If you are like me, you love all of these new shows that end with the participants having a great new look on the outside. On the inside, they are the same person, but on the outside they have made a transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.
How does this relate to stamping? Well, let’s talk about our stamp pads. When we first get them they are clean, well inked and beautiful for all to see. Something nice to look at. As the days go by we figure out the practicality of our stamp pads. Let’s focus on Basic Black because he is the one that takes a beating on a daily basis.
When you arrive at a workshop you have all of your supplies ready to go. You have neatly cut little piles of paper, a clean work area, beautiful stamps and your stamp pads. Those stamp pads that you use and abuse, day after day.
Have you taken a good look at your stamp pads lately? I know when I sat down to write this, I would have told you that there was nothing wrong with my stamp pads. I had just used them a day or two before at a party. Sure my Basic Black had a few stains on the case, but it wasn’t “that bad” or was it? I took “before the makeover” and “after the makeover” photos of my stamp pad. Now, I’m sure some of you are laughing at the thought of me photographing my stamp pad but, the “before” and “after” photos are the most enjoyable part of the makeover.
Look at your Basic Black pad. I know, I know, you see it everyday. Really look at it. How many stains do you have on the top? Do you have some stray little threads sticking out the sides. Did you spill ink over the side the last time you reinked it? How about the inside of the lid, how much ink is built up there? If it were not your own pad, would you think twice before picking it up?
Most colors clean up easily with a paper towel and a bottle of Stampin’ Mist. For the black, I got what I could with the Stampin’ Mist and then I moved on the kitchen to use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you don’t have one of those things, you should get one. It does wonders on cleaning up stamp pad cases, not to mention stained stamps.
Now that the case is clean, how is the pad “working” Do you ever find yourself “fighting” with your stamp and stamp pad to get a really good impression? Maybe it’s time to reink. It is so simple, and yet so easy to forget. You won’t notice it with a line art stamp, but when it comes to the stems from Spring Garden or the circle from Little Shapes, you start to realize that you really need to reink.
Have you ever reinked your pads? Don’t worry if you haven’t , the process is simple and painless. For the classic pads, I usually start in the middle of the pad, squeezing out the ink as I draw lines on the pad, back and forth. In the areas where the ink is absorbed very quickly you need to keep applying more ink to those areas until it sinks in much slower. I usually have to add a lot less ink to the corners because I rarely ink my stamps from the corners of the pads, but I do touch them up a bit.
When you are finished reinking, take a moment to wipe all of the extra ink off from around the edges and lid of your pads. A few minutes of cleaning and reinking will guarantee that your guests have a positive first impression of our products.
And finally, make sure you store the stamp pads flat (never on their ends). If you do not have the boxes that the stamp pads come in (by color family) find an organizational tool that allows you to store all of your pads flat. I use a case that I got in the hardware section of a local department store. When you go out to look for something, take a few stamp pads with you.