There are so many benefits to clear stamps that it's no wonder they are the most popular type of craft rubber stamp we sell. They are clear, so you can see exactly where your stamped image will end up, they are compact, so they don't use up much space and are easy to store, and they are great value for money (most sets include 10+ stamps and cost only a little more than a single wood mounted rubber stamp). Clear stamps are also extremely versatile, giving you some amazing options for arranging designs and letting your creativity go wild... [[image:p4107i|center|A example set of 15 clear stamps]] ==What You Will Need [[image:p4138t|right|Choose a colour...]] Before you can start using clear stamps, there are a couple of things you need... * An [[acrylic block]]. This will be the handle that you hold when using your stamps. It acts like the wooden block in traditional rubber stamps. You will only need one single acrylic block though, regardless of how many clear stamps you have. The [[p1030|Medium sized block]] is the most popular. * An [[s91|ink pad]] or 2. The more colours you have, the more options you will have. We often recommend the [[s351|Brilliance Dew Drops]] range, as they are small, compact, great value for money and come in an amazing selection of colours. * [[s184|A clear stamp]]! ==How Do You Use Clear Stamps? They are dead easy to use. Almost all clear stamps are supplied stuck to a thin plastic sheet. When you want to use one of them it is simply a case of peeling it off the sheet and sticking it onto the back of your acrylic block. Like magic, it will just stick to the block. {{ image:p15_a.jpg image:p15_b.jpg }} You can then apply ink to the stamp and use it exactly like a normal rubber stamp. Once you have finished, simple peel it off the block again, give it a quick clean in water and put it back on the plastic sheet, ready for next time. {{ image:p15_c.jpg image:p15_d.jpg }} ==Don't Forget They Are Clear... As their name suggests, clear stamps are clear, so you can see through them. One of the main benefits of this is that you can see what you are doing. There is nothing worse than trying to guess where to stamp that last extra flower, only to discover that it has ended up in the wrong place and ruined your card. For example, let's add to the picture of the cat that we stamped in the previous section. We have a stamp of a little Christmas Tree and thought it would be kind of fun to put this into the little cat's paw. To do something like this without being able to see through the design would be really hard and essentially come down to trial and error. Luckily we can see through the clear stamp though, so it is easy... {{ image:p15_i.jpg image:p15_j.jpg }} We just peel the Christmas tree of the backing sheet and put it onto our acrylic block, like before. When it is time to stamp the image onto the card, look through the acrylic block and position the trunk of the tree over the paw of the cat. Press down firmly and the image is complete. Once again, we can remove the Christmas tree clear stamp from the block, clean it, and return it to the back sheet, ready for another day. {{ image:p15_f.jpg image:p15_g.jpg image:p15_h.jpg }} ==Building Your Own Messages [[image:p1272i|right|Mix and match all these separate words to create your own messages]] If you use a larger block, you can arrange several clear stamps together on the block at the same time. There are several sets of clear stamps that have been designed with this technique in mind, including a great selection of wording and alphabet stamp sets. The wording ones are especially popular, as you can quickly and easily prepare your own special messages from the set of words available. [[image:p31_g.jpg|left|One of the Twinkling Faries]] Once you get going, you will discover all kinds of creative possibilities. If you would like to find out more, there are a few projects that make use of clear stamps that you can try, that will give you even more ideas, such as [[Twinkling Fairy Cards]] and [[Stunning Snowflakes]]. The complete list of project ideas can be seen [[/articles/tagged/project-ideas here...]] Don't forget to have a look at all the [[s184|different clear stamps sets]] that you can get now, as there is such a fantastic range it will keep you busy for ages.