Wednesday, January 11, 2012

!!CAUTION!! Inkadinkado & Autumn Leaves Clear Stamps

First off - I want you to know that I have never and will never lie to you about a product - good or bad. 

I tell it like it is no matter what. I'm not a sheep...I don't play follow the leader just because it's the "in" thing to do. Sometimes this means going against popular opinion ~  my integrity has caused me to be black balled in a fashion with at least one mfg.   Well, this is one of those times where I'm going to be honest which probably won't go over very well with some people.   But hey, like I told one person ~ guess there comes a time in life where you have to decide if you're going to stand up for your principals or go along with the crowd. 

A word of caution for anyone out there that is storing your Clear Stamps on anything but the original packaging....  DON'T!

A few years ago I took all of my packages of clear stamps (100+) and started storing them in 3 ring binders on storage sheets.  Took up TONS less space which I loved but after storing them that way a couple years I have noticed a terrible trend ~ some brands of stamps seems like they are melting into the storage sheets!!!! 

I first noticed it around Thanksgiving - I was going to use a few of their images for some projects BUT I couldn't peel the stamps from the storage sheets!  I actually tore one of the stamps in two during the process.    I didn't have any time to deal with it at the time because of the holidays.

Since the holidays are over I have had some time to go back to see what's going on.  Initially I thought it had something to do with the storage sheets but I discovered that it was only particular brands of stamps that this was happening to  all of the rest of my stamps were fine.

Storing them on their original plastic sheets isn't a good answer either because I have a few sets of Inkadinkado stamps that were stored on their plastic in the package which are the same way.   

The major stamp brands that ARE affected/defective  in my experience are
(my favorites of course!) 

7 Gypsies
Autumn Leaves
Hampton Arts
 Hot Off The Press
 Martha Stewart
 Studio G.

I have contacted the mfg. of several of these stamps Wilton/EK Success (Inkadinkado, Martha Stewart) and was told it was too bad and they weren't going to do anything about it.

I have a call into Hampton Arts (which also makes Studio G) and have yet to hear back from them.

I tried to call Fiskars and the only way you can speak to anyone there is to fill out a very long detailed form on each product in question then they will talk to you.  I'm going to fill it out for each one when I get more time.

The stamp sets not affected are:

Crafty Secrets
 fontwerksHero ArtsPaper Studio

 Stampington & Co
October Afternoon
and several other smaller companies.
I'm sure that it's got to be something in the manufacturing process because the difference between the stamps is obvious when you touch/see them side by side.  The affected stamps are thinner, more rubbery and have a slick feel to them.  The unaffected stamps are thicker, have a "sticky" feel to them and are a bit stiffer. 
I'm very disappointed with Inkadinkado's response - I've spent quite a bit of money with them over the years (50+ sets of stamps) and I feel their response is almost a slap in the face.  I dearly love their designs but I'm not sure I want to sink any more money into a company that treats their loyal customers in that fashion.
  I'm sorry to say I don't have any solutions for this problem, I wish I did.  But I thought you ought to know so you are aware of this situation and can make an informed decision the next time you go to purchase clear stamps.


  1. Fiskars customer service is awesome, I asked about some new foam feet for my stamp press and was sent an entire new stamp press.

  2. Good for you. I like to tell it how it is, too. Amazing how some people get jumpy about it - even when it's nothing to do with them! I'm pleased to see that the Crafty Secrets stamps aren't affected as I love their designs - but they're being discontinued aren't they? Or is someone else going to make them?

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this info, I will definitely be bearing it in mind. I prefer rubber as a rule, but some of the clear designs are just too lovely not to buy!

  3. Well done, you! Tell it like it is - my kind of girl :-) I like to say what I think too. While all acrylic stamps may not be equal and that's certainly true, I've also torn a Stampers Anonymous (TH) stamp from its original backing because I couldn't peel it off. Some acrylics just don't ever stamp well and Fiskars are particularly bad for that and none of my Stampington stamps work well, either. Much, much, MUCH prefer rubber!

  4. I have very few clear stamps. The ones I have are from Hero Arts, but I've never been fond of how they stamp out, not as clear to me as rubber. I do keep them in their original packaging.

