Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mounting rubber dies to EZ mount cushion

As promised, here's the way I mount my rubber dies (rubber image, with no backing) to EZ mount cushion.  I could be 'cute' here and just say...stick it on, but, I won't, lol.

Mounting rubber dies to EZ mount cushion
Make sure your rubber die is clean,  If you've previously removed it from cushion (from a wood mounted stamp), make sure there are no clumps of cushion stuck to it, making the surface uneven.  Peel back the release paper on the Adhesive side of the EZ mount sheet, and place the BACK of the rubber die to the sticky cushion.
If you have unmounted a rubber stamp, and the cushion that was on it comes off with it, it will probably still have adhesive on it.  Instead of mounting it to Regular EZ mount, use the Thin (1/16") EZ mount.  This doesn't add too much thickness, as the regular EZ mount(1/8")  will, which may cause the stamp to 'rock' while you are stamping.

If I'm mounting a new rubber die from a stamp sheet, I trim the rubber close to the image before I put it on the EZ mount.  I use Kai Scissors to cut the rubber.  Don't use your good sewing scissors to cut rubber!  Rubber is a very hard on the scissors, and, if you use your good scissors, they won't be good for long!
Kai scissors are industrial strength, and very durable, and I've cut thousands of stamps since I've had mine, and they're still 'going strong'.  I'm still on my first pair!  I've heard that Tonic also makes scissors that are great for cutting rubber stamps, they look similar to the Kai's shape.I've never used them personally
After placing the stamp image on the adhesive side of the cushion, there are a couple of ways to cut the cushion.  One way, is with your scissors (Kai, Tonic, etc).  Make sure you hold your scissor blades at a 90 degree angle to the rubber stamp, as you don't want to cut at an angle, cutting the cushion 'in further' than the stamp  (I hope that makes sense)
Because you are cutting through sticky cushion, you will want to do something to stop all of the adhesive from gumming up your scissors.
I dip my scissor blades right into a glass of cold water and start cutting.    I make a few cuts through the cushion, then dip again, as soon as I feel the blades starting to stick... Other stampers use Tsukineko Versamark ink pad, laying both sides of the blades on the ink pad to coat, then cut.  I've never tried that method, as water is cheaper.  I received the 'glass of water tip' when I first started cutting mounting cushion.  At the end of my cutting session I use Goo Gone on a piece of paper towel to clean any wayward adhesive that is left on my scissor blades. (there isn't much).  Undu works great removing any stickiness as well.

     I'm sure I've cut thousands of stamps with and without cushion over the years, (especially with un-mounting my wood mounted stamps and putting them on EZ mount), and, if you are doing a lot of stamps, or have troubles with your hands or wrists there is an easier way to do it!

Cutting EZ mount cushion with hot blade
I use the long blade attachment from the 'Hot Boss' tool, from Carolee's Creations.  I'm told it is similar to the Versa tool, but there may be some difference between the attachments that come with the tool. The Versa Tool may not have the long knife blade.
I purchased the Hot Boss tool to melt embossing powder, and create designs with it, especially when working with acrylic pieces.  I use this tool to 'touch' the EP and melt it, instead of an embossing gun/heat tool.  The embossing powder only melts where the tool touches it...which creates some great designs and effects.
(Samples of Acrylic art can be seen in my Online Catalog, in the Gallery, under 'Acrylic Art' section). You can use this tool with melted embossing powder, or with it still in the powder form.  Also available are sets of numbers and letters that you can attach to the tool and emboss (with embossing powder, or 'melt / burn' into cork, wood, Fun Foam, etc..Here is a sun catcher I made to attach to a card using the Hot Boss tool.  I used the writing tip to melt the powdered embossing powder for the border and name / year.  I didn't mean to digress, just wanted to explain what the tool was that I use.

The Hot Boss tool has a long blade attachment that twists on (with an adapter) to your hot tip.  The thin blade heats up, and it becomes very hot..(think wood burning tool hot!).  After you had put your rubber image on one side of the EZ mount, take the hot blade tip (which is very pointy) and run the tip on the cushion along the side of the rubber stamp.  You are NOT cutting the EZ mount cushion, so you don't need a lot of force, you are melting the cushion.  I prefer to go around the rubber image a few times, pressing lightly rather than holding it in one place too long...(just a personal preference)  Melts through it like butter!  The other side of the EZ mount (super smooth side) has a release paper on it, and I leave it on until AFTER I've melted around the stamp.  I then peel the stamp off the release paper.  Make sure you use a heat proof surface under your Cushion....or you may end up with an 'engraved' table, hehehe....I use a wooden cutting board.  I also use it when I'm heating embossing powder with the Hot Boss tool as well, as I've learned (through experience) that I'm rather clumsy when changing the tips of the tool.  I had a lovely hole burned in the front of my housecoat.  I was changing the tips (with a long nosed pliers) and dropped the tip; it bounced toward the edge of the table, and I could see a hole in my flooring in my immediate future, so pressed my body against the table, so it wouldn't fall....I ended up with a lovely burn hole, about 1 1/2" long by the time in my housecoat,  I managed to get the pliers to pick it up.  I've also learned to use an aluminum pie plate to put the hot tips in, (unscrewing them from the attachment over the pie plate now, smiles...)

Using a heat tool with the long knife blade makes 'cutting' EZ mount cushion a breeze!  Easy on the hands and quick!  It doesn't take long to heat up, and saves wear and tear on the hands.  I still use the scissors if I've only got one stamp to cut, but if I have a few rubber stamps to mount, I use the Hot Boss tool.
If you have found an easy way to mount your stamps, cut mounting cushion, I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment and share it.  I like to hear what others are doing!

It rained like crazy late yesterday afternoon!  The rain was running down the windows of my office just as it would during a summer rain storm!  Unreal for Alberta, Canada in January!  The temperature was about plus one degree Celsius...then, as expected, the temperatures dropped to minus 14 degrees, and the ice formed..It's been snowing heavily since this morning, and we're in the midst of a blizzard.  The winds are causing a lot of blowing snow, with very poor visibility and it's quite nasty outside!  I heard from a stamping friend from Northern Alberta a few minutes ago, and they've had a lot of snow, (way more than us)...their storm started earlier than ours did...
So it's too nasty out to go out, and a great time to stay inside where it is warm!  I'm looking forward to an afternoon of rubber stamping...(But, I should be doing year end inventory, yuck!!)....we'll see what I end up doing...
Thanks for visiting

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