Mounting your own rubber stamps

What are unmounted stamps?

Unmounted stamps, or "UMs," are the rubber part of the stamp only, the image, without a wooden handle or cushion. You can mount them yourself, either on wood in the traditional way, or by using alternative mounting methods. It is far cheaper to buy rubber stamps unmounted, and UMs are often easier to store than mounted stamps. We give instructions for stamp mounting on this web page. Mounting your own stamps is very easy!

If you have any questions about mounting your stamps, feel free to write us at

OK, how do I mount stamps?

There are several different ways to mount stamps. You can mount them the traditional way, on a maple wood mount, or on other materials such as the lightweight and easy Quickie Mount system. You can mount them on any item that is the correct size -- jar lids, alphabet blocks, etc. You can also use a temporary mounting system such as HALOS™ or the cling vinyl system. (Many people find the temporary system to be the cheapest and most convenient of all, since stamps take up less space and you only need one set of mounts. This is why we use the HALOS system here at Rubber Trouble.)

A typical stamp is mounted by being put together in a sort of sandwich. The rubber is attached to a foam cushion, which is then attached to the mount.

It sort of looks like this, if you look at it from the side:

                   [_rubber image_]
                |     wood mount     |
                |                    |

Cushion, usually foam rubber, comes in different thicknesses and colors and is often sold in sheet form, with adhesive already applied. If the cushion you purchase doesn't have adhesive, rubber cement will work fine. I'm told that in a pinch, a soft mouse pad can be cut up to make cushion -- but cushion intended for the purpose is usually best. You can purchase cushion at some rubber stamp shops or by mail order. (If you use Quickie Mounts or the HALOS™ system you won't need to use cushion at all!)

Mounts are traditionally made of maple wood. You can purchase wood mounts at some rubber stamp shops or by mail order. You might also be able to find suitable wood at a lumber supply store. Hardwoods work best, as softwoods tend to absorb ink and water too readily. If you can't find wood, any flat item can be used. Quickie Mounts are made of very strong foam.

Putting the stamp together

You should trim away all the excess rubber around the image, using good sharp scissors. Once the stamp is trimmed to your liking, mount it on the cushion (using rubber cement if the cushion is not self-adhesive). Then trim the cushion around the stamp, carefully. It's usually OK to leave some extra cushion around the edges.

One your cushion is cut out, attach it to the wood mount (with the self-adhesive or with rubber cement).

See, it was easy! :-) If you don't like the way it turned out, you can remount it. If the adhesive has set, just heat the stamp for 10 seconds in the microwave and the stamp and cushion should peel right off.

One commonly used alternative method for mounting stamps is called HALOS™. Rubber Trouble carries a line of HALOS™ supplies that you can buy. With the HALOS™ system, you don't use wood mounts at all. Instead, you attach stamps to an acrylic mount with hook and loop tape -- commonly known as Velcro®! When you're done, you can remove the stamp. You only need one set of acrylic mounts, no matter how many stamps you have! This is the method we use at Rubber Trouble. Please visit our HALOS™ page to find out more.

If you still have questions about mounting your stamps, feel free to write us at

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