Fast forward to now. I have no more room to store my umpteen million stamps. I have even removed some of my lesser used sets like alphabets to another shelf, and I'm still out of storage space. Getting rid of sets was not an option. I have whittled and purged as much as I can, and these sets aren't going anywhere.
It was time to unmount.
Not that I need any more sets, but this takes up such a large area of storage space, and it could be so much smaller. Now that I have decided on Scrap 'n' Cube for my craft room remodel, it was time to get busy unmounting so I could get rid of that hideous metal shelf that is leaning like the Tower of Pisa.
How do I unmount? I have microwaved, heat gunned, and just gently pulled the rubber off. I feel wierd using the microwave - I'm afraid I will damage it by microwaving wood and rubber, and I'll have to buy a new one. Besides, it's upstairs in the kitchen, and I'm too lazy to lug all my stamps up there and back down again.
I have used my heat gun some, but very carefully. It doesn't take long to soften it up enough to make it easy to remove. I will use it only if it is too difficult to remove the rubber and foam without heating.
Ever since I first started unmounting, I had been using a piece or two of double sided tape on my acrylic blocks to hold the unmounted stamps. After it lost its stickiness, I would put a new piece on. That worked for a while, but I am ready for something better. Storing the unmounted stamps in CD cases was also an issue because they slid around inside, and I want them to stay put.
Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over to the rescue!
Here is something very important that I learned...If you are going to use TIOAO, dilute it before you use it, and don't cover the entire sticker! I was silly (stupid is more like it) and did several sets with full strength TIOAO covering the entire sticker surface before I tested them. They are very hard to remove from the block, so much so that the label starts to pull away from the foam. That stuff is super strong!
A little goes a long way.
One of the major advantages to unmounting is the decreased storage space. I purchased the empty stamp cases from SU!, and can fit 4, sometimes more, sets in each one by sticking the stamps to both sides of the case. The hardest part about that is figuring out which sets to put together. I try to put similar style sets together, but then they can't be in alphabetical order like I am used to. For instance, Bronc Buster and Wanted belong together. Do I file them under B or W? Indexing my stamp sets is going to be an even bigger project if I combine them, but once I decide how I am going to do it, it will be wonderful. I figure I can reduce my storage space by at least 2/3 by combining my sets.
If you have any ideas for indexing, or how you've combined sets, let me know. I'm sure you have lots of great ideas out there. I do know that I want to keep my sets together and not separated into sentiments, flowers, etc like some have done. I just don't think that would work for me.
Oh, here's something I forgot to mention. The TIOAO dries very quickly when it is diluted, but I usually let it dry over night just to be sure. Start out with a little bit on your stamps; you can always add more if you need it, but you can't take it off. (Or if you know of a way to get it off, please let me know! I have about 10 sets that need help!)
I hope this was helpful to you if you decide to unmount. It is a big undertaking, but the need for less storage space is definitely worth it in my book!