Soaking and Mounting Stamps using Hinges

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Collect together your stamps that need soaking off paper, separate out any that are on coloured paper which may run and stain the stamps. Get a bowl or other container of warm or cold water and put your stamps in to soak.
Removing Stamps from Paper
After a time, I usually let them soak for 24 hours, most of the stamps will have floated off the backing paper. Using clean hands gently lift the stamps away from the backing paper, if the water is particularly stained with dirt and glue you might like to rinse the stamps in a second bowl of water.
Drying the Stamps
Place the stamps on a flat absorbent surface to dry for at least 24 hours or longer. They must be completely dry before you mount them in your album.
Self adhesive stamps
It may be necessary to carefully roll the self adhesive glue off the back of the stamps prior to drying them.
Coloured backing paper
The problem with this is the colour might run out of the paper and stain your stamps. The best solution is to do only a few at a time, use cold water and remove paper as soon as possible.

Prepare your work area,  have your work area clear and clean with the stamp album open at the correct page and the stamp you are going to mount resting on the page, face down and with the top of the stamp facing toward the top of the page.
Prepare yourself, wash and dry your hands, and rinse out your mouth. Remember, food, drink and mounting stamps do not mix.
Folding Hinges
Normally, stamp hinges are sold already folded, however if yours are not you will need to do this  yourself, fold the top third over with the gum on the outside, making a firm crease.
Using tweezers pick up the stamp hinge and use your tongue to lightly moisten the smaller part of the hinge. Position the hinge at the top of the stamp about one millimeter down from the top and press it down gently.
Now, using your tweezers again pick up the stamp and moisten the larger part of the hinge with your tongue. Place the stamp down in the correct spot and gently press it onto the page. Take a moment to appreciate how satisfying your hobby can be.
If you make a mistake DO NOT try to rectify it until the gum has completely dried, say in 24 hours time, otherwise you might damage the stamp or album page.
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