Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finding the Right Stamp in a Sea of Stamps

I'm honestly almost embarrassed to show you these pictures because they're so sloppy.  However, this is my own little system for keeping track of which stamps I have, and it actually works well for me.  I found that I would forget that I had a particular set or I had trouble finding a greeting in the font or size that I needed. 

So, I came up with a quick and dirty way of keeping track of my stamps.  I usually purchase clear-mount stamps, so I have the actual cases filed alphabetically on a DVD shelf that I purchased from IKEA (which they've since discontinued).  However, I can't hardly see those little images on the spine of the cases.

To get started, I went back through my sets and just laid two DVD cases at a time on top of my printer/copier and made a copy.  The first run was to get the sets copied and in alphabetical order.  Below is an example (remember, I told you it's sloppy):

Probably the most helpful think I did was make an extra copy of any sets that had words in them.  I cut the words apart and then taped them to a sheet for their particular category.  I made sure I included the name of the set it came from. 
My intention is to get all of these pieces of paper into a binder, but the stack of copies has been sitting on my desk for a couple of months now.  I WILL get them in that binder. This could be put together so much neater and more professionally, but honestly, if I make it too complicated I'll never stick with it.  I can make quick copies of new sets when I get them and then cut them apart, tape them, etc. 
It's worked really well for me.  For example, I wanted to see if I could find something that works for a baby card that would fit with the Petite Curly Label Punch (see yesterday's post).  I went to my "Baby" sheet and found the word "baby" and it was in, of all things, the Pennant Parade stamp set.  I would have never remembered that set had the word "baby" in it.  Then, I wanted to fill in the blank space at the top of the label with a heart.  I went to my alphabetized section, flipped through and found the perfect size heart in the Make A Cake set. 
I also sometimes just flip through the pages to see which sets I haven't used in a while to get some new inspiration.
I know a lot of you probably have enough sets to stock your own craft store (nothing wrong with that), so don't be overwhelmed.  Maybe start with the more current sets.  I still have a few wood-mount sets, but I probably won't go back and add them.  I'll just try to keep my system going for future sets.
I hope you found this helpful.  Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea! I'm going to have to rethink mine. They are in alpha order in a notebook and on the shelf but hard to find when you can't remember the name of the stamp set! I too...........can not see the little pictures on the spine! TFS!

  2. Oh, I'm so glad I'm in good company having my stamp sets alphabetized. I can remember a lot of what I have and even what the set is called, but this is the perfect solution for the words! I started to keep a notebook of just the words, but I didn't keep it up because it wasn't simple enough - thanks for sharing your idea! One question, though, do you have the sets that are words only (like Perfectly Penned) in both sections, or just in the words section?

  3. I have done something similar. I have all my sets wood in one section and clear mount in another by alphabet order. When I get a new set I copy the cover on the copy machine and file by alphabet in a three ring binder. All my wood sets, I actually stamped on a 8 1/2 x 11 white sheet of paper. I have every set in alphabet order so when looking for a certain set I just get out my inventory book and look for what I need. It has worked great!!!

  4. I have been keeping mine in alpha order too (clear mount only, the wood sets with their different size boxes wasn't working). I love this simple and easy to manage system, Beth. My challenge is the same, how to find the right words without squinting and reading the spines of all the cases. This looks like a good weekend project for me! Thank you.

  5. Wonderful of you to share. I noticed lately how much wasted time I am spending trying to find the right word stamp. You came up with a great solution. TFS!

  6. TFS Beth! I also store mine in alphabet order clear and wood separately. But I separated out the greetings only ones into their own alphabet order so I had a smaller pool to look thru. But those greetings with images were always a challenge to remember and squinting to read the spines of the boxes was so frustrating! I will be using your idea from now on....thanks again!

  7. I copied my clear mount cases too - 3-hole punched them and put them in a binder (alphabetically). But I love the idea of putting all of the sentiments on separate sheets too! Thank you for sharing your photos!

  8. Wow, love this idea! I've heard of lots of different ways to organize stamp sets, but not until I saw yours Beth was I really that motivated to copy any of them, but I am definitely motivated now to do exactly what you've done. THANK YOU so much for sharing, this and your creativity and inspirational cards!