  5. I have always considered polymer stamps to be temporary playthings. They certainly do not have the longevity of good old fashioned rubber. Sorry that you are having trouble with yours.
    It pays to buy rubber stamps...they have been around for over a hundred years!

  6. Yay for you Roni! That is just one of the reasons (there are many)I love your blog, I know I can count on you to tell it like it is! Thank you!!

  7. Very interesting findings and thank you for sharing your experiece although it is not a good one at that. I really dislike Lip Service so I say good for you Roni. Of course these companies should be more careful with their Customer Service especially with Social Media now a days could really hurt their business. Word of mouch is very powerful.
    I am not as an experienced Stamper as many of you....I love the affordability of the poymer stamps but I have a few rubber and there definitely is a difference.
    Thank you Roni.

  8. Thanks for the heads up. I store all of my clear stamps in their packaging or in CD cases but I have noticed several sets that yellowed and softened over the ages even when in original packaging. From what I've read online, some of the older stamp sets were made with inferior techniques and/or materials and didn't hold up over time. I've found there to be a big difference in stampability of different stamps as well. Some stamp well, and others are blurry and do not give a good matter how careful I am.

  9. Thank you so much for going to bat on this subject, Roni! Although I have quite a few, I'm not a big fan of the clear stamps. At a technique tuesday workshop we were told that stamps made outside of the USA wouldnt hold up as well as those from the US. Not sure how accurate this is. These days i find myself ordering good old rubber stamps.

  10. Thanks for sharing Roni! Boy just when you think you have a terrific solution! I lamante my own 130 lb card stack and splap my stamps on those. I'm not crazy about the polymer stamps, I think after time they just don't hold up and I have had a lot of problems using Stazon inks on them, they seem to melt the surface just enough to corrupt the image. I am trying to stick with rubber. I had a problem with the spellbinders company. my brand new Grand Calibur machine after using if for less than an hour, I had three of the four large screws come out of the crank Mechinism!! Now I am an experienced sewing machine Mech. so taking this apart and fixing it was pretty simple. But not soemthing I wanted to do on a machine less than an hour old that I paid 125.00 for! I called two customer service people and they said "oh well thats too bad" We'll let somebody know in QC!! The last person that I talked to asked me if there was something else she could do to help me, and I said how about sending me a coupon to compensate for the defective machine I paid 125.00 and had to spend an hour fixing. the one rep told me , oh we couldn't do that it isn't part of our policy. When I purchase another die cutting machine it will not be a spellbinder product! My little rant for the night :) ~Ginny

  11. Interesting- I have put a few of my clear stamps in CD cases, but will stop doing that now. I have alot of many stampers- I am disappointed to hear and appreciate you sharing your observations!

  12. I had a spring break on my Fiskar scissors. I was able to use their 'chat' feature and received replacement springs at no charge to me. If the companies have chat lines, that may be a quicker way to go. Sorry so many of the stamps are causing issues. The companies can't fix the problem if they do not know it exists so it is good for customers to let them know. Sue from Colorado

  13. Great post. Love your honesty and if these companies dont like you for it - thats just too bad. Maybe if they took some responsibilty they could come out of this looking good but with an attitude like that it can only hurt them. I store all my stamps in ring binders, so certainly wont be spending my hard earned cash with these uncaring and greedy companies.

    Thanks again for your honesty - very much appreciated

  14. Hi Roni
    I too have had the same thing with the Inkadinkado stamps, was storing in a cd case and mine "melted" too, I thought the room just got too hot in the summer now I know

  15. Thanks for the info Roni. The timing is so apropo,I was checking out some of my Tim Holtz stamps and noticed some yellowing,fortunately that was the only problem.

  16. Thanks for telling it like it is, Roni! Just wanted to pass along an example of great customer service. I purchased one of the new Sizzix/Hero Arts combination stamp and die sets and one of the stamp labels ("hello") was printed upside down. I contacted Sizzix through the internet and they sent me an entire new set (dies and all) and told me to keep the originals.

  17. Thanks for being so honest Roni, I must say I discovered this awhile back with the clear stamps and the packaging that they come in. I store all of my clear stamps in CD cases bought from Stampin Up now and I have not had a problem.

