Friday, July 25, 2008

Stamp Storage Tutorial

I've been working on re-organizing my scrapbook room all summer long and wanted to share some of my favorite parts so far...

Here's what I came up with for stamp storage. This is my first time using photos in a blog post, so you'll have to excuse the rough format...still trying to figure things out and I had a hard time getting good pictures of these clear transparencies, but you can get the general idea.

I sorted all my stamps according to category and broke up my sets (I know, I was hard to do, but I LOVE it now)! I literally mixed all my stamps together--rubber unmounted (formerly all my wood-mounted sets) and acrylic (clear stamps). Any stamps that I didn't absolutely LOVE, I decided to sell at a garage sale or donate. I just kept the ones I loves and knew I could easily use.

Then I used standard transparencies from the office store to create "books" to hold my stamps. The sheets measure 8 1/2 x 11" and I trimmed them down 1/4" so they were 8 1/4 x 11". This was because the stamps can be bulky depending on what they are made out of, so now they would slide easily into my page protectors for storage.

To create these "books", I set two of the transparencies down next to each other on my table and left about a 1/8th inch gap between the two as a "spine".

Then I used clear packing tape along the "spine" to hold the two transparencies together. I used one long strip that went down the center, then I turned the transparencies over and continued my same tape strip along the backside down the center, being careful to smooth down the edges.

After the transparencies had been taped together in the center on both the front and the back, I cut the tape to leave about an inch or so at the top and folded that down to cover the top seam completely.

Then I folded the transparencies over so that they were stacked on top of each other like a book and creased the clear packing tape well.

I decided to cut the corners of my transparencies down (like a miter) so that they would slide easily in and out of my page protectors.

I did the same thing to the solid cream cardstock that goes behind my transparency book in the protector. This cardstock is just so I can easily see what stamps are on that transparency.

You can also see in the picture above that I used the index that comes with the stamps as guides so I know where to put my stamps back after I use them. I just used clear glossy tape (the cheap kind) and taped them to the front of the top transparency. For my rubber stamps, I still need to stamp the image on cardstock or scraps of transparency and tape them to the front of the top transparency. The stamps are actually mounted onto the inside of the front cover and the back transparency cover is there to keep the stamps from sticking to the cardstock and to help keep everything in place.

Basically, when I was all done, I had a transparency "book" with a certain category (in the above photo, it was Butterflies and Bugs). Behind that "book" of stamps, I had a plain piece of cardstock so I could see what was in the "book" and then I slid that whole stack inside a heavy duty page protector.

To label the "book" category, I used my McGill Label punch and scrap cardstock. I just wrote the names of each category on the label, added adhesive and glued it to the front page of the transparency "book". This way, I can pull on the label and the stamps slide out of the protector easily. If I have more than one "book" in a certain category, I just labeled them as "flowers 1", "flowers 2", etc. and each label is adhered a little further to the right of the previous label.

My original intention was to put the filled page protectors back in my large 3 ring notebooks, but I liked the idea of being able to expand by just adding another "book" in that certain category and some of my notebooks were already getting full. I stood them up on end in a basket temporarily and ended up loving it so much that I searched the house and found a few more matching baskets so I have room for my stamp collection to grow. :) Sorry kids...your Xbox games and controllers will have to find a new home. LOL

Here's a picture of the finished stamp "books"stored in my baskets.

All in all, this was fairly inexpensive--the transparencies were the most expensive part and it ran about $20 for a box of 100 (use the off brand, they are cheaper), and a roll of packing tape and a roll or two of the clear glossy scotch tape. The only other thing I needed were baskets to store them in, the cardstock to go behind each stamp book and the page protectors, all of which I already had on hand.

Hope this gives my fellow stamp lovers some more storage ideas!! :)


KALDesign said...

I love it. You are so smart. Will you come organize my stamps too. LOL. Now seriously, I really do like the idea of keeping like stamps together. And congratulations. Your blog will be a hit very soon with posts like this. Keep it coming.

Lily said...

Wonderful creative way to store your stamps. Not ready to break them up yet. Makes it to hard to keep track of manafacturers for submitting.

liannallama said...

Love your photos and clear explanations! Thanks for showing off your system!

Luisa said...

Great idea Megan.
I have my stamps in CD jewel cases. Except for my Technique Tuesday ones that are in a 3 ring binder. Thanks for sharing. I am new to bloggin too and love it. Very good first time posting photos. Please visit my blog and let me know your thoughts.

Pamela O'Connor said...

Hello Megan! I'm so glad to see that you are still stampin' and scrappin'. :O) I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work.

Have a blessed day!

Lily said...

great idea!

Pam said...

I saw your idea at the LS Retreat and loved it! I am almost finished doing exactly what you did. Even though I don't have nearly as many stamps as you do, I love this idea!

Deborah March said...

What a FABULOUS idea...thanks so very much for posting this!! Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery...I'll be adopting your system!!

A Creative Journey said...

OH MY GOSH! You have NO IDEA HOW LONG I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY STAMPS!!! I have been stamping and creating for 12 years and have a collection to go with it! Thank you so much for your info! I can't wait to get to work!!! Have a wonderful day! You will be glad to know someone on the cricut message board had your blog as a solution! I totally agree! This is was the link and I then searched your organization tab and then found another link with specifics! I AM SOOO THRILLED! HAPPY DANCE FOR ME TODAY! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! LOVE IT! I am just starting out on my blog and I am a new follower of yours! I would love it if you would check my blog out at

Karen Judy said...

Thank you so much for this post! Even though it is an older post, I'm so glad I found it. I've been trying to organize my craft area so that I actually know what I have and can easily get to it. Thank you again.

Denise Foor said...

I realize you posted this years ago but I’m just beginning to uncounted my wood block stamps. You have the clearest and easiest to follow “how-to” of any i’ve Found. Thanks so much. I even had a box of clear overhead films to use with my sheet protectors. I’ve already begun my project. Great post

Diane said...

Thanks for this idea of storing my stamps. This is the best idea I have seen and I have searched a lot.