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Old 07-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #1  
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Default Going Crazy with Clear Stamp Storage

Ok, ladies, I am at the edge of a nervous breakdown with clear stamp storage! I seriously want to grab my best knife and chop them up for a clear gazpacho, ala Carmem Maura in Pedro Almodovar's "Women at the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown".

I hate, HATE the CD cases used by some companies like PTI. I just got a bunch of used stamps from a fellow SCS member and they were all smashed to my horror and despair. Did I say I hate CD cases? YES, I do!

From what I read here in the Forum the number one "No-No" for clear stamps is ACETATE.... and probably PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) ... and PP (PolyPropylene), too.

Question: How do you know the difference between...

- The plastic sheet that holds clear stamps in the original plastic?
- The transparency acetate sheets sold in office stores?
- The Binder Sheets (laminated cardstock?) like those sold by GKD and Sunday International?
- The plastic used in laminators?
- The holy grail Avery Elle plastic sleeves (which Jennifer McGuire cuts to stick her bigger clear stamp sets - check her video)?

I am not in USA, actually quite far away and I have already spent a fortune in stamps, inks, dies, and pretty papers, all bought online from US stores. I cannot afford buying plastic online to store stamps!

So, I declare a war... sorry, hate that word... a strong motivated discussion with these companies to let us know for once and for all what material is recommended to STICK and HOLD the clear stamps for safe storage. Therefore, I can look for an equivalent product here to buy.

I am going to write a message to Stewart Superior, which is a manufacturer of photopolymer stamps and let you guys know the answer... which I pray they send.

Ok, I'm off to chop some tomatoes for the spaghetti sauce ...
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:52 PM   #2  
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Have to agree with you there. I decided to set all my stamps up in categories i.e. Butterflies, flowers etc as I dont post so dont need to remember names and brands.

I had first bought the A4 size panels for storing cling stamps but just couldnt keep buying then decided I wanted to go A5 size so cut them in half and used. Keep each in a clear page cover folded in half and have stamped all stamps on a loose page inside with stamps so can see whats on each without having to try and work out what the stamps are, especially as the clear ones can be hard to see.
Then when I ran out of those panels i used acetate and bit of cardboard for support. Had just finished and saw the post on 'not using acetate' bugga.

Then someone mentioned laminated sleeves are ok so was getting ready to make a ton of those but now, maybe I should wait to hear what responses e get here.
Sometimes I feel as though I spend more time organising my craft room than actually using it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:53 AM   #3  
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I DEFINITELY spend more time organizing than creating! I've also spent A LOT of money on various organizing/storing options and keep changing my mind!

While you're waiting for your answer from Stewart Superior (who have always been lovely to deal with), here's another thread regarding this topic:
//www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/mission-organization-f256/clear-stamp-storage-using-paper-indexes-against-stamps-ok-my-research-t569421
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:55 AM   #4  
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ailhelen - I understand your frustration so well. I hope to get a straight and clear answer to this subject, so hang in there!

Sue, thank you so much for the link. I will take a look and add all useful information to my final highly-classified-top-secret report.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:51 AM   #5  
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Call me crazy, but I thought acetate was fine for clears but very bad for clings.

All my stamps go on laminated storage panels, anyway, so what do I know? !
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:19 PM   #6  
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UPDATE: I have received TWO replies from the FOUR companies I contacted.
So far, here is the summary of their answers and my research. I will edit this post with new information as soon as I get more answers.

CLEAR STAMP STORAGE

Information from Photopolymer Clear Stamp Manufacturers

1. Photopolymer stamps should be kept between 2 sheets of POLYESTER film (same as POLYESTER ACETATE). It is durable, clear, will not yellow and exhibits archival qualities.

2. Photopolymer stamps should not be in contact either with ACETATE, CELLULOSE ACETATE or VINYL.

3. None of the replies to my message answered the safeness of keeping the stamps on laminated sheets.

Information from my research

1. Store the stamps sandwiched between polyester acetate. Look for Grafix Dura-lar or Dupont Mylar. It is the same product but with different brand names. The most often used thickness is 0,005”.

Keep in mind stamphappy1650’s wise advice: “Don't trust the acetate from the stamp companies!” If you are not sure, and the company does not make this clear, move your stamps to the polyester film (Dura-lar).

