One of the most common freebies with papercraft magazines is a stamp set. When I first started getting interested in paper-crafting, and began gathering my few supplies, I chose magazines based on how much I liked the freebie.

The one that most appealed came with a unicorn die and a stamp set with a magical sort of theme – fairies, unicorns, magic gardens, that sort of thing.

But, I didn’t really do anything with them. I tested the die once or twice, but looked at the stamps as if I didn’t know how to use them. It did also take me a while to get any ink, which didn’t help, and to work out that stamping blocks would be useful.

And then, of course, my collection of stamps was growing, and I still hadn’t done anything much with them.

I still don’t have any acrylic blocks. On a trip home, I thought I’d raid a shed for a couple of suitably sized off-cuts of wood, sand them down a bit, and cover them in sticky-backed plastic, as a cheap and cheerful home-made hack.

These work well enough if you don’t require too much precision in your stamping, for example if you’ll be using a matching die to cut it out for your make anyway, or if you can get the ink clear enough on the first go. (Although, looking again at the fairy, I quite like the shadowy effect of the slightly off stamping.)

Anemone

A Christmas present to myself, though, was a stamping platform, because I’m not very good at stamping first time around, and usually need several attempts for a clear outline. And, I must say, it does make life much easier for layered stamping, like with this anemone. At some point, I probably will get myself a set of acrylic stamping blocks, but I am in much less of a worry about it. Now, I just need to collect a greater range of ink colours.