Wood vs Cling vs Photopolymer stamps

So you want to start stamping, but aren’t quite sure what the difference is between the different kinds of stamps. Hopefully this will help make it a bit more clear so you can decide which way you want to go when building up your stamp collection! I’ll start with wood stamps as these were the first kind of stamps available.

There are three pieces that make up a wood stamp; the red rubber that the stamp design is on, the foam and the wood block. The foam helps give a nice even stamped image and often the wood blocks are contoured to make it easier to hold the block as your stamping.

Now before I move on to the other kinds of stamps I want to briefly mention clear stamps as clear stamps are still readily available, however Stampin’ Up! no longer carries them.

Clear stamps still use the red rubber for the stamp images/phrases and have the foam cushion like wood stamps, but they don’t have their own block. For these stamps you need separate acrylic blocks that you would stick your stamp to when stamping and then peel off when finished. The acrylic blocks are often also contoured to make stamping easier, depending on where you get yours.

The one downfall with clear stamps is that when you stick the image sticker to the back of the stamp so you can “see” what you’re stamping they sometimes do not stick to the acrylic block for very long.

Rubber stamps

Cling stamps are new on the scene! Stampin’ Up! just launched them earlier this year. They’re very similar to the wood and clear stamps in that they have the foam cushion like wood stamps and you use acrylic blocks like with clear stamps. The bonus of cling stamps is that once you’ve attached the sticker image to the back of your stamp they stick to your acrylic blocks much better than clear stamps do.

*For those with a latex allergy the above stamps may not be your best bet.*

The other option with stamps is photopolymer. Similarly to clear and cling stamps you would use a separate acrylic block when you’re stamping and then you simply peel it off when you’re done. With this combination of photopolymer stamp and acrylic block you’re able to see through which makes it easier to line up your images and phrases and, heaven forbid you make a mistake, you can stamp over an image that maybe didn’t quite come out as clearly as you would have liked.

Photopolymer stamps

There isn’t a foam cushion like with the other kinds of stamps, so you may want to have a piece of foam (which you can easily find at your local dollar or craft store) or a paper piercing pad underneath when you’re stamping.

Photopolymer stamps are only available through Stampin’ Up! with your Paper Pumpkin subscription, but they are still available elsewhere.

I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions as I’m happy to help!


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