Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cling/Wood Mounted Stamp Organization (ScrapRack)

This part of the ScrapRack Get organized challenge nearly killed me!!!! Tiffany Spaulding gave me a road map to get my stamps in order so that I can actually find and use them. Although her ideas are great, my mind refused to understand just what I needed to do. I listened to the webinar like 6 times. More importantly, once I understood, I didn't want to do what was needed. The task was daunting. But alas this was the most important challenge to date for me and that meant I needed to push through it.
Long story short, Tiffany suggests organizing an entire stamp collection by numbering each stamp or stamp set and simultaneously creating a catalog of categories (in duplicate). For example, if you have a stamp of a gift box, you have to sit and think - what are all the possibilities for using this stamp? I came up with baby, birthday, graduation, father's day, mother's day, valentine's day, wedding and Christmas.  A copy of that stamp (or a stamped image of that stamp) is then placed on each of the categories on the catalog pages. That is why it takes time to complete this task.
I have many, many stamps - wood mounted, unmounted rubber stamps, cling stamps and rollers. When I am ready to do a project, I can never remember where any of them are so I end up using the same things and I buy and buy and buy more stamps. Thus the need for organization.
Here's where I went wrong - a cautionary tale

I must admit I decided to do things my own way and made it hard for myself. Tiffany says do things in small batches, however, I am partial to starting a project and completing it. That was not possible.  I pulled everything out and became stressed when I couldn't do it all in one week. It took me 6 weeks to get all the way through. The piles were a constant reminder of the work needing to be done and a distraction from everything else in my life. I found myself obsessing - cataloging morning, noon and night. Tiffany also said sort your stamps first - I have too many and they were in no sort of order so I was more interested in getting a bin/box/shelf done at a time. I wanted to be cataloging rather than sorting.
So........... I ended up trying to photocopy "like" things together so that my catalog would be all full pages - neat and clean. It was futile. I was not able to. Frustrated I decided to regroup and do things in a way I could understand. It wouldn't be neat, clean or orderly. As soon as I accepted that and stopped going through the motions I was able to pull myself together.
Success - how I organized all my stamps and raised productivity 1000%
Ok in a nutshell here's how I did it.... I used what Tiffany suggests but added other ideas that suit me best. I used my copier rather than stamping out most of my stamps. When there were "like" sets, I copied them together and wrote on the page the # I assigned and the manufacturer and the name of the set. At the top I wrote the category. Once all that info was written on, I made extra copies and put other categories at the top. For example, with the congrats stamps page, I decided to keep it in graduation. Then I copied it 3 times and renamed it baby, wedding, birthday with (in graduation) next to each title. That way if I am looking for a congrats stamp for a baby card I knew what was available and that I can find the actual stamp in the graduation section of my clip it up.
Mind you, I wasted a ream of paper before realizing just how many copies I needed of each image. I messed up on numbering, got confused about where I left off from last time but C'est La-Vie!

Ok, the next part was crucial! I copied a bunch of unlike things just to fill the pages and then cut out the images used adhesive on colored paper with the category at top. (see below). This was messy and my handwriting is bad and I didn't want to do this but it is what it is and it works. Now that I have many of these types of pages, I will copy it again so there aren't little corners catching on everything like they are now.
In the end, one catalog will be broken up and kept in each category of the scraprack (e.g., in the Birthday section of the ScrapRack, a representation of all the birthday stamps I own will be in the front). The other copy will stay in tack and will be a reference guide that can go to the store/crop/expo with me so that I can avoid buying duplicates and to allow me to shop with intention.

I also thought of creating a master spreadsheet that shows the list a few different ways and is searchable. When I get a second wind, I'll type the list in order by number, by manufacturer (and then by number), by category (by number). In these lists I will include the location of the stamps. My paper catalog doesn't list the location.
I just know that my clear stamps are in the clip it up by category. I had a few clip it up bags and put some of my stampin up sets in them.

Here's a closer look...

I have (2 ) 5" binders where I keep my unmounted rubber stamps.

I keep the stamps stuck to ridgid plastic storage panels called EZ Mount Stamp Storage Panels by Crafter's Companion. I love them because they hold very heavy stamps well. They come in packages of 5.

Since I reorganized my stamps into categories, I have to re-stamp most of my collection in these binders.  But that gave me an opportunity to use my Darice stamp pad and get better images. I love these Rubbernecker stamps!! There aren't many companies that sell African-American images.

The clear stamp sets in clam boxes or DVD style clear boxes are in a basket on my craft table.
See the basket right under the R in Super?

The only stamps that have no home right now are the wood mounted... makes me want to get busy unmounting them... but I'm tired and need a break from stamps!! If anyone has any ideas on where I could store these... please let me know.

If you have any questions about my stamp organization project, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to fill you in!

If you'd like to see where I started and the things I learned along the way, check out:

And here's some storage tips:



  1. Thanks so much for posting your progress on your stamps. I'm going to read your other posts since I love seeing how others have been able to use Tiffany's suggestions for organizing. My stamps will be a nightmare to organize, so needless to say I haven't even touched mine this week. I have them in CD cases, pouches (CTMH), binders and in tons of plastic drawers. I know I've neglected way too many stamps because I've forgotten about them, so I really need to get myself motivated!

    1. Hi! How are you doing with organizing your stamps? I'm glad you are finding my organization posts helpful. I'd love to see how you're coming along.


  2. I just found your blog today Aug 1 2014. I hope you have everything organized. I am really impressed at the amount of work you have done. I realized that my "stuff" is taking over my living room and I can't find a thing! I'm going to start with the embossing folders. I like this idea of making your own file folder and embossing them. I embossed and filed a half page in small notebooks, but then I had to find the embossing folder. This is good that it puts them together! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for happening upon my blog. I have moments when I am organized and others...well... LOL. Since you're ready to do the embossing folders I have a newer post you should peek at. let me know what you think. Hope to hear from you again soon.


Your comments bring me SO much Joy! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and view my creations. If you love what you see, please share my posts and invite your friends to follow me as well! ~XXX La-Vie B.