How to Organize Clear Stamps

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

February 1, 2012

You’ve bought a few sets of clear stamps, and unlike rubber stamps, they’re so thin that before you know it, you’ve lost them in a pile of paper. Or you’ve bought a sufficient number of stamp sets that you can no longer easily flip through a pile to find the set you’re looking for.

Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s time for a storage system for your growing collection.

Unlike mounted rubber stamps, clear acrylic stamps are relatively easy to store. A multitude of storage methods exist, each with its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of the options available. For each, we’ve include some inspiration from crafters along with commercially available products.

Method #1: Notebook/Binder

A number of stampers use a notebook to store their stamps. In fact, from the research I did, it appears to be one of the most popular systems. Both Nichol Magouirk and Jennifer McGuire use this system.

Pros:

  • relatively inexpensive
  • easily stores on bookshelf or in a closet
  • easy to categorize stamps with notebook dividers
  • easily adaptable to stamp sets of different sizes given the variety of page protectors available

Cons:

  • “closed” system means that stamps aren’t easily visible
  • without categories, stamps might be difficult to find

Product Picks

Tim Holtz – Idea-ology – Unmounted Stamp Binder

Avery Nonstick Heavy-Duty EZD Reference View 2 Inch Black Binder

BCW Pro 4-Pocket Page (3.5 X 5 Cards, Postcards or Photos)

Office Depot® Brand CD/DVD Binder Pages, 6″ x 10 ½”

Avery Top Loading Non-Glare Poly Sheet Protectors 100 Count

Method #2: Spin Rack

Jennifer McGuire uses a spin rack to keep frequently-used stamps at hand.

Pros:

  • the spin rack footprint is relatively small
  • stamps are highly visible
  • system is versatile, as it can be used for other supplies such as stickers and alpha chipboard

Cons:

  • high initial expense
  • system requires that you reclip when you’re done with the stamp
  • each stamp requires a sleeve, as the system does not include them
  • less adaptable to sets of stamps of different sizes
  • few vendors

Product Pick

Simply Renee – Clip It Up – Base Unit

Method #3: Vertical File

Cheiron Brandon, Marcy Penner and Laura O’Donnell store their clear stamp sets vertically in containers.

Pros:

  • relatively inexpensive
  • stamps are highly visible
  • system is versatile, as the storage container can be used for other supplies
  • storage containers available in a variety of materials to match your style and décor
  • easily stores on bookshelf or in a closet

Cons:

  • less adaptable to sets of stamps of different sizes, especially larger sets, although a workaround would be to divide larger sets into multiple protectors.

Product Picks

Cropper Hopper – Unmounted Stamp File

Spectrum Small Storage Basket

ITSO Bin

Avery Heavyweight Sheet Protectors, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, Pack of 15

Method #4: CD Cases

An alternative to the aforementioned method, Clare Curd prefers CD cases to sleeve protectors. The pros and cons of this system are similar to those listed above. Additionally, you could use a CD page protector, cut in half, in a CD storage box for a similar system to those used by Cheiron, Marcy and Laura.

Product Picks

Fellowes (R) Loose-Leaf Binder Sheets For CD-ROMs, 2 Capacity, Pack Of 10

KASSETT CD box with lid


Design Ideas CD Box Mesh Silver

Method #5: Zipper Envelopes

Nicole Rixon stores her clear stamps in office-supply zipper envelopes within a box she fashioned after trying a variety of systems, which she describes in her post. Detailed shots of the system show her tabs for categorizing.

Pros:

  • relatively inexpensive
  • stamps are highly visible
  • easily stores on bookshelf or in a closet

Cons:

  • less adaptable to sets of stamps of different sizes, especially larger sets, although a workaround would be to divide larger sets into multiple envelopes.

Product Picks

Office Depot® Brand Transparent Zipper Envelopes, Check Size, Pack Of 3

Filexec Zipper Envelope, 4.75″ x 9.5”


Additional Resources

ScrapCessories – Stamp Caddy Case Kit

ScrapOnizer – The Clear Solution – 8.5 x 11 Clear File Folders

Ultimately your storage choice and organizational system will be determined by a variety of factors including budget and personal preferences. Do you like your stamps to be visible? Or are you someone who likes your crafting supplies behind a door?

You may also find that no one system works for all of your stamps, in which case, you can use several, the way in which Jennifer McGuire does. Most importantly, consider which system will best enable your crafting and which are you most likely to maintain.

How do you store your clear stamps?

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23 Comments

  1. PK

    I store all mine (and at last count was over 3000 individual acrylic cling stamps) in 2 ring or lever arch binders, but they’re all stored in clear ziploc bags by KaiserCraft (http://www.kaisercraft.com.au/newsite/products.php?subcat=52), and I have an index “print” in the front – a stamp of every stamp in the file – for easy reference.

    Tiny, individual stamps are stored in the 9 and 12-pocket baseball card type pages in the larger lever-arch folders. Works for me.

    1
    Reply
    • Jean Manis

      PK, what a collection of stamps you have! Thanks for sharing that KaiserCraft link. Great idea to store the smaller stamps in the baseball card protector.

