Monday, January 31, 2011

Mounting Stamps with a Hot Knife

I thought I'd write a quick tutorial on how to cut your EZ-mount stamps with a hot knife.  I find it so much easier than cutting through the sticky EZ-mount with my rubber scissors.

Safety issues:  Work on a safe surface.  If you drop your hot knife, do not try to catch it!  Better to damage your surface or flooring than burn yourself.  The knife gets very hot which is why it glides through the ez mount like butter.

hot knife
safe cutting surface ( I use an old metal cookie sheet, upside down)
packing tape
EZ-mount or similar foam mount
stamps :)

Step 1:  Trim your rubber, unmounted stamps how you want them.

Step 2:  Prepare your work station.  I usually work on the floor, that way there's not far for it to fall!  LOL

I find a safe, well ventilated place to work, and put my cookie sheet down, bottom up.  See all that rust?  That's why it's been retired to be my hot knife cutting board!  LOL

You will need access to an electric outlet for your hot knife.  Place your hot knife stand and hot knife on your work surface until you find a place where it seems very stable.

You want to find a position where you don't have pulling from the cord.  After you find a good position, remove the hot knife and tape your stand down firmly.  This will make it so much safer to work with!

Step 3:  Lay out your stamps on your ez mount in the exact way you want them to fit.  I do this by using a spare sheet of ez mount to lay them out on side by side with the first sheet, so that I can transfer them directly across.  This is a photo of how I've laid mine out.  The empty spot is from where I've already transfered the first stamp over to the sticky side of my other sheet of EZ mount.

Step 4:  Transfer your stamps over to your EZ mount, sticky side up of course!  LOL

I usually work from the outside edges inward, fitting the outside stamps closely to the edge.

Step 5:  Cutting them out!
Plug in your hot knife and let it heat up for a few minutes.  Be careful not to touch the hot end!

Keep your blade directly upright to avoid under-cutting your stamps.  Gently push your hot knife into your ez-mount and glide it along the edge of your cut out stamp.  It will glide through easily.  There will be a bit of an odor from it.  Turn the sheet of EZ mount as needed, to keep a comfortable wrist angle for cutting.

Step 6:
After all of your stamps are cut out, gently lift the stamps from the sheet of EZ mount.

I've laid them out here on the EZ mount backing, foam up, just so that you can see the cuts.

It took me about 30 minutes to cut out all of these stamps (10 full size stamps plus 8 sentiments), not including a bit of time the night before, cropping the rubber in preparation.

This is the only way I cut out my stamps now!  I'm far less apt to undercut or have an oops with my hot knife, and my hands don't hurt when I'm done!  :)  Plus, it leaves me more time to play!

I just wanted to add a big thank you to my son for doing the photography while my hands were full!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!



Card Crazy said...

Excellent idea. Great way to put my hot knife to use and do a good trim job on my stamps at the same time.
Sue S.

Ronda Archangelo said...

Oh boy...a new toy to add to the collection. You are brilliant! Thanks for sharing your method.

Only By His Grace said...

Hi Christine!
well that's something I have never seen before and didn't even know existed. a hot knife. Very interesting!! Great tutorial.
Hugs Maz

Leslie Avila said...

Just added the hot knife to my, needs, list! Lol thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

Wow! Christine, you need to start a business - Christine's Hot Knife Stamp Service! You made it look so easy. My stamps look horrible on the back while the results from your technique are perfect!

What's your address so I can just send mine to you? LOL *just kidding*

Thanks for sharing! I'm jealous now. LOL

Chris Christensen

alicaz said...

thanks for the tutorial Christine - now I need a hot knife too! ;)
I just got my new LOTV stamps and I hate the mounting process - everything gets sticky and the results look like somebody was chewing them ;) Yours look wonderful! Very professional results ;)

Deb said...

I've been using the hot knife for a year or so now--and you've done a GREAT tutorial! The hot knife makes it SOOOOOOO much easier to get a nice cut!

Wendy Ramlakhan said...

Well that will teach me....I should read your blog daily!!!
I just spend all afternoon yesterday mounting 20 new stamps....the sticky messy way!! Thanks so much for sharing. This will save me ton's of time in the future!!

Anonymous said...

this is great Christine! I've often wondered about this. I don't usually mount my unmounted... just use tack n peel, but I'm gonna remember this in case I ever change! TFS!
Pam Going Postal

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