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Following are the best tips for stampers. If you have a good tip you'd like to contribute please email it to me and I will let you know if I use it and, of course,  you will receive the credit.

Recycle Phone Books
Tear off the cover and run an X-Acto knife (a few times) down the side where the pages are glued together (about 1/2 inch from the edge).  This is my combination stamp pad and EP and glitter collector.  My images look better if stamped on top of a stack of paper.  I've used this for many years and haven't found any problems with the ink in the pages getting on my cardstock.  As the pages get soiled just remove them and throw away.  Or - shred them and use on the compost pile. -- Claudia Phillips

Cleaning a Brayer
Usually good ol' clean water or stamp cleaner will clean pigment and dye inks from a brayer. If you've got something sticky on your brayer you can clean it with Goo Gone and then clean THAT off with soap and water. If you've dealing with something hard core like dried on Liquid Appliqué (don't ask me how I know this) you can clean it off with an automotive product called 'brake clean.' It takes elbow work but it works great and doesn't ruin the brayer. -- Christine Cox

  Light Box Idea
At a dollar store, I bought a opaque plastic cutting board; you know, the one that comes with a pair of poultry sissors? One day I placed the cutting board on top of my light box. Then, I sandwiched the template between the cutting board & light box. I then placed my card stock on top of the cutting board. It was sooo cool! I could see the template & didn't have to draw it out on my card stock before hand! -- Taunia Rose

Keep Your Stamp Pads Stable
Cut a 8.5" X 11" piece of no-slip mat (the kind you put in your drawers). Place it on your work area to place your stamp pads.  It will hold the stamp pad in place so you do not have to hold onto the stamp pad.  It will also hold your paper cutter to keep it from moving. --
Suesan Kennard

Cork Backed Ruler
I bought a new metal ruler and it didn't have cork on the back of it. I was using it last night and it kept slipping so I cut a piece of Evo Cork (available from 1/2" narrower and shorter than the ruler and used Goop to glue it on. Now it doesn't slip. -- Christine Cox

Pens for Bleaching
When your blender pens run out of ink, mark them with a piece of tape and use them to dip in bleach for bleaching on card stock. -- T.  in South Dakota
(ed. note: Don't forget that your blender pens are refillable)

Ink Pad Carrying Case
A cassette tape carrying case is just the right size to store ink pads in, upside down of course. -- T.  in South Dakota

Shrink Plastic Guides
Two wonderful guides that I use with shrink plastic:

  • All shrink plastics shrink at different rates. When you buy a new brand (or even color) cut a piece about 2" X 6". Mark the inches off with a regular ink pen and write the brand name on it. After you shrink it down you'll have an exact gauge of how much that particular brand will shrink.

  • Personally I can never remember which hole punch is for earwires (1/8") and which is for eyelets (3/8"). I just made myself a new gauge. I punched a hole with every punch that I have, labeled the sizes with a Sharpie Marker (permanent ink) and then shrunk it down. Now, whenever I want to figure out what size hole I need I just slip the item (eyelet, earwire, whatever) into the holes in my gauge to see which one is the right size.
    -- Christine Cox

Kneaded Eraser
Kneaded erasers are useful for so many things! It is a gray eraser which is usually available at any art store for about 79¢. When it gets dirty you just pull and knead it (hence the name) and it gets clean again (visually anyway).

  • When you stamp with pigment ink on matte cardstock you can erase it off while the ink is still wet. It leaves no trace.

  • If you pour embossing powder on glossy cardstock and then brush a bit off and it leaves a streak, you can erase the streak (before heating the powder only).

  • When you get a little glue on a piece of cardstock just erase it off (I use glue sticks and it works perfectly).  --Christine Cox

Best Embossing Powder Funnel
When using embossing powder, place a couple of flattened round coffee filters on your work table to catch your excess embossing powder when you tap it off your card or artwork.  It is simple to lift the coffee filter and pour the embossing powder back into its original container and the embossing powder will slide right off the coffee filter, leaving no residue.  The filters can be continually reused.  Try really works! --Gayle aka RubberBum

Cigar Box Smells
If you bought yourself a cool cigar box to decorate but hate the smell, just crumple up some newspaper (with print on it, not blank newsprint paper) and put it in the box with the lid on for a few days. It removes the smell! It also works for musty cabinets and flea market finds that might smell a little funky. --Gayle aka RubberBum

Centering Ruler
Make yourself a centering ruler for measuring the exact center between 2 points. I bought a cheap wooden ruler and very carefully and accurately used a Sharpie permanent pen to mark the lines and numbers. I did this opposite where the manufacturer had printed their lines and numbers so now I have a dual purpose ruler. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about. See how the zero is in the middle? --Christine Cox

Ink Pad Handle
Do you hate getting the tips of your fingers inky when you ink up a large stamp? Lose your grip on the pad? Here's the answer! Use the soft loop side of a piece of Velcro to cover one side of a small block of wood. Put two 1-1/2" strips of the hook of the Velcro onto the back of each of your ink pads. When you reach for a pad, slap the handle on it and ink away! --Christine Cox

Your tip?