Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unmounting Tutorial: Non-EZFoam alternative

I originally put this tutorial together back in October 2010.  Can you believe I finished unmounting my last wooden stamp yesterday?   To celebrate I took pictures of all my unmounted stamps nicely lined up on my shelf.  Check out yesterday's blog post.


Close up of Adhesives:

STEP 1: Unmounting the stamps.

Unmount the stamps from the wood blocks with the foam in tact. If the stamp and foam don't come off easily, try putting the stamp in the microwave for just a few seconds to soften up the adhesive.  If you’re unable to unmount the stamp without damaging the foam, unmount the rubber stamp from the foam and use EZ Mount foam.

I like to unmount the entire set before moving onto the next step.  Plus, by unmounting the entire set at once, this gives the foam a bit of time to rest and spring back into shape from being stretched and pulled during the unmounting process.

STEP 2: Unmounting the image sticker

Carefully peel the image sticker from the front of the wooden block. I like to peel the entire set at once and lightly tack the sticker back down on the wood block until I'm ready for the next step.

STEP 3: Applying the image to the stamp

If the foam and image sticker have enough adhesive left to where a good bond will form, then go ahead and mount the image sticker right onto the foam, matching up the images. Matching up the images can be tricky since you're dealing with a mirror image situation. Burnish the image onto the stamp. I use the side of a bone folding tool.

If more adhesive is needed to form a good bond between the unmounted stamp and the image sticker then apply a think layer of adhesive. I'm using Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, but other liquid adhesives should work as well. I use my fingers to spread the adhesive.   It’s a low-tech solution, but I haven’t found a tool yet that gives me the same results when all I need is a thin consistent layer of liquid adhesive.   Apply the clear image sticker lining up the image and burnish with the side of a bond folding tool. 

It is very important that the bond between the foam mounted stamp and the image sticker is a strong bond.
The dragon fly toward the left of the picture below has the image mounted to it already. Another advantage of using the liquid adhesive to help adhere the image is that it gives you the flexibility to shift the image around a bit to better line up the sticker with the actual stamp.

STEP 4: Trimming the image

Simply trim off the excess image sticker from the stamp using scissors

STEP 5: Make the stamp cling mountable

Apply a small amount of Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over adhesive to the unmounted stamp.  This is a repositionable adhesive when dry.  Again, I use my finger to spread the adhesive to get a consistent thin layer. Keep some wet wipes or a moist paper towel handy for clean up. 

The dragon fly stamp on the left side of the image below already has adhesive applied. 

STEP 6: Label the Storage Box

Carefully peel the label from the SU clam-shell container.  If there isn't enough adhesive left on the stamp set label, I use Tombow adhesive to apply more adhesive to the label. Apply the label to the spine of the DVD case. Burnish as needed.

I also insert a 5.5 x 7 inch piece of paper into the box. The insert goes under this thin plastic sheath that is on the outside of the box. One of these days I may replicate the SU box images that are used on the new clear mount packaging, but for now this will do. 

STEP 7: Let it dry

I set the completed stamps aside with the box and just let it set up for a while. The Tack-It Over and Over adhesive dries rather quickly, but I just like to give it some extra time to set up.

STEP 8: Store your stamps

After the adhesive is dry and before actually mounting the stamps to the inside of the box, I'll take the sticky side of the stamp and apply it to my shirt to take off a bit of the tackiness. This will help when you got to take the stamp back out of the box and go to use it. No need to press them into the box very hard either. They stick really easy.


Here's a set that I did earlier and it's nicely mounted in the SU DVD storage box. This is the back of the box and you can see the images. 

Here's the back of the box compared to a SU Clear Mount stamp set. 

Here's the front of the same two boxes. 

Here are the spines of the stamps. The bottom left stack is a stack of SU Clear Mount stamps as they come from SU. The others are ones that I've unmounted. So until I get the desire to try and recreated the label inserts that SU uses, this works just fine for me. I can see the image of the stamps through the box and have the name of the stamp set visible on the spine. 

As a happy coincidence, these boxes fit perfectly in my MM Accessory shelf unit. 

How long did this take?

I checked the time stamps embedded on the pictures that I took. From beginning to end, it took 23 minutes.  Now let's say that 3 minutes were for taking pictures.  That leaves 20 minutes.  Thus, it took me 20 minutes to unmount one stamp set. I know it took me longer for the first set, but 20 minutes is not bad.

I hope this tutorial was helpful. 



I originally did this tutorial back in October of 2010.   I have a couple of updates since.

Tack it Over and Over: 
I started thinning out the Tack it Over and Over adhesive. I’ll put a dime size blob of glue on my water resistant surface and then just add a squirt of water.   My high tech tool for mixing it all together is the same high tech tool I use as an applicator, that is my finger.   Does a great job and I can get a better feel for how much adhesive I’m using.   For my water resistant work surface, I use one of these Teflon sheets, but any plastic packaging scraps or a plastic plate would work great as well.

EZ Mount: 
I picked up some EZ Mount on Ebay about a year ago and wasn’t really paying enough attention.  Turns out I ordered some EZ Mount foam that is black instead of gray and is only 1/8 inch thick instead of roughly a ¼ inch thick.   Well, I just love these happy accidents as that black EZ Mount foam is great for smaller stamps.  The downside is that I can’t mount my black image label to it very well since the black image doesn’t show up well on the black foam, but it has still come in handy.

Stamp Case Inserts:
If I could add an attachment here (or figure out how), I'd add a template for an insert that is consistent with Stampin’ Up’s cases.   I’ve used this template to add labels to all of my SU unmounted stamps.  I just add the image of the stamps to the cover and the spine and modify the stamp set name.The overall dimensions of the insert are 5.5 in. x 7 in. I varied the color of the banner at the top for different stamp companies.   

Here are the spines with smaller versions of the stamps for ease of reference as the stamps sit on a shelf.


  1. Great tutorial. I love the tack it over and over and am slowing using it on all my unmounteds, of which I have quite a few.

  2. wow, love the tutorial and the update. Mostly, I love the boxes, label colors for dif companies and just that you are sharing all your tips!!! Thank you!


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