CB21-047 - how to use cling stamps (Acrylic block optional)

How to use cling stamps (Acrylic block optional)

Cling stamps (or clear stamps) are highly effective, clear, photopolymer stamps for crafting use. They’re popular for the fact that they attach to transparent blocks so you can get precise stamp placement. They also offer a more precise stamp process.

Using cling stamps is as easy as peeling off the backing and placing the stamp on an acrylic stamp block. Next, add ink to your stamp and line up your stamp with your stamping area by looking through the acrylic block. Remove your stamp from the block, clean it, and store the stamp on the backing when you’re done with it.

Cling stamps are unique in that they require some assembly before use. 

Keep reading to learn, step by step, how to use cling stamps and assemble them. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions, including how to clean cling stamps.

This article may contain affiliate links which pay a commission and support this blog. Thank you for your support!

What Exactly Are Cling Stamps?

Cling stamps can be made from photopolymer or acrylic material. They are unique ink stamps in that you can interchange stamps and only have to own one or two blocks. They’re also called cling foam-mounted stamps. 

Note that “clear” stamps are made from plastic of photopolymer material. In contrast, “cling” stamps are made from rubber, and they have a foam backing.

 Both kinds of “cling” stamps are transparent, making them easier to apply exactly where you want them.

How Do Photopolymer Stamps Work?

Photopolymer stamps are suited for transferring ink more effectively than acrylic stamps. They are slightly sticky, meaning the ink sticks to the surface better. Most users say that this facilitates more precise stamping. 

Photopolymer stamps are high-quality and arguably better than traditional rubber stamps. This material is more rigid and heavier than other types of stamps. 

How to Assemble and Use Cling Stamps

Before you can ink and use cling stamps, you have to attach them to their blocks. You’ll need one transparent acrylic block and one photopolymer or acrylic cling stamp. 

1. Remove the Backing from the Cling Stamp

Each clear stamp comes packaged and attached to a plastic backing. Make sure to choose a block that is a bit larger than your stamp. This will help you to get a more even stamp application. Similar to peeling off a sticker, peel your stamp off of its backing. 

2. Assemble the Stamp on the Block

Next, adhere the sticky back of the stamp to the clear acrylic stamp block. The stamp is already sticky, so all you have to do is apply it to the block. Make sure to do this quickly so that the adhesive doesn’t dry out or become ineffective. 

It’s also important to clean off the block before sticking the stamp on it. Rubbing alcohol works well to remove any dirt or oil so that the stamp will stick better. 

If your acrylic block has gridlines, align the stamp along them. Otherwise, press firmly down and let the two adhere to each other. 

3. Apply Ink to the Stamp

The next step is to “ink” your cling stamp. Rather than pressing the stamp down into the inkpad, most people press the inkpad down onto the stamp. 

You will get a more even application by rubbing the ink across the stamp while it’s sitting flat. It will also help to prevent ink from getting on the block, which could mess up the stamp application.

If you accidentally get ink on the block, you may want to gently wipe it off with a wet rag or paper towel. 

4. Line Up the Stamp and Apply

Line up your cling stamp where you want the design to go on your paper. Use both hands, holding the sides of the block while you press down for a few seconds. Remove the stamp and set to the side to clean.

How to Remove Cling Stamps from an Acrylic Block

Note that cling stamps are removable. After you clean the ink off of the stamp, you can peel off the clear stamp. Then, store it on its backing. This way, you can interchange different cling stamps to get multiple uses out of one block. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean cling stamps?

Some of your cleaning options for cling stamps include:

  • Store-bought baby wipes
  • Stamp scrubber pads from the craft store
  • Re:Marks cleaning solution

If you’re using a liquid or spray cleaner, put it on a paper towel or old rag. You can use the rag, wipe, or paper towel to wipe away the ink. 

Note that if you’re using permanent stamp ink, you’ll need a permanent ink cleaning solution. Archival Ink Cleaner is a good option. You can also make your own solution of water and baking soda. Make a paste out of these two ingredients and gently scrub the ink off of the stamp and block. 

How do you make cling stamps sticky again?

You can clean cling stamps in a bowl of warm soapy water. Many times, surfaces that adhere or clean aren’t as sticky if they have dirt or oil covering the adhesive. A good cleaning will often help make cling stamps sticky again. 

Since cling stamps rely on stickiness to adhere to their blocks, it’s important to maintain the adhesive. One way to do so is to make sure they’re completely dry before storing them. 

The same is true when it comes to your clear stamping block. If it has buildup of oil from your hands or dust, the stamps are less likely to cling to it.

Why are my cling stamps turning yellow?

Clear/cling stamps, especially older ones, can start to yellow when exposed to UV light over time. The older they get, the more likely they are to yellow, as well. If you want clear stamps that won’t yellow, you can buy some made of non-yellowing resin. 

This color doesn’t really affect your ability to use them. They just might not be as transparent and easy to see through when stamping with them. 

How long do cling stamps last?

Clean stamps can last for several years if you clean and maintain them. They last much longer than traditional rubber stamps. Make sure to store them properly and clean them with gentle chemicals for best results.

How do you store clear/cling stamps?

The best way to store cling stamps is to keep them in a dark place. UV light, sunlight, and fluorescent light all cause discoloration and drying of these stamps. Store them on polyethylene or polypropylene plastic surfaces. Further, do not store them on surfaces made from acetate, cellulose acetate, vinyl, or PVC plastics.

Can you use cling/clear stamps without the acrylic block?

You can find effective alternatives to acrylic blocks that still provide firmness to make cling stamps work. Good options include the head of your ink box (as long as you clean it first). You can also try using a clean and unused DVD or CD case. These alternatives provide a firm surface that the cling can adhere to easily. 

Technically, you can also use cling/clear stamps without any block, too. The application process won’t be as sturdy or even, and it will require more attention to detail. If you use this process, don’t do it too often, as it can dry out and mess up the adhesive on the stamps.

Summary: How to use cling stamps

Cling/clear stamps are a unique type of ink stamp that you can use interchangeably on a block. They’re transparent nature allows for easy and precise application onto paper surfaces. Using them requires a small amount of assembly when mounting them onto their block. They also require thorough yet gentle cleaning after each use to make them last as long as possible. 

Follow our tips for storage and cleaning to keep your cling stamps from yellowing, drying out, or becoming less sticky.