Monday, March 05, 2012

Mission Organization: 6 x 6 paper

Welcome to the next installment of my organizational series.  Today we are going to talk about organizaing 6 x 6 papers.  Why you ask?  Why not talk about the traditional sized papers like 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12?  Well I just discovered 6 x 6 paper pads and am soo excited about them!  (Yes...I know these aren't's just I don't live near a craft store so often I make do with what I have...and I didn't have these before!)  You see I do scrapbook and I have always purchased 12 x 12 paper.  Lately though I have been making more cards than scrapbook pages.  I always dread cutting into a full sized sheet just to make a card.  Sometimes I'd pass up the perfect patterned paper even if it matched the theme of my card because I just couldn't justify cutting into that 12 x 12 sheet.  So I browsed on and founds tons of 6 x 6 papers that are perfect for card making!  I ordered a few and was soo impressed with them when they came!  I even took some of my 12 x 12 papers that I had duplicate sheets of and cut them into 6 x 6 too.  I did the same with some of my scraps.  Another nice thing about these smaller papers is that they are so much cheaper than the larger sheets not only in purchase price but also in shipping costs too.  Don't you just love being frugal!

Here is my 6 x 6 paper storage solution. I just love this little pink plastic tote! It cost me $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. I may just have to get some more bins in case my paper collection expands one day! LOL!  Anyway, the tin with the handle inside the pink tote is just to keep the papers from flopping over since I don't have that many.  I was inspired by Patter Cross's stamp inventory rolodex (you can see it here) when I made the tabs for my dividers.  I simply cut cardstock into 6 x 6.5" sheets.  I applied the oval tag from my tags galore file and a little ribbon to the top of each cardstock sheet.  This makes up my dividers.  I used two different kinds of ribbon because I just didn't have enough.  Probably would look better if they were alternating but I didn't feel like ripping everything apart to do that!  I used my label maker to add labels to the oval.  Since I didn't have complete pads with the packaging showing the name of each paper collection and such I decided to write the name and brand of the paper on the tabs.

I cut extra ribbon and ovals and attached them to the back of the box so I can easily add more dividers if my
collection expands.

Note:  Click on the photos to view them larger.

Above you can see one of the collections I just purchased.  It is stored behind the My Mind's Eye dolled up tab.  I also kept the front cover of the paper pad for easy reference.  I like to keep  collections together but you could also sort these by color if that works for you better.

I have a few digital paper packs I designed in my store that I always forget I can use for hybrid card projects.  So I printed some previews of the papers in draft mode to save on ink.  I cut them at 6 x 6 width and I didn't care what height they were.  If you purchased 12 x 12 paper to print on you could get true 6 x 6 sheets for these digital paper previews too but I wanted to be frugal so I used standard letter sized card stock to print on.  I printed previews for any digital kits that I thought might work for card making and put them under the digital tab.

Digital versions of Cosmo Cricket and Echo park are my favorite so I put them in a separate tab.  You can get these papers at They also sell Pink Paislee.  Jessica puts items on special every Wednesdays.
The nice thing about these digital papers is you can actually scale the print down if it's too large for your card.  You can also just print just the size you need.  For instance....if you need a 2.5 x 5 inch strip then print out a 3 x 6 just to be sure and cut off the excess.  There is no need to print a full sheet and waste all that ink! 

Oh and I really don't have a lot of scraps from these just yet but when I do I intend to use the stiff clear envelopes that Creative Memories stickers and such used to come in.  I will place the scraps in the envelopes and file them with the rest of the collection.

Supplies needed for my 6 x 6 paper pad storage
Bin big enough to hold the paper upright (bought mine at Dollar Tree)
Card stock or chipboard for dividers
ribbon (optional)
labeler (optional) 

 I have found a few other ideas for storing these 6 x 6 papers.  So I will share them with you now.

I did see these at the Dollar Tree and almost bought them.  It must have been that light pink color of the bin I bought that won me over!  Anyway, Betsy Veldman uses these crates to store scraps that have been cut to 6 x 6 size.  She also has a neat way to make her own paper using strips of scraps here

Chris Simon uses the same method I used except she made her own box out of foam board.  I love how she decorated it with pretty paper!  She gives instructions here. I wonder if you could make this for 12 x 12 paper by enlarging the dimensions?

Leenda uses an accordion file folder to store her paper pads in.  She stores the scraps right in the same slot.  Read more about her method here.

Jody Marrow uses a plastic 3 drawer cart to store her paper pads.  I think this one on the Wal-mart website would work.  Gosh I'm soo envious of all her wonderful paper!  Read more about her system here.

Oh I almost forgot....Jody has a brilliant idea for those of you who use markers to color images for your cards.  She writes the Copic marker number that matches the paper pad directly on the cover so she doesn't have to take the time to find the colors each time she uses that paper pack.  If you have artist you admire who uses markers and lists the patterned paper they use then you can just copy the colors down that they use so you don't have to take the time to match either. 
I know you are probably thinking..what in the world does this have to do with paper organization.  Well leave it up to Patter Cross to turn this into something practical and beautiful! 

Patter spray painted all the bins brown and then used it to organize her 6 x 6 papers among other things.  There are 7 boxes on that toy storage unit that can be used for 6 x 6 paper storage!  It will hold a ton of paper!  Patter you are my idol!  Hmmm I wonder if the kids would mind if I took over theirs!  LOL!  Well maybe in 10 years it will be mine!  Read more about Patter's transformation here.

Okay this is 6 x 6 paper storage in a nutshell.  I hope you'll come to love this sized paper as much as I do!  Thanks for stopping by!  Come back again!  I do apologize this post took longer to come together than I thought it would but it is still Monday right!?!

Enjoy the rest of your week!