The most basic and common forms of stamping involve applying some type of an ink in the form of an ink pad to your stamp. This article will explore the proper way to ink up your stamp in order to achieve the best stamped results possible.
How you ink up your stamp is going to depend on two things: the size of the stamp and the size of the ink pad.
If the surface of the pad is smaller than the size of your stamp then you'll want to lay your stamp face up on your work surface.
Gently press the pad in an up and down motion all over the surface of the stamp. Do not rub or drag it across the stamp. This can leave drag marks on the inked stamp, which will shown when you stamp. It can also cause damage to the edges of your ink pad such as fraying, or even lifing of the actual pad from the case.
If your stamp is smaller than your ink pad, then place the stamp face up on the table in front of you and tap the pad directly onto the stamp using gentle pressure.
There are two key points to keep in mind when inking your stamps - it is not necessary to apply too much pressure to ink up your stamp. This is a common error that I see in new stampers. When you apply too much pressure to your stamp on your ink pad, or vice versa with the ink pad on the stamp, you can end up with ink pooling and gathering around the image which can then lead to smears and gobs of ink on your project. This is especially a problem when it comes to ink pads made with foam rather than the hard linen - such as is common in pigment ink pads and chalk ink pads. You really need a light touch with these types of inks
Second off all, do NOT rock your stamp back and forth when you are inking it on the pad, or rock the pad back and forth when inking up a stamp. You will end up picking up ink around the edges of the stamp or on your block, which can accidentally end up smearing on your project. It is preferable to use a straight up and down motion.
Stamps with large open areas can often present a challenge when you are trying to ink them up because the ink can get into the open area, and then if you are not careful when stamping it can leave smears in your project. The best way to ink an open area stamp is to use the edge of the ink pad to tap around the edge of the open area, rather than pressing the ink pad directly over the top of the stamp or pressing your stamp directly onto your ink pad.
It's always a good idea to have a Q-tip, Kleenex or baby wipe handy in case you do need to clean up ink that's gotten on the block, around the stamped image or in a wide open area.