by Andrea Steed (with Sherrill Pierre)
Whether you began crafting as a stamper or you added stamping to your range of scrapbooking techniques, a growing stamp collection is very common among scrapbookers. The size of your stamp collection and the type of stamps you have will determine your organization and storage needs.
If your collection is rather large, it may be hard to keep track of what you have. Categorizing them into groups is a helpful way to easily find the perfect stamp for your project. Separate your stamps by theme or style and then sub-categorize them as necessary for larger collections. Some examples of categories are:
- Photo Corners
A large collection of alphabet stamps can also be categorized based on the style of each font with categories such as curly, block fonts, typewriter, and sans-serif. Along those lines, you can categorize stamps with a similar style together such as cartoon-like or realistic images. Use categories that make sense to you and your style of scrapbooking.
Once your stamps are categorized, you can assess your storage needs based on the type and volume of stamps. There are three primary styles of stamps: wood-mounted, foam and unmounted. A wood-mounted stamp is a rubber-stamp image attached to adhesive foam and then adhered to a wooden block. The image of the stamp is usually printed on the top of the wooden block so you know what the finished image will look like. Foam stamps come mounted on foam blocks and are about half the thickness of wood-mounted stamps. Unmounted stamps come in both traditional rubber and clear acrylic forms. Since they are not mounted to a block of any kind, unmounted stamps take up much less space than wood-mounted stamps. Since the various types of stamps have such differences in size and functionality, each style of stamp must be stored differently.
You’ll want to store wood-mounted stamps so that you can see the image printed on the top of the wood block. Shallow boxes and narrow shelves are a convenient way to access your stamps and see what you have at a glance, instead of having to dig through a deep basket or bin.
Shallow Drawers, Boxes or Trays – Create a layer of rubber stamps, categorized by theme, in shallow drawers, boxes or trays. Position each stamp so that you can see the image on the top of the wood block. The wider the containers are, the more stamps you’ll be able to fit. Open-top trays can be stacked, but be careful when you access them that the contents don’t spill out. Boxes with clear lids are nice so you can see what’s inside without having to open each container, and the stamps will stay put. You can also label the outside of each box or drawer with the theme or style of stamp it contains.
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