      Reply
  2. Nona

    Thank you so much for taking the time in putting together this informative post, Jean! It is more than helpful 🙂

    Reply
  3. Roslyn Cartwright

    I have been storing my clear stamps in CD cases (as suggested on your blog) , which I had on hand, only to find the sticky backing staying behind when I lift the stamp off to use it. Now I have to find an new method. I have polycardbonate sheets which I use for my EZ mount -backed rubber stamps. Would these be OK or should the clear stamps be left on the acetate backing you buy them on? I have received free clear stamps on acetate that must be old. They had lost their cling when I opened them up!
    Hope you can clear up my dilemma. Thanks
    Ros

    Reply
    • Jean Manis

      Hi Ros, Are you saying that you stored the stamp directly onto the CD case, and that when you went to use the stamp, it no longer had any cling? I suspect that there’s some reaction between the material the stamp is made from and the CD case plastic, although I’m not an expert in the field of chemistry. 😉 I would leave the stamp on the sheet that it’s on when you buy it. I personally don’t use this system – I use Method #2. I slip the stamps on the acetate sheet into a protector. Wish I could be of more help with your situation. If you want to continue the CD method, I’d try storing a set on the acetate it comes on and see what happens.

      Reply
  4. Roslyn Cartwright

    Thanks.

    I believe I followed the instructions found on websites which was to remove the stamps from the sheet and adhere them to the CD. This also seems to be shown in the pictures on the blogs!

    However, I will retrieve them and put them back on the acetate and see what happens. I hope they don’t all end up without sticky backing like the ones I got for free. Using these with glue stick adhesive, also suggested on blogs, is rather messy.

    Thanks again

    Ros

    Reply
  5. Debbie Greeb

    I would like to know what categories you store you stamps in
    If you store them that way

    Reply
    • Jean Manis

      Hi Debbie,
      I store my stamps in sheet protectors in the ITSO bins. I store primarily by manufacturer. For those manufacturers where I have a lot of stamps, for example Hero Arts (different sizes, some cling rubber, most clear), I break down into categories such as: background (cling rubber that are unmounted), holiday (clear stamps), and then clear specialty sets such as Hero Arts/Studio Calico or Hero Arts/Basic Grey. When I post my cards, I source the stamps used, which is the primary reason that I sort by manufacturer.

      Reply
  6. Gab

    Great post, thanks Jennifer. I have a Tim Holtz binder for mine

    Reply
  7. sarah

    I recently changed my storage system to this method that Jennifer McGuire details in her blog post/video. I am finding it most helpful. I did leave all my Stampin Up stamps and Close to My Heart stamps in their original packaging-I just put them in the great new storage binz!

    Reply
  8. LCJinRoslynPA

    Mine are in CD cases – with a few sets slipped in the Iris cases I have for “topical” supplies like birthday, V’day, Christmas.

    I got an adorable wooden CD chest with wire mesh doors at the thrift shop ($3.00!!!) to put the cases in. Don’t have the designated scrap space to put it in right now, so it’s on the floor, but when I do, it will get its very own spot by the ink pads and other stamping paraphernalia!

    Reply
  9. Pamela

    Hi was just wondering when you put them in the ring binder with the protected sheets how do you get them to stay in place

    Reply
    • Jean

      Hi Pamela, if you watch the video in Jennifer McGuire’s post that is mentioned in the section “Method #1: Notebook/Binder” you will be able to see how that method works.

      Reply
  10. Audrey

    Can anyone help. I am looking for a solution to store my clear stamps. I go away on scrapbooking retreats so I want something that looks good when stored on the shelf, but easy and sturdy to travel with.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Since you want to travel with your stamps, the binder system mentioned in this post might be the best option.

      Reply
  11. Kathy Glenn

    I am trying to find a solution to some older clear stamps aren’t sticking to the backing sheet they came on when purchased. No problem with them sticking to the acrylic block just the storage sheet. Is there some kind of adhesive to use that would allow me to remove the stamp to use but then will hold it for storage?

    Reply
    • Teaching Assistant - Kim Edsen

      Kathy – so interesting that you don’t have an issue with the stamps sticking to the acrylic block, just the storage sheet! Is this an issue with all of your stamps, or a particular brand? A Google search revealed mostly hacks related to cleaning the back of the stamps, either with soapy water or alcohol, or using an adhesive to keep them in place. What remedies have you already tried?

      Reply
      • Kathy Glenn

        I have stapled the top plastic to cardstock so I can lift it up to peel off the stamp, I have also used photo sticker squares. The issue is with the raised stamping side sticking to the clear sheet, the part that sticks to the acrylic block is not the issue, it’s the stamping side.

        Reply
        • Teaching Assistant - Kim Edsen

          Ah, got it! I actually store my stamps with the back side (the part that sticks to the block) sticking to the sheet. I keep them in Avery Elle sleeves, so don’t particularly want the front part to stick…otherwise it’d be very hard to remove them from the pockets! I’ve never done it any other way, but I would imagine the front side with the image isn’t necessarily meant to be sticky?

          Reply
          • Kathy Glenn

            No I can’t keep the back part sticking to the sheet. They will still stick to the acrylic block , just not to the sheet it came on

          • Teaching Assistant - Kim Edsen

            I stick the same side (the smooth flat side) to the storage sheets as I do to the blocks. Below you mentioned sticking the raised, design side to the sheets – can you stick the smooth side to the storage sheets? Maybe it’s the storage sheets?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CraftCrave | Blog | Scrapbooking Tutorials (large): Thursday, 02 Feb 2012 - [...] How to Organize Clear Stamps – 1 freebie(s)? [...]
  2. Article | Organizing Your Clear Stamps · Scrapbooking | CraftGossip.com - [...] Manis has written a comprehensive article on different ways that you can organize your clear (or acrylic) stamps. She…

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