Thursday, April 2, 2015

14 UHeart Organizing: Putting a "Stamp" on Craft Organization

Over the past few years, Sarah has been stopping by to share her secrets for smart craft and scrapbooking organization.  She really has it to a science.  I always love how much thought she puts into executing each area of her craft room and reading about the process she takes with each type of supply.

I am grateful to have her back today sharing her tips and tricks for stamp organization.  She really put her "stamp" on this project!  Take it away Sarah!



Happy Spring, everyone! I hope it’s starting to blossom in your corner of the world. I’m excited to be back today sharing my latest brainstorm, and it’s all about stamps.

While finding the perfect box, bin or bag is an important part of organizing, and I’ll own to more than one impulse buy of a cute container purchased without a designated purpose, for me organizing is focused first on process. How do I really live in a space and what am I trying to accomplish? I’ll know I’ve designed an organizational system or solution right when I find myself feeling both productive and serene in the space.

When it comes to scrapbooking and other craft projects, my process rarely starts with supplies. Rather, my first step is to choose my photos and pick a layout from my Inspiration Binder. Then I move onto selecting the paper, embellishments and techniques that best suit my chosen design. Once I identify what I’m looking for — quote, graphic, journaling spot, etc. — I want to know all the options within my collection of supplies and tools that fit the bill. The problem: I was always forgetting the great options I have for stamps.

While I can (and do) store stamps according to themes, like baby or travel, I find that almost every multi-stamp set includes elements that I could put into multiple categories. For example, this travel set can be used in a variety of ways.


If I just “filed” it under travel, I would forget that this set has calendar stamps I love, as well as some great journaling options. I wanted a way to categorize all my stamps in addition to storing them, so that when I’m looking for something specific, I know all my options. Ultimately, I decided the best way to categorize them was to create a catalog.

My initial idea was to label cardstock for each category, and then stamp each image in as many categories as it applied. For example, I could stamp this one in travel, since it’s technically a luggage tag, and then re-ink and stamp again in the journal section.


But that seemed like a lot of wasted ink, a lot of time spent cleaning stamps {and some of them are still so pristine!} and an awful lot of work. While it would be cute, I want to spend my time stamping for projects, not for organization. Then inspiration hit. Why not scan the images instead? While I wouldn’t have the lots of colorful inks to jazz up the catalog, I would have a much quicker and easier job ahead of me and could get back to the fun of crafting so much sooner.

To get started, I scanned the printed image of the stamp, not the stamps themselves, since scanning the stamp itself would result in a backward image. I put two and sometimes three stamps or stamp sets on the scanner at a time, to minimize the number of scans. Once all the stamps were scanned, I opened all of the jpegs I had just created so I could toggle between images in creating my catalog.


Next, I opened Word and added a category name at the top of each page using a fun font: Calendar, Travel, Baby, etc. I went through each scanned image, and using the Snipping Tool {Paint or some other screen grab tool would work just as well}, I took a screen shot of each individual stamp and pasted the image into each page where it applied.

This cute set got pasted in its entirety onto the Symbols page. But I also pulled out individual stamps, pasting some onto the Arrows, Punctuation and Images pages, too.


Once I had transferred all the images to their appropriate pages, I went through the catalog and organized the images, conserving space and putting like images together. For example, on this travel page I put all the airplane stamps in a row. This helps in a couple ways. First, if I want to add an image of an airplane, I can easily pick out the one that works best with the page style. Or, I might decide upon seeing my options that I should instead do a sweet cluster of 3 airplanes.


Once I was happy with the placement and organization of everything, I printed out a copy, slipped the sheets into page protectors and inserted them into my Embellishment binder. That way when I go looking for themed embellishments, I’ll remember that I always have the option to create my own using stamps.


This binder is organized by… you guessed it, categories! So each page protector got placed into the appropriate section of the binder.


