Today I made an even better discovery. No pun intended, but Dora the Explorer! No I have not gone mad, I just bought some children's table mats to cut up. There was no choice in design!
The type that are foam based with a plastic picture coating,they are about 1mm thick. Unlike normal thin, craft foam, it can be cut very fine without falling to bits but it is still thick enough to give a good clearance between stamp block and paper. The consistency is just better, stronger, without being tough to cut. It needs to print with the decorated side, the back has a texture.
A lovely man, Mark Wilson, from Toronto, commented on my last blog that he cuts 2mm foam in situ on acetate sheets, just have to weed out the bits and then he's done. I've been trying the method out, and it works really well if you can get your cut settings just right.
It appears that for 2mm foam a force of about 150 with a 60 degree blade pretty much does it.
With this table mat stuff, the same setting can be used - but if you want to put it directly on the acetate and THEN cut it, you will want to make sure the picture side faces up on your mat.
Sadly, this does not produce a good cut
- but you may be able to peel the picture off before cutting. I found on some of mine, it would come off, on others, not. Or you can cut picture side down and that is fine too, you'll just have to stick it to the acetate backing later. The choice is yours.
I don't know if this is the end of my journey into finding the best stamp material on a budget, but it has certainly been an adventure so far!
This is even pretty enough to use as an accent in its own right.....