Sunday, 1 October 2017

Clear Mount, Wood, Photopolymer What's the Stampin' Difference?

I wondered this when I first became immersed in the world of stamping. So I thought I'd write a quick little post to explain. I've called on the Stampin' Up! official word from my online store for these descriptions and images so all credit goes to Stampin' Up! I've just put it into my own format.


Our classic rubber stamps offer detailed stamping in two different options: clear-mount and wood-mount.

With clear-mount, you can position stamps on clear blocks when you stamp, and then remove for space-saving storage. Plus, several stamps can be placed on a single block for more creative combinations.

Each wood-mount set comes with a set of beautiful farmed maple wood blocks—one block for each stamp. You can then mount the stamps yourself. Each stamp has a sticker which you can place on the other side of the block so that you know you are getting your positioning right (be sure to put your stickers the right way up - I didn't once and well you can imagine how many upside down images I stamped as a result).

I find that wooden mounted stamps are quite clumsy to store and often I feel like I'm playing tetris trying to fit some of the larger sets back into the box. Another downside I've found is that ink stains the wood whereas it wipes off acrylic blocks. So my wooden sets are a bit more messy than my other sets. Not that I care, crafting and mess go together well in my world.

On the upside though you don't have to find mounts for them, they're ready to go. You don't need to buy mounts for them if you don't want to. Also you know if you've dropped one, even a small block can make a clatter unlike an unmounted stamp.


Our photopolymer stamps offer precision alignment for alphabet, border, and large-text stamps. Like clear-mount, you can create your own stamping combinations by placing several stamps on a single block. Plus, photopolymer stamps are bendable, giving you even more creative possibilities!

Upsides for me are definitely ease of storage and flexibility. But sometimes that flexibility can cause me problems with longer straight stamps as I can struggle to get them perfectly straight on a block. Not sure others have this problem but I do.

They can be used with a stamping platform (as can rubber stamps which have not been wood mounted).

They can stain pretty badly especially when used with inks with red pigments in them but that staining does not cause any colour bleeds or mishaps as long as the stamp is cleaned properly after use. Another downside is that they can be very easy to lose so always check them in and out of your stamp sets. It's always your favourite that goes astray!

I really do love the way it's so easy to align these stamps as you can see exactly where you want the image to go.


Our variety of clear-mount blocks offer you all the sizes you need. Made from high-quality, sturdy acrylic, these blocks give you the versatility to stamp one image or to create a collage of images or words to meet your creativity needs. Each block is etched with a letter for easy identification and all four sides of the block are grooved, making it easy to grip as you stamp.

There is no need if you are on a tight budget to rush out and buy every block although have a good few is handy. The Stampin' Up! blocks are really fab and great value for money which you will appreciate once you buy one. I'd recommend having four in your stash, a really small one for titchy stamps, a long thin one for edging, a large one and a medium sized one.  You can always double up and build up your collection as you go along.

You can also ink up the block and stamp onto paper and cardstock to create interesting backgrounds and you can use markers to ink up your stamps for multi-coloured stamping or partial stamping.

Hope you found this useful.

Andrea x

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