Welcome to GO10, Class 9 – Time to turn your piles of wood mounted stamps into a library of easy-to-access images.
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Wood mounted stamps (woodies) are so much fun to work with but they are a real pain to store. If you put them into a tub or box you have to dig through them to find what you need (if you can remember where it is). Storing them in drawers often times creates layers of stamps to look through. Clamshell type containers hold only small numbers of stamps and are difficult to store due to size variations. With all these challenges in mind, the one solution to them all is simply incorporating them into your 4 Section System using either representation (if you’re a Gottalittle) or adding them to your catalog (if you’re a Gottalot.)
How many wood stamps do you have and how likely are you to purchase more?
Gottalittles: If you have less than 100 woodies and you’re not addicted to them – use the representation method.
Gottalots: If you love stamping and you plan to grow your collection, you’ll want use the catalog method.
Tip: read this full article before you begin, you don’t want to miss out on the helpful Tips at the end.
Things you’ll need:
- Wood mounted stamps
- Storage Tool(s)*
- Stamp Cleaner
- Label Maker
- Cataloging materials
- Access to a copy machine (optional)
*I used the Single Sided and the Double Sided Stamp, Store and Go bags and the Stamp Suitcase. These were the items that were available when I recorded this class, since that time we've introduced a few other products that also work well for wood stamp organization. You can view them all on one page - wood stamp organizers.
Step 1 – Gather
Gather all of your supplies together. If you watched any of my other classes you know this is the first step 90% of the time. You'll need your stamps and all of the other items on the list above.
Step 2 – Consider consolidation
If your stamps are stored in a variety of different containers, consider consolidating them down into one or two easy-to-see, easy-to-access, easy-to-store containers. I used our Stamp, Store and Go Bags (both double and single sided). This allowed me to create a “library” of stamps. If you've got open shelf space, the 6 Level Stadium Arranger is a good solution. If you're out of space consider using the COPS hanging panels and either hang your stamps on the back of your door, or hang in the individual panels in the closet. I've found both the 20 pocket and the 9 pocket panels work well for stamps.
Tip: When thinking about consolidation, think about maximizing your space – the goal is to fill the space from left to right, top to bottom, and back to front.
Arrange your stamps in the containers you've chosen for storage. This will allow you to maximize the space in the containers. You're going to create a catalog of your stamps so it's okay if you've got stamps together that are not the same theme or category.
I loaded the 20 pocket COPS panel with a couple of dozen stamps in the example to the right. This product wasn't avialable when I recorded the video.
Step 4 - Give your stamps a number
You can write directly onto your stamps or add number stickers that you create with your label maker. If you're using a label maker be sure to read the TIPS section at the end of this post.
Replace the stamps into the container, I recommend putting them in backwards. As you do the next step you can turn them around to face front. If you get interrupted or take a break it will be easy know which stamps have been cataloged and which have not.
*GOTTALITTLES* - Step 5 – Create an impression
Create an impression of each stamp on a piece of paper. Number the impression with the same number as the stamp.
If the stamp will work in more than one section of your 4 section system, make multiple impressions and number them all with the number of the stamp. In this example I made 3 impressions of each star. They will go into 3 categories: 4th of July, Star shapes, and Celebrations.
*GOTTALOTS* - Step 5 – Create a Catalog
If you haven’t created a catalog in a previous lesson, you’ll want to do that now. Your catalog can be made of 8.5”x11” paper or 12x12" paper – whichever you prefer. I like 12x12" because I can get more impressions on each sheet. You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to put ALL of your “tools” into one catalog, or if you’re going to create separate catalogs for each type of product – woodies, unmounted acrylics, cricut cartridges, dies….etc. I would strongly recommend putting everything together in one catalog. If you collect a particular brand of product, like Stampin' Up! – and you think it will be beneficial to catalog those separately – you should include them in your “all” catalog and then in a separate Stampin' Up! catalog.
*GOTTALITTLES* - Step 6 – Add the impressions to your 4 section system
Go through your 4 section system and add the impressions into each section where they belong. **Skip to
*GOTTALOTS* - Step 6 – Add impressions to your catalog
Working through your stamps, add an impression of each stamp and its number directly to your catalog sheets. Remember to add the image to the catalog sheets in multiple categories where appropriate.
Make a photo copy of the stamps in the containers. This will make it easy to replace them later.
Step 7 – Label your storage containers.
Regardless of the containers you’ve chosen, you’ll need to label them with the numbers of the stamps contained within. If your last container has space available for more stamps, only label it using the starting number in that container. Once it’s full you can add the last number.
Step 8 – Put your containers away
As you store your filled containers, place them so you can easily see the labels and easily remove the containers from the shelf, drawer or tote.
Step 9 – Adding new stamps
When you acquire a new stamp, simply label the stamp with next number, and follow the steps above. Once you’ve created and filed the impressions (gottalittles) or added the stamp to your catalog (gottalots) – you can add it to the last container on your shelf and change the label on that container to reflect the number of the new stamp. There is no need to try and keep stamps grouped together by Theme, Event, or Holiday, because your catalog/impressions are going to guide you quickly and easily to the stamp you need by number.
If you use a label maker to create the numbers, the white background of the label will make it easier to see the number on the stamp.
When using a label maker, instead of printing out each number individually, type in the number, add a couple of spaces, then type in the next number, a couple of spaces, next number…etc. This will use up far less label tape and be considerably faster. You’ll need to cut the numbers apart as you stick them on woodies, but it’s pretty easy.
Add your initials, name and/or phone number to each stamp as you handle it. This is essential if you ever take them to events or loan them to friends.
Step 10 – Your Organized Only space
With the addition of your Woodies, you’ve got Paper, Stickers, Embellishments, Un-mounted Stamps, Dies, Embossing Folders, and more all in one easy to access area. WOW!!! You’re so organized!
Your space is starting to fill up...
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Left to Right and
Back to Front
I LOVE it!