Monday, February 27, 2012

Mission Organization: Stamps

Hello!  Welcome to the next installment in my mission to organize series.  Today we will talk about stamp storage.
Stamping has been a love and hate relationship.   At one point I went and sold off all my stamps because they were being neglected for die cuts and stickers.  Then Copic markers hit the scene and once again I became passionate about stamps again.    So...even though I have been paper crafting for 13 years I do not have a massive supply of stamps.  I have discovered my favorite companies though like Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up, and CC designs.  Some stamps are just not as good of quality as others!  In this case you really do get what you paid for!

I will tell you that my stamp storage system isn't the absolute perfect system.  I wanted to use what I had on hand...without having to buy anything.  So...that is what I did.  It works in that I can find the stamp I want and I know exactly where to put it back easily.  It does look primitive and at times I often wonder if I should spend a little more money to perfect my system.  But in the end I would rather buy more stamps!  ;)

The tote is an old Creative Memories consultant item a friend of mine gave me. Thanks a million Janine!  It was when they didn't have 12 x 12 papers so the folders are little smaller. I used the Creative Memories power layout guides and placed one in each folder. I labeled the guides with alphabetical letter stickers on each tab. I also covered each guide with a scrapbooking page protector just in case a stamp would fall off the sheet.

Note:  click on photos to view larger.

As you can see above the stamps are attached to the power layout guide (white sheet).  Clear stamps usually come on two sheets of with the images imprinted on them and one clear.  If the two sheets stick well together  then I put a strong adhesive such as score tape on the back side of the clear sheet and attach both to the folder as in the large flower stamp set above.  Sometimes the clear sheet doesn't want to stay stuck so I just glue the imprinted sheet onto the power layout guide and place the clear stamps on top as in the bird one. For those rubber stamps that are on EZ mount foam  like the CC designs stamps... I adhere an acetate sheet or clear transparency to the  power layout guide and the EZ mount clings to this.  For rubber stamps I unmounted I brushed Aleene's Tack it Over and Over Again glue to the back of the stamp and let it dry.  These stamps stick directly onto the power layout guide (they also stick well to the acrylic blocks).

I organize the stamps alphabetically by name.  No I do NOT know the name of each and every stamp set I own.  I do have an alphabetical inventory on my computer as well as a categorical inventory that I can look at to find the stamp I need. Eventually, I want to make a physical catalog of all my stamps.  I'm just still trying to figure out the best method.  

I have most of my rubber stamps unmounted from their wood but with sentiments I prefer to leave them on the wood.  If not I get the stamp upside down or backwards. So some of my sentiment stamps are on top of this stand that holds my Flower Soft and colored fluff (learn how to make your own colored fluff here).  I got this at the Good Will store but I'm not sure what it was designed to hold.

Here are the rest of my stamps.  Older Stampin' Up sentiment stamps in the larger plastic cases.  The newer SU stamps come in these wonderful DVD cases that are labeled in the front and side.   The plastic case I got ages ago and I'm not sure they make it anymore.  It it designed to hold stamps with a tray that holds the embossing heat gun too.  This holds more sentiment stamps,the stamp a ma jig, and a few stamps I haven't gotten around to unmounting yet.

Items needed for my stamp storage system:
Filing tote and file folders
Power Layout Guides  or something similar such as stiff quilter's plastic cut to size
Scor-Tape or any strong adhesive that will stick to the acetate 
Acetate Sheets (if you have any stamps mounted on EZ mount foam)
Scrapbooking page protectors

I have searched the internet up and down and quite frankly I haven't found that many ideas for stamp storage.  All the systems are very similar.  However, I will share what I have found.  My system actually was inspired by combining many other storage ideas I have seen over the years.

MichelleO uses a method similar to mine except on a smaller scale.  She uses these card keeper boxes and laminated card stock to directly stick her stamps to.  If I had access to a laminator I would definitely be using this method.  Any box even the photo storage boxes would work for this method.  Check out more info on Michelle's blog here.

This is the exact same system as above but she uses clear cellophane bags to encase the stamps and laminated cardstock in.  This would be nice if you had a metal die you wanted to store with the stamp.  Check out more info on the blog A Vegas Girl at Heart.

Note:  I think some have had sucess using clear contact paper to cover the card stock however I did not have luck with this.  The stamps would not stick to othe contact paper for me.

Nancy has a wonderful frugal and practical idea for stamp storage.  She uses envelopes to slip the stamps into.  She also includes an index of the stamps on the front of the envelope making it easy to see what is contained inside.  She puts all the envelops in a canvas box.  Check out more on her blog here.

Here is another Nancy with very easy simple storage.  She keeps all the stamps in their original packaging and places dividers in between to categorize them.  I love this pink fabric box she has them stored in!  Check out more info on her blog here.

Patter Cross (my organizational idol) uses univenture binder boxes and pages from Gina K to store her stamps in.  She has a wonderfully detailed explaination on this storage method here. She even shows you how to do an inventory file in Excel.

Mary Rose uses empty DVD cases she purchased from Amuse studio to store her stamps.  She prefers these over the CD cases because you can fit an entire stamp set onto both sides of the case without worrying about the stamps sticking together. Check out more info on her blog here.

Jennifer Mcguire has an absolutely amazing craft room!  I am soo jealous.  She has two ways of stamp storage on her blog.  They are in video form.  One uses the mini clip it up and the other uses binders.  You can see both video here.

Angela is another person whom I'm jealous of!  She too has a craft room that looks like it jumped out of a magazine!  If you have the wall space this is a great idea!  She uses cap moulding designed for the top of bead board and turns it upside down to store her stamps.  Check out more info on her blog here.

I love the idea of using the vent to store wooden stamps courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Nicole has another absolutely amazing craft room!  She is super organized!  She uses art bin boxes to store her wooden stamps in.  Check out a video tour of her space along with lots of deets on her blog here.

Whew!  This post took me alot longer than I expected so I've gotta run!  Thanks for stopping by!  Please come back again!




Vanessa said...

My stamps are in a state of total disarray, so this is helpful. One of these days, I'm going to tackle those. Once this semester is over. :)