Properly Inking Your Rubber Stamp

Properly Inking Your Rubber Stamp
We've talked previously about cleaning your rubber stamp to get the best results. Equally important is ensuring you have the right levels of ink on your stamp before making an impression to ensure a clear stamped image and a professional end result.


Cleaning your rubber stamp applies whether you're using the stamp on business correspondence, in card design or simply in a bit of artwork. Getting it wrong can lead to:


  • Over-inking – the same concept as putting too much paint on your brush, over-inking leads to a messy image with uneven edges. Overly inked stamps are also more likely to build up layers of dirt and old ink leading to poorer images over time without cleaning.
  • Uneven-inking – if you fail to apply your stamp to the ink pad properly, uneven-inking could result, which again would lead to poor images. Even pressure and movement on the ink pad ensures even ink coverage and better results.
  • Under-inking – too little ink will result in a faded and illegible image.

Perfect Inking for Perfect Results

The stamp you're using, the ink pad at your disposal and the thing you're stamping all have an influence on how you apply ink to your stamp. Big stamps, small stamps, arty stamps, intricate stamps – all need different inking techniques. The following is a short guide on the best ways to ink your stamp:

  1. Small Stamp, Big Pad – It's important not to get carried away with a small stamp on a big ink pad. Gentle pressure and light taps on the surface of the ink pad will ensure you get the right amount of ink on your stamp and proper results.
  2. Big Stamp, Small Pad – reverse your technique. Pop the stamp on its back and dab the ink pad gently across the surface. Be careful to reach the entire surface of the stamp with even but gentle pressure to avoid over-inking.
  3. Open Stamps – some stamps, especially larger ones and art and craft stamps, have large open gaps. It's important to be careful not to fill these gaps with ink. Over-inking here can lead to a messy impression and a real headache when it comes to cleaning your stamp. Try angling your ink pad and gently tapping it around the edge of the stamp rather than trying to apply it across awkward gaps.
  4. Multi-Colour Inks – stamp inks aren't restricted to one colour, so your design doesn’t have to be either. Multi-colour ink pads are an excellent way to add colour to your design. Whether you plan to use multiple stamps or one stamp with multiple colours. Laying a stamp across a multi-coloured ink pad, you just need to be careful not to rub the stamp and cause the inks to spill over into each other. Otherwise, it's just gentle pressure and you're away!

Keep Your Ink Wet!

It should go without saying, but many people neglect their ink pad. Over time, traditional ink pads will dry out from use or be marred by constant use. We'd recommend using high quality inks to re-ink your stamp pad or regularly invest in new ink pads to get the best results from your stamping!

Happy Stamping!