Craft Product Review: Recycled Rubber Art Stamps by Eco Green Crafts

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Eco Green Crafts have an innovative new product called Recycled Rubber Art Stamps. The novel thing about these stamps is that they are made from 100% recycled rubber yet they have all of the detail and crispness you’d expect from a traditional rubber stamp.

Packages of Classic Ornaments and Embellishing Flourishes Recycled Rubber Art Stamps by Eco Green Crafts

Classic Ornaments are on the left, Embellishing Flourishes on the right. Designs are shown  on the packaging at 75% of full size

From EcoGreenCrafts.com:

Eco-friendly, recycled materials & packaging…

Our stamps are produced using an innovative process that allows us to use recycled rubber…

and

We do not use any hardwoods for stamp mounts. Our self cling stamps come on their own pre-printed storage sheets and attach to any acrylic block for use and easy placement. Some of our latest designs include “Steampunk” collections.

The view of the stamps

Bigger on the inside? You can see the stamps full sized if you look on the back

Unlike most of the foam-mounted rubber stamps on the market, these do not have the full-sized image printed on the foam side. I found this very annoying, but no more annoying than using a wood-mounted stamp as that’s not guaranteed to be in exact alignment with the image so can’t be used as a placement guide. Still I do think it is odd that they are one of the few companies that don’t print the image on the foam. Although the description says the storage sheets are pre-printed (as is common with clear stamps, for example), the two sets that I have did not have any printing on the storage sheet either. There is no way to preview the full sized image in its proper orientation.

Two sets of stamp packaging plus two sets of stamps, one foam side up to display the lack of  printing and one showing the rubber side

As you can see, the foam side is entirely blank, both on the stamp and on the storage sheet.

The rubber is of excellent quality with clear, well-molded lines. I found even the most detailed portions of the Classic Ornaments printed sharply when used with regular stamp ink.

A close up of one of the stamps in the Embellishing Flourishes set

The lines are solid and the rubber is perfectly formed.

You may note that the Embellishing Flourishes set all contain empty circles. These are to be used with the Recycled Glass Glintz, a recycled glass embellishment by Eco Green Crafts. Glintz come in two sizes. However, as I did not have any Glintz available I just colored the circles in with other media or left them blank, depending on the look I wanted.

I gave both collections a try with a variety of papers and stamping media. Please note that any inconsistency in stamping color or smudging was entirely my fault and NOT a result of a flaw in the stamps. I was just having a bit of an off day.

One of each set of stamps stamped using brown ink on cardstock

Using the Eco Green Crafts Paris Trunk Sepia Dye Ink, here is a detail of Embellishing Flourishes (left) and Classic Ornaments (right, regular and ghost image)

A black image stamped on shiny, holographic card stock using Eco Green Craft's Embellishing Flourish and colored in with Copic Markers

I couldn't find plain glossy cardstock so I made do with holographic. The unevenness of ink coverage was my fault. I stamped with Staz-On then colored in the circles with Copic Markers

One of the Classic Ornaments set (a baroque themed set) stamped in black on silver holographic cardstock

The baroque-styled Classic Ornaments also looks crisp and clear when stamped with black Staz-On onto silver holographic glossy cardstock

Gelatos were less successful. They worked well enough with the bolder lines of the Embellishing Flourishes but the fine detail of the Classic Ornaments just blurred beyond recognition. Both stamped on watercolor paper.

The stamp was stamped using dark green; I colored in with dark and light blue gelatos in the circles where the Glintz would be and lighter green on the "stem" areas

Stamped with Dark Green Gelato then colored with three other Gelatos

This is mostly a blue, blurry mess

Predictably, the fine lines and details of the Classic Ornaments set did not work well with this technique

Next I tried stamping with Ranger’s Perfect Medium and then dusting on Perfect Pearls. Good results from both sets when stamping on dark cardstock.

