It’s 2023 and I am going to make my life easier this year. Taking inventory of what makes me happy and brings me joy. The list is short. Loving my family, creating with friends, and being able to find/return things quickly. Finding things quickly is becoming a problem. So I decided to put together a Let’s Get Organized series of posts where I will share my organization system with you. My first installment in the Let’s Get Organized series is about Stamps & Dies.
Before we start, REPEAT AFTER ME…”Organizing my craft supplies is an ongoing task. What works for one person may not work for me. I will take what works and tweak what doesn’t.” Now breathe. You are enough. You are creative. You are awesome. I am not going to ask you to destash! 🤣
Expect to see several posts in the Let’s Get Organized Series as I work through my Studio. Topics to look forward to:
- Stamps & Dies
- Cardstock & DSP
- Color Tools (markers, Stampin’ Blends, watercolor pencils, blender pens, daubers …)
- Embellishments & Ribbon/Trim
- Stencils & Embossing Folders
Have you ever pulled out a stamp set and wondered how long you’ve had it or what catalog it was from? I decided that I needed to label and make a note of coordinating products to include on the stamp case to make my creative time more creative and less frustrating. This also helps when someone asks where they can obtain such wonderfulness. Here are the things in my organizing toolbox:
- labeler (I use Brother P-Touch)
- old and new Stampin’ Up! catalogs
- paper trimmer and adhesive (Glue Dots or Stampin’ Seal)
- colored sticker dots
- washi tape
- Avery Elle Stamp & Die Storage Pockets #SS-5001 (available at your local craft store or online)
- Stamp-n-Storage Magnetic Cards & Storage Pockets
I like to shop at my local craft stores before heading to shop online. If you have local shops, PLEASE support them.
Create a naming convention that makes sense to you for all your labels. Here is mine
Naming convention: Product Name > Catalog* Time Period Covered (*AC = Annual Catalog / MC = Mini Catalog / SAB = Sale-a-Bration / OE = Online Exclusive) – Item # – cost
- Stamp Example: Line 1: Marigold Moments Line 2: MC-JA23 #160665 $24
- Die Example: Line 1: Marigold Moments Line 2: MC-JA23 #160666 $33
I REALLY LOVE that Stampin’ Up! now names the stamps and coordinating dies (and bundle) with the same name.
Creating an inventory helps me locate pieces & parts when I create my projects. Although I do not always (like hardly ever – lol) create a project just using one bundle or suite of products, it is nice to know the coordinated products. Adding pictures of the coordinating products just makes it easier to start creating.
Add Catalog Bundle Picture
- Find the Bundle picture in the catalog and cut it out.
- Adhere it to the inside of the stamp case using Glue Dots or Stampin’ Seal. I put the adhesive on the front of the catalog cutout. Then I slip it into the front cover between the paper label and the plastic case. Adhering the cutout to the plastic case. It can be seen only when opening the case. You may prefer to put it on the backside of the stamp case in the same manner so that it can be seen without opening the case.
Benefit: Quick reference to the dies/punch and the price.
Cons: Labeling is time-consuming and you need to be consistent. Work before Play 🤣🤣
I don’t mind fussy cutting but it sure is easy when you have a die or punch. Label the stamp case spine with a D for die or a P for punch.
I also make a label with coordinating products. For example on the Wild Cats #154992 stamp set the label is Line 1: Big Cats Dies #155513 $38.50 Line 2: In the Wild DSP #155817 $11.50
EXTRA TIP: Use different colored washi tape on the lower stamp case spine for quick sentiment location. I use red for Christmas and black for sympathy. Then finding a quick sentiment to complete a card is easy.
Benefit: Find the dies and the coordinating DSP quickly.
Paper Pumpkin & Kit Stamps
There are lots of great ideas for keeping track of Paper Pumpkin stamp sets. I use Avery Elle Stamp & Die Storage Pockets.
- Print the Paper Pumpkin Stamp Case Insert (Find them here or get the current 4 months on your ‘MyPaperPumpkin.com’ account page under the ‘How it Works’ tab.)
- Trim the stamp case insert to fit the Avery Elle Pocket – 7-1/4″ x 10-1/2″. Fold in half so that the ‘spine’ label is on the stamp image side.
- Slip the stamp set in the pocket and file by month. (or by your most used theme)
Benefit: Easy to flip through the storage pockets to find a quick sentiment.
LABELING DIES & PUNCHES
I like to use the Stamp-n-Storage Magnetic Cards and Storage Pockets for my dies.
- Find the bundle or the die & stamp pictures in the catalog and cut them out.
- Adhere the pictures to the back of the magnetic card with rubber cement. TIP: I use rubber cement because it rubs off easily when I want to reuse the magnetic card.
- Add a label to the storage pocket tab (Example: Line 1: Marigold Moments Line 2: #160666 MC-JA23 $33)
Benefit: Easy to see how many dies are in the set and that they are all there before you put it away. That can be a challenge! LOL! Most (not all) Stampin’ Up! dies have the item # etched onto the flat side of the die.
Cons: This could get expensive and heavy.
Add a label to the face of the punch. (Example: Line 1: Dragonflies Line 2: #150643 AC-2223 $19)
The punches generally coordinate with several stamp sets. If I were going to add coordinating stamp sets, I would create a 2nd label and put it on the side.
