps to stamp on curved surfaces by rolling it from end to end (once) on similar flat surfaces. The more area on your art or copy the more the impression will come out with a distressed look (as seen in the image above), as the ink doesn’t get full coverage like a printer. Common text typically gets good full coverage.
It is hit or miss with alternative surfaces. Depending upon your needs, you may be able to use your stamp on wood, fabric, foam, etc.. However, keep in mind, the more porous a surface, the more the ink is like to spread, and any unevenness will shop on the impression.
Now, inking your wooden rubber stamps: the first step is pressing the stamp into the ink pad. To avoid any extra ink from getting onto unintended surfaces of the stamp, gently “kiss” the stamp to the ink pad a few times to ensure even coverage. Second, press, don’t smash, your stamp onto your flat surface (you may want to try different surfaces – often what we think is flat really isn’t). Do not rock it; just give it even, firm pressure.
We suggest practicing with each new stamp to get an idea of how much ink you need to pick up and how firmly you may need to stamp to get the desired effect.
Yes, it is important to clean off rubber stamps after use, particuarly when switching between colors.
Wood-Mounted Rubber Stamps
Do not use soap and water with wood-mounted rubber stamps, because it will loosen the adhesive and compress the cushion foam. The quickest and easiest way to clean your wood stamps is with a damp (not wet) towel.
Some inks can stain your stamps, StazOn ink, for example. It won’t ruin your stamp just stain it, and you can just clean off what you can and let the stamp dry. To get them really clean, you can use the StazOn cleaner.
The quickest and easiest way to clean your acrylic stamps is with warm water and a mild soap. For really stubborn ink, you can also take a soft, old toothbrush and gently scrub the crevices in the image.
Please don’t use acetone, bleach or any oil-based cleaner for either acrylic or wood-mounted stamps.
Here at Simon’s Stamps we get a lot of inquiries about what rubber stamps can and can’t be used for. And I’d like to talk about clay in this post, as it’s asked about most often.
Yes! You can stamp clay with rubber stamps. There are a few things to keep in mind, however.
- First, your design should be fairly simple with no fine detail. The details tend to get lost in the removal of the rubber.
- Second, we recommend the deep engraved rubber for best impressions. Our clients using clay have the most success with the deep rubber.
- Third, you may want to consider an unmounted rubber die (as shown in the photo above). This will give you more control with this medium.
Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.863.6800 with any questions about deep engraved rubber stamps for use in clay or your design.
Also, check out our online shop offerings at shop.simonstamp.com for Deep Engraved Traditional Wood Handle Rubber Stamps.