Hi! Today I have something a little different for you. I love seeing how everyone keeps their crafty supplies organized. I’ve found the most wonderful ideas on other blogs! I’ve taken some of those ideas and tweaked them a bit, so I thought I’d share my own system for keeping stamps organized.
I’ve tried a few different methods for storing my clear stamps, but eventually joined the band-wagon and followed Jennifer McGuire’s system (more or less). She is so wonderfully organized, and her collection of supplies is a dream. (Thanks for sharing with us, Jennifer!)
She stores her stamps in plastic sleeves designed especially for stamps. I took the budget route, and found some inexpensive sleeves that are the right size and work just fine (link below). Mine are open at the top, but I found I actually prefer that. Since I store them all right-side-up nothing falls out, and it’s quick and easy to get into them. Instead of plastic storage, I’ve opted for baskets – I love baskets. (The one above came from either Michaels or JoAnns. Sorry, no link.) 🙂
I tried to make this system as easy as possible so I can stay on top of it, so most of my stamps I just leave attached to the plastic sheets that they arrived on. I just take them out of the package, and slide them into the sleeve. Usually, the designs are already printed on the sheet, so they’re easy to see. Sometimes (as above, with the Mama Elephant label), I’ll cut out some of the packaging and glue it to the cardstock piece. Other times, I’ll print out labels. Either way, I do make sure to save any relevant information (name of stamp set, manufacturer, etc.)
Most of my effort goes into my index system. See that number 31 at the top of the sleeve? That’s important. Avid stampers often talk about the problem of keeping track of their stash and avoiding buying duplicates. My index system serves two purposes – it helps me avoid double-purchases, and it helps me find what I need when I’m crafting.
These are my index binders – currently three for stamps, and one for die-cuts/punches. However, this system is really easy to adjust – I’ll be starting a new binder soon. (Oh how I wish I could find more of these binders! I LOVE them – bought them years ago, haven’t been able to find them since. They never jam – the rings are super-solid.) The labels (on binders and sleeves) were made with my Brother P-Touch (link below). I am so addicted to this little machine! If you like to organize things, I can’t recommend it enough.
When I’m ready to make a card, I will often page through these, looking for inspiration. But they are organized so I can quickly find something, if I know what I’m looking for. Say I’m looking for a cat image. I just go to the binder marked “animals”, and there’s a special tab for cats:Each image is stamped on its own little baseball-card sized piece of cardstock. (Sometimes, for very tiny images, I’ll put a few on the same card, if they go together.) When I find something I want to use, I just flip the page over – the location of the stamp is written on the back.For example, that card on the bottom right says “SL-23” at the top. That means that I’ve stored that particular stamp in a sleeve numbered 23. And since I keep those sleeves in numerical order, it’s a breeze to locate it. Some of my older stamps are still in CD cases. Not a problem – the CD’s are numbered the same way. I even include digi-stamps in my index. (All locations are written in pencil, so if I ever move anything, it will be easy to adjust.)
I learned about the baseball sleeves from another stamper – wish I could give credit, but it was a while ago and I didn’t write down who it was. Many thanks to the brilliant stamper that came up with this system! You see, there are two reasons why this system is so brilliant:
(1) It’s so easy revise it. For example, I currently have a tab marked “bugs”. If my collection of bugs were to grow, I could split it up into tabs for butterflies, bees, and caterpillars, without re-stamping anything. I would just re-arrange the cards.
(2) I can easily categorize a particular stamp under more than one heading. For example, I have two cat stamps with pumpkins. In addition to storing them under “cats”, I could also store them under “Fall”, or “Halloween”. It makes it so easy to find what I want. Some people organize their actual stamps, and that’s great… but you can only put the stamp in one place. I can index them in as many places as I want. 🙂
I am also using a similar system for punches and dies. It works almost as well, though most of the images are too big for baseball card sleeves. If/when my collection of dies gets much bigger, I may modify this, but it works for now.
How do you store your stamps? Is there anything you would do to improve on this system? I’d love to hear! Or if you have any questions about my system, just let me know. I’m pretty easy to track down. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, and happy stamping!