Last year I introduced you to some of my stamp storage solutions. I showed you how I keep my rubber stamps in a fishbowl and my acrylic stamps mounted on plastic panels in a folder. But as I keep on accumulating more and more stamps I need to decide whether I'm sticking with the same system or whether I try something new. Some of the Studio Calico girls demonstrated how they keep theirs in a Handbook and I figured that was definitely worth a go. So let me show you how I've organised mine.
I have one of the 'old' Handbooks. Studio Calico are just about to release their new model but it's not on the shelves yet. I'm looking forward to checking them out given I've completely filled this one up and I'm thinking this is the new direction for me. In this one Handbook I have managed to store every single acrylic stamp set I've received in my Studio Calico kits and classes over the past year. Trust me... that's a LOT! I'm not going to show them all here, and I haven't counted, but we're talking about an average of 5 sets a month for 12 months!
In general terms the stamp sets come in only a handful of sizes, and the Handbook page protectors only come in a handful of sizes so my goal was to figure out which stamps were going to fit in which protectors. Some were obvious because they were both exactly the same size, such as the 2x2" pockets above, and the 6x8" pockets below.
It's mainly the alpha sets that come in the 6x8" size, and these two are amongst my favourites. You can see here the 'So Fancy' set and the 'Kit' alpha. These easily slipped into the pockets, and even though the backing paper hangs out the top just a smidge I don't mind.
The 4x6" sets didn't cause too much of a challenge either, as again there are matching 4x6" plastic pockets available. The openings are at the top which means the stamps fit in sideways.
What I had to do to make them fit though was to slightly trim down the backing paper so it was the same size as the stamps. I trimmed the bottom off so that the title (and designer if it's included) is still visible. Then these slip easily into the pockets.
Once again, the 3x4" stamp sets were easily stored in the corresponding pockets, and likewise I had to trim down the backing paper marginally so they would fit in. Occasionally during my time as a Studio Calico Creative Team member the stamp sets were shipped to us without any packaging, and on those occasions I just used a scrap piece of paper (left over from a watercolour experiment) as my backing paper so they were still easily visible.
But this is where we reach the stage where the stamp set size doesn't exactly match a specific pocket size and I had to work out what I was going to do. Firstly, there are quite a few 1x6" stamp sets in my possession and I ended up stacking 4 of these on top of one another into a 4x6" pocket. You can see what I mean in the picture above. This is slightly problematic because the only way to reach the stamp set down the bottom is to take out the other 3 sets first. So it's a bit fiddly. But I couldn't figure out any other solution.
And the last very common size of stamps are the 2x3" sets. What I did here was to use a plastic sleeve that started off as two 4x6" pockets and run it through my sewing machine to sew vertical lines at the 2" and 4" mark. That divided the pockets into 2x3" sizes and I can now store six sets on this one page.
Well I hope all that makes sense? If you have any questions about what I've done, or about any of the fabulous stamp sets you can see here then please ask!