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Choosing the best rubber stamp supplies typically depends a great deal on what you are looking to do with your stamps and the types of supplies you may already have. If you are starting from scratch and do not have any rubber stamps or accessories, for example, then your choices will likely be more open than if you already have a collection started. The types of projects you plan to work on will also potentially alter what types of supplies you will need or want. There are also some fairly basic rubber stamp supplies you are likely to need regardless of other factors.
How you go about choosing rubber stamp supplies will likely depend a great deal on what supplies you may already have. If you already have some stamps and ink pads, then you should usually continue to grow your collection with similar materials. On the other hand, if you are just beginning to purchase rubber stamp supplies, then you should consider a few different types of stamps and other supplies.
The rubber stamps themselves, for example, can vary greatly. There are pre-inked stamps that have the stamping surface already coated with ink or include a built-in ink pad. While these can be helpful for some time, since you will not need to buy rubber stamp supplies like ink pads, they are not necessarily as useful as a long-term choice. You will usually want to choose non-inked rubber stamps and can either choose block stamps or stamps that can be used with an acrylic block.
Block stamps are part of a wooden block and are traditional in design; they have been used for many years and are easy to work with. Acrylic stamps, on the other hand, consist of a thin piece of rubber that serves as the stamping surface. This piece is placed onto an acrylic block, staying on through static friction, and then is used like a block stamp. Both require ink pads, but the acrylic stamps are typically easier to store and only a few acrylic blocks are needed to use dozens or hundreds of different rubber stamp surfaces.
Most ink pads are fairly similar and are a worthwhile investment for anyone interested in using stamps frequently. You might consider a few common colors of ink pads such as black, gold, and silver, which should cover most of your needs. As for the designs of the stamps themselves, you should look for stamps that fit specific occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings, as well as more general ones that you can used together for a wide array of purposes.
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