  18. Thank you for your honesty, Roni. I know I appreciate it. Like some of the others commented, I store my clear stamps in CD cases. I haven't had any problems yet, but I definitely agree that there are differences in the quality. I love the affordability of the clear stamps, but my favorite would have to be the cling rubber stamps. Kind of the best of both worlds. The ones that I have work wonderfully. I have purchased some of the sheets so that I can mount some of my plain rubber stamps. Thank you for the heads up on the Stmapers Best great deal on it. The other companies I looked at were way more expensive. Thank you again, Roni.

  19. I had occasion to contact EK success regarding stamp pads and a MS punch. I was told to return them to the store of purchase even after I had explained that they were purchased in the US after an emergency visit home. They were abrupt and curt to say the least. They get no more money from me, either way.

    I would agree that the product compositions probably have changed since the original clear stamps. Rather than credit people for the millions of dollars they spent, the manufacturers process is to just to deny, deny that a problem existed. Shame on them all!

  20. Thanks for this great post, Roni. Your integrity, as much as your talent, keeps me a huge fan of yours! I store my clear stamps two ways: some on storage sheets in page protectors and some in their original packaging. I have TONS of both clear stamps and unmounted rubber stored this way. I've found clear stamps, both on the storage sheets and in the original packaging, need to be peeled off periodically. The problem is when you have as many stamps as I do, some get left unused for long periods of time. To counter the problem (because I too lost stamps that wouldn't peel off their backing properly), I go through my stamps when I think of it, take them off the sheets or their original backing and put them back on even when I'm not using them. My Autumn Leaves clear stamps have yellowed somewhat, but are still very good. I'm still using those Rohna Ferrar swirls from years ago. I'd say I peel off my clear stamps and put them all back about three times a year. My Anna Griffin stamps were especially problematic, and now I have no problem with them.

  21. Thank you for your report. I also have several from Inkadinkado and Fiskars and have had some stick but figured it was something I've done here (i'm not near as organized as you) but, more than the flaw with the design, I appreciate your report on the response you received. Customer service is something I greatly value---I'm not one of those people who throw fits trying to get something for nothing, but if your product doesn't work as its supposed to, and you have the gaul to say, "Stinks to be you."---you have the last of my $$. I'm taking notes. Hope they realize how many fans you have!!!! 'Cause I'm thinking that just might stink to be them soon. ;)

  22. I applaud you for your honesty. It may cost you--truth is always paid for by someone and the cost is dear. But in the end truth will prevail.

    The word will get out and people will be leary of investing their hard earned dollars on stamps that may be worthless in a couple of years.

    The companies are blowing you off because they fear financial loss--they dare not own up to anything because it would cost them a lot of money to make things right. Hence they will make you look like the problem instead of the stamps.

    For many of these companies the bottom line is the most important thing. Why? Because they do not believe they will answer to a higher power for their wrong doing. But none of us escapes judgement in the end. Payday always comes.

    As well there are some companies that could not afford to make things right--they'd probably go under. These are hard time economically--many businesses are barely surviving.

    Being true to yourself and maintaining your personal integrity is worth it in the long run.

  23. I find that the Clear stamps made in the USA are of a very high quality. On the other hand, the ones made in China are crappy! But USA!!!

  24. I agree with Karen M that the clear stamps made in the USA are the best. While I still prefer red rubber stamps, I will buy clear stamps labeled made in the USA from photopolymer. I tried Inkadinkado clear stamps several years ago and was very disappointed with how they stamped even when new.

  25. I appreciated the tip from Anonymous about about taking the stamps off the storage sheets a few times a year. I have not had any stamps stick like what Roni has experienced, but I will be going through my stamps this weekend to see how they are doing.

    Since so many folks do have and use the clear stamps, I wanted to share another tip about getting better results when stamping with them. Might as well get our money's worth before they stop being useful!

    I have found that the clear stamps that are made out of the USA stamp better when they are conditioned before using them. I take a white art eraser and lightly "erase" the whole stamp surface. I then do a test print to see where the the ink is still beading up and then I erase that section of the stamp until the test prints are solid and not splotchy.

