Today, I’m going to talk about mounting unmounted rubber stamps. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while because I know many people have ordered Stampin’ Up stamps already, so I apologize for the delay! Better late than never, right?
First, let me break down the components of a rubber stamp:
- Die – The rubber part of the stamp where ink is applied
- Foam Cushion – The padding between the die and the wood
- Mount – The wood block that the foam is attached to
- Index – The sticker used to identify the stamp
So, as I mentioned before, Stampin’ Up stamps come unmounted. The rubber and the foam are already adhered together, while the wood block and sticker come separate.
Some stamps come die cut, so you can simply pop them out of the rubber frame. Stampin’ Up is moving towards having all their sets die cut. Soon, we won’t need to cut the extra rubber by hand (hooray!). Even with die cut stamps, sometimes I still cut the rubber a little closer to keep the excess rubber from accidentally inking and messing up my stamped image. The less extra rubber, the more likely I’ll get a clean stamped image.
For the stamps that are not die cut (sets that were carried over from previous catalogs), before mounting the stamps onto the wood, you’ll want to cut the excess rubber away. Take a pair of sharp scissors (SU rubber scissors work the best) and snip the excess rubber away from the stamp using straight cuts (not curved!). The reason we cut in straight lines is to ensure that the rubber and foam backing are lined up correctly. This gives the rubber die stability and will help the images come out bold and crisp.
Snip snip, in nice, straight lines.
Don’t worry if the cuts look messy. It doesn’t affect the image quality.
It’s ok to used a slightly curved cut if there is no other way to cut close to the stamp (like inside the moon image above). Just leave a few extra millimeters of space from the image.
Once you’re done cutting, adhere the rubber to the wood, remembering that the images is mirrored from the sticker.
Now, I’m going to show you a neat trick on how to get your rubber image and your sticker to line up exactly on your stamp. (Feel free to skip the following steps if you’re not anal retentive like me.) First, take the stamp that you just mounted and your Stamp-a-ma-jig tool (stamp positioner), then stamp the image onto the plastic imaging sheet that comes with the tool.
You’ll have the imaging sheet with your stamped image aligned perfectly to the corner.
Next, flip the stamped sheet upside down so that the inked side is touching the table and the dry side is facing up. Take a small piece of double sided tape (or removable adhesive like the one I’m using above) and stick the adhesive onto the sheet.
Take your image sticker and turn it upside down so that the sticky side is facing up. Line the sticker up exactly with the stamped image and lower it until it sticks to the piece of tape on the imaging sheet.
Now, take the stamp positioner and line it up with the corner of the imaging sheet.
Take your wood block with the rubber stamp, turn it upside down so that the rubber is facing up, and slowly lower the stamp onto the sticker.
Voila! A perfectly aligned stamp. Of course, you don’t have to go through all these steps if you don’t want to. Stamping is not an exact science, so it’s perfectly fine to approximate stamp placement.
After all the stamps are mounted on their respective wood blocks, the only thing that is left is to label the plastic box that comes with the stamp set. Included on the index sticker sheet, there’s a slim line label with the set name.
Remove the label from the sticker sheet and adhere it to the box. The label also notes the number of stamps in the set, so you will know if you’re missing a stamp.
And that, my friends, is how to mount a stamp. Of course, you don’t have to mount a stamp in the center of the wood block like I do. I just like to center mount because I can apply even pressure when I stamp. Some people like to mount their stamps along the bottom or corners of the wood block so that they can line up the image easily when they stamp. That’s the beauty of mounting your own stamps. It’s all up to you!