Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Product review: photopolymer stamps


Time is running out to get your hands on the first photopolymer stamps from Stampin’ Up!® You have until the end of the month to get one of these sets free with a £60 order. Above is a set of three cards I made with one of the free sets, Show & Tell 1. 

If you can’t earn a free set this month, the good news is that photopolymer will be back (in different designs) in the forthcoming Annual Catalogue, which comes out in July. 

I’d never used photopolymer (or any clear stamps) before but I have now had the opportunity to try them and can report back with my findings:

Sticking to the block
You will not have any trouble with these babies falling off the block, even the very smallest stamps. 
They stick to the block like an octopus’ tentacle on the side of a fish tank. 


Positioning
They are fully clear for ease of positioning. That said, I did struggle to create a perfect pattern of hexagons using the “hello” stamp, but I am sure I’d have managed it if I’d had more patience. 


Stamping three rows of arrows (the stamp creates one row; I stamped it three times) on the Thank U card was really easy. 


Same with stamping the arrows around the circle in this You’re Lovely card. They’re not perfect but I literally stamped them in seconds. 

Stamped image
I have to say I was really impressed with the stamped image. Most of the stamps I used were quite detailed (eg, the very fine dots on the flag stamps on the Hello card) and all came out perfectly. The scientists among you may wish to know that my Pool Party and Tangerine Tango ink pads are old-style, while my Baked Brown Sugar is the new firm foam. I got equally good results with both. 

Storage
While the current offering of free stamps come in cello bags, the new range will be packaged in our standard DVD cases, which is great as they’ll match your other sets. They all come on a clear backing sheet printed with the stamp designs, so you can store them in position and see what you have.

Visibility
This could be an issue as they are properly clear and therefore not very visible on a messy crafting surface But they’re not going to fall off the block so, as long as you remember where you put them, you should be ok. One tip I picked up at Regional Training is to keep one of your larger clear blocks on your work area and pop the stamps onto this in between usage. Don’t peel them off the block and leave them lying around or they could go missing very easily. 

Overall I was very impressed. They’ll not replace rubber as they aren’t so hard-wearing or long-lasting but this is reflected in the price and, for borders and alphabets, they are an absolute boon. I can’t wait for the new catalogue!



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