Organizing Stamps

It seems like every year one or more of my resolutions involve organization. This year is no exception, and I have a fairly long list of projects to tackle. However, unlike my other resolutions to exercise more and lose weight, I really look forward to digging in to different areas around my house and straightening things out. There is something about looking in a drawer or closet and seeing everything neatly in its place that makes me happy.

A little over a year ago, I decided to find a new system for organizing my growing stamp collection. I’ve tried many things in the past, from narrow shelves to hold wood-mounted stamps to binders full of clear stamps to stacks of CD cases, but nothing seemed to work as well as I envisioned.

After a few false starts, I have finally come up with a system that is working really well… I can find what I need quickly, and it is easy to put everything back when I am finished. The best part is that I am actually using my stamps more often, as I no longer dread having to spend 20 minutes searching through binders and boxes to find what I want. I use one system to store my cling and clear stamps and another for rubber stamps.

Cling and Clear Stamp Storage

I was intrigued by the idea of using a Clip-it-Up but thought I would see if I could find a less expensive option. After seeing some examples online, I decided to try making my own using a shoe rack that I found on clearance as the base.

It wasn’t too difficult to create this… the most time-consuming part was moving all of my stamp sets into the clear pockets.

Bolt cutters helped snip off the extra parts, and rubber tips were hot glued onto the cut ends. (You can find more details about how I made it by reading this post.)

I thought I had come up with a great solution… until I had been using it for a few days… and everything started to get a bit wobbly to the point where the whole thing almost toppled over. I tried re-tightening the poles, but I finally had to admit that it just wasn’t meant to hold so much weight. This might be a great solution for storing other types of supplies, but the stamps were simply too heavy.

I wound up taking off the two upper tiers and just using the base…considering I spent less than $15 on it, I still think it was a good solution.

One benefit from my experiment was that I learned that I really liked storing my stamps this way and having them so accessible. I decided to spend the extra money to buy an actual Clip-it-Up system and have been thrilled with the results. I have been using this system now for over a year and can report that the two-tier model has been holding up extremely well… no more wobbling!

It is so easy to flip through each set and see what I have. For stamps sets that came in clear packaging, I simply added a clip to the top. For other sets, I placed the stamps on pieces of transparency that I found at an office-supply store and cut to fit these clear pockets from Tim Holtz.

Wood-Mounted Stamp Storage

One of my most favorite storage pieces – and biggest splurge – is this set of drawers from First Choice Products. You wouldn’t believe how much they hold without taking up a lot of space. I store all sorts of things in the drawers – embellishments of all kinds, ribbon, stickers, and wood-mounted stamps.

The 1” drawers are the perfect size for all but the very thickest of my stamps… I use the 2” drawers for those. A label maker is one of my favorite tools for organizing.

One of the best things about these drawers is that they can be pulled out and moved to your work area and then easily put back when you are finished.

Although nowadays I find myself using clear stamps much more frequently, I think of wood-mounted stamps as mini works of art and use them to decorate my studio. I found these vintage wooden crates at an antique store for about $10 each and use them as shelves to store some of my favorite images and ink pads.

The size of the opening is perfect to highlight some of my smaller stamps that might otherwise be overlooked in a drawer. If you have been stamping for any length of time, I bet you recognize some of these… I remember a time when that dragonfly from Magenta was on almost every single card I made.

I also remember when this quote was part of the background of almost every card I created. Having these stamps on display is kind of like visiting with old friends.

Hope this has given you a few ideas you might be able to use in your own craft space.

Until next time – Happy Organizing!

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.com)

Capture Life’s Moments Stamped Card

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Explore new techniques when you stamp, color, and embellish this winter beauty.

Materials

  • 7 Gypsies Conservatory Mesa Fauna Patterned Paper
  • Pink Paislee Fancy Filigree Patterned Paper
  • Papertrey Ink: Cream Cardstock, Cream Ribbon, and Twine
  • Vintage Sheet Music Paper and Doily
  • Scrap of Black Cardstock
  • Blank Kraft Card Base, 5″x7″
  • Maya Road Chipboard Snowflake Set
  • Advantus Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Adhesive Pearls

Tools

  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die-Cutting System and Shapeabilities Snowflake Pendant Die S4-286
  • Impression Obsession Sled Wood Stamp H1796
  • Sakura: Koi Watercolor Paints, Small Round Brushes
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Tsukineko Jet Black StazOn Ink Pad
  • Stampin’ Up! White Craft Ink Pad
  • Sparkling Crystal Glitter
  • Iridescent Spray Mist
  • Sewing Machine and Cream Thread
  • Distressing Tool
  • Helmar ScrapDots Adhesive
  • Aleene’s Tacky Craft Glue
  • Glue Stick

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, paper towel, hair dryer, foam tape (optional)

Directions

STEP 1

Stamp image on cream cardstock with black StazOn ink.

STEP 2

Use Sakura Koi Watercolor Paints and the small round paintbrushes to paint the image. Let dry.

STEP 3

Spray doily with iridescent spray; add blue watercolor paint to wet doily. Let dry or dry with a hairdryer.

STEP 4

Trim image and distress edges if desired.

STEP 5

Cut patterned papers to size and mat. (4-7/8”x6-7/8” and 4-3/4”x6-3/4”)

STEP 6

Add doily to the matted papers so the bottom and sides touch the bottom and sides of the smallest piece of patterned paper.

STEP 7

Measure your stamped image and trim a piece of black cardstock slightly larger. Add to your card, lining it up so the top and sides have the same amount of space.

STEP 8

Use the glue stick to adhere the vintage sheet music paper to a piece of cream cardstock. Let dry. Use the Snowflake Pendant from Spellbinders to cut out a vintage sheet music snowflake.

STEP 9

Brush the snowflake with watered down Tacky Glue and sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry.

STEP 10

Press the chipboard snowflakes into the White ink pad to coat them with ink. Let dry and brush with Tacky Glue and sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry and spritz with Iridescent Spray.

STEP 11

Use your finger to spread a thickish layer of blue acrylic paint over the Metal Word Bands and let sit for a few moments. Make sure the paint sinks into the grooves of each letter. Wipe excess away paint. Let dry. When dry, buff the rest of the paint with a paper towel to remove it from the band.

STEP 12

When the sheet music snowflake is dry, layer it over the top of the doily; center it if desired, or place it to the left as shown.

STEP 13

Add the trimmed, distressed image to the top of the black cardstock at an angle to let the cardstock show through a little.

STEP 14

Wrap a piece of cream grosgrain ribbon around the panel, if desired.

STEP 15

Add some straight stitching with a sewing machine if desired. If not, make sure you have plenty of adhesive to keep your panel together.

STEP 16

Use the twine to tie the Word Band to the panel; a little strip of Foam Tape will elevate it a little, but this is optional.

STEP 17

Add the panel to the Kraft Card Base and stitch around the edge to secure in place.

STEP 18

To attach the glittered snowflakes, place a dollop of Helmar ScrapDots on the back of each one and press into position on the card. If the glue comes out the center of the snowflake, cover with an adhesive pearl.

STEP 19

Add some clear glitter to the roof and other areas of the stamped image for a complete winter look; set your card aside to dry.

by Catherine Scanlon for My Creative Classroom (http://www.mycreativeclassroom.com)