You name it, I've had it, tried it, and ultimately vetoed it. Baskets were my go-to for quite a while but after phasing out several different containers because of my growing stamp collection, I switched to the stamp panels for a binder which was okay but the binder was the size of pick-up truck, ha! I still use the panels but in a different capacity- more on that later.
Rubber Stamp Storage Cases- sold in sets of 6 storage cases; crystal clear and holds acrylic stamps on both sides of the case without affecting the ability to close each case.
Russel + Hazel Binder- charcoal, red-orange, light blue, or white patent; holds up to 100 sheets of paper, has dry erase finish on the inside covers, sturdy and completely awesome if I do say so myself.
Tab punch- bracket tab & bracket tab stickers, index tab & index tab stickers, or file tab & file tab stickers; I used the JBS tab punch but it is no longer available- these tab punches will work perfectly as well.
Solid Washi Tape 3/4 Inch- pink, green, turquoise, light grey, yellow, and peach; I used washi tape on the tabs for durability and also on the case binding labels to highlight the reference numbers (you'll see what I mean in a sec).
Cardstock- white or kraft. Originally, I used kraft for everything and then changed my mind because I wanted everything to match my new scrap room color scheme. So now everything is on white cardstock- the stamp pages in the binder and also the case labels.
Slick Writer- black or brown. You can also use a fine tip sharpie if you're like me and lost your slick writer, oops!
Stamp Storage Panels- for foam mounted stamps.
Black ink pad- for creating the reference pages in the binder catalog.
Tape runner- Glue Glider Pro is perfect for attaching the labels to the storage cases and also adding divider tabs to the catalog pages.
I started with the cases first because I know that I'm much more likely to use the stamps I have if they're grouped in categories or themes. This method doesn't work for everyone though so be sure to group yours in a way that works with how you create. For some this might be alphabetical by subject, by keeping sets together as they came, or by kit...the possibilities are endless.
To get things rolling, I pulled out all of my stamps and started listing common themes/categories and here's what I ended up with: alphas, calendar (months/weekly/date stamps), backgrounds, borders, journaling lines, frames, basic shapes/elements (stars, hexagons, triangles, squares...), circles, doilies, arrows, thought bubbles, office/school, document/story, photo/camera, travel, transportation (bikes, hot air balloons...), nature, love/home/together, sentiments, holidays, and food/drink.
Next, I added the stamps to the cases so that I knew how many cases I would be working with initially and moved things around to fit as many in each case as possible. One thing that I ran into a few times- some stamps fit multiple categories. Not to state the obvious or anything, but in this instance, it was challenging for me. I ended up picking the category that I use most often and put it with that case because my goal is to use them more.
Here's what my "calendar- months" case looks like:
Once all of the stamps had homes and I was happy with the arrangement, I made labels for the "spines" of the storage cases.
Round 1 (kraft with red that doesn't match my new color scheme)
Round 2 (white with yellow that matches things now)
Here's how I made the labels:
I cut my cardstock down to 6.5 x 12 and then drew a pencil line an inch from the top edge of the paper and added another line using sharpie (so that it shows through the tape) about 1/4 inch below the pencil line. I tore off a piece of tape about 13 inches long to go all the way across the page and adhered it to line up with the pencil line...
Using my paper trimmer, I cut 1/4 inch strips- the end result is a load of 6 1/2 x 1/4 inch labels that fit perfectly on the stamp cases.
I wanted that black line to show through the tape so that all of the reference numbers lined up when they're on the shelf (nerd alert much? I think yes.)
Reference numbers- I numbered each category/theme and then the themes that have multiple cases, have a secondary reference number (think dewey decimal).
Example: Alphabets. I have 6 cases in that category so the first case is labeled 1.1, the second is 1.2, third is 1.3, and you get the idea right?
I know it seems kind of over the top for stamp organization but seriously, it streamlines things so much!
Now, just use a tape runner or double sided tape to adhere the labels to the corresponding cases.
Sidenote: Remember how I mentioned the panels earlier? Well, I use those for the rubber cling mounted stamps. Sure, they will fit inside the storage cases but almost all of the rubber cling stamps I own are background stamps which are pretty big and bulky. So, rather than using a storage case for a single stamp, I opted to use the panels for all of the rubber cling stamps in my stash. I have them propped up in a cute little bin from Target and I just flip through them when I need one. I still catalogued them in the binder (more on the binder below) under the "backgrounds" category but I didn't cross reference them (yet. I may end up doing that once I add a few more to my ever growing stamp fetish).
Now for my favorite part- the binder! I'm seriously in love with this binder and I'm so excited that they're in the shop at Studio Calico. They have 4 colors available- I used the charcoal grey for mine and it's perfection...the inside covers are dry erase which is awesomesauce and the covers are STURDY which is a huge must here because this binder is something that will get used a lot.
The photo above is the inside of my binder and that opening set of pages is my ink catalog. I stamped all of my inks (by color family) onto a page for quick reference. The next section is for my date roller stamps and then there's another one for my wood-mounted/wood-handled stamps. Everything after that is acrylic stamps cross-referenced to the stamp storage case numbers.
I created a graph paper file that I printed and used as my catalog sheets (this is optional and not at all necessary- again, just me and my neuroses). If you'd like to use the grid file for your catalog feel free to Download Stamp Catalog Sheets here.
above: calendar/months catolog sheet. below: calendar/months stamp storage case.
For my binder, I stamped everything onto the grid sheets- if you kept the backing sheets from your acrylic stamps, you could attach those to a piece of cardstock or paper in your binder to forgo the stamping marathon.
Once I had all of my stamp sheets done, I created my tabs:
Using my washi tape, I put a strip of tape onto cardstock and then punched the tabs. The washi makes the tabs sturdier and plus, it looks cute. I labeled the tabs with a brief description and the decimal reference number that coincides with the stamp case.
Labeling both the tabs and the cases saves so much time. Rather than looking through multiple cases to hunt down the stamp I want, I can go straight to the case every time. Love that.
Wow, this ended up being the longest post ever! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything! Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to check out the photo supply list below.