2. It seems that plastics made of Polypropylene (PP) are clear stamp-friendly.
This is what is used for:
  • Good quality page protectors – Look for acid, lignin and PVC emission-free sheet protectors.
  • Good quality DVD/CD pockets/sleeves (Memorex) – Look for PVC emission-free pockets.
  • Tim Holtz, Unmounted Stamp Refill Pockets
  • Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets
3. Other plastics clear stamp-friendly are Polyethylene (PE).
  • Good quality Ziploc bags
  • Photo bags / envelopes
4. Avoid plastics with PVC (Polyvinylchloride).

5. Photopolymer stamps should be protected from UV light, fluorescent light, window light and sunlight. The best thing is to keep your stamps either in a cabinet, a drawer or a non-translucent box.

6. Photopolymer stamps are very stable to temperature fluctuations but, it is best to keep the storage area between 40-100 F (4-38 C).

7. Paper in contact with the photopolymer stamp doesn’t damage the stamp. If that is your case, make sure the paper is archival-quality. You can always wash the stamp to peel of the paper if it eventually gets stuck. As mentioned by our fellow member stamphappy1650 “try not to have paper touch clear stamps for long periods” [she learned this by experience!].

8. If you live in a place with intense sunlight during most part of the year, you might consider keeping your stamps inside ziplock bags. Why? OZONE attacks photopolymers, believe it or not! Ozone occurs naturally in the air and is produced by intense sunlight.

9. The laminating sheets used in thermal laminating seem to be safe. According to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) these are mainly composed of Polyester-PET/Polyethylene. Remember… polyester, Good!... polyethylene, Good!

10. Most important of all...Go stamp and have fun!
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:43 PM   #7  
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Thanks for the detailed, definitive information, Candida! The laminating pouches I use are from Royal Sovereign. Diane (fionna51, whose method of storing stamps is the basis for mine) contacted RS specifically to ask what they were made of, and was told that they are either polyester or polyethylene (she told me but I didn't retain the information, but she assured me that it was one of the "safe" substances). I was thrilled when she told me (it's been a year or two now), as this has been my favorite storage method so far (cheap, too).
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:14 PM   #8  
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I looked up my reply from Royal Sovereign.

Laminating pouches, such as SCR-003 is made out of 2 components. The outer layer of the pouch is made out of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and the inner layer is made out of Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).
(the inner layer of EVA is the "glue" layer)

So. My laminating pouches seem to be safe for both EZMount and Photopolymer. I'll keep using them!
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:15 AM   #9  
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Candida, thanks for the great research.

I feel your pain on finding the right solution. I'm still using the laminated sheets like those sold at Sunday Int'l with no ill effect to my stamps that are stored in Unikeep binder boxes. I'm still happy with the solution and over joyed that I made the switch years ago because my boxes were only 87 cents each (I bought 100) because I thought I'd never get a bargain like that again.

Funny bit of info regarding my advice about not trusting the mfg. storage sheets. This year when I was doing a purge, I found a set of brand new poly stamps that I had stored in one of my binder boxes thinking I'd move them to a laminated sheet later. Well, I forgot and the stamps were basically fused the mfg's sheet. I won't do that again!
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:08 AM   #10  
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I agree, I hate cd cases. And note PTI doesn't use them any longer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:49 AM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamphappy1650View Post
Candida, thanks for the great research.

I feel your pain on finding the right solution. I'm still using the laminated sheets like those sold at Sunday Int'l with no ill effect to my stamps that are stored in Unikeep binder boxes. I'm still happy with the solution and over joyed that I made the switch years ago because my boxes were only 87 cents each (I bought 100) because I thought I'd never get a bargain like that again.

Funny bit of info regarding my advice about not trusting the mfg. storage sheets. This year when I was doing a purge, I found a set of brand new poly stamps that I had stored in one of my binder boxes thinking I'd move them to a laminated sheet later. Well, I forgot and the stamps were basically fused the mfg's sheet. I won't do that again!
I never knew this I thought if I kept the stamps on the storage sheet from the manufacturer they would be stored safely. Now I need to check my stamps .

How can we know what material a manufacturer used for their clear storage sheets ?
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:30 AM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamphappy1650View Post

I'm still using the laminated sheets like those sold at Sunday Int'l with no ill effect to my stamps that are stored in Unikeep binder boxes.
One thing about these pages (punched for binders of both full sheet size and half sheet size) is that you KNOW they've been tested and proven safe for EZMount. {since they make both!}

Quote:

Originally Posted by stamphappy1650View Post

Funny bit of info regarding my advice about not trusting the mfg. storage sheets. This year when I was doing a purge, I found a set of brand new poly stamps that I had stored in one of my binder boxes thinking I'd move them to a laminated sheet later. Well, I forgot and the stamps were basically fused the mfg's sheet. I won't do that again!
Wow! I've never left mine on the manufacturers sheets since I just have to have everything uniform. But this is good to know. I will be diligent not to be lazy! I have bought some sets in the store that were really difficult to get off the sheets, though, and this makes me wonder if they were on their way to permanent sticky!
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:35 AM   #13  
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I had to check my page protectors that I put my stamp storage cards in. Hadn't even thought of that!

