Friday, April 20, 2007

Catching up with a couple of tips

Wow, I think this is the longest stretch that I've gone without writing since I first started this blog. I've still been working on organizing my craft space. The biggest part of this has been unmounting almost all of my wood mounted stamps. With that in mind, I want to write about something that I learned about recently. Actually, I'm not sure how I missed this when word first got out, but I did.

First off, I like going unmounted with my stamps. I'll use just the bare rubber and either Aleene's Tack It Over & Over on the back, or 3M's removable poster tape if the rubber is thick and deeply etched. I also have a cushion on my craft table to make up for the lack of cushion on the stamp. BUT! I also have a good supply of EZ Mount because I like that, too, but it was a mess to apply and then cut, especially since I tend to be rather compulsive about trimming my rubber close to the design. Basically I ended up setting the EZ Mount aside, which I've always felt a bit guilty about. Recently I read about using a hot knife to cut EZ Mount cushion instead of using scissors. The opinions on the Club Posh site were almost univerally positive! Well, I had already unmounted a bunch of stamps. I have a tempered glass surface. I have the EZ Mount. All I needed was the hot knife similar to what folks use for wood burning. The price at Sunday International was essentially the same as using a coupon at one of the bigger craft stores, plus I got free shipping because of a good deal one weekend. I decided to go for it! It arrived the other day and I have to say that it worked GREAT!

Here's what I did. I attached the blade to the tool. It looks a lot like an Exacto blade, but it screws in. Then I taped the stand for it toward one edge of my glass mat--don't want that hot tool slipping or rolling! I put it in its place and plugged it in to heat up. I peeled the backing off a sheet of EZ Mount to expose the gooey gluey side and laid as many rubber stamps on it as I could fit. The thought of cutting all of that with scissors made my hands cramp. ACK! I hoped this would work. I peeled off the other paper backing and stuck it down on the glass mat so that it wouldn't move, and that part of the plan was set. Well, the blade had darkened and I figured that it was ready. I wasn't going to test it since it's supposed to get to 950 degrees, so I just picked up the tool and started running it along an edge of a stamp. The heat cuts through the glue and the foam with no problem! Literally like a hot knife through butter! The heat won't hurt the rubber though, and taking a little care, it won't cut into it either. I just ran the tip around the stamp and voila! I could pop that out and it was all set for use. The knife made quick work of cutting out the whole sheet of stamps and NO sticky gummed up scissors! Minimally sticky fingers, too! Yeah, I can never seem to avoid touching that gluey side. So yes, it's a little bit of an investment, but it's definitely the way to go if you have a lot of stamps to put on EZ mount. It will save those aching hands! I've also heard that the VersaTool will work for this. The key is the heat and the cutting blade attachment.

Okay, that was my first tip. This second one is much shorter and sweeter. I was using my Versamagic stamp pads the other day. Because of the reorganization mess on my table, I was worried that I'd lose that inner plastic cover that helps keep the pad from drying out. Then I remembered a trick that I'd used with my Brilliance ink pads which work the same way. I put a mini glue dot on the "handle" of that inner cover, replaced the outside cover and gently pressed down on the center of the cover. Usually the dot is just high enough to grab onto the inside of the lid and the clear plastic cover will be removed when the top is removed. No more worry about losing that inner cover and it still fits over the pad properly. :-)


  1. Hi, Jay. Love your blog. I've linked you as one of the artists I am "stalking" ;-) because I love the look of your cards and the variety of your art. And variety of your blog subjects, too, LOL.

    Anyway, I use a stamp storage system with VCR cases. A little more room than CD cases. I organize my unmounted by theme, so that extra room often lets me put all of the similar stamps in one or two cases. They stand upright on bookshelves like books. I stamp spine labels with the theme names, and I have a Master stamp image notebook that I use to start every stamp selection with. It's worked beautifully for me for 2 years now, knockwood. I probably have over 1000 stamps.

    Loved your tips. I too have like ten sheets of EZMount and a hot knife tool called Hot Boss. It has a blade like you described, so I might try that, although maybe for some other project, LOL, I do not really care for EZMount, except on really big stamps. Have a great week.

  2. I love using EZ mount, and when SI first started selling the hot knife, I dismissed it. Now I will pay attention for a sale and try it. I cut tons of stuff out, and hate the way curvy shapes are so hard to make nice looking!

    I also love the idea for the Brilliance/opalite pads, thank you! I have one of those inner lids for the opalite pads, and since they are interference, I couldn't match the ink. Great tip!



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