It is December and we are nearing the end of the year! Not only do we have the wonderful time of sharing with family and friends the joy of Christmas; but we also look ahead to the New Year. I have noticed after the Christmas holiday there are not only clearance sales, but also sales on all kinds of organization and storage options. The retail industry wants to “assist” us in our quest to met our New Year’s Resolutions. For me the battle of staying organized in my stamp room is on going! I would still like to share what is working for me, and perhaps you can glean a few ideas to make your own! I have never had a magazine worthy craft room, but do feel very blessed to have the space to create to my heart’s content. My furniture and storage is mostly repurposed, with a few purchased shelves and many Iris and Sterlite drawers and containers.
|Sterlite Drawers and Plastic File Boxes|
I have used a variety of methods to store my stamps. Over the past 18 years I have collected wood mounted stamps, unmounted rubber stamps (mostly at conventions), and polymer stamps. I recently converted to new Sterlite drawers and went on a purge and organize spree. Part of my wood mounted stamps are still on the wood for sentimental reasons and are stored in plastic Sterlite drawers. The only disadvantage seems to be if I don't know what image I want to use I need to look in two places as unmounted stamps are stored in hanging files inside a plastic file box.
The unmounted rubber stamps may or may not have rubber cushion, in either case I used Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over on the back. A thin but thorough coat spread with a small paintbrush and allowed to cure, usually overnight will do the trick. I stamped a reference image on white card stock and wrote the name of the manufacturer and date of purchase (if known) next to the image. I fortunately have this information for most of my unmounted stamps. I will admit I am missing a few. These are stored on 8 1/2" x 11" page protectors. The reference card stock and 8 1/2" x 11" chipboard provide stability. On the edge with the holes I write which images are stored on that sheet. Categories like Nature, Birthday sentiments, or Boy images are stored together. Be forewarned though that the Aleene’s will need to be renewed after 10 or 12 years, or on the stamps that get more use!
Polymer stamps are stored in 8 1/2" x 11" pocket pages. Some pocket pages are purchased, others are self-made. I insert a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of chipboard into the protector and stitch just above it with a sewing machine. I cut a slit with a craft knife and metal ruler and viola two pockets! To close the top of the pockets I use low tack painter’s tape. Since these tend to be unstable I place them in thin vinyl prong folders that are readily available during back-to-school season. The top edge is labeled with the theme and stored in hanging file folders in my plastic file boxes.
|Before method and the sticky mess during!|
Recently I went through and unmounted all the self-mounted wood stamps and foam-mounted stamps from early in my stamping years. The foam mounted needed a little trimming with my Tonic scissors, which are fantastic for cutting rubber. I used the microwave method for some, be careful to not burn your fingers! For others I used Undo. It was a sticky mess for a while! I re-organized my unmounted stamps into better categories during this process.
|The process for a sentiment foam mounted set.|
A future posts will describe how I store wafer thin dies and stamps that match wafer thin dies! I hope this has encouraged you in your organization process and you will find a system that works for you!