Thursday, May 27, 2010

(Dis)Organizing Stamp Sets

I took advantage of the heat wave to hide out in my cool craft dungeon in the basement of our 100+ year old house yesterday. That is the number one perk to having a craft room in the unfinished basement of this old house, it stays cool over the summer, ahhh!

It's time to start reorganizing stamp sets - and try to make room for a few more that I am sure to *need* from the 2010-2011 Stampin' Up! Idea Book to be released in July. I reorganize the stamp sets this time every year.

Whenever I reorganize the stamp sets, I make such a disorganized mess. I remove all of the drawers and sets, what a mess in the beginning. By doing this, I am able to start fresh with the "puzzle" of finding the best way to fit stamp sets in the drawers (there are always more sets to add). I also clean out the drawers from critters that accumulate over the past year. Thankfully all of the creepy crawlies I came across yesterday (including the petrified lizard!) were all dead. That is one of the bad things about having an old unfinished basement in a 100+ year old house for a craft space, critters hiding in the drawers, etc. Eeeek! I always cringe and scream a little when I find a live one (and honestly when I come across a dead one because I am not sure if it is still alive and going to quickly scurry away) Eewwwww!

During this process yesterday I kept thinking, how many more years before my kids move out so I can move my craft area up to their bedrooms ?!?? Ha, ha ! Honestly, what I would absolutely LOVE to do is - once I win a lottery that I don't play , ha - is to renovate the attic in this old place, build a staircase going to it. It could be a fabulous studio !

My original stamp storage unit was an old wooden hand me down dresser that had seen better days. I sanded, painted, stamped and sealed the dresser using bright colors of acrylic craft paints. I wanted a cheery color combination for that dark basement. I used the retired Stampin' Up! sets Roses In Winter and Simply Circles. I still use this dresser to store stamp sets, it has held up well the past nine years.

My stamp collection has outgrown the dresser and moved into additional clear plastic storage drawers. I like the dresser and drawers because the stamp sets fit in them perfectly standing on their sides.

Whenever I get a new set, I photocopy the sticker sheet and put the copy inside the stamp case. I then seal the wood blocks with a brush on triple thick glaze before assembly. I write the set name with a bold permanent black marker on the side of the case that will be standing up. I try to keep my sets grouped by "theme", such as flowers, masculine, kids, backgrounds, different holidays. I then store the sets in the drawers by size; I do not alphabetize them because the various size boxes take up too much space that way. I group them by size, piecing as many as I am able into the drawer. It may not be the best system, but it works for me.

Wheels are kept in small plastic drawers I found at a yard sale. I gave $10 for all three drawer units that were sold as a set. Two of the units had deeper, narrow drawers that lucky for me fit the wheels perfectly. They are sorted by theme.

The third unit had shallow, wider drawers that work great for loose stamps . All three drawers fit perfectly on top of a bank of see through plastic drawer units I bought at a local store. I laid a piece of particle board across the top of the large storage drawers before I added the three smaller drawers to give them one solid, smooth surface to rest on.

Background stamps have their own large, deep two drawer unit. They are stored alphabetically.

I bought two of these drawer units from a local mass merchandiser several years ago. The other broke at some point, but that is okay because I was able to reuse it for another purpose. The bottom drawer and the frame that the drawers slid in and out of holds large spools of ribbon in the bottom drawer and the top rack holds plastic Cropper Hopper organizers. I really don't like to throw things away if I can make them work for something else somehow.

Pieces of dowel rods with ribbon spools on them standing upright  helps keep them from jumbling up in that deep drawer. Repurposing the broken drawer unit worked well since I had several large spools of ribbon that didn't have a good place to be stored. They are standing on end so I can easily pull off portions of ribbon as needed as well as the see the color/type of ribbon. I can remove the entire spool if needed.

The broken drawer that was on the top now lays on its side on my work table for 12 x 12 card stock storage. I really don't like to throw things away if I am able to make them work for another purpose.

My drawers are full, no more room for any more stamps - despite my wanting oh so many from the new  Stampin' Up! Idea Book . I know, I could take the time (and extra expense) to unmount all of my wood sets and I would have oh so much more storage space, but I prefer my wood mounted stamp sets.

Thanks for looking !

1 comment:

THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)