Years ago, most rubber stamps were red and mounted on wood. Today’s choices are varied, but what are the differences and what works better for you?
Mounted or Unmounted Stamps
Mounted stamps are stamps that come on a handle. The mounts are usually wooden and preattached, and the most common type of stamp that you will find in your local crafts store. Sometimes, you can buy stamps that you have to attach the wooden mount yourself. Stampin Up!, for example, sells their stamps unassembled with all of the pieces to mount it easily. Stampin Up! sells pink rubber images on cushions. You peel the paper off the cushion and stick onto the mount. They supply an image of the stamp that will stick onto the mount so that you can easily identify the stamp.
Unmounted rubber stamps are the cheapest way to go if you like to collect a lot of stamps. Many companies will sell their unmounted rubber stamps 50% less then their wood mounted rubber stamps. They are also easy to store since the mounts are separate. If you set up an unmounted system, you can buy three or four mounts in various sizes and use them for all of your rubber stamps. The mounts can be wood or acrylic. Acrylic mounts are versatile because you can see through them and get a good idea exactly where the stamp is going to be placed, plus acrylic stamps will adhere directly to acrylic mounts. Rubber stamps will need something additional to adhere to either acrylic or wood mounts. E-Z Mount is a cushion that is sticky on both sides, and comes in two different thicknesses. Or, you can use double stick tape on your mounts to adhere your stamps. Some people even set up a system with velco on their mounts and stamps, and even their storage system.
Unmounted stamps are a relatively new concept in the stamping world. Many stampers that have been stamping for a long time have mounted stamps, but some stampers are converting to save space and costs. It is possible to convert your mounted stamps to unmounted by putting your stamp in the microwave the for 15 second increments until the stamp can be peeled off of the mount. You can then attach the stamp to EZ Mount cushion and store it in your files.
Clear Acrylic or Rubber Stamps
Clear stamps are becoming popular too. The advantage of clear stamps is that you can easily see exactly where the stamp is going to be placed. Clear stamps are usually sold unmounted. Once you peel them off of the prepackaged film they will mount directly onto an acrylic mount. They are usually precut and some clear stamps are not as durable as the rubber. Be careful when you remove the stamp from the packaging film or the mount since the stamp can rip. And, take care when cleaning these stamps; their bond to the acrylic is not as strong as rubber stamps, so they may roll off the mount when you are trying to clean them.