People are always looking for ways to organize their scrappy supplies, and organization for rubber stamps is no exception. Several people have asked me how I organize mine, and so I thought I would do a post on stamp organiztion. I have tried several different ways to organize them, but as crafters you know that as you keep acquiring stuff, your storage needs change. I think I have finally come up with a way to organize AND find them that will grow easily (without requiring a complete overhaul) should I continue to acquire stamps (even though I don’t need to!).
Let me start by saying that I prefer wood-mounted stamps only because I seem to get a much better impression when I use them. I store them in the three-drawer Sterilite drawers. I have twelve drawers all together, and each drawer has two layers of stamps.
Most of my clear-mount stamps are in these Memorex CD cases that I got from here. They were really inexpensive and seemed like a good idea at the time. The stamps are either on the original plastic they came adhered to, or on those laminated stamp pages that have been cut up. Then those are slipped into each CD sleeve; each case comes with 40 sleeves. However, once you start putting stamps in there, the case will not hold all of the sleeves it came with. This was working for me but the problem is each sleeve does not hold a lot of stamps which sometimes means splitting up sets. They also do not hold very large stamps.
I have since found these Unmounted Stamp Files by Cropper Hopper (purchased here) and am in the process of transitioning all of my clear- and cling-mount stamps to them. They are quite large and will hold a lot of stamps. They also hold my CTMH stamps in their original plastic envelopes.
A majority of my red cling-mount stamps are on cut up laminated stamp pages and filed in these Sterilite CD boxes which I don't think they make anymore. Each box will only hold about 12 to 15 sheets and the sheets are very small. So I had a hard time getting some of my larger clear and cling mount stamps to fit in there. I did manage to get them in by turning them sideways in the drawer. I’m also going to move those to the Unmounted Stamp Files.
So… I guess you’re wondering HOW I organize them so that I can find them… By size? By theme? By image? Well… none of the above. When I buy stamps they go in the next available CD sleeve, or for the wood-mounted stamps, in a drawer that has space. I have indexed all of my stamps in a rolodex file so that I can find what I am looking for. It is organized into categories. I got this idea over at Split Coast Stampers and spent several days last summer stamping and indexing all of my stamps. If you look at the picture below, you will see the stamp with the hedgehog on the tightrope. On that card, you will see four notations: WM, 5, Penny Black, and Acrobat. The WM means that it is a wood-mounted stamp. The “5” means it is in Drawer 5 where the wood-mounted stamps are. “Penny Black” is the manufacturer/designer and “Acrobat” is the name of the stamp. Drawer numbers begin with “CD” for stamps that are in CD files. For my newer Unmounted Stamp Files, I have decided to label them A, B, C, D, etc and number the cards that are in them.
Now, I supposed I should tell you that after I spent all of the time making the Rolodex file, I don’t really like it. While it is compact and doesn’t take up a lot of room in my craft space, I think I would prefer to see more stamps at one glance. For example… if I’m looking for a “thank you” stamp, I’d like to see many of them at once. It would make selecting one much quicker and I wouldn’t have to spend so much time flipping back and forth in the rolodex file. Another problem with it is that if you want to see the image of larger stamps at actual size, they don’t fit on the cards. So I often had to cut the image from the package, or take a scan of the stamp and shrink it to fit. My background, Rubbernecker and Loralei stamps are a perfect example of stamps that caused me that problem. So… to combat that, I am now in the process of transitioning my index to a notebook with the same categories. At the same time the images for the clear- and cling-mounted stamps will be renumbered to match the new boxes. I can’t tell you how long that’s going to take me, but once that is done, I’ll do another blog post!
Thanks for reading!