Best Way to Get a Sharp, Even Application of Color with a Stamp?

I'm very interested in this topic as I was playing with stamps last night on some spare cookies.  I've seen Marlyn at Montreal Confections routinely using food color markers to make hers look nice and sharp.  Yesterday, I had only one good stamp using painted on gel color slightly thinned with vodka.  I practiced on paper first and I have to say the paper looked much better than the cookie.  I also found that I could not reapply painted on color - I needed to wash the stamp between uses and I only got one sharp stamp from the first application.  I was stamping on royal icing.  It was a bit of a frustrating endeavor.

I actually find I get the cleanest, sharpest imprints by applying the coloring to uninked ink pads (or folded paper towels, folded like a flat mat) and blotting the pad first (so there are no pools of coloring on top). I can get many, many sharp imprints w/o every having to wash the stamp in between, though I may have to re-ink it, usually after every or every other imprint.

 

Also, there's no need to thin the coloring. It will be more runny and more often than not cause the stamp to slip around on the surface of the icing. I use soft-gel (aka liqua-gel) coloring straight up, and simply squeeze it onto the pad, as noted above. But blot the pad before you ink the stamp, or you can get an excess of coloring on the stamp.

 

I have also found that painting or drawing the coloring onto the stamp not only takes more time, but usually yields less crisp results because it is too easy to get the coloring into the low spots on the stamps where it wasn't supposed to be,

 

Hope this helps. I love stamping and could talk about it forever!

Though, all of the above said, there are likely as many ways to stamp a cookie as there are to skin a cat (ugh, bad analogy, but my point is . . . it's usually best to try out a few approaches and settle on one that works best for you.)

I do exactly what you do with the ink pad...it seems to be the quickest method and I can apply as much coloring to the ink pad as I need...I of course do a test imprint prior to stamping the cookie. I LOVE how stamps offer a quick, and cute design with awesome results!
 
Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

I actually find I get the cleanest, sharpest imprints by applying the coloring to uninked ink pads (or folded paper towels, folded like a flat mat) and blotting the pad first (so there are no pools of coloring on top). I can get many, many sharp imprints w/o every having to wash the stamp in between, though I may have to re-ink it, usually after every or every other imprint.

 

Also, there's no need to thin the coloring. It will be more runny and more often than not cause the stamp to slip around on the surface of the icing. I use soft-gel (aka liqua-gel) coloring straight up, and simply squeeze it onto the pad, as noted above. But blot the pad before you ink the stamp, or you can get an excess of coloring on the stamp.

 

I have also found that painting or drawing the coloring onto the stamp not only takes more time, but usually yields less crisp results because it is too easy to get the coloring into the low spots on the stamps where it wasn't supposed to be,

 

Hope this helps. I love stamping and could talk about it forever!

I've been playing around with stamping and bought some awesome stamps. 

 

They are rubber and no backing, so have to be stuck on an acrylic block with spray.

 

When I stamp, I'm having problems though as I'm only getting part of the impression rather than the whole thing. Was my flood icing not liquid enough ? the surface looks pretty level...

I actually use an ink pad and spread the color jell (I have been using the Wilton brand) directly onto the ink pad...it seems to give it a good amount of jell for each stamp impression...of course, prior to stamping the cookie, I do a test stamp on a paper towle to make sure that there isn't too much coloring. Stamps can be SO fun!! Happy Stamping!

Michele - I have a post about rubber-stamping on my site. My link to my ink pad source is in that post. (I use foam vs. felt pads.) Mind you, those ink pads are not food grade per se, so you may want to stick with folding up paper towels (into a thick, flat stack) to create your own pad. Here's my post: http://www.juliausher.com/kitc...d_springtime_cookies

Sunshine-Supernova, Are you finding that you're not making stamp-contact in the middle part of the cookie most of the time? If so, it's quite likely that your topcoat is not level, but that's typical. The icing always tends to dip a little in the middle of a cookie as it dries, unless you dry the icing in a dehydrator.

 

That said, I tend to push down extra hard on the stamp (harder than you would think), especially in the middle of the cookie to make sure the stamp makes contact with the icing there. But be sure your icing is dry all the way through before you do this!

 

Please let me know if this solves your problem.

Thanks Julia!!!!
Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

Michele - I have a post about rubber-stamping on my site. My link to my ink pad source is in that post. (I use foam vs. felt pads.) Mind you, those ink pads are not food grade per se, so you may want to stick with folding up paper towels (into a thick, flat stack) to create your own pad. Here's my post: http://www.juliausher.com/kitc...d_springtime_cookies

I just tried this technique over the last few days but only one of my cookies came out.  For the others, the icing broke from the pressure of the stamp.  When I tried pressing it less hard, large portions of the stamp didn't come out.  I dried my icing overnight - it had at least 16 hours of drying time.  Do you think I need to let it dry longer?  

Originally Posted by Christine Boudreau:

I just tried this technique over the last few days but only one of my cookies came out.  For the others, the icing broke from the pressure of the stamp.  When I tried pressing it less hard, large portions of the stamp didn't come out.  I dried my icing overnight - it had at least 16 hours of drying time.  Do you think I need to let it dry longer?  

No, you don't need to dry it longer if the icing was indeed dry all the way through. Was the underlying icing soft when you broke through? If so, then dry more. But if you dry the cookie too long, the icing can be a little more prone to breaking.

 

I think the issue probably has more to do with how much pressure you're applying and/or how you're inking the stamp, and possibly your icing recipe. It takes a while to get the hang of how much pressure to apply to each stamp, so I always practice on paper a bit with a new stamp before I move directly onto the cookie. I actually press pretty darn hard (on icing that is dry all the way through), and the cracking of icing is minimal (maybe once every 20 or more cookies). You also have to be careful to press all over the surface of the stamp, but more so in the center of the cookie where the icing tends to sink and dry lower, to be sure the stamp makes contact there. Also, be sure you start with a very even application of food coloring to the stamp - I think the best way to ensure this is by inking with an uninked foam pad (just moist with food coloring) versus painting the coloring on the stamp. Hope this helps.

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