Friday, June 22, 2007

Tutorial ~ Unmounting Stamps

Wow! My first day blogging and already I have a request for a tutorial. I'm thrilled! I've been asked to show how to unmount stamps for use with an acrylic block. My pleasure.

If you have sets that are currently mounted on wood, the first step is to remove the foam and rubber from the wood block. Most stamps will peel off the block easily, but if the stamp is stubborn, about 5 seconds in the microwave should loosen the glue sufficiently to allow the stamp to come off easily. Be careful when you touch the stamp after microwaving, though; it will be HOT. On very rare occasions, the rubber may separate from the foam ~ if that happens, don't panic! I will tell you how to fix this below.

Once you have removed the stamp from the block, you have a few choices. You can put vinyl cling onto the back of the stamp, or put Tack n Peel onto the block itself. Some people say they have used double sided tape or Aileen's Tack it Over and Over glue as well, although I haven't tried those myself. Vinyl cling (also called Cling Vinyl, or Window Cling, is the most economical alternative, as it can be purchased at most fabric stores.

If you choose vinyl cling, you will often find that the stamp, once removed from the wooden block, is still sticky enough on the back that it will stick to the cling. Simply stick the stamp onto a piece of cling, then cut all the way around. Your stamp can now easily be attached to your acrylic block by pressing it firmly into place. Use and clean as you would any wood-mounted stamp.

With Tack n Peel, you attach it to the block, and the stamp simply sticks in place when you want to use it. If it begins to lose its stick-to-itiveness, gently wash your block in water and allow it to dry. It can be used over and over and over in this fashion.

Have a brand new stamp set that hasn't been mounted yet? Simply trim your stamp as you normally would, remove the paper backing, and you're set to go with any of the methods above.

Did the foam separate from the rubber when you tried to peel it off the block, or did you buy some unmounted stamps that are only rubber with no foam? For these, you will need some E-Z-Mount, which is available online or from any store that sells unmounted stamps. E-Z Mount works exactly like vinyl cling, except that it consists of a layer of foam covered with cling.

The benefits of unmounting? You save TONS of space, since you can store your unmounted stamps in CD cases. The case in this photo contains two full sets of stamps! Also,you can put more than one stamp on your acrylic block at a time (think of spelling out a word with an alphabet set), and you can see exactly where you are stamping without trying to peek under the block.
The photo at left contains over 40 stamp sets in 30 CD cases. The CD holder itself fits easily into my scrapbook tote, making it quick and easy to take my stamps with me when I go to a crop. I was really nervous when I unmounted my first set, but I tried one set for awhile, decided I really unliked it, unmounted all my sets, and never looked back!

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Only today did I find out how much easier it was to use the acrylic blocks. I picked up the smaller ones as they were the only ones left at the rubber room. Do you know if Michaels sells the blocks or anywhere in London? I love your idea of putting them in c.d. cases. What a great way to save space.

Thanks Marla

Colleen McCambridge