Right now all my cling stamps live in a binder, too. It would not be an overstatement to say I love binders for craft storage… ☺ But I have big plans to borrow this brilliant storage solution in the near future and transfer my cling stamps to jewel cases, once we move into our new house and I can liberate those millions of old CDs from storage {that’s right folks, I will be sharing new craft room shenanigans in the near future…}.

{via}

I just love when organization evolves beyond storage into a resource that helps me make choices in the creative process. In the end, it was not only easier to create this project by scanning versus stamping the images, taking this approach will make it easier to maintain the system moving forward, another key priority when designing organization. When I get new stamps {‘cause let’s be honest, that’s gonna happen!}, I just need to scan the set, paste the images into the catalog and slip the updated pages in the binder. So much easier than stamping the new images and potentially having to restamp an entire page to achieve the optimal organization.

So that’s all she wrote, er, stamped…? Thank you to Jen and all you lovely iHeart readers for letting me visit again, it is always such a pleasure for me. Hopefully you found an idea or two that might be helpful for your craft or other organization projects.

Have you had a recent success with an organizing project that evolved beyond storage into a game changer? Have you identified a perfect solution that allowed you to maximize your stamp stash?



"My name is Sarah and I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN with my husband of almost two years, Eric, and our two adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Hermes and Brontë. I am a Communications Consultant by day and by night/weekend/any spare moment, I indulge in my passion for writing, crafting and organizing. I am honored to share with all you dedicated iHeart fans my tips, tricks and secrets for organized crafting, which will not only help you get control of your craft clutter but also allow you to make more efficient and productive use of your precious crafting time. While I am blessed with an entire craft room, I promise to explain how all the solutions I share can be tailored to your specific situation, whether it be a dedicated room, a small storage space or mobile crafting. In the meantime, Happy Crafting!"

14 comments:

  1. Does Sarah have a blog? I'd love to read more of her craft ideas!

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    1. Melissa - thanks for the compliment! I will hopefully be starting a blog later in the year. If you haven't had a chance, take a look at my past posts here at I Heart Organizing, where Jen has kindly let me share crafty ideas over the past few years.

      :) Sarah

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  2. Hi Sarah,
    I loved your digital organizational process for your stamps. But just a thought, have you considered using OneNote instead of Word? In OneNote, you can create a Notebook (appears as a folder) as 'stamps'. You can add sections in the Notebook (.one files) as 'travel', 'baby' etc. And then you can add pages under each section , such as 'airplanes' under 'travel'. I think OneNote makes organizing digital documents very easy. And its very simple and easy to learn.
    Regards

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm always looking for easier ways to manage digital content, so I will definitely have to check that out!

      :)Sarah

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  3. Just a thought. I actually have most of my stamps in jewel cases now and honestly they take up so much room (just like any CD collection does)! Even though they are labeled I still go through each set to look at them. I was actually considerring putting them into binders instead. I think would be so much easier to just flip through the pages of a binder. Don't switch your current system :)

    Laura

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    1. Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your experience, Laura - I really appreciate it.

      :) Sarah

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  4. Do you have a reference system for remembering the collection each stamp is from? I love the idea of cataloging the images and I would add little numbers or something to help me find the actual stamp faster.

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    1. That's a great idea, Hannah. My thought was that once I transfer my stamps to the jewel cases, I will label the cases and update the catalog with the label reference. Right now my collection is small enough that I don't need the reference, but I'm sure it will help as my collection grows.

      :) Sarah

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  5. Great idea, and I totally love to use binders for organizing. One question though, where do you actually store the stamps themselves?

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    1. Jerralea-
      Right now I store my cling stamps in the binder as well, organized by category. I keep my wood block stamps in a drawer. Thanks for reading!

      :) Sarah

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  6. Great post! Sharing on my Facebook page today!

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    1. Thanks - what a nice complement!

      :) Sarah

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  7. I LOVE the idea of scanning stamps and cataloging! So useful and it helps you pull projects together more easily. I am guilty of forgetting what I own all the time!

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one, Bonnie!

      :) Sarah

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