Thank you for joining me for our first week of 'Craft Room Ideas.' The aim of these posts is to offer suggestions as to how best to store your resources in your craft room. If you are like me, storage solutions are paramount but I would much rather spend money on more craft resources as apposed to spending it on storage!! Therefore, the ideas offered here will be a cheap alternatives to the more expensive options that may be found elsewhere.
Today, we are going to be looking at storage solutions for clear stamps. My collection of stamps is bursting at the seams and I desperately needed to come up with a much better way to store them. Currently, they are in clear plastic folders in a lever arch file, but this just doesn't work.
If you purchase stamps from one of my most favourite stamp companies, Uniko Studio, your storage solution is already sorted - they come beautifully presented in a DVD style case as shown
These cases are empty on the inside, allowing you plenty of space for the stamps. (P.S the above stamp set is a really fabulous one from Uniko Studio called Sweet Baby - which is actually on offer at just £8.96 just now)
The cases stand beautifully on a shelf as can be seen in my craft cupboard (next to my lever arch for the rest!)-
So, what I wanted for the rest of my stamps was a similar solution….
I did quite a bit of research on the internet and found that Stampin' up provide a solution by way of clear DVD style cases.
These retail on their website for £5.50 for 4 cases -this works out at £1.38 per case. I haven't actually counted them, but I would suspect I am nearing the 50 figure with regards to how many stamp sets I own and this is only going to increase over time! To spend £71.50 on storage for my stamps really gives me the shakes….just think how many stamps, inks, dies etc you could have for that!!!!! This therefore, for me, was not an option.
My lovely husband who sometimes sees things so much more clearly, turned around and said to me - 'Why don't you just ask Uniko Studio where they get their boxes from??' He was SO right. Why try to re-invent the wheel, right? I got in touch with the lovely Beverely from Uniko Studio and she told me about the online retailer where she buys her DVD cases in bulk. These retail for a much more reasonable £21.00 for 50 boxes!!! That works out at 42p per case!
I was actually about to place an order for these and then a thought crossed my mind….this thought turned to an experiment and an experiment to…well, this blog post!!! What if I told you, you could (likely) get an infinite number of storage cases for……£0!! Yes, free! The only thing you might need to do is buy a set of small items which would only cost £3 or so. Want to know more - read on!
So, if you are like my family, the vast majority of our music nowadays is played on iPhones, iPods or directly on a computer etc. I struggle to remember the last time I went looking for a CD to put on - instead, I just put my phone on the dock and there is my music at my fingertips. I do still have a bookcase shelf bursting at the seems with CD's. I do not want to throw them out, but I would be happy for them to be taking up less room! (Can you see where I am going with this!!!!) So here is the 'small purchase' ……very cheaply from the likes of Ebay, you can buy CD sleeves made of clear plastic. These will hold your CD's and their covers from inside the case. The CD's are protected, they take up much less room now AND best of all, you are left will lots of empty CD cases…..and here is what to do with them……
I am going to be using two smaller in size stamps sets from one of my other favourite companies, Clearly Besotted, to show you what I did with one of the CD cases.
I removed the inner part of the CD case (they bit that would hold the CD). These just clip in at the top and bottom of the case and so it is simple to ease them out. I took a couple of cut pieces of card - 12cm x 12cm roughly (the size of the inside of the CD case), and got out the stamp sets I was going to use - in this case Bridal Bouquet and Good Times.
Within packaging stamps usually come in, you have a clear piece of cellophane, the stamps, and then another piece of cellophane with pictures of the stamps on. I removed the pictured cellophane and set this aside *DO NOT THROW THESE BITS OUT - KEEP THEM SAFE* I have an idea for you for these coming up next month.
I removed the stamps from the packaging and placed them on my acrylic block. I was able to get them all on at once - and I kept them in the same order as their picture (I'm a bit OCD that way!)
Next, I inked them up with black ink - I actually just used a small Hobbycraft own brand ink for this as I wasn't too bothered by the quality for this project. (As it turns out, this ink worked really well!!). I stamped the images on to the piece of card stock, over to one side.
I then turned the card over and removed the blank piece of cellophane from the stamp packaging. This already had sticky dots on it, so it easily stuck to the reverse of my stamped card.
Turning my card back over again, I wanted to add details of what this stamp set actually is. I went back to the original packaging and cut the top brand section.
This was then attached to the piece of card, and the name of the set written at the side of it.
The wonderfully packaged Uniko Studio stamps have details of the set on the spine of the case, making it really easy to see which one you are looking for.
And so, back to the original packaging again - I cut along the very bottom where it has the Clearly Besotted Web address.
I wrote the stamp sets to be contained in the box, on either side of the webs address and added this to the spine of the CD case (or Stamp case as it now is!!)
I'm going to be honest and say, I'm not sure about this part - I think I might be tempted to print something that is clearer to read. I don;t want to have to spend ages looking for the relevant stamp set.
I closed the Stamp case to make sure it shut properly which it did, but when I reopened it, disaster struck!…...
Yes, the two stamp sets got stuck together!! So, the solution? Add an extra piece of cellophane on top of each stamp set. Now you could use the piece that ca,e with the stamp set, with the stamped image on, but I have something MUCH more exciting and useful planned for these. Instead I cut a piece of OHP sheet that I already had and added this. Now the stamp box opens and closes with ease without any stamps sticking to one another.
And so there you have it. A potentially free way to create really fantastic storage for your stamps.
Obviously, I have used a couple of sets of Clearly Besotted stamps in the above example, but the same type of packaging is true for most of the stamps I have bought. Here are a few examples -
Waltzing Mouse, Hobbycraft and Papermania stamps all come in the same kind of packaging, that you can transfer across to your CD cases.
I even just remembered that stamps by Visible Image come presented in the kind of CD sleeves that I was saying you could transfer your CD's to - so just by stamps instead and get the cases free!!
I really hope this has been helpful. Any comments as always are so very much appreciated and remember to join me next Thursday which is a '5th Thursday of the month' which means a giveaway!!