Whew! They're acid free, NO PVC. So I guess they're ok.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:44 AM   #14  
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I find the top of my clears stick to the page protectors, which isn't harmful but is annoying, so I have a paper index sheet between the stamps and the PP.

I can say this - excessive heat will fuse any stamp to anything. I learned that the first summer in my current house, when my studio would get very hot in the afternoons. I couldn't even work comfortably in there. And I subsequently found that some of my stamps had fused to the storage panels. (And the glue on my pack of adhesive magnetic sheets had melted!).
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:53 AM   #15  
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UPDATE: I have already received answer to my message from the 4 manufacturing companies I inquired. The main information in their answers was:
  • Using POLYESTER film (same as POLYESTER ACETATE) to protect the stamps.
  • Keeping the stamps away from UV light.
None of them answered if it is safe to keep them on the laminated sheets [PET plastic, PE plastic and EVA] for long-term storage.

I have pushed them a bit more with this specific matter and hopefully will get some answer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:04 AM   #16  
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Long-term Storage of Clear Stamps*

Clear Stamps that should be checked more frequently (or moved to Dura-lar or Laminated Sheets).
Kept on their original packaging acetate sheet, these have been know to melt over time.
  • 7 Gypsies
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Fiskars
  • Hampton Arts
  • Hot Off The Press
  • Inkadinkado
  • Martha Stewart
  • Studio G.

Clear stamps that are apparently not affected.
  • Crafty Secrets
  • Hero Arts
  • Paper Studio
  • Printworks
  • Stampendous
  • Stampington
  • October Afternoon

This information was provided by: Roni Johnson [InkStainswithRoni blog]

* We can work to expand this list. I will work on a FACT-SHEET with all the information I gather to help us preserve our beloved and costly stamps.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:11 AM   #17  
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I'm another one who assumed that they could be stored on the sheets they come in. Don't the sellers keep their inventory stored on those same sheets for extended periods of time? I have had many of my photopolymer stamps stored in their original packaging for years and have had no problems. Maybe I'm on borrowed time with this? If I have to change the storage method that I'm using, I'll be selling off a lot of stamps. I just will not continue to pour $ into storage.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:39 AM   #18  
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I was even thinking about laminating and just attaching the manufacturers sheet on the sheet to be certain. Oh dear...
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CandidaView Post
Long-term Storage of Clear Stamps*

Clear Stamps that should be checked more frequently (or moved to Dura-lar or Laminated Sheets).
Kept on their original packaging acetate sheet, these have been know to melt over time.
  • 7 Gypsies
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Fiskars
  • Hampton Arts
  • Hot Off The Press
  • Inkadinkado
  • Martha Stewart
  • Studio G.

Clear stamps that are apparently not affected.
  • Crafty Secrets
  • Hero Arts
  • Paper Studio
  • Printworks
  • Stampendous
  • Stampington
  • October Afternoon

This information was provided by: Roni Johnson [InkStainswithRoni blog]

* We can work to expand this list. I will work on a FACT-SHEET with all the information I gather to help us preserve our beloved and costly stamps.
My Rubber stamps are on EZ-mount and I keep those on the official EZ-Mount storage sheets that I bought from Gina K

I have a few clear stamps from Flourishes and some from Justrite that I keep on the storage sheet that came with the stamps. Are those storage sheets safe for long term storage ? I see my 2 Inkadinkado stamp sets will need new storage sheets .

Thanks goodness I always preferred rubber stamps so I don't have dozens of clear stamp sets


Candida Thanks for all your work on this . I never knew there would be a problem with the storage sheets that came with the stamps.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:13 AM   #20  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by fionna51View Post
I had to check my page protectors that I put my stamp storage cards in. Hadn't even thought of that!