One of the Classic Ornaments stamps done in Perfect Medium with Perfect Pearls, the details are still crisp

The details were crisp and clean with Perfect Medium & Perfect Pearls, even on the more detailed stamps of the Classic Ornaments set

A bold and distinct stamp from the Embellishing Flourishes set stamped and then dusted in shiny gold Perfect Pearls on dark brown cardstock

Perfect Pearls give a wonderfully crisp and clean finish on the Embellishing Flourishes

While I had out the dark cardstock I tried plain metallic ink and coloring in the Glintz circles with Prang metallic markers. Again any stamping problems were my fault.

A teal green metallic stamp with large and small circles colored in with metallic marker

You can use a variety of things to fill the circles: markers, inks, Stickles, Liquid Pearls, almost anything. You can even add tiny paper images and cover them with resin, glaze or Glass Glintz.

A metallic teal swirl in a baroque style on dark brown cardstock

I didn't do the best job of stamping this, but the Classic Ornaments are fantastic in metallic inks on dark cardstock

With their clear lines even in the fine detail, these stamps work well with water soluble markers like Tombow IIs.

Purple printed stamp on two kinds of paper

On watercolor paper (left) and regular cardstock (right)

On the left is a complex baroque design, slightly blurred, on watercolor paper. On the right is a crisper version of the same on regular cardstock

Because the Classic Ornaments have very fine lines you lose a bit of detail on watercolor paper (left) but they look crisp on regular card stock (right)

Finally I tried a slightly watered down acrylic paint. Like the Gelatos, this worked better with the Embellishing Flourishes; it was a failure with the Classic Ornaments.Remember to wash your stamps out immediately if using paint on them.

Two black stamps done in acrylic paint on regular white cardstock

The Embellishing Flourishes (left) did better but there was still some bleeding between the thin lines, the Classic Ornaments (right) just got blurry.

I’m still a very novice papercrafter but I did feel like a wee bit of coloring so I made this ATC using my favorite of the Classic Ornaments:

An ornate baroque mirror ATC with several colors and reflective silver center

I stamped with black Staz-On onto regular card stock, then Glimmer Misted the background. I used Derwent Inktense and Tombow II markers to color in the details and finally filled the center with a shiny silver reflective surface by using Perfect Pearls in a wet application.

In all I did enjoy using the Recycled Rubber Art Stamps from Eco Green Crafts.  The Embellishing Flourishes are more versatile in that they can be used with a wider variety of media but I am a baroque girl at heart so my choice goes to the Classic Ornaments set. I know I will use these a lot!

I did run into a few issues while I was testing. One I have already mentioned, the lack of printing on the top of the foam.  Because my hands have a subtle shake to them at all times, I use a Fiskars Stamp Press almost exclusively with unmounted stamps. Because it has lines every quarter of an inch that helped me at least keep the stamp somewhat straight because I could line up the stamp while putting it on and then use the lines on the Stamp Press as registration marks to guide me to line up the paper in the same way.

You can see the blank back of the stamp clinging to the grid of the Stamp Press

You can compensate a little for the lack of printing by carefully lining up with the grid both when affixing the stamp and when lining up to the paper.

When using the Stamp Press I did not always get good pressure on all parts of the larger images. This will happen with any larger unmounted stamp though and is not a reflection on the Recycled Rubber Art Stamps.

Sometimes I just got lazy, especially when exact placement was not neccessary. Because the backing sheet of these foam mounted stamps is fairly substantial I would just ink up the stamp on the backing sheet and press only that stamp onto the paper.

A hand with blue-stained fingers presses on just one of the stamps on a whole sheet of Recycled Rubber Art Stamps

Blue-stained fingers are optional, of course

I also struggled a little bit with the lack of the full-sized image being available anywhere but the stamp itself. Since the package is printed at 75%, you either need to be able to look at the stamp itself to see the full dimensions or create a sheet of paper with every stamp printed out so you can see how it looks.  I compromised when I realized that I could see the images much better after I’d used black Staz-on on them and not cleaned it off.  Now I can see the reverse of what the stamp will print but at least I can see the full size.

