Stamping 101 Terms: “Stamp Off” or “Generation Stamping”


A card front using generation stamping–only two ink colors were used.

In my last post, I used the phrase “stamp off“. These are words we in the stamping world use often and assume everyone else knows what we mean. Just to clear things up, I’ll explain it to you.

To “stamp off“, or “stamping off“, is simply to remove ink from the stamp by stamping once or more before stamping onto your final project. It literally is a shortening of the phrase “to stamp a layer of ink off the stamp.” See why we just say “stamp off“? Some people also use the phrase “generation stamping“. The first generation of stamping is using full strength ink. Second generation is when you stamp off one layer of ink on scrap paper and then stamp the second layer of ink on your project. Third generation is when you stamp twice on scrap paper and use the third layer of ink on your project. With a good quality ink, you might even be able to stamp five or six generations of your image before running out of ink. All of the stamping is done without re-inking the stamp.


I used Rose Red ink on this stamp from the Flower Shop stamp set and stamped four times without re-inking the stamp. See how I get different shades? This is why I recommend getting darker colors of ink before buying the lighter colors. You can always stamp off a layer or two of ink to get lighter colors, but it is close to impossible to get a light ink to stamp darker.

Stampin’ Up! Classic inks are great for this technique. If you don’t use Stampin’ Up! inks, test your ink before stamping on your project, because not all inks give good results like the Stampin’ Up! ink does. I am not just saying that because I now sell Stampin’ Up! I would have told you the same thing before I became a demonstrator.


You can also use generation stamping as a design technique on your card. I used Garden Green on the fern stamp from Butterfly Basics. I stamped the image off-center, then stamped five more times at different angles to make a cluster of fern leaves.

I punched out the red and pink flowers with the Pansy Punch and made a little card front design. I’ll make it into a card later by adding a sentiment and gluing it to a card base.

Materials and Tools:

  • Stampin’ Up! Classic ink pad
    • Rose Red Classic ink ( 126954 )
    • Garden Green Classic ink ( 126973 )
  • Stamps:
  • Whisper White cardstock ( 100730 )
  • Acrylic Blocks C (118486 ) and I ( 118488 )
  • Pansy Punch ( 130698 )

As always, I appreciate any orders placed at my Stampin’ Up! store. All of the product numbers above will take you directly to my online store. Your order will be shipped directly to your home. You must live in the United States to shop at my store.

Stamped imgaes © 1990-2018 Stampin’ Up!®     Photograph images © 2018 Sara Eby