Welcome! I've been a busy beaver throughout December--stamping and coloring when I have a few minutes and a deadline, and trying to get a handle on some organizational issues as well. I seem to continually acquire more STUFF. And it's great stuff! But it still needs a place to live other than boxes in the floor of my studio.
One of the things that I determined to change with the new year was my stamp storage. I've most often used CD cases, and after that the larger clear DVD cases for may clear stamp sets. But it was time to either order another box of DVD cases (not knowing where I would put them anyway), or find a different solution that consumed less space. I remembered bookmarking <<<a fabulous organizational post by Jennifer McGuire>>>. . . That post was an impetus for CHANGE, and I'm so thankful that she generously shares her ideas and sources! Jennifer has a wealth of links on that page as well as videos--I hope that you benefit from them as much as I have!
I won't link Jennifer's organizational products; please see HER POST and VIDEOS for those links. But I will show you what I did with my stamps to get them off of the floor. I had some gorgeous KaiserCrafts Kaleidoscope 12 x 12 papers in my stash, and I decided that it was his time to use them up to make my space prettier. I also had a good supply of 12 x 12 chipboard, and decided to make my dividers out of covered chipboard rather than purchasing plastic folders to use as dividers. (Hey, it helped to use the stash, right?) I have several different paper cutters that I love for different purposes. The one that I use most for making cards is my Genesis Trimmer. But when I need to cut chipboard or do repetitive cuts, I pull out a different workhorse, my Carl 12" Heavy Duty Rotary Trimmer. It cuts chipboard like butter, except with multiple passes.
I cut my chipboard dividers 5-1/2" wide and 10" high, mostly because the divided plastic container that I purchased from Amazon would hold a 5-1/2" wide divider with just enough clearance to flip though, and 10" high so that my dividers would stick up higher than my tallest storage envelopes and I could see my labels. My first task after cutting the chipboard was to cover it with those pretty papers. I mixed all of the pretty papers and even used the border strips and stickers. . . Yes, there's a first for everything!
Next I made labels for my divider tops, labeling each company separately. In some cases, I made two or three labels for one company because I needed to separate stamp sets that HAD been released yet from stamp sets that had NOT been released yet. (Label maker is one of those Brother P-Touch ones, like Jennifer shows and links to IN HER POST. It's SO handy, and I've never regretted this purchase. I use the CLEAR label tape for my dividers, but the white label tape for labeling my magnetic die sheets--but that's to share another day! (BTW, if you get that label maker, you may want to spring for a power cord so that you don't need to put batteries in it.)
Another cool product that was in my stash, but that I hadn't played with yet, was Hot Ribbon. It's a narrow iron-on ribbon and comes in 24 colors. (Full disclosure: Hot Ribbon is an Imagination International product, and I was provided with a few colors to experiment with. Prettying up my dividers seemed like a good place to start! The Hot Ribbon link above is not an affiliate link--only a link that lets you find what I used. Hope that helps!) I'm using a bunch pictures for this post because I drafted my fifteen year old to take pictures while both of my hands were otherwise occupied. If I don't use several of them, he's going to think I wasted his evening! :-)
I used a handy little Clover iron to apply the Hot Ribbon and found it really simple to use. One caution: use the LOW temperature with Hot Ribbon--not high. I accidentally bumped low to high while I was holding the iron, and high was hot enough to melt the ribbon. Low was perfect to make it stick to paper or felt (which I also tried and will show you in a day or two!). I worked on my ironing board so that I would have a heat-resistant surface and not really need to worry about always using the little stand that comes with the Clover iron. (Yes, my ironing board does live in my studio. It doesn't remember its past inglorious days of ironing clothes. . .) If you don't work on a heat-safe surface, make sure you use the Clover iron's stand.
One thing that I really liked was that I could use my Copic markers to color the white Hot Ribbon any color I wanted, let it dry for a minute or so, and then iron it on. Most of the colors that I had worked well for my project, but I wanted a pale aqua for a couple of dividers and didn't have that color. I did have a Copic BG23, however, and it was a perfect color for my Hot Ribbon! I'll probably stock up on the white Hot Ribbon because of its versatility. I mean, if I have white, and if I have Copics, I have over 300 potential colors of ribbon, right? :-}
I cut each length of Hot Ribbon about 1" longer than the divider width so that I could simply wrap the ribbon around that back and iron it down there as well. I thought that finishing it like that--wrapping it around the back--would make it less likely to get messed up on the ends as I flip though my dividers.
I have over 100 sets of clear stamps in this divided container, and I have room for probably about 50 more on the right side, I'd guess. The space that this container takes up is a HUGE improvement over the space that my plastic DVD cases took up. (And remember what an improvement CD and DVD cases were space-wise over the wooden block stamp sets? Oh, my!) I have not purchased all of the different sized plastic envelopes that Jennifer mentions in her post, mostly because I didn't want to pay shipping from multiple places. But for 90% of my stamp sets, the 5-9/16" x 7-7/16" clear envelopes work just fine. On the larger stamp sets, I just can't close the flap; so I usually leave the flap sticking up instead of closing it for all of my stamp sets.
My husband came downstairs last night to see what I was doing, and the first thing he said was, "You cleaned up the floor!" I thought he meant that he noticed I'd swept all of my little die-cut bits up. But I'm pretty sure he was referring to the disappearance of some of the boxes that were on my floor. . . My stamps are much happier in a pretty home.
Thanks for stopping by! If you have questions that I didn't answer, or that you don't find answers to on Jennifer's blog post, feel free to ask, and I'll answer whatever I can. A huge thanks to Jennifer McGuire for her sweet sharing of so many tips, organizational ones among them! Have a great week,