Spring Cleaning – Phase 1 – Stamping Style

So, you get the bug as always this time of year to clean things out , start fresh and organize…. Of course, this feeling is more often for me – I have the organiztion bug all the time – it is my happy place. For me though, my problem to keep things organized is at a higher stress level than many because all my fun stuff also includes a whole bunch of inventory.

A lot of times, I just get overwhelmed with all the things I have and it hinders me from completing what I need to get done which then makes me sad which then makes me mad at myself which then creates a feeling of being overwhelmed so then I get sad and…. Whoa!! Does someone else sense a vicious cycle here? Oh My – lol!!! No wonder!!!

Anyway, let’s start with all my wooden rubber stamps. There are so many ways to store these but you have to find what is right for you and how it will work with the way you create. I needed better control over mine and needed them to be more readily available. This took some time, but in the end, it works and meets the need for me – and it is organized – woo hoo!! Here is what I used for this organizational accomplishment: 3 Sets of Plastic Stackable 12×12 bins Foam Board Handles Glue Push Pins Art Notebook Index Tabs Stamping Ink Embellishments (optional)

First, I organized my wooden stamps by category. This can vary by stamper. I chose to separate them by main categories like Party, Happy Birthday, Enjoy, Thank you, Love, etc. Much of these choices depend on your stamp collection. Since I use mine for crops and teaching more than for personal use – my stamps are very wide spread in subject.

Second, I made trays out of foam board. I cut a 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 square and then 1 1/2 x 11 3/4 strips for the sides. I glued them together and secured them with push pins while the glue dried. I glued an extra strip of foam board in the middle for added height and secured a handle in the middle of the tray to easily pick them up and carry them. You should be able to have two trays per Stackable section for a total of 6 trays.

Third, I stamped each stamp image in my Art Stamp Book by category, leaving a few pages between each one as my inventory will grow. Once I finished stamping, I put them in the Stackable Bins by category. First level on the bottom level, the stamps will lay in the bin, then fill a tray full of stamps and lay it on top of the bottom layer, then fill the second tray. This should complete one stackable bin section.

Fourth, I labeled my book with the Index Tabs and then labeled by bins. I have a total of 9 bins now full of my wooden stamps with a few empty trays to grow. Since I did not have the room to display all my stamps (I have over 1,200), the book will help with the visual inspiration. I can look in the book, find the stamp I need and then go to the bin under the right category.

Finally – I “scrapbooked” my Art book which I love how it came out. It is fun, artsy and a display all its own. I will make this type of book for my acrylic, silcone and cling rubber stamps.


Scraps, Scraps and more Scraps

I have many people ask me what I do with scraps but more importantly how I store them.  There are many ways to organize them but the one that has worked best for me are plastic bins.


So, once you narrow it down to what to keep them in – then there is the decision of how to break them down: by color, paper type, weight, style. manufacturer, two-sided ? There are so many ways.  Just think of how you want to use these scraps and make sure they are accessible.  It is like an appliance in the kitchen – if it is hidden, you probably won’t use it.


I have so many scraps and I use specific manufacturers that I decided to put them by color for solids and by manufacturer for designs.


If you view many of the papers that are out there, many companies have a “look” or “Signature Vibe” that as soon as you look at it, you pretty much know who it is. Because of that, I like to separate those looks so I can quickly reach for something that fits what I am doing.


As an example, many years ago, Basic Grey was very unique in their look and design and although I can still spot their stuff pretty accurately, many designers/manufacturers have taken that look and made it their own – so it is not as easy to separate that look anymore because it is everywhere.


Graphic 45 is very unique and distinct so I separate those as well when I want that nostalgic, rich color project.


So I have 18+ drawers separated by solid color cardstock (green, blue, black, whites, etc.) and I have several others like Basic Grey, Quick Quotes, and Ideology and Co’re dinations.  I also have ones that are generic cardstock other which are usually my lower cost cardstocks to draw from or practice on.


This has really helped when I needed that little tag or border, especially if I am using my Vagabond or dies. Of course, no scraps are worth it and just take up space if you forget to use them.


So…. here is your challenge, create an embellishment or tag using only scraps. You will be amazed the inspiration that will come when you remind yourself of some of those papers you bought that still have life left.