Whew! They're acid free, NO PVC. So I guess they're ok.
That's exactly why I send some of the pouches through the laminator with no card stock in them - I'm making cover sheets so both sides of the stamps are "protected".
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:05 AM   #21  
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Good Idea!
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:47 AM   #22  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PhantomView Post
I'm another one who assumed that they could be stored on the sheets they come in. Don't the sellers keep their inventory stored on those same sheets for extended periods of time? I have had many of my photopolymer stamps stored in their original packaging for years and have had no problems. Maybe I'm on borrowed time with this? If I have to change the storage method that I'm using, I'll be selling off a lot of stamps. I just will not continue to pour $ into storage.
I'm with you! I refuse to spend more money, and a whole lot more time, on figuring out how to store my stamps. I keep them in their original packaging until the cellophane bag rips, and then I use another bag/clear envelope. Nothing against those who do that. It just wouldn't work for me.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:34 AM   #23  
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I bought myself a cheap laminator, (you can get them for around $20 on Amazon) and packs of laminating pouches from our Poundstores. I just laminate a thin sheet of card, to make them a little stronger. I've been storing my photopolymers on these for at least 5 years, and they are fine. I came to that conclusion after buying some storage sheets for them, and realising that that is all these sheets were- laminated card. Now they are all stored in 4 ring binders.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:45 AM   #24  
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I don't know.... I just keep them in the pkg. they come in. That said, I maybe only have 5 sets of clear stamps. I don't like spending$$$$$ on storage, so I go the easy route.

After reading the above responses about pkg. they come in possibly not being safe shocks me. This is crazy! I have no desire to to hunt down other storage. Are any companies safe?

I have two SU, one Lawn Fawn, one PTI, one Hero Arts and one I'm not sure about.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:13 AM   #25  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Allistamps123View Post
I don't know.... I just keep them in the pkg. they come in. That said, I maybe only have 10-15 sets of clear stamps. I don't like spending$$$$$ on storage, so I go the easy route.
Easy is good but be sure to pull them off their sheets every now and then to make sure they aren't melting into the packaging. You'll be upset if you stamps turn into gummy blobs are tear when you take them off the package.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #26  
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UPDATE: I am getting in contact with stamp companies to check what kind of backing acetate is used for the stamps in the package. This way we know what stamps can remain in their original package and what is more safe to change.

Question: I would like to know if the acetate film used to hold the clear stamps in the original packaging is polyester based (Polyester Film) or regular acetate.

So far, I got these answers:

HEROARTS: The film used for our clear stamps is regular acetate. [CHANGE!]

JUSTRITE: Back in the early 90’s, a major transition was made from acetate to polyester. The visuals are pretty subtle, so there may not be much of a chance of the customer identifying which is which. If your collection is later than, say, ’92, then it’s almost a sure bet that it is polyester. [OK!]

More to come!
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:13 AM   #27  
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Originally Posted by stamphappy1650View Post
Easy is good but be sure to pull them off their sheets every now and then to make sure they aren't melting into the packaging. You'll be upset if you stamps turn into gummy blobs are tear when you take them off the package.
I thought I had 10 or more sets. Looks like only 5! I don't want them eventually breaking down. I'm planning to buy quite a few from SU's holiday catty. Does anyone know if SU is safe?

I just read Hero Arts is not safe. What are these companies thinking? Do they advise anywhere to find other storage? This is nuts! I just can't believe it.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:05 AM   #28  
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I thought I had 10 or more sets. Looks like only 5! I don't want them eventually breaking down. I'm planning to buy quite a few from SU's holiday catty. Does anyone know if SU is safe?

I just read Hero Arts is not safe. What are these companies thinking? Do they advise anywhere to find other storage? This is nuts! I just can't believe it.
I think that they are thinking that at the price point it is a disposable part of a hobby and that if people wanted more permanent stamps they would buy rubber.

Well I think that is what their initial feedback survey told them and that is how they set up their manufacturing business model. I think the game changed however, but the model was already set.

It isn't a loss situation for them if the stamp deteriorates. They can either replace or not. The cost of replacing and the good publicity is negligible. Most stampers (which SCS is only a small portion of) won't contact the manufacturer to replace faulty goods after years, who to say they stored it correctly etc. Just look at how many people threw away their Spectrum Noir markers and even Copic markers.

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Old 08-03-2014, 07:59 AM   #29  
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Well this is frustrating! I will stay away from clear from now on! I will ask at my local stamp store if she has any safe storage.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:52 PM   #30  
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I just started storing my clear and cling stamps on no-melt mylar quilting template sheets. I discovered these by accident a few weeks ago. They were on clearance at my local Wal-Mart for $1 a pack. I cut them in half and put stamps on both sides, then put them in good baggies I bought on Etsy.

Here's a link to the sheets:

No-Melt Mylar Template Sheets, 6ct: Crafts : Walmart.com
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:55 PM   #31  
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I spoke to my boss at Inky Antics and she said that the polymer stamps are actually made and cured directly onto those carrier sheets, and it’s fine for long-term storage.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #32  
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Thank you, Nancy!

