Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hot Knife Tutorial for Mounting Unmounted Stamps

I promised Debra at Common Ground that I would put together a tutorial on how to mount unmounted stamps. When I found the "With Love" stamp sheet in my mailbox this afternoon--my first design project of the year from Oxford Impressions--I decided that now was the time!  This stamp collection really rocks!  The script looks like it was written with a nibbed pen in Jane Austen style.  There's a sentiment for all the occasions you need.  And the large images mean you can make a quick stamped card at the last minute.  The small images are so versatile for envelopes, charms, collaging, ATCs--the ideas are endless.  Okay, ad is over... I'm just sooooo excited about this collection... :-)  On to the tutorial!

Oxford Impressions stamps come on as 8.5" x 11" sheet of thick red rubber.  You get LOADS of images, which gives you so much to work with at a fraction of the cost of already mounted stamps.

"With Love" Stamp Collection
Red rubber sheet of uncut stamps

To use them, you need to cut them out individually and mount on cling foam, which has a sticky side where you put the stamp, and a cling side for attaching and removing from acrylic blocks.  I mount my stamps a bit differently from the videos I've seen on YouTube. I learned the technique from a master stamper at a show.
Tools required:

Step 1: Cut the rubber. 

I like to cut my stamps very close to the image to avoid ink lines that are not part of the stamp getting on my stamped piece.  I've ruined too many cards!  It's a little scary to make your first cut--you might be afraid you are going to cut the image--but it gets more comfortable as you go. For difficult to reach areas, I cut in one direction, turn the stamp and cut in the other. It's easier to cut straight lines. You will soon figure out what works best for you.  

Trimming around a stamp
Trimming closely with straight cuts.

Step 2: Let the hot knife tool heat up while you continue to cut out all the rubber.

Step 3: Place your cut stamps on the sticky side of a cling foam sheet. I try to arrange them very tightly to economize on my use of the cling foam. 

Step 4: Adhere the cling side to your glass cutting board.  (I have put mine away and coudn't find it, so I am using a small piece of thin glass--I don't advise that!)

Foam on glass, cling side down.
Making the first cut. Keeping fingers out of the way.  The knife tip is very hot.

Step 5: To trim the foam, you might want to go into a well-ventilated area. When the knife tool is properly heated, the foam will cut like butter. Be careful not to touch the tip. Wipe any goo that forms on the knife tip on the wet sponge to prevent smoking and minimize the fumes. It is possible to cut without having the foam melt on the tip--just cut more quickly and don't linger in the same area too long.  You will get the hang of it.

Step 6: Once the stamps are all trimmed, mount on a cling-mount storage board.

Oxford Impressions Bon Bon Collection

Step 7:  When the stamps are all cut, you're ready to ink them up and start creating!  I love Stampin' Up's clear acrylic blocks--the very best out there, and I've tried most of what's available. (If you want to order them, drop me a comment and I'll get back with you.)
Complete set of Stampin' Up Blocks
Cling side on block (view from behind)

stamp on block (rubber side)

Inking the stamp

I usually tap the pad onto the stamp, but couldn't manage this for the camera.

A stamped image.  So worth the work!
Leave me a comment if you have any questions, and I'll be happy to answer.  :-)


Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful tutorial you created.
What really impressed me .... how clean your acrylic mounts are! What do you use to keep them so pristine?
I had to lol - I too am so excited about this stamp set and cannot stop creating with it (although I am the same with every O.I. release). Incredibly versatile.
Cannot wait to see what you create with this plate.

Laura Turner said...

I'm going to hop on over and see what you've been up to, Lynne. I'm a little bit nutty with keeping my stamps and blocks clean (should be the same with my house, lol! I go through bottles of StazOn cleaner and wipe ink off immediately or shortly after the project is finished. I also use a little Windex every now and then. I tried a sticky glue one time on some cling stamps (other brand) that weren't sticking. Drove me nuts with all the goo left on the blocks.

PetraB said...

thank you for the tutorial, this is very interesting!

Shannon Chastaine said...

I am so excited about everything on your blog right now. I could learn so much from you! :)

Laura Turner said...

Your comment made me so happy! I'm trying to post articles on vintage items a few times a month on Sundays--Vintage View Sunday.

My first post was on dancing in the 1800s and
features a piece of sheet music from 1834


Sharon Estes said...

This was a great log and I learned a lot about the Stamp cutting. I have many that need mounted and unmounted.

Laura Turner said...

I am so glad you found this helpful, Sharon!

Mini Ward said...

Your way looks much better than the sticky mess I get into. Thanks for sharing ✔️ I'll try it next time.