CREATING AN ONLINE INVENTORY WITH AirTable
I have gone through several different inventory methods in the past 15 years. Julie DiMatteo recently shared her inventory process using AirTable. Check out Julie’s Blog Post on How to Use AirTable to Track Craft Supplies. I really like using AirTable and Julie’s instructions are fabulous. I added a column for images. It is easy to search on dragonfly and find all the products that have a dragonfly. Game changer!
Use this referral link to get started with AirTable. I use the FREE plan. I will be happy to share a template for you to get started.
BENEFIT: AirTable is located in the proverbial cloud. You can search your inventory as long as you have access to the internet. I search quite a bit on my phone using the AirTable App.
CON: This is a manually updated inventory. You need to keep up with it or it is useless.
RETIRED v CURRENT INVENTORY
Nothing lasts forever. All good things must come to an end. Yesterday is history. We know all those cute little sentiments but that doesn’t mean we need to trash our goodies. Everyone has a different way of dealing with the ‘out with the old, in with the new’. I generally sell those items that I have loved enough and now they need to be re-homed. But, I do keep quite a bit just because I still love something about it.
I keep my current and retired inventories separate. I put a little colored dot on the label and stamp set spine to indicate that the item is retired. Why do I do that? It makes it easier to grab current products for creating projects for my blog, challenges, and blog hops.
STORAGE & DISPLAY
I keep my regular line of Stampin’ Up! stamps in a bookcase for DVD’s. Sadly, IKEA has since retired the Gnady DVD shelf unit. My Studio is in the 12×12 basement utility room.
The Paper Pumpkin stamp sets, in their Avery envelopes, are stored in a clear kitchen/storage bin on a narrow (15-3/4″x11″x79-1/2″) Billy bookcase from IKEA. I like these narrower bookcases because the shelves do not sag with weight. I use them for 8-1/2″x11″ cardstock too! There is a door option but I like to see and grab my stuff.
Did you know that it is estimated that every 5 seconds, one Billy bookcase is sold somewhere in the world? We should start a ‘Bring Back the Gnedy’ campaign for our stamp sets. 🤣🤣
I have a slat wall along one side of my craft space (aka ‘the Studio”). I use hooks and threaded rods to create a bar to hook my punches on. The threaded rod is sturdy and does not bend with the weight of the punches. The hooks slide and I put them every 5 or 6 punches.
I have a ClosetMaid Modular Storage 4-Drawer Unit (Overstock.com). I have empty stamp boxes along the backside of the drawer to keep the dies in the front 3/4 of the drawer. It is very sturdy. I would suggest reinforcing the bottom of the drawers. After 15 years of heavy use, mine are slightly buckling in the center.
In my next Let’s Get Organized series post, I will show you how I organize my cardstock and patterned papers. Stay on the lookout! 🕵🏼♀️
I will also offer a 2023-2024 Annual Catalog Product Share of the NEW Designer Series Papers, New cardstock, and select NEW ribbons. Why buy more than you need? Paper Shares are a test drive to see if you want MORE. It is the best way to have it all for a quarter of the cost. I will let you know more in April.
I would love to hear how you organize your crafty products. Add your helpful tips to the comments or send me an email and I will include it in future posts. Sharing what works for us is sure to help someone else.
Thank you! Great post. I am in the midst of organizing & this information is very useful. I would love to access your template for Airtable, please .
Tania, I emailed the AirTable template to you.
What a great post! It has given me some ideas for organizing. Do you know if you can import information from another data base to airplay! I would like to be able to add pictures of stamps/dies. I like the idea of a sentiments category too! When you go to sell your stamps, how do you price them?
I am not sure about importing into AirTable. I found this article that might help you answer that question. https://www.airtable.com/guides/build/import-data-into-airtable
I drag and drop images from the Stampin’ Up! website into AirTable Records. You can also search the internet or drag from your files. Hmm maybe keep a few card ideas for inspiration.
When I am ready to sell my stamps, I research eBay and price them accordingly. eBay fees are about 15% on the selling price + postage. So I include the fee in my pricing. I also sell on Facebook in various groups that request a particular product (ISO – In Search Of). I invoice and take payments via Square. I ship using PirateShip.com
I too like your suggestions. I also use Airtable (thank you Julie DiMatteo). It is so easy to find an item, even though it took me a while to input what I have. But in the long run, sure saves time!
The time it takes to catalog inventory and learn AirTable is time well spent. I find myself being more creative because I can just search for sentiment or image and quickly scroll through my inventory. Makes finding a substitution easy too!
Ann, this is fantastic! A huge help! Thank you for sharing all your talents!
It is my pleasure. My organization has evolved and I am finding that this labeling/storage system works for me. It is my hope that it helps anyone who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Great post! I struggle with organizing and you have some great ideas! Thanks for the acknowledgement about ” breathe, you are enough, you are creative “. We all know it, but when its written, and you read it, its reinforced.
Thanks for sharing.
I am so very glad that you gleaned something that may be useful in your craft stash taming. I love to organize, create, and share. Thank you for your kind encouragement as well. 💕