That is good news. One to cross off my list!

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I spoke to my boss at Inky Antics and she said that the polymer stamps are actually made and cured directly onto those carrier sheets, and it’s fine for long-term storage.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #33  
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That is a great solution, Marcy!

Mylar is equivalent to Grafix's Dura-lar. You can also look for Sizzix BigshotPro Mylar shims.

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I just started storing my clear and cling stamps on no-melt mylar quilting template sheets. I discovered these by accident a few weeks ago. They were on clearance at my local Wal-Mart for $1 a pack. I cut them in half and put stamps on both sides, then put them in good baggies I bought on Etsy.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:26 PM   #34  
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Long-term Storage of Clear Stamps*

Clear Stamps that should be checked more frequently (or moved to Dura-lar or Laminated Sheets).
Kept on their original packaging acetate sheet, these have been know to melt over time.
  • 7 Gypsies
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Fiskars
  • Hampton Arts
  • Hot Off The Press
  • Inkadinkado
  • Martha Stewart
  • Studio G.

Clear stamps that are apparently not affected.
  • Crafty Secrets
  • Hero Arts
  • Paper Studio
  • Printworks
  • Stampendous
  • Stampington
  • October Afternoon

This information was provided by: Roni Johnson [InkStainswithRoni blog]

* We can work to expand this list. I will work on a FACT-SHEET with all the information I gather to help us preserve our beloved and costly stamps.
I'm guessing that the second group are the better quality photopolymer stamps and the first group of stamps are acrylic or some other clear material. Perhaps someone here knows for sure.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #35  
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I looked up my reply from Royal Sovereign.

Laminating pouches, such as SCR-003 is made out of 2 components. The outer layer of the pouch is made out of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and the inner layer is made out of Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).
(the inner layer of EVA is the "glue" layer)

So. My laminating pouches seem to be safe for both EZMount and Photopolymer. I'll keep using them!
What about xyron laminate? Does anyone know if it is also safe? Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:03 PM   #36  
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I have an Inkadinkado set of clear stamps that are greetings . The original storage sheet has an image of the greetings printed on it .
When I take them off that sheet I won't know what the greeting says .

How are you dealing with that ??

I have one set of Martha Stewart birds that are stuck so firmly I am not sure I will be able to get them off the storage sheet .

This is discouraging that the companies didn't provide the proper long term storage sheets.

Thanks goodness I never had much success getting a crisp stamped image from clear stamps so most of my stamps are rubber
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:21 PM   #37  
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I'm guessing that the second group are the better quality photopolymer stamps and the first group of stamps are acrylic or some other clear material. Perhaps someone here knows for sure.
I have one set of Hero Arts stamps and it says on the back of the package they are made from 100% Photo-Polymer . It also says when you finish using the stamp to clean it and put it back on the storage sheet . So they must have provided a safe long term storage sheet .
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:02 AM   #38  
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all of my "real" photo polymer stamps are fine and I have zero worries about long term. I simply do not buy the cheap stuff. They don't work right from the get go. Hero Arts is fine and I have a set I bought YEARS ago. It's been in hot storage, cold storage, used, cleaned, ignored and is fine.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:47 AM   #39  
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I have an Inkadinkado set of clear stamps that are greetings . The original storage sheet has an image of the greetings printed on it .
When I take them off that sheet I won't know what the greeting says .

How are you dealing with that ??

I have one set of Martha Stewart birds that are stuck so firmly I am not sure I will be able to get them off the storage sheet .

This is discouraging that the companies didn't provide the proper long term storage sheets.

Thanks goodness I never had much success getting a crisp stamped image from clear stamps so most of my stamps are rubber

Barbara Jay, I have taken the image sheet and adhered it to the outside of my stamp storage sheet.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #40  
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see below

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Originally Posted by Barbara JayView Post
I have an Inkadinkado set of clear stamps that are greetings . The original storage sheet has an image of the greetings printed on it . When I take them off that sheet I won't know what the greeting says . How are you dealing with that ?? I ink all my clear stamps with black StazOn so I can read them. Stazon will not hurt your stamp and in some cases, my stamps actually stamp better. Once the StazOn dries it will not come off when you stamp a different color.

I have one set of Martha Stewart birds that are stuck so firmly I am not sure I will be able to get them off the storage sheet . Run the sheet under warm water or you could try putting them in the freezer for a bit. Just make sure you pull slowly so the stamp doesn't tear.
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