Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Answers to Unmounting Rubber Stamp Questions

Here are some answers to questions about my "Goal to Unmount ALL My Stamps"

The Bloghore asked me (sorry I don't know her real name):

"So are you just pulling the rubber off the wood or are you using something to loosen them? Are you keeping the wooden blocks or tossing them?"

The majority of my stamps are wood mounted - various vendors but mostly Stampin' Up! So YES I'm peeling the rubber off the wood mounted ones and mounting them on EZ-MOUNT. Sometimes the rubber doesn't want to come off the foam so I start it a little bit with my hot knife and then I can grip it and pull it away easily. BUT BE CAREFUL!! If you pull too hard you may accidentally RIP your rubber!

There's not much I can do with the old wood blocks that have the foam still stuck to it - so I'm tossing them.

Some of my stamp sets have never been mounted so I'm trimming them and adding just the CLING VINYL to them (since the adhesive and foam are still new). The sticker sheets that come with them, I'm tucking into the CD cases as a reference. I'm saving the pristine blocks that come with the new stamp sets. I'm not sure what to do with the blocks or the snap cases that they come in but I'll think of something!

"Where do you get your Ez-Mount and Cling Vinyl? AND what's the difference?"

I buy both my Ez-Mount and Cling Vinyl from Old Island Stamp Company, here in BC. Although there are many vendors (online and retail) that sell Ez-Mount I've found that Old Island is the only place that sells both.

Ez-Mount is cushion foam with adhesive on one side and a cling surface on the other. This is perfect for mounting "just rubber" stamps like Bellas or old rubber that you've peeled off the wood blocks.

Cling Vinyl is just that - a static cling vinyl. Before Ez-Mount you had to buy cushion foam and the cling vinyl separately. The cushion foam had ahesive on both sides and you mounted your rubber on one side and then the cling vinyl on the other.

Most vendors have switched to the 1 part Ez-Mount system rather than the old 2 part system. HOWEVER, cling vinyl is PERFECT for new unmounted stamps that already have foam and adhesive like stamps from Stampin' Up! It's also 1/5 the cost of Ez-Mount! You just peel off the paper backing from the adhesive and attach the cling vinyl to it. Then trim and it's ready to use with your acrylic blocks.

"That's a LOT of trimming and cutting. Do you have any TIPS?"

YES! I do one sheet of Ez-Mount at a time. I've found that 4 to 5 stamp sets will fit on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of Ez-mount. I lay all the rubber on the sheet and then trim it all at once. I used to trim it all out with my rubber snips and just kept them clean with Goo Gone. They do get VERY gummy and sticky cutting through all that foam and adhesive. BUT then I saw this video and now cutting is a breeze with my hot knife! Using the hot knife also allows me to cut very close to the rubber whereas before with the rubber snips I couldn't cut rounded edges without cutting away foam from under the rubber.

"How are you storing your unmounted stamps?"

There are many ways to store your unmounted rubber stamps. I use a combination of storage systems.

1. For LARGE stamps I use sturdy plastic binder sheets in a binder. I stamp the image on the plastic sheet using Stazon for reference but also so I can easily see where the stamps go and what stamp is missing when in use.

2. For smaller stamps or stamp sets I use empty CD Jewel cases.

If I can, I peel off the label sticker and stick that on the front of the CD case.

I also make a DYMO label for the top of the CD so I can see it in the storage box.

I can fit 28 CD jewel cases in the new Martha Stewart CD storage boxes and I keep those on my bookshelves. They fit in beautifully!

I'm still in the process of unmounting but my plan is to make a reference sheet/booklet for each storage box and try to store by theme. Using the CD cases in the storage boxes has many advantages - the biggest one being space and aesthetics. They look really nice on the bookshelves! The second advantage is that no one can see how many stamps I really have! You would not believe how many comments I get when people see all the stamp cases on the shelves in my Den/Stamp room.

TIPS for working with Unmounted Rubber Stamps:

  • One of the downsides of working with unmounted rubber is that you don't get that nice image sticker on the top of the stamp like you do with wood blocks. I recommend that you stamp your image on scratch paper before committing it to your project. There have been a few times when I've almost stamped an image/greeting UPSIDE DOWN!

  • To help me know what's in the CD case I'm stamping a reference insert for each CD case.

I've cut cardstock/computer paper to the size of the case

and then I ink the stamps without taking them out of the CD case

I then press the precut cardstock piece over the inked stamps to get an exact image sheet.

Now I know which stamps go in which cases and I can easily tell if something's missing.

Please note that I only do this for stamps that have already been mounted and whose stickers are stuck to the wood blocks or for stamps that come as unmounted rubber.

Brand new Stampin' Up! stamp sets have a sticker sheet which I'm including in the CD Case for reference.

If you have any other questions just leave me a comment and I'll try and answer them in another post!


  1. Hi,

    Please don't throw the wood, I will gladly take it,,, would postage paid cover it or what would you like. Leaflizard

  2. That's a lot of good info. Thanks for the pics too.

  3. Nice summary of all the questions I have had about switching to unmounted and the difference between ez mount and cling vinyl! Maybe I'll just transition from now on, rather than retrospectively in my collection. Thanks for taking the time to explain this :)

  4. If you pop your stamps in the microwave for 10 seconds the rubber should come off easily - no foam bits left - but there may be some sticky residue. This works for if you've mounted a stamp crooked or upside down too! Some larger stamps may take more time but do it in 10 second intervals so the rubber and wood doesn't get too hot.

  5. Thanks Marie! Very helpful...btw, I'm the bloghore but I changed my signature - my name irl is Kathy. Thanks again.