Ah…the long delayed post on organizing stamps.
The simple truth of the matter is I love stamps, maybe even more than all those beautiful papers. And I love wood stamps the most. I love they way they look, the grain of the wood, the lovely stamped designs; I love they way they feel in my hand and I love they way they stamp, solid, with substance. But that being said, they take up a lot of room to store. In my studio (ie. converted bedroom) at home, I have an entire wall of stamps. My husband affectionately calls it my “Wall O’ Stamps” and even made a sign that says as much:
This is really just a simple bookcase. I like the way the shelves are adjustable for height. I can stack stamps 2 and 3 thick, with the taller ones in back. I love that my stamps are out where I can see them. Fact: I use my stamps more when I can see them. I can even stack my SU! plastic boxes on these shelves. But they do require that you have an entire wall that you can dedicate to storage. And this is not even all of my stamps. I have more in seven 6-drawer rolling plastic carts under my four 2×4 work tables. Yes, I know. It’s an obsession. I have a lot of wood stamps. And that doesn’t take into account all the wood stamps in my larger studio (ie. Creating Lasting Memories).
These cabinets at the store also have adjustable shelves. They are in the classroom supply area. Stop by the store and check them out anytime!
An alternative is Best Craft Organizer. This storage system is customizable. Order at the store. They ship directly to your home. Brochures are available at the store with exact sizes. There are short and tall organizers with 3 drawer sizes: 1″, 2″, and 3 1/2″. The 1″ drawers were designed for wood stamps. And here’s the best part: from now until the end of March, Best Craft is offering these organizers for 25% off. Their options include desks, computer cabinets, paper storage, ribbon storage, dividers that go inside the drawers for storing small items, etc. You must order through a distributor (ie. Creating Lasting Memories) but you can check it out at this website:
Now, to cling and clear stamp storage. The number of different storage systems here is huge. And when they come out with one you like, it gets discontinued. Hence, I have three different ones I have started and my favorite is no longer available. And to make things even more interesting, cling stamp sets come in a huge variety of plastic sheet sizes, as you know if you have ever purchased very many of these. Teeny tiny, 2×3 up to 6×12. That’s the American way = free-enterprise. But I do like Tim Holtz’s leather tooled organizer; it is perfect for his cling sets with their 3-hole punched plastic sheet. Unfortunately, that is not a standard size (8 1/2 x 11) 3-hole punched sheet. It is specific to his stamps (of course!). But it is gorgeous and I have three of them at the store. He does sell plastic protector pockets to put similar or smaller sized stamp sheets in. Here’s a photo of Tim’s:
Inkadinkado sells a nice holder which has a cool little drawer inside for holding your acrylic blocks. And you could always just use an 8 1/2 x 11 3-ring binder with regular page protectors. These can be stitched to the exact size you need. I have one of these at the store too. And Jennifer McGuire has an excellent post on this:
In fact, check out her entire studio and how she organizes it. Amazing. Enlightening. Overwhelming. So organized. Wow.
For more organizing tips, Cropper Hopper has a pretty write up too at this address:
And we can order anything by Cropper Hopper for you at the store.
Lastly, I promised to show you a decorating idea for your layouts. This is so simple and looks so good. It involves using drapery rods, just the cheap ones that you can purchase at Fred Meyer. The length depends on the amount of room you have on a wall (yes, again, you need wall space). I’ve seen these mounted way up high, though, where you may have empty space. Use the ring clips that normally hold your curtains to hold your page protectors. I put my layouts in page protectors with the holes up and then line up the clips with the holes. It takes two clips per page. I have two of these in my studio. One is over the bed and it holds one 2-page layout and one 1-page layout. The second one is over my desk and holds one 2-page layout. They are easy to swap out. I do this all the time, often displaying my latest completed layout “on the wall.” I love it!
Not a great photo but hopefully you get the idea.
So that’s it for organizing for January, 2011. I want to tell you that I have personally been so encouraged by all of you who have taken me up on the suggestion to get organized. I think you will be glad you did it. It’s easier to work when you can find stuff. It’s been fun to find product that you had forgotten you had. You probably can’t wait for the garage sale in July!! Suggestion here: put prices on that stuff right now (use the seller number you had last year; we always save those for you) before you store that box (boxes?) away.
Thanks for looking!