Must Have Tools: Alpha Stamps

Must Have Tools: Alpha Stamps

There are some things every scrapbooker needs in their tool box: a decent paper trimmer, a good pair of non-stick scissors, adhesive (you can never have too much), journaling pens or markers, and a clear ruler. (You can see the items I recommend here.)

Then there are the tools that, while not absolutely essential, can be used over and over again, in many different ways.

Today let’s talk about alphabet stamp sets.

While I LOVE alphabet stickers, they have a couple really big drawbacks. You always run out of a letter you want before you’ve used up the set. You will not run into that problem if you have an alphabet stamp set. Nor will you find your stamped letters lying in the bottom of your page protector when you come back to look at your page in a year or two.


A lot of people worry about messing up their titles if they stamp them, and while that is a concern, there are a couple things you can do to alleviate possible problems.

First thing you can do: adjust your attitude. You are stamping. You are making a handmade craft. Imperfection is a wonderful embellishment that shows your humanity.

That’s all well and good, but you still want to make sure your title is readable, right?

If you are using clear stamps, mount each stamp together on a single block. Fiskars (among others) even has blocks that have a gridline on them, which makes lining up your stamps even easier.


If you are using wood mounted stamps, place a ruler along the lower edge of where you are stamping your word. Use the marks on the ruler to evenly space out your letters, and keep the lower edge of the stamp on the edge of the ruler to stamp in a fairly straight line.

Another trick you can keep up your sleeve: use a fine tipped color matched marker to fill in any missing spots. If you don’t have a color matched marker, you can take a very fine tipped paint brush or one of ranger’s fantastixs to pick up color off your ink pad and fill in any empty spots.

Some of my favorite inks to use for stamping are Memento, Archival, and Palette inks in black. Be careful if you use Tim Holtz’ Distress Inks. They are wonderful inks, but they can bead up more than the average dye ink when used on clear stamps. Most pigment inks also work really well, but since they are slower drying, you may smear them.


One of my favorite things to do is to mix alpha letters with stamps, to create a really eclectic, texturally interesting title. Don’t be afraid of stamping! You can do it!

If you are still unsure of your ability to stamp, sign up for my newsletter. I’ve got a free video and .pdf all about common stamping mistakes and how to avoid them for newsletter subscribers.

Looking for more things you can do with alpha stamps? I’ll have more for you later this week!


4 Responses »

  1. This is just wonderful! Well written (no surprise there!) and such a great attitude about the imperfections of stamping. I just might pull some out. I adore the Dancing page. The colors in the tubing layout ore perfect. Uncle Ross- your paper mix is great with the embellishments. I love mixing formal and fun. Totally enjoyed reading!

    • Thanks Valerie! These are some of my favorite recent layouts. The dancing one makes me giggle every time I see it.

    • There are so many fonts out there! I try to keep it simple. I figure if I have reasonable looking basic sans serif and serif styles in a couple of sizes, I’m good to go. I should look and see if the alpha sets I use all the time are still available, and link them up.

What do you think?