Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stamp Catalog - COMPLETED!

Okay almost completed. My friend Wendi is going to bring me a few sheets of cling foam so I can finish my background stamps but other than that...it's all done! I have been posting about  my progress on Facebook since this has been quite an under taking and I thought I better post the complete process, along with pictures on my blog.

First off, I use the Stamp Storage cases from Stampin Up. I have scoured the internet for a cheaper source and while I did come across some there were none that were as easy and convenient to obtain. Manufactures in China want you to order thousands, and preferably each month. I have quite a few stamps but not that many. I did find a source in the UK but they never got back to me on shipping costs, etc so I am giving up and just sticking with Stampin Up.

I cut sheets of paper at 5" x 7" for the front and back of the cases. I would cut stacks at a time so I didn't have to stop and cut frequently. I had already had my stamps pretty well organized before I decided to catalog them all so it was fairly easy to just take them out and do them again. I was able to rearrange and use the space more efficiently by using this method and it did require slight adjustments in organization but works out much better.

I arranged the stamps  on the sheet of paper and it was much like putting jigsaw puzzles together to get maximum efficiency. While I did get frustrated a few times it was worth the extra effort and work.





Once I had the stamps in place I put my large stamp block on the stamps to keep them positioned. This sheet wasn't full. On the fuller sheets my stamp block wasn't quite big enough so I would also use my long rectangle block to pick up the stamps that didn't fit on the large square block. I loved being able to stamp multiple images at once and it saved a TON of time.




Here you can see the images stamped on the sheet of paper. I still have room to add more stamps at a later date if I need to do so. Since this sheet is Christmas I am sure the space will be used in the future at some time.













For the catalog I stamped on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper showing the stamps that are on either side of the stamp storage case. I would do the 5" x 7" first and then stamp on the catalog page immediately afterward. My friend Linda copied her sheets but I decided that Memento ink was a lot cheaper than printer ink and since I could stamp multiple images at once it wasn't that much of a bother and I didn't have to get up and walk over to the printer every time I made a new catalog sheet.



Here is the catalog page with both sides stamped off. It is easy to see where the stamp is in the case just from looking at the catalog sheet. Notice the area down the middle that is open, I will show you later what I did there.








As I got each catalog page done I placed them in sheet protectors and put them in a 3 ring binder. I just got a cheap one at Staples for $2. Once all that was done I knew I needed to figure out a way for easy indexing. I already had my spines on my stamp storage cases so I just printed them off again and placed them in the middle of the sheets.

For even more clear identification purposes I added a small round sticker to the bottom of each page. I used a method of "A1, A2, B1, B2" etc. The reason I went with this method was because my stamps were already arranged in alphabetically order according to category. It will be easy to add cases this way as well if my collection grows *okie wonders if anyone noticed her saying if instead of when*. So instead of having to change everything I can just add "B17, B18" to the B catergory or "A3, A4" etc.

 
 
Here is a close up shot of one of the pages. I took it so you can get  better idea of the letter number system and also point out how one side is blank. Since I use a thin mounting foam I can get stamps on both sides of most of my cases. If the stamps are already on mounting foam I arranged them so all the thick foam ones were on one side and thin foam or acrylic were on the opposite side. In some instances I was only able to use one side of the case, but that was rare.



 
Here is a picture of the case from the outside. I opened it so you can see both sides of the case. You might wonder why I chose to use brown ink instead of black and it was just a matter of preference, and I like the color brown *okie cracks up laughing*. One thing I do like about making my own covers is that all the stamps are equal to the eye now. Before I acrylic, rubber, mounted, etc being seen through the case and it was difficult to see the image clearly due to all the other images. This way the images are seen easily.
 
This is a picture of the stamps on the inside of the case. The stamps are aligned with the images on the front. This makes it easy to find the stamp and return it to the case when it is used.



And the final picture is off all my stamp cases indexed and put in order. You can see the small stickers at the bottom identifying them according to the small round stickers on the catalog page. 

I can fit 11 cases in each little cube but I find it hard to pull them out with 11 so instead I just put 10 in each one and it is a lot easier to slide them in and out this way.

The wood blocks in the bottom right hand corner are the background stamps that I need to unmount. I already have their cases and catalog sheets ready so once I get the foam from Wendi it won't take but a minute to get them in their cases and correct spots in the system. I will say this about unmounting background stamps...it is more difficult and not for the faint of heart. If you are concerned about messing up a big stamp then you might want to leave them on the blocks. I however am a crafting daredevil and decided to go for the gusto. I just used the same method as I do for my other stamps but did find placing them on the cling foam was a little more tricky due to the large area.

Now that this time consuming task is done I think I will treat myself to a vacation and go on a cruise! HA HA HA It's only 9 more days until I will be getting my butt on that big boat! Can't wait to spend a week on the high seas with some awesome people!

***UPDATE***
My friend Sharon from Australia commented on my Facebook page "Hey I discovered that the cuttlebug c plate makes an awesome stamping block when you need a larger surface =)". I never thought of that and it would have saved tons of time from using the two blocks since the C plate is larger than the 5 x 7 area I was stamping. Oh well at least I know for future reference! Thanks for the info Sharon!!

19 comments:

  1. Okie, I am so jealous of all of your stamps! :) Great job on getting everything organized and cataloged.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're going to love that catalog. Mine makes it a snap to see what stamps I have and pick the one I want to use. My numbering system isn't as elaborate as yours though, I just numbered the cases and put the corresponding number on the catalog sheets. Now, aren't you glad you did it? LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You did great!!!! now if you would do mine......mine would be great.
    I would have so much more room and then maybe I would work in my craft room again!!! Maybe.........

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's what i did to mine a couple of weeks ago,makes it so mush
    easier

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dammit! Now I want to do this!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful collection and set-up. Great

    ReplyDelete
  7. Impressive!!! Where do you get the mounting foam? Sorry if you already mentioned it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i love it!!! (can you do mine now? lol)

    what a great idea to use the C plate, must remember that :)

    have a BLAST on the Cricut cruse girl :)
    want pics!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOW ... this is very impressive. Not just the sheer number of stamps you have ... not just the wonderful cateloging you've made ... but also how neat, tidy and organized it all is. I know Linda is right and that you will love this!

    Great job ... you certainly deserve a nice long, fun, and hopefully very relaxing, Cruise! ENJOY!

    BTW ... thanx for sharing Sharon's tip to use a Cuttlebug plate as a stamping block ... I would not have thought of that, but it's a fabulous idea!

    Hugz,
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
  10. you are an inspiration. I keep thinking about unmounting all my rubber from wood, but I have a ton. Maybe if I worked in small batches. I ptobably need a boat load of mounting foam. Good work on your part.

    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fantastic tips!
    Thank you much

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been putting all of my stamps in the Stampin' Up cases as well. I need to stamp them now on sheets and catalog them! Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I put my stamps in Stampin' Up cases as well. Now I need to stamp them all on sheets and catalog them! Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Impressive organization girl and the cuttlebug C plate thing is genious !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lady, I so love the way you have organized your stamps! Can you buy empty stamp-in cases from stamp-in up? Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love how organized you are and that you shared w/everyone!! Thanks! Can I ask why you didn't stamp the images on a sheet that would fit inside the cases instead of creating the 3 ring binder too? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cases do have the images stamped on sheets and placed in the case. I did the 3 ring binder so I can have something to quickly look through instead of having to pull out each stamp case.

      Delete