Friday, January 4, 2013

Clear Stamp Storage

I've become a traitor to the clear and rubber stamp industry. I discovered digis and fell head over heels in love. For several reasons...

First, they are much more affordable.
Second, they don't take up much room. They are all located on my Google drive. I don't trust these to a flash or hard drive... which could get stolen, lost or damaged... Google drive... I can get to it from anywhere. :)
Third, although I find I am using my printer more often, I'm still debating about this being an issue. One printer... one location... easily refillable... not such the case with ink pads. Many ink pads... storage issues... need ink refills anyway... on the other hand... I've had these pads for years. I've replaced the ink cartridge once since I went digital but I printed way more stuff than just images... still debating! :-\
Fourth, immediate gratification. I need an image. I find one online. I buy it. I have it. No getting in the truck to drive down to Hobby Lobby or Michael's to see if they might have it... no searching online, finding it and ordering it. Even if I were to pay the extra for next day delivery... it still wouldn't get her till next day. :-\

But I do miss the days of smelling the stamps when I pull them out of storage... playing with the ink pad... I love the whole process of inking and stamping. I find it just as therapeutic as coloring digi images. :) So... it's not like I'm gonna get rid of years of collecting clear and rubber stamps... 

In any case, I was ALWAYS looking for convenient, useful storage ideas for my clear and rubber stamps. I found an idea on Pinterest. The gal was not too clear about what it was she was doing... AND... she wiggled the video camera a lot and I ended up with motion sickness... there was a lot of errs and ughs along the way so I stopped watching after I had a vague idea of what she was doing and took off with it. 

This is my idea....

Before I started this process... more than anything in the world... I wish I could tell you I separated the stamps by theme and knew EXACTLY how many of each I had... but I didn't... and yet... this system is still working out for me. I imagine if I had separated the stamps by theme first and knew how many there were... it would be much more organized than it already is. :) 

First, I got myself some large binders and page protectors. I keep the binders in one location. I have LOTS of clear stamps and they are all in these three binders.

Second, I cut the page protectors. down the outside and on the bottom and so they open like this...

Third, each panel is adhered to the bottom part of the page protector with double-sided tape. I've used both... permanent and removable. They both accomplish the same thing... mainly... keeping the panel in place. Panels can be removed and replaced and if the tape some day loses its tackiness... it can easily be replaced. :) Sorry for the glare... but I wanted you to see what I am pointing out. It's easy to do with the glare. :-\ I removed the front plastic sheet that comes with each set but that's only because that is how I roll... ;) lol ... I can see how keeping the sheet would come in handy as well... but without it... the page protector is holding the clear stamps from both sides. :) I haven't had issue with some of these clear stamps losing their tackiness and falling out. I find that as long as these are clean they will continue to cling. I do have some poorly made clear stamps that won't cling... I am looking for a different method of storing these few... besides throwing them out. :(

As I went along, with each set I adhered to a page protector, I labeled the page protector and then labeled each of the pre-printed contact sheet that comes with the set with the same letter and number... I don't know if it is called a contact sheet... but it reminds me of one... lol ;) ... so it's a contact sheet in my book! See the S3 in the middle at the top of the contact sheet? That comes in handy when looking for a stamp set... 

I had some old folders I wasn't using... so I cut these down to size and use them to separate the stamps by themes. I keep all these on top of my desk in a plastic bin they conveniently fit into. An easy arm's reach... :) 

In my stamping world... three sets fit on each page protector. Three sets of stamps are labeled for each page. The reason I added numbers to the end is because I kinda jumped the gun. I didn't think it through well enough. I started with the Christmas themed stamps because I did this at Thanksgiving and was preparing myself for the Christmas holiday rush. :) lol I have over 9 sports themed stamp sets. So I labeled these S1, S2, S3 and S4. As I wrote, each page protector holds three. The three sets that were on page 1 were labeled S1, the next three sets that were on the second page were labeled S2 and so forth. When I got to the final page, there were not enough sets to put three on the page... but I will get back to how I filled this in. For now... this is how I labeled the page protectors... all in the same spot... some are green and some are red... because I started with red dots and ran out. I then used green dots... no other rhyme or reason than that. :)

The page protectors are listed alphabetically. My inventory dictates that I keep Raisin Boat stamps in the two large binders and other stamp sets in the smaller binder... these are stamp sets from Hannah Stamps, Crafty Secrets, HOTP and others I picked up along the way. I haven't gotten around to labeling the binders on the outside because I have plans to alter the binders but I know that the light blue one has A through H, the white one has I through Z and the darker blue one has sets that are not Raisin Boat stamps. I'm a HUGE Raisin Boat fan and have LOTS of their stamps. 

Because I didn't think it through and I started with the Christmas themed stamps, these are appropriately labeled C for Christmas and that is why I have S for sports themed. F was for floral themed but then I got to food themed stamps and labeled these K for kitchen... it worked for me! lol Eventually I ran out of matching letters. Also... I had no idea I had SO MANY stamp sets that were not in an easy "three to a group" set! As I've written... each page holds three. Some themes had 7 or 8 stamp sets and I was left with one or two empty spots. Then I have the occasional themed stamp set that were not in groups of three... for example... I have two stamp sets I consider "Project Life" themed sets. These I went back and placed in empty spots and labeled them on the same page. But when I stored the contact sheet, I put it in the appropriate place. So one of these is labeled C5 and the other one is labeled K2 but they are both under the file folder Project Life and I know exactly where to find them once I look in there. :)

The only thing I wish I had done differently is I wish I had thunk it through a little bit better... knowing how many sets of what I had and how I was going to label these. C for Christmas themed turned out OK... but K for food themed did not... and there were others too! lol  

This system is working for me. I find I am using the clear stamps much more often because when I need an image of a chicken, I go to my animal folder, find the contact sheet of the stamp set that has a chicken. I have the page number on the contact sheet. I know which binder the page is found at. I go there and tada! There it is! So it is now super easy for me to make a card because of this new system. To give you an idea... I used FIVE stamp sets to make a card... you can read all about the making of it in the Speaking of Challenges post and this is the card...

I find this as handy as making that scrap paper bin for myself. I am using scraps way more often than in the past... I am using my clear stamps way more often than before too. :)

I hope this gives you some inspiration. If you come up with something better with this as a jumping off point, please let me know! I'd love to see it and compare it. :)

Thanks for stopping by! :)


  1. Oh my gosh... thank you, so, so, SO, much for this tutorial! I've heard of storing clear stamps like this but have been trying to come up with a way to actually do it so that it stays organized. I have a binder full of blank page protectors and now I know how to fill them! Thanks so much for sharing this. :)


  2. oh my Ema, what a great idea. I just got rid of most of mine because I could never organize them. ah next time. lol Has anyone mentioned that you talk a lot? lol We would get along great together. I'm a talker too!
    Smiles Sher

  3. A great idea and a super tutorial, I would like to share it on our craft group if that's okay. Xxxx

  4. you have oh so many stamps! how i would love to have a stamp share day with you! we would have too much fun!



I love reading comments! Who doesn't? It brightens my days so please leave one and I'll come visit you too! :) Ema


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