Reported by: Julie Campbell
Today, I would like to talk about one of the newest tools that has hit the shelves in the stamping market – the ‘Rock-A-Block’ stamp mounting system by Crafter’s Companion. I decided to purchase these blocks a few weeks ago after becoming frustrated when I was unable to get a nice, crisp stamped image using an acrylic block. I was wasting a lot of time and money, and no matter what technique I tried, my image came out looking like this:
The second image is what resulted after replacing my acrylic block for a Rock-A-Block. I used the same stamp, ink, paper, and stamping surface. I think the result speaks for itself!
You may think that all stamping blocks are the same, but there are quite a few features that make Rock-A-Blocks very innovative. The Rock-A-Blocks come in a package of four.
- Extra large block – measures approx. 6″L x 4″W
- Large block – measures approx. 6″L x 1-1/4″W
- Medium block – measures approx. 4″L x 3″W
- Small block – measures approx. 1-1/2″L x 1″W
As soon as you pick one of these blocks up, you will notice how light they are! I weighed an acrylic block and a Rock-A-Block of the same size, just to give you an idea of what I mean. The acrylic block was 4 oz. & the Rock-A-Block was 1.5 oz.
To help you center your stamp, guidelines are etched vertically and horizontally on the top of the block. The blocks are curved and you’ll notice that there are raised ‘gutters’ on the right and left of the block. These gutters help to eliminate those extra ink marks that sometimes get stamped onto our projects if any ink gets on the surrounding rubber. Only the raised, inked image can touch your paper. (To better understand what I’m trying to explain, you can watch this video.)
To stamp your image, simply place your stamp onto the curved block surface. Any clear stamp or unmounted rubber stamp can work with this stamp system. The stamps will cling and hold tightly in place until you pull them off. Just hold on to the sides of the block and rock the stamped image onto your paper. Make sure you only make one pass. Rocking back and forth will make a blurry, double image. The design of the block helps keep an even pressure so that all of the ink is distributed evenly.
I think this product would be especially helpful for those who have limited wrist movement or hand strength. The block is so light, and the rocking motion eliminates the need to press firmly to get an even stamped image.
I think that Rock-A-Blocks are great tools to add to your stamping collection. I will definitely turn to these when I’m using a detailed image or when I’m stamping onto expensive paper. I’ll still use my straight acrylic blocks when I need a perfectly aligned sentiment or when I use a stamp positioning tool. The Rock-A-Blocks just aren’t as easy to use when it comes to precise placement, and the shape of the block isn’t compatible with tools such as the Stamp-a-ma-jig.
- Kit comes with multiple sizes of blocks and works with almost any size of stamp.
- Blocks are light weight and do not require much pressure when used, making it perfect for those with arthritis or limited strength.
- Blocks make clear, even images – eliminating paper waste.
- “Gutters” help eliminate ink marks outside of your stamped image due to over-inking.
- Rocking motion makes precise stamp placement difficult.
- The shape of the blocks make them incompatible with stamp positioning tools (such as the Stamp-a-ma-jig).
The Rock-A-Blocks stamp mounting system retails for $19.95. I purchased mine from All That Scraps, but it can also be found in the following online stores: Papertrey Ink, the HSN, & Stamping Bella (for you Canadians).
Have you tried the new Rock-a-Blocks? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about them! Leave us a comment and let us know!