If you've been using dies for any length of time, you probably own more of them than you can remember. These tiny but expense craft tools will get used much more often if they're easy to find. Creating a catalog for dies will make it easy to sort, organize, store and FIND them.
This cataloging method can be used with any/all of our die storage options. You don't need a separate catalog for each type of storage you're using.
Step 1 – Choose an organization tool for your dies
There are many different types of die organizers; magnetic, boxes, binders, etc. Choosing the best die organizer for your dies will depend on where you craft.
If you travel with your dies, a Flippin' Storage Binder (3), 5x7 Fab File with magnets and pockets (4), Denise Buddy Bag with pockets(5), or a Die-Namic Storage Set with magnetic strips (6) will be a better option. Of course, all of the "travel" options can be used at home as well.
Desk top or shelf options:
Travel or home storage options:
Step 3 – Create a labeled catalog sheet for each category
This is as simple as it sounds.
I like to use my label maker so everything looks neat and tidy, but you can keep it simple and just write the name of each category at the top of your catalog sheets.
Step 4 – Number or label your organizers.
Once all your dies are stored, you can begin labeling both the organizer(s) and the individual dies.
First, assign a number or letter to each actual organizer. Next, label each location within that organizer (magnetic sheet, pocket in your binder, pocket in your file box, etc.) with a number.
Step 5 – Put your dies in the organizer(s) you chose and assign a number to each set of dies.
This might seem a little counter intuitive, but in order to label each die with a location, you’ll need to know where they are going to be stored before you create the catalog. Fill your chosen organizer(s) with your dies. Remember, because you're using a catalog, they won’t need to be arranged by theme, holiday or sentiment. The catalog will handle all of that.
Add numbers to each of the dies. These number will correspond to the location in the organizer. In the image above left, in section A, the pockets have been labeled A1, A2, A3...the same with sections B & C. In the image on the right, each of the pages has a tab that has been labeled 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30. Each of the pages has 10 pockets, each pocket has been labeled individually.
Step 6 – Create a sample of each die, add it to the catalog, label it with the storage location.
Working through your organizers, cut a sample of each die and add it to the appropriate catalog sheet. Note the location of the die on the catalog sheet. If the die will fit in more than one category, make multiple samples and put them in each appropriate section of the catalog - labeling each of them with the location.
If you're using multiple organizers, you'll need to include an organizer number along with the catalog number. As an example, if you've got 3 binders, your catalog numbers will look something like this B3-P2, this would indicate that the die you're looking at in the catalog can be found in Binder #3, Pocket #2.
If you're using a Die File and a Fab File, you might have a location code that looks like this; DF-T2, this would indicate Die File, Tab 2 and location codes for the Fab Files that look like this; FF1-P4 this would indicate Fab File 1, Pocket 4. Your Fab Files would be labeled FF1, FF2, FF#. etc.
Step 7 – Add to your catalog each time you purchase a new die.
Give your new die a number. Create a sample of the die, add it to your catalog and put the die away. I used a 12x12 Craft Binder to contain my catalog.
The process of creating a catalog and assigning locations to each of your dies can seem cumbersome and overwhelming. My best advice is to start with a very small number of dies. Once you've worked through those, the process becomes much easier to understand. It is significantly simpler than it appears, I promise.
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