The green Recycled Rubber Art Stamps are easier to see in their full dimensions when inked in black.

Leave the ink on to make it easier to see the images. This is true of most unmounted stamps but particularly ones that do not have a sample sheet printed at full size.

Next we come to the “green” claims of Eco Green Crafts’ Recycled Rubber Art Stamps.  I contacted a representative of the company to verify a few details in their marketing and literature. The stamps are indeed made of 100% recycled rubber, not a blend of recycled and new and all packaging is recycled and recyclable.

Then there is the made in China issue. I asked why all of Eco Green Crafts’ products are made in China while they distribute primarily in North America. Clearly that extra shipping adds to the carbon footprint, right? The answer is that the raw materials are often only available in China (such as the particular variety of dandelion used in their Green Glue) and that they have not been able to find a US manufacturer who can make their products to their environmental standards and their quality requirements. I gathered that this is especially true of the recycled rubber. So while they would like to manufacture products in North America, they are not able to at this time. So all up I’d consider this better than the other stamps made in China, as most commercially available ones are. It’s up to you to decide if the use of recycled materials is more important than the lack of air miles when you are considering locally made rubber stamps, but if it is two sets of stamps that are made in China, Eco Green Crafts’ Recycled Rubber Art Stamps are definitely the greener option.

I do have a small bone to pick with an item on their packaging. They have a logo that reads “Certified Eco-Friendly” however when I asked them they admitted that there isn’t actually any body certifying any standards of Eco-Friendly craft products yet.  What they have are the tests done by a variety of individuals posted on their website. That’s not what I would called “certified” — but that is my inner lawyer talking again and being nitpicky about the terminology. I don’t think they are being deliberately misleading or “greenwashing” but I would prefer they not use that term until such as time as there actually is a certification program that signs off on them.

In the meantime, someone else has added her opinion about the green credentials of the Recycled Rubber Art Stamps; my beautiful assistant jumped in early on to help with the beauty shots:

My cat sat on top of the stamp sets while I was photographing them

Vanna, uhm I mean Pixiebelle, adds some beauty to the beauty shots of the product. She certifies these stamps to be cat-friendly.

My cat's paw points to the green rubber stamps. The rubber is literally tinted green.

Pixiebelle says these are the greenest stamps in my whole studio. And I don't think she just means the color, cats are colorblind after all.

There are currently 11 stamp sets in the Recycled Rubber Art Stamps line, including two Steampunk Accessories sets that I have my eye on. I have to admit that I am pretty cheap, so the suggested retail price of $19.99 is more than I would be willing to pay. Fortunately, they are available for less at a certain online retailed linked below, so please use the Craft Test Dummies affiliates codes if you want to try these out for yourself  – you can give to us while also saving yourself some green. (Non-Americans, please forgive me. I know most of you don’t have green currency but I couldn’t help myself.)

You can also buy them directly from EcoGreenCrafts.com.

My local big box stores are sold out of Grungeboard but once I get some in I am going to make some jewelry with the Classical Ornaments and metallic inks. I also love that several of the stamps are 4 1/4 and 4 1/2 inches so they will be perfect for card making.  What would you do with either of these Recycled Rubber Art Stamp collections?

Disclosure: Samples provided for review

Editor’s Note: if you are interested in other EcoGreen products, please take a look at the other items we’ve reviewed:

If you are considering purchasing these products, please support CTD by using our affiliate links:

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4 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Recycled Rubber Art Stamps by Eco Green Crafts”

  1. Brandi Says:

    Even if you were having an off day they look great!

  2. Juliann Says:

    Thank you, Brandi! :) I did a little creative editing of the photos to hide the worst blotches ;)

  3. Sharon Gullikson Says:

    You are NOT being too picky. Companies shouldn’t make claims that they can’t back up. And so many companies claim to be “green”, or make health claims, etc., I tend not to believe them because there is so much fraud. I loved that your review was SO in depth. I loved it. Keep it up!!!!!

  4. Juliann Says:

    Thanks, Sharon, I will do my best :)

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