    This process does seem to help my stamping look better and when I am more pleased with the results, I stamp more! It should be noted that different inks have different results with clear stamps too.

    Roni - Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. I hope you'll continue to keep us posted as things unfold.

  26. See, this is why I like your blog so much (I left this comment before when asked what I like best about Ink Stains). I like the unbiased truth about all the "great" and "must-have" products that crafters absolutely positively must buy. Thank you for the heads up.

  27. Good for you.I have kept mine in the original packaging but I prefer rubber any day. I have very few, mostly Hero Arts. A lot of companies have them made in China. The wash out process is toxic and goes down the drains into the water companies system. What this will do to water supplies in the future remains to be seen.

  28. Thanks for the info, Roni. I have found that my cd cases are better on my stamps than my binder sheets used to be, and that my early Technique Tuesday clear stamps have all sugared up and disintegrated, quite nastily. I personally think that, especially with the older stamps made when the clear stamp was novel, there were good batches and bad batches.

  29. Roni -

    Thank you so much for the information. I have several stamps sets from the companies you mentioned that were affected. It really makes you thing twice about purchasing from a company that responds as they did to you.

    Elaine Allen

  30. From the research I've done about storing clear stamps there's a certain kind of plastic that under no circumstances should you put your clear stamps onto...I just can't remember the type of plastic. I use a laminating machine and make my own custom stamp panels and store my stamps in binders from Univenture.

  31. Thanks for letting us know about this issue. I will have to check my stamps as well.

  32. I believe the stamp companies you are having problems with are manufactured overseas and are not made from photopolymer. Photopolymer lasts longer and gives better stamped images than the cheaper stuff from overseas.

    Also, someone mentioned using StazOn on their clear stamps. Don't do it! The solvents in StazOn eat away at the stamps. Especially be sure not to use StazOn cleaner on your clear stamps. If you must use StazOn on clear stamps, clean your stamp right away with clear stamp cleaner.

    As far as stamps melting into the storage panels, I hope this isn't a problem with American made photopolymer stamps. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss!

  33. This post is how I found your blog. I am new stamping as such and recently purchased some clear TH clings. I wasn't very impressed with the stamped image when compared to the rubber.

    I tried several things to "fix" my stamps. Wash first, use sandpaper.

    I just decided to put the clear clings on e-z mount and well to say the least, even the most annoyingly bad stamps are about 90% different in how they stamp. If anyone is interested in before after photos. I'll take some high res photos when I put my second package of clings on e-z mount.

    Anyways, thanks Roni for all your great posts I look forward to learning more.

  34. I am back again....

    So apparently the problem with the clings melting has to do with Acetate in the plastics.

    Acetate is a pretty harmless thing in and of it self, being a major component of Vinegar. But since it's not vinegar it's lacking a proton ie... a hydrogen so it's looking to buddy up with something new. Ok so enough nerdy chemistry stuff.

    I found several links about the melting stamps.

    Scroll to post 10 to see a list of thread about ways to remedy.

    There is also info about a stamp company that actually owned up to the issue.

    So I have so few stamps still but it appears that they all come on acetate and the e z mount I am putting the clear ones on also react with acetate. I like the CD case storage concept to I think I will try a self laminate sheet inside a cd case. I tried to find information about the contents of cd cases but had little luck.



  35. I originally put my clear stamps in CD cases, but ran out of them and decided to keep the rest in their original packages. Instead, I use a Clip It Up to store them and it works much better and saves more space.

    I don't use my clear stamps much but after reading this, I started pulling out the ones in CD cases. All the brands that I have that you list are doing the same thing and also Fancy Pants, which are very expensive sets, you think they would be made better.

    Ones that also do NOT do it are Flourishes, Kitchen Sink, Inky Antics, My Favorite Things, and Verve.

  36. Ugh oh. Your stamp supply reads like mine. Wonder what's in store for mine (I've kept them with their original sheets, but I know what you mean about feeling a difference in quality.)
    Just wondering if you got any results from the mfg since this post?

  37. WHO MAKES THE BEST:Stamps, Stamp Pads, Paper??? Can this company also make permanent inks/ink pads that will stay on glass permanently if coated & sealed????


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!