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Topic: Stamping Letters ON Polymer Clay for Magnets  (Read 3448 times)
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« on: December 09, 2011 01:32:16 AM »

I was thinking of making some personalized magnets as gifts.. I thought it would be quite simple, until I started researching. All I want to do is stamp letters (to make words / quotes) on top of -not pressed into- preferrably baked polymer clay. I've searched different keywords in these threads, searched google, and read quite a list of pages from the "encyclopedia" links on inks that I keep seeing floating around. But I'm honestly still pretty confused and unsure about what the best technique for my project would be.

I was wondering if people would mind giving me their input on things they may have made? I thought I could do it just with acrylic paint, but now I'm not so sure. Which type of stamping method would be best for what I want to do? My ideal project would be to make a whole bunch of the "bases" for the words, and then just stamp on the words whenever I get the idea/request/event for a gift. I'm also looking for a stamping substance that can be glazed over with the gloss and a paint brush.

All I currently have are acrylic paints (Apple Barrel). I don't have any ink pads, or stamps for that matter. I figured I'd ask here before I went out and bought something that could possibly be usesless towards my projects. Tongue Thanks!
Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011 09:09:36 AM »

Most of the info I know is at my polymer clay "encyclopedia," GlassAttic, on the Inks and Lettering page.  But acrylic paint wouldn't usually be used for stamping because it's too thick to create finer stamped lines (broader lines or lines/shapes that didn't need to be sharp at the edges should be okay).
There are some "inks" that are basically acrylics thinned down and heavily pigmented though, and many of the regular stamp pad inks would work as long as they're permanent ones and you let some of them dry thoroughly.  
(Some of those inks are discussed on the Inks and Lettering page, and some on the Paints page.  And stamping in general is discussed on the Stamping page.)

So you might want to ask this question in the board where stamping is discussed since they'd know a lot more about the various kinds of inks (pigment, dye, etc)...just let them know you'd be stamping onto "plastic" or a somewhat smooth surface so they'd know to suggest materials that would work on those surfaces (...although you could use a more porous/rough line of polymer clay like Sculpey if it's weakness wouldn't be a problem** since it's rougher and more porous).  That would be one of the sub-boards under Papercraft, Etc: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=351.0

You could also check out the Gifts page, under the "worry stones," to see if any of those are just stamped without also being impressed and usually darkened with antiquing or backfilling (or highlighted)***.
And the Transfers page has lots of info on doing lettering by transferring inks or toner, etc, onto the clay.

** if you'd be stamping onto thin polymer items, you could just use a thin layer ofSculpey or Sculpey III on top of the stronger clay beneath, or perhaps put a coat of liquid polymer clay on top of the other clay and bake that or use a clear glaze and let dry, then do the stamping on that more receptive surface

*** those are easier ways in many respects, and will still create a different color for the lettering than for the background

Diane B.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011 09:11:11 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011 06:06:45 PM »

Thanks so much for the info! I think I might venture into the ink pad technique for a try. I will definitely re-read that page now that I have a bit more solid idea of what I have in mind. As long as the ink pad ink is fully set (either heat or air dry), will the Sculpey glossy or satin glaze work okay with them? As in, not smearing/fading and then sealing it well?
Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011 10:32:31 AM »

If it's pigment ink or acrylic ink, then it should, I think.  But some inks/pigments could smear if the first time the finish is applied it's kind of scrubbed on, so keep the first layer brief and light (you can even use artists fixative spray first in difficult situations), and you might want to heat any of them just as an extra step. After that coat, the colorant should be protected from more layers, or even scrubbing.
You should really ask this of the stampers though!

Btw though, the "Sculpey" glazes won't give the best results reliably, though the "Studio by Sculpey" ones will (or just buy indoor-gloss Varathane from the hardware store and use that--same thing, much cheaper), or some people like "Future" (now called Pledge with Future Shine):
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011 11:11:17 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011 06:21:43 PM »

Have you thought to try alcohol inks?  I used them on unbaked polymer with translucent with some nice effects, but I bet they would work even better on baked.  Or you could try to do Rub-On's, especially on baked clay.  I have some rub-ons letters that I've used.
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012 07:34:38 PM »

I'm sure you probably has this in mind, maybe for Christmas, so I am getting here a little late with my 2 cents.  At some point or another I was interested in stamping on clay without an impression, and I will tell you the few things I have learned with my experiments.  I have had little success stamping on polymer clay with pigment inks.  Which is a shame to me, because I have an array of them.  I've tried stamping with the ink and applying a clay compatible varnish over.....  This works only about half the time. The other half, the varnish wont dry with regards to the ink underneath it.  I once waited about a week, the varnish was still sticky and that's when I quit using pigment inks.  The best solution I have come up with is to just use acrylic paints, and daub them onto a stamp, making sure you aren't 'dipping' the stamp into the paint, but using the foam as an ink pad itself.  This is what I like doing, because I have a wider variety of colors using paint. 

I also invested in some solvent inks.  Staz On is a popular brand, and there is a nice variety of colors.  They are known for stamping on the unstampable. I only have black and brown, as they are a bit pricey, and I just wanted them to be able to stamp outlines on substances that other inks don't adhere to.  I haven't tried alcohol inks. As far as stamping goes, I would think they would dry too fast to get a good image.  Alcohol in general isn't good for rubber, and it can break certain brands of stamps down pretty quickly. 

Hope this makes sense, and that it helps a bit!   Smiley


« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012 09:41:37 AM »

Once I stamp an image, I use my heat gun and dry the ink a little. That sets the ink so it doesn't smudge following a coat of varnish.

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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012 07:39:01 PM »

I would suggest Staz On stamp pads, as they are permanent and would allow you to glaze over once they are fully dry.
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