Converting wood mount stamps to clear mount tutorial

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!”) 

 I’m using 0.008 (AKA 8 mil or 8 gauge) clear vinyl.  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

Part 2a    Part 2b     Part 2c
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!

Part 2d   Part 2e   Part 2f   Part 2g
Using a pencil or pen, trace around the entire stamp.  You can now set aside your 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.

Part 2h     Part 2i     Part 2j
Remove and discard the scratch paper.

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.

Part 2k    Part 2l    Part 2m    Part 2n
Remove paper backing from stamp to expose adhesive.

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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Symmetrical Stamps

Part 3k     Part 3l     Part 3la
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.

Part 3m    Part 3n
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!
Part 3r          B  Part 3s

Part 3t          D Part 3u
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

Part 3a  Part 3b  Part 3c  Part 3d
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.

Part 3e   Part 3ea   Part 3f   Part 3g
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.

Part 3h     Part 3j  Stem Stamp
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

Part 3o     Part 3p
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!”)

20 Responses to “Converting wood mount stamps to clear mount tutorial”

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  1. kim says:

    Looks good- the pictures and written description helps a lot.
    Have a good day

  2. Jayne says:

    Thank you. Thank you. A million times, thank you!

  3. Janet Swofford says:

    You are brilliant!!! Thank you so much for making these very instructive videos and pictorials. They are so very helpful! I have not had a chance to play with the clear mount stamps yet, but I am very intrigued. And very excited to see that I can convert all of my wood mounts easily and inexpensively if I like the clear mount as well as I think I will:-)
    I am in Durham and I was very excited to see you were in Raleigh! Do you have classes/stamp camp events? I would be very interested in attending those types of events if you do. My email address is .
    Is there a way to subscribe to your blog and get updates in my email? I’m used to the FeedBlitz updates. Is that an option?
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Inky hugs,

  4. Angie says:

    Do you know what the mil (thickness) is on the vinyl? Great instructions. Thank You!

  5. In the videos used both 0.004 or 4 mil and 0.008 or 8 mil and they both work equally well. The 8 mil is what I use most because the 4 mil will stretch ever so slightly when I’m rubbing it to adhere onto the tissue. However, if that is what you choose to use, it will be fine. Susan ; )

  6. Diane M says:

    Thank you so much for the videos and the information. With about 1500 stamps taking up valuable real estate in my cramped craft room, this is an idea I’m going to take to heart. It would solve my storage problems!!! I have already sent a link to your website to my customers.

  7. Heather in Maine (the way life should be) says:

    I just finished converting the first few sets of many that will be converted. I purchased the vinyl from Susan to ensure I had the correct type (more aggravation to run around checking the “vinyl” at my local stores is indeed vinyl not a plastic). The process was easy and the results great. Thank you for this information and rapid shipment of the vinyl.

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan – thanks so much for the videos. They were so helpful when I began to unmount and convert my stamps to cling mount. It works great and it’s just like SU! cling mount! I’m so excited about all the space I will save :)

  9. Pam Cregeen says:

    I have been looking for ages for a clear mounting system that not only works but looks professional. Thank you so much for your wonderful instructions. I cannot wait to start at last. One question I still have – How can I store the stamps so that they match my existing SU Clear Mount cases?.

  10. Hi Pam! We sell empty cases in packs of 4. These are great and you can get yours by clicking on the “Click Here to Order” button on the top right of this page. The cases are item #119105 and the pack of 4 is only $4.95! Susan ; )

  11. Erin McMilon says:

    Hello Susan – a search on SCS linked me to your blog! I have been overcome by wood mounted sets – I ordered some vinyl sheets from you and can’t wait to receive them. Once I get started, I’ll know how much more to order! I have about 10 years worth of wooden stamps to unmount! Thanks for sharing your ideas! I am going to get busy soon!

  12. Beth R. says:

    I sure hope you get this, I just have got to say a HUGE Thank you !!!!
    I have been using SU stamps on EZ Mount for about 5 years. Now keep in mind I already have 218 sets already on the wood. I LOVE using no wood,however the cost of the EZ Mount just adds to the overall cost of a set and then I have 100’s of wood blocks that just sit here.
    I just tried your technique, I AM THRILLED !!!!! works like a charm without the additonal cost of EZ Mount. FANTASTIC! Can you tell I am excited??
    I only wish I would have found this method before I mounted 186 sets on EZ Mount… have just saved me a ton of $ and I will not miss the sticky icky goo all over my scissors. My next big project will be UNMOUNTING my very favorites from all those blocks. Now that I dont have to spend all that cash I can see a light at the end of my inky tunnel :)
    Thank you a million times !

  13. Thomaseez says:

    I can’t wait to start converting!! I was just wondering can you use the sticker that comes with the set rather than tracing on tissue paper?

  14. Susan Peters says:

    I had thought about doing what you suggest, but didn’t because of the possibility that joining the plastic image sticker directly to the vinyl will cause the glue to break down over time and get gunky. Then the vinyl & sticker would slide apart leaving a mess.
    Check this post for more Q&A about converting stamps – link to

  15. Nancy says:

    I want to thank you for the GREAT tutorial on unmounting wood stamps and converting them to cling stamps. It is the best one I have seen and soooooo affordable!! I have added your blog to my favorites for future reference! Again thank you for sharing your knowledge!!!!

  16. Susan says:

    Nancy – thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Please spread the word to your friends so they can access this information, too! Thanks again! Susan ; )

  17. Julie M says:

    I am trying to figure out if there is a template or anything out there for the paper that goes in the clear mount case to make it look like the stampin up clear mount cases (where the name and stamps are on the spine) Please let me know if anyone has any ideas about this.


  18. Veronica says:

    Where did you purchase the vinyl to convert theses stamps?

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