I have been somewhat unhappy with how I am storing my stamps. While I love the CD cases on the one hand, I found that I had 4 (5,6,7 or more!) cases full of swirls and circles and flowers. A while back, I removed those from the CD cases and reorganized them into small craft storage boxes. That took up less space, but was a nightmare to riffle through to find what I wanted! I found myself settling for the first somewhat appropriate stamp I came across, rather than really looking at them all to find the “right” one.
At the time I began sorting them into the boxes, I had bought some clear Report Covers from Staples. I took a clear stamp with me so I could test out if they would stick to the folder with some grip, and not fall off. I cut up some of them to fit the box, and attached groups or sets of stamps to them in an effort to make finding the one I wanted a little easier. It wasn’t easier. I tried sticking them to the full report covers but wasn’t happy with the potential for them to slip off, if the “sticky” had worn off the back of the stamp. I washed them, which brought it back, mostly, but not quite enough for me to feel secure storing them that way. Then I promptly forgot all about it and just carried on with the boxes and the finding issues.
While tidying up last week, I stumbled on an entire box of A4 page protectors. No idea why I bought them – maybe to house pages ripped out of mags into my own idea book? It hit me that storing the stamps on the report covers then slipping them into the PPs and into a binder would at least make the flipping through far easier.
I went to Staples and lucked into a whole pile of report covers (and they HAVE to be the smooth ones, not the cheaper dimpled ones) that where in a heap in the shelf slot, all out of their packaging, and in a right old mess. I took all the empty packaging and the pile of covers to the check-out and ended up getting the entire stack for the price of three packages and at 20% off since some were crinkled at the corners! Woo Hoo! These are the ones I got:
The colourful binders, nice quality and BIG, were priced 3 for 2 so quite cheap as well.
I split the report covers down the spine (cutting off about 1/4 inch at the fold) which made them fit the page protectors perfectly. And I started sticking the stamps to them. When I found one that didn’t seem to adhere well, I just washed it and it stuck.
I found I could get quite a lot of them onto a sheet! In cases where I hadn’t thrown away the original packaging, I simply taped then together so they fit the sleeve, forgoing the report cover step entirely.
You can see on the left the two taped sets – actually one set, one background stamp. The real appeal to this is that the stamps, if they DO come loose from the report covers, they only fall into the page protector and not out onto the floor or in the bin!
I am LOVING this method. And of course I had to have a look and see if someone else had the same idea – and of course they had. This video is pretty much the same thing, although she uses the report covers whole rather than cut in half, uses them specifically for her PTI stamps and she takes the extra step of adding the image labels from the stamp set. I think that helps, if you have them, although sticking together sets like on the left above accomplishes the same thing. In future I suspect I would be more inclined to save the packaging than I have been. At some point, I MAY be tempted to stamp all the images onto paper and add them, but I find I can tell enough about the stamp to know if I want to use it from the stamp itself, so that may be just more work than it is worth.
I have three binders and a load of dividers (also from Staples) and I think that should accommodate all my clear stamps. It also means I can then use the CD covers for any of my cling mounted stamps. Wood mount ones I have a LOT of but most of them are very specific (like the Stampotique ones) and as I will always have to look at least two places I feel adding the cling ones to the CD cases, which can be stored on the same shelf as the cling ones in binders, I still have a better chance of finding them. If that makes sense. No matter HOW you do it, I simply cannot see a way to mix wood mount stamps in with the rest – you will always have to look at both storage methods.
I love the lever binders – the can store so many sheets! – yet flip so easily.
At this point I am unclear if I will have a smaller binder for my clear alphabets. I am leaning towards NOT, as I have only a few alphabet sets that are clear – MANY more that are either cling mount or foam or tiny wood mount ones – and the clear ones I tend to use as a full sheet for art journal-type things, instead of a stencil as more of a background than to spell out text. They fit in a couple of rolling drawer stack drawers and that has always worked well for me so no real point to changing them. The danger of reorganization tends to be that you get swept away, think something is going to work well then when it doesn’t you find you have wasted time and money and are still unhappy! I am already happy with this set up (it took me a while to be able to get out to Staples to find more of the raw supplies but I could see from just a couple of weeks of this new method, with only a few stamp styles, that this was working) so taking the plunge and the time to do them all.
I really hope I won’t be eating my words in 6 months. If so, you are invited to laugh and point and make any derisory noises you like.
Sorry that was all a bit wordy. But now I have a date with my CD cases – between getting them sorted and sorting that massive pile o’ scraps (still only dented, I fear) I am going to be very busy. At least, knock wood, there is no driveway shovelling to do today. DH has done it all (saving me and my back from further injury) but the poor guy has been exhausted and I would have felt compelled to go help had it needed doing AGAIN. With the Y of the drive I would bet it’s 60 metres at least! I hope it warms up soon and no more snow…..