How to stamp on cards

Stamping is a well-loved technique in card making and papercrafts and, more recently, the colouring craze has lifted it to new heights! Take a look at our top tips to find out how to stamp on cards like a pro, to create beautiful designs.

Here, you’ll discover…

Stamping is a relatively inexpensive way to craft, and it’s very versatile, plus you don’t need a special machine to create lovely effects.

There are some great designs from leading stamp brands, too – such as Sheena Douglass, Dovecraft, Papermania, Altenew, Lili of the Valley and Stampin’ Up!

On a basic level, card makers use stamps with ink pads to print a main design for their card, or to create backgrounds.

Stamps can also be used for scrapbook pages, certificates, gift wrap, tags and much more!


How to stamp on cards

Once you have added ink to a stamp, hold it with both hands, as level as you can, over a sheet of card or thick paper, then press down firmly.

You can choose to leave the stamped design as an outline, or colour it in, or add glitter accents.

You can print onto white, kraft or coloured card, although lighter shades are easier to use with stamps, as the image can be seen more clearly and will be easier to colour in.

Experiment with stamping in different colours of ink – darker colours are better if you plan to colour in the image, but bright colours make for excellent backgrounds.


Layering stamps

Some stamps are specifically created for layering – using different shades of ink can make beautiful effects, particularly with flowers.

Card by Kay Carley for Papercraft Inspirations

In the example above, the stamps have been used to add the ink in layers but also cut out and attached to the design with sticky foam pads, to create a raised, découpage effect.

Watch our handy tutorial to find out how to use layered stamps.


To create repetitive, faded effects, don’t re-ink the stamp between printing – this is called secondary stamping.


Different types of stamps

Stamps come in different types – a wood-backed stamp is the traditional style but, more recently, clear and unmounted stamps have become more popular with crafters, as these types of stamps take up less storage space.

A clear stamp needs to be mounted onto an acrylic block before inking and stamping. An unmounted rubber stamp will require a foam back and an acrylic block.

You can also try peg stamping, which can make it easier to stamp smaller designs.


Planning on colouring in a stamped design with a wet medium, such as alcohol markers or watercolour paints? Use an archival ink that will not smudge – such as Versamark.

Digital stamps are also very popular – these can be downloaded to your computer, resized in an editing application and printed out at a size to suit your project, again and again.


Heat embossing stamped designs

Give your designs a shiny, raised finish by using the heat embossing technique – it’s recommended to use a slow-drying or pigment ink for this technique.

Print your chosen design in pigment ink, sprinkle embossing powders on top, gently tap away the excess, then heat with a heat tool (available from craft stores).


Partial stamping on cards

Only want to use part of a stamp design on your finished card? There are two simple ways to do this:

1. Use a marker pen to colour in the areas you want, or colour in a design with multiple colours. Use a watercolour marker if you want a watercolour finish, alcohol markers for a permanent print, or embossing pens if you are planning on heat embossing that part of the design afterwards.

2. Add masking tape directly on the stamp – to hide elements you don’t want – or on the card/paper, to block off where you don’t want the stamp to show.


Create a reflection effect with stamps

The reflection image on this gorgeous card has been created by stamping the image onto acetate, turning it upside down then applying it underneath the main image on the card.

Card designed by Becky James for Papercraft Inspirations

This creates an image with broken, blurred lines, which works perfectly for a reflection effect!


More stamping projects

Use our free downloads and step-by-step guide, along with your stamping, colouring, stencilling and embossing skills, to create the beautiful flower jar card designs shown below.

Designed by Kay Carley for Papercraft Inspirations

Keep reading Papercraft Inspirations magazine to see more stamping techniques in action.

Visit our YouTube channel for more handy stamping tutorials, too!

Plus, we’ve got a handy video tutorial to help you master the art of colouring in your stamped designs!

We love to see what you’ve been crafting, so don’t forget to share your projects with us on Facebook and Twitter.