For anyone who hasn’t used IOD stamps before, they’re essentially what they sound like: A clear stamp - but it doesn’t stop there!
While similar in function to stamps you used as a child -- IOD stamps are magical (no kidding!). They have the power to transform a piece of junk found on the side of the road to a show-stopping piece of home decor that you’ll have to convince your husband you didn’t spend your entire monthly budget on. For reals, they are that good.
And DIY home decor is just the tip of the creative iceberg. IOD stamps can be used in food art and DIY lifestyle projects, like taking a boring pair of jeans and stamping a beautiful bohemian design down the pant leg.
HOW TO PREP IOD STAMPS
Did you just get your very first set of IOD stamps - beyond exciting, right?!? But before you can get your hands dirty, you need to condition your stamps. You only need to do this once and then your stamps will be set for life.
Start by removing the acrylic sheet attached to the stamping side of the design, while leaving the stamps attached to their backing sheet. Using a fine grit sand block scuff or rough up the stamping surface. Lightly sand in one direction and then rotate the craft stamp 90 degrees and sand lightly in a different direction.
This helps the mediums stay put, and not bead (which some types, like ceramics glazes, tend to do). It also will give a cleaner impression.
TO REMOVE THE BACKING OR NOT TO REMOVE THE BACKING
Some of our stamps work best if you pull the stamp off the backing and use a thin mount when stamping. Others work best if you leave the backing on and then there are some that we keep the backing on, but cut each stamp out separately. Let’s break down what you should do with which types of stamps.
Any letter or alpha stamp set such as Typesetting, Farmhand, Retro and Swoosh: Remove the stamp from the backing when ready to use (this takes some force, but don’t worry, the stamps are strong). Arrange the stamps design side down on your project, then lay an acrylic thin mount on top. Press to adhere the stamps to the thin mount and then apply your medium. When you’re done using your letter stamps, clean them and stick them to the backing for storage.
Any stamp that comes as a sheet such as Carrara Marble, Craquelure, Distressed, Chippy Paint, Kindest Regards and Cubano: Leave the stamp in one piece on the backing and the backing will work as your mounting surface.
INDIVIDUAL STAMPS WITH MULTIPLE DESIGNS
The majority of our stamps fall into this category. Examples are Painterly Rose, Pavo, Fronds, and Crockery: Leave the stamps on the backing. Cut each design out separately making sure to round the edges of the backing when you cut. The backing will work as your mounting surface.
DIFFERENT MOUNTS FOR DIFFERENT SURFACES
IOD THIN MOUNT WITH GRID & CURVED GUIDELINES
This is recommended for surfaces that are perfectly flat, for example, if you are doing word art on a wood sign. Use the grid or curved lines as guides for the lettering layout and for centering your stamps on the project surface.
This is what we call it when you use a flexible piece of plastic, such as the backing sheet that came with the stamps, as a mounting device.. This is great for irregular surfaces such as walls or furniture (surprisingly, many furniture surfaces that appear flat have dips- this method will conform nicely).
This is when you use the stamp without mounting it to anything. There are two common scenarios that call for no mount. When you’re stamping a very curved surface, such as on a flower pot or around the corner of a dresser.
When you need the stamps to have a little stretch For example, I stamped the front of my cowboy boots, and was able to stretch the stamp and conform it cleanly to the surface even though the boot is very curved. When using the bare stamp make sure that your fingers don’t stick to it, this could cause the stamp to lift from the surface and create an unintentional smudge.