Organizing Rubber Stamps

Today I want to expand on how I organize my craft space. I am a big fan of rubber stamps. When I first started buying them I would keep them in a small box on my shelf. When I needed a stamp I had to pick each one out of the box to find the one I wanted. As my box got bigger I had to look through more stamps and it became pretty annoying. I decided to look for a better way to store them, a way to see a lot at once and be able to pick up only the one I needed. I really liked some photos I saw online that used creative wooden storage, small shelves or picture ledges. Unfortunately, I live in a rental and can’t commit to wall storage on the kind of scale I’d like. I needed something that would fit on my giant bookcase by my desk and be more useful than bins and boxes. I looked around for drawer type storage but a lot of the products I found were too deep, then I’d just be digging in a box again! I finally found a perfect solution at The Container Store. The product I purchased was Stackable Desktop Drawers. I bought two sets, each set has three drawers. These are the perfect depth for a wood mounted rubber stamp. I stacked the two sets and they fit perfectly on the shelf. The drawers are sturdy and the weight of the stamps inside means that I can easily slide out the drawers and look for my stamps without the whole thing moving around. I am very happy with this system and will be adding a third set of drawers soon!

The perfect stamp drawer

A huge innovation in the stamping world came in the form of “Cling” stamps. These stamps are not mounted on a wood block. The benefit is that you can buy the stamp at a lower cost and without all the wood mounts, the stamps take us less space. A lot of these style stamps are being made in a clear material that you stick onto an acrylic block that acts as the traditional wood block. This is a great invention because it lets you see exactly where your stamped image will be! You can also buy traditional pink rubber stamps with backing of cling material that sticks to the acrylic block. If you carve your own stamps you can buy a sticky backed cling sheet to turn your own creation into a cling stamp. I have all three of these varieties and love them. Storage became an issue quickly as I was digging through piles of sheets of stamps. I found a set of 3 ring binder inserts that are basically thick plastic pages that the stamps stick to. I keep my stamps on these pages in a big binder and can flip through it easily while seeing all of the stamps laid flat. Some brands stick better than others, and a larger sheet sometimes stays put better than a small one. In the end, it depends on the stamp. I do have a small box for the ones that just won’t stick in the binder. Overall, I like this method and would recommend it as a low cost way to store “Cling” stamps. I purchase my storage sheets at www.blockheadstamps.com.

Cling stamp binder

I couldn’t enjoy any of my stamps without ink pads. To organize my ink pads, cleaner, and various acrylic stamping blocks, I use a stacked set of storage bins. This particular product is made by Snapware. I can keep the acrylic blocks and my black ink pad in the top section which is smaller, and all the other ink in the other two sections. This really holds a lot of ink pads and allows me to pick it up of the shelf and bring it to my desk easily.

My Stamping Box
Nice and Tidy
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Organizing with 3 Ring Binders – Embellishments

Today I want to expand on how great the 3 ring binder can be. Basically, this is the same storage method I use for stickers. When scrapbooking and card making first became a hobby, I used all sorts of storage containers. Currently, the endless options for embellishments means that I have way more than a few plastic boxes can handle. When you think about all of the buttons, brads, eyelets, clips, flowers, and other tiny things you have lying around, it can be overwhelming. Trying to keep all of these things sorted and easily accessible can be tricky. The biggest reason I wanted a better way to organize them is because I wanted to use them! It’s really easy to forget about all of the great embellishments you have when you can’t find them and look at them easily. Now I keep almost every embellishment style in my 3 ring binder.

In addition to the clear trading card storage pages, and a 3 ring binder, you will need one other  item to make this storage solution work. Tiny zip top bags. I bought mine at JoAnn’s in the jewelry supply section. Just make sure they are small enough to fit into the pocket of a trading card page and you’re all set!

Small zip top bags

The fun part, call me crazy, is filling all the little zip top bags with embellishments! You might be asking yourself, why can’t I just put the embellishments in the pocket without a bag? Trust me, it’s much quicker to pull out a little bag then trying to pick out the tiny piece you need from a tiny pocket. Also, if you ever drop the binder or pick it up when it’s upside down, you will be glad you took the time to use zip top bags! I haven’t made category tabs for my binders like I did with the sticker binder, but now that my embellishment collection has called for a second binder, it might be time to add tabs! The best part is seeing all of your stuff in one place and being able to get to it easily. A few inches of shelf space per binder makes for a much cleaner looking craft area. I hope this system helps you use your creativity without getting frustrated with your materials.

My embellishment binder

Organizing with 3 Ring Binders – Stickers

Happy 2012! To start off the new year I want to talk about storage and organization. Like most people who have crafty hobbies or jobs, I organize my supplies. I’m better with some than others. In hopes of helping other frustrated crafters, I want to share a few of my favorite organization methods. First up, 3 ring binders. You can use one you already have or find them just about anywhere from inexpensive plain ones to deluxe versions. I spent a little bit of money on what have become my favorite binders. Those are the 5″ binders, not only do they hold more stuff, but they have the rings mounted inside the back cover so that the pages lay flat and are easier to turn. I have a great big shelf from IKEA, I keep all of my binders on it so that whatever I need is right next to my desk.

 

Shelf full of binders

 

To store all of my stickers I use a large 3 ring binder filled with trading card storage pages. I usually buy the trading card pages at Target. Each page is hold punched and binder ready. There are nine storage slots in a three by three format. These are the perfect size for stickers! I made sections for my binder using white address label stickers. I cut the stickers into smaller lengths and placed them on the trading card pages to act as tabs. Like on file folders, I labeled each tab to keep track of the stickers subject matter.

 

Labeled sticker sections

 

I have been collecting and using my stickers for a very long time. If you need a sticker for a certain project, than this is by far the best way to find just what you want. I have sections for Birthdays, Weddings, Animals, Food, Flowers, and just about every other category you can imagine! When you look at the picture above you can see how easy it is to jump right in and find that perfect sticker.

 

Inside the sticker binder

 

As you can see, each little pocket holds a different style sticker. The Mrs. Grossman’s brand stickers fit perfectly and come in perforated strips that you can tear apart and stack. I buy these sticker sheets in packs or tear them off the roll at a few local stationary shops when I just need a few. Some of my other favorite stickers are Sticko brand. These stickers are really inexpensive, especially when they are on sale! They come on a larger single sheet, I just cut them into smaller sections that fit into the storage pockets. Most sticker sheets can be cut to fit, I have a large envelope that fits into the 3 ring binder for really big stickers. This binder makes locating the right sticker for the right project a breeze. I highly recommend this storage method as it is easy to use and it takes up little shelf space while keeping thousands of stickers tidy.

 

A big collection in a small space