Many of you have seen my "Wood Mounts & Clear Mounts & Stamps Oh My!" videos 1 – 3 showing my technique for converting wood mount stamps to clear mount and I promised a picture tutorial as well. Here it is, I hope you enjoy it. (The videos can be found by scrolling down to the 02/07/2010 post entitled; "If you are thinking of converting from wood mount to clear mount, check this out!")
The vinyl I'm using is simply 0.008 (AKA 8 mil or 8 gauge) clear vinyl I purchased from a fabric store. Other supplies are stamps, StazOn Jet Black ink pad (item #101406), Tombow Mono Multi liquid glue (item #110755), pencil or pen, tissue paper and scratch paper. A few other supplies are listed below as they are needed when we work with a tiny stamp and when we remove an already mounted stamp from it's wood block.
Converting an unmounted stamp
Tape tissue paper to a piece of scratch paper. This step is just to keep the tissue from moving around while you work. Taking a stamp that has not been previously mounted; ink it using black StazOn and stamp and hold onto tissue paper – DO NOT MOVE THAT STAMP!
Place a small amount of Tombow Mono Multi on your finger and gently apply a thin, even coat to the entire stamped image extending outside the traced lines. Set aside until glue has dried clear and tacky.
Lay small piece of vinyl over the dried Tombow Mono and smooth it onto the tissue.
Firmly rub over the vinyl to securely adhere it to the tissue.
Trim out the image cutting along traced pencil lines. This is now your indexing label.
Align and attach tissue side of your indexing label to cushion side of the stamp and press together.
Rub over indexing label to firmly adhere it onto the stamp.
Buff with cloth or paper towel to remove fingerprints. You have successfully created a clear mount stamp!
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The first picture above shows how a symmetrical stamp can be difficult to convert because both the stamp and the indexing label are the same shape. How can you tell if you're getting the circle image correctly aligned onto the back of the circle stamp? We solve this problem by changing the stamp so it is no longer symmetrical. Look closely at the border of your stamp to find an area of excess rubber that is not part of the image. Using your Craft & Rubber Scissors (item #103179), snip a small notch out of that area. It now looks like the picture on the right. Repeat the steps as before; stamp onto tissue and trace around the stamp including the notch you cut, apply Tombow Mono Multi, allow to dry till it's clear and tacky, attach vinyl, cut out along traced pencil lines.
Your stamp and indexing label will look like the picture on the left. Remove the backing from the stamp to expose the adhesive, align the indexing label to the stamp using the notch as your reference point and smooth together. Now you will have them perfectly aligned!
What if you have a symmetrical stamp that doesn't have a border of excess rubber that you can notch? The way to handle this is to (A) look at the stamp to find a part of the image design located close to the edge that you will remember. (B) Draw a line with a permanent marker on the edge of the cushion adjacent to that part of the image. (C) Now, on your finished indexing label (vinyl covered tissue) find that same part of the image design. (D) Align that part of the indexing label with the mark you made on the cushion. Perfect!
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Tiny stamps and long, narrow stamps
Tiny or long narrow stamps can sometimes be difficult and fold over or tip over when you're working with them. Here's how we overcome that. Same as before; stamp onto tissue paper using StazOn and trace around your stamp. Apply the Tombow Mono Multi and set aside to dry until clear and tacky. Here's the different part: we need a small piece of Parchment Paper. If you're not familiar with it, Parchment Paper is used for baking and is typically found near the wax paper and plastic wrap in the grocery store. Use it the next time you bake cookies and you'll love it! The reason we're using it here is that Parchment Paper will act the same way as the backing sheet on our unmounted stamps. Later, when you need to remove it from the tissue, it will separate easily and not tear the tissue. It has a slight texture on one side; apply the textured side over the dried tacky Tombow Mono Multi and press it down. After you have smoothed the parchment and tissue together, trim out your image along the traced pencil lines.
Carefully begin to separate the parchment from the tissue and fold it over exposing a small portion of the tissue. Be careful as the tissue can try to curl at this point and you don't want that. Place the exposed sticky part of the tissue onto your vinyl and slowly remove the rest of the parchment, smoothing the tissue as you go.
Turn it over so the vinyl side is up and firmly rub to secure the vinyl to the tissue. Now trim the vinyl leaving a 1/8" or larger border on all sides. This gives the stamp more support when clinging onto your clear block, making it more stable and helping to prevent it from tipping over. Next is a picture of a long narrow stem stamp that I gave a wider vinyl border. It is now very stable. The glare is light reflecting off the vinyl. Yes, it's really a stamp and not a worm!
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Converting a stamp that has already been mounted onto a wood block
Begin by placing your wood mounted stamp in the microwave. Note: Each microwave oven is different, so your time may vary from mine. Microwave on high for 8 – 10 seconds. Carefully peel rubber stamp with cushion intact from the wood block. Most of the adhesive will remain on the wood block, so your stamp isn't very sticky at this point. As before, use StazOn ink to stamp onto tissue paper and trace around your stamp. Apply Tombow Mono Multi to the tissue and set aside to dry. Here's what's different this time; apply a thin, even coat of Tombow Mono Multi to the cushion side of your stamp and set aside to dry until clear and tacky. When the Tombow Mono Multi is clear and tacky, attach the tissue to the vinyl, firmly adhere and trim out as before to create your indexing label. Align and attach the tissue side of your indexing label to the tacky cushion of your stamp and rub to firmly adhere together. Now you have successfully converted a wood mount stamp to a clear mount stamp! (If you haven't seen the videos, you can find them by scrolling down to the 02/07/2010 post entitled; "If you are thinking of converting from wood mount to clear mount, check this out!")