Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Prepping Patterns: Stickers and Tape Residue

The hunt for old patterns can take us anywhere, from musty garages, old homes, thrift shops to estate sales. Not everyone loves patterns as much as we do and some don't survive the years so well. Here's part two of advice gathered from members of the team on removing those stickers and what to do with marks on the front. 

Removing Stickers & Tape
Erika from ErikawithaK says
"I usually don't remove tape. No matter what, it usually leaves residue and the best way that I know to remove the residue (goo gone or hairspray) isn't paper friendly. If the tape is totally dried out, then I can usually pick it off easily but otherwise, I leave it to avoid doing more damage. Fortunately, most of the places that I get patterns from don't use stickers. There is either nothing or black marker, which there is really nothing you can do about, except maybe black it out more to cover what I paid. "
sydcam123 from sydcam123 says
"I use a hair dryer on low heat for stickers. They usually peel right off. "
"If I touch a warm iron to most stickers they will lift easily. Masking tape lifts well too. Scotch tape will melt and if it's cellophane tape it is probably so old and brittle that it will fall right off. A hair dryer on the scotch tape works fairly well. Some patterns I get have the flaps taped down and you have to remove it to get to the pattern. Heat works the best. For the tape residue that is left behind I take a piece of paper towel and place it over the residue and touch the iron to it. The residue sticks to the paper towel and I replace the piece of paper towel and repeat until it is gone or mostly gone. "
VogueVixens from VogueVixens says
We steam stickers to remove them using a kettle, then use Glue gone to remove the remaining stickiness(Value Village stickers are the worst). At first it causes the envelope to change colour, but the colour goes away after it dries. Then gently iron envelope.between fabric or pieces of paper.
Have not removed tape except for the old dry pieces that fall off.
We leave original price stickers from the fabric stores on, as said above, they add charm. 
Mary Anne from BunnysLuck says
"My best tip re: stickers: Beg, plead, snivel, and cry to the thrift store manager to NOT put stickers on the envelopes! Or put them somewhere that doesn't impact the integrity of the envelope. I was motivated to do this because one particular thrift store in my area delights in putting the sticker precisely over the face of one of the models on the envelope, so that if you are not extra careful in removing it, the face gets blotched. The manager said he would fix it, and lo and behold, he DID! No more blotchy faces!"

Dealing with Sharpies and Markers

Janet from VintagePatternsCo1 says
Don't get many stickers but referring to an earlier comment on sharpie prices and 'coloring' over them. I 'color' in my sharpie price but stick a small white label over the colored in area. The labels are bought in a small size so I don't have to cut them. I mention the sticker in the listing. Since so many sharpie prices are on the white background of the graphic...it makes the fix not so obvious. I mention the sharpie and sticker in the description.

 I discovered this simply wonderful tool at the hardware store... it's a big block of spony sponge-type thing that is used to clean soot off bricks, found in the paint section of Menards. I use it to clean off books and other paper products that are grimy and dirty. Simply magic! You can also use PlayDoh (which was originally designed to remove stains from walpaper!) but I prefer the brick cleaner. :-)
Emily from EmSewCrazy says
I erase the pencil marks and nicely scribble out the prices written in pen. The names and notes of the original pattern owner I leave alone although I will blur out names and addresses on the photos I upload. 
To remove stickers
  • Gently Iron
  • Use a Hairdryer
  • Steam Kettle
To remove/hide marks
  • Black it out
  • Cover with label
  • Erase with various utensils.
I hope this helps speed you on your pattern listing journey. Remember if they aren't listed they can't sell! If you have any great methods not listed please share in the comments below!

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