How I store stamps (It might work for you!)

Hi friends! I have been asked a lot lately what is is the binders behind me so today I will show you!

I had a few questions about my stamp storage on YouTube when I first posted this video Saturday. I will answer them here:

Q: How do you store your Pegstamps?

A: They are in a sturdy shallow wooden crate under my large worktable. I have them standing on their rubber end so I can see all of the indexes at a glance. I do not keep them in the original clear boxes because they take up too much space that way and I like to use them all together. I will show how I store them the next time I make a video with them:) I didn’t mean to leave them out, I just don’t keep them over here because the box is heavy and bulky and I would trip over it LOL!

Q: Since you have been using clear stamps since they first came out have you noticed any of them going bad, melting or getting gummy?

A: I have had some cheap silicone stamps fuse to the backer sheets but only if I had never removed them to use them. That is a good reason to pull them off the sheet and stamp with them at least once. I also have purchased stamps that were fused to the sheet and I had to cut the sheet apart and use them with tape on a block. Don’t try to force a stamp off the sheet or you might tear it. I am not sure if that was a manufacturer defect or simply what happens if you wait to long to remove the stamp from the sheet. High quality photo polymer stamps do stain with ink and can turn yellow with exposure to light. I think it is sun exposure that eventually breaks them down but since my stamps are in binders (as opposed to open bins which is a popular way to store stamps now) they don’t get exposure from my studio lights and I have no windows in my craft space so no sunlight gets in. I am happy to report all of my stamps are still working as god as new (even the 20 year old PSX ones!)

Q: Have you ever unmounted any of your wood stamps?

A: No, I prefer wood mounted stamps. I rarely get wood mounted now due to space reasons and I don’t want to let go of any I have so new can come in. I have actually mounted favorite sentiments on Jenga blocks because they were more convenient that way.

How do you store your stamps? Have you had any negative issues with stamps going bad? Let me know in the comments below! Happy crafting!

Budget Craft Room! {My Neice Sarah’s New House!}

Hi friends! My niece and her husband just got their first house and I offered to help her unpack her craft supplies and set up her craft room. It was a lot of work but lots of fun (I work for coffee LOL!) and now she had a place to create everyday! Watch the video to see the transformation and money-saving tips!


Sarah used the shelves she already had and her husband made a wooden shelf to house rubber stamps. It is important to see what you have BEFORE buying or making more storage items.


Vintage jars hold buttons and ribbon scraps and sturdy shelves from the big-box store hold paper and books.


This pretty lamp and a nearby window provides perfect light for jewelry making!


Plastic gutter from the home improvement store was cut to length and screwed to the wall to hold ribbon.

Everything in the room can be seen so it will get used. I am so happy to see Sarah and John in their first home, I can tell there is a lot of happy times ahead of them, and crafty times too! What was your favorite money-saving storage tip? Are you going to try any of these ideas? Let us know! We hoped we inspired you with this makeover! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

2014 Studio Tour!

Howdy folks! I love to see where other people create, from creative closets to entire rooms devoted to their art I just love to look. It is fun to see how other people store their supplies and I always come out with an idea or two. As an artist who works in many media I have a lot of stuff, add to that I am an art teacher and you get more stuff. My workroom (not really a room but a corner of my basement) is a supply closet as well as a work area. Everything, almost, is modular and I end up moving it around quite a bit as my needs change. Here is how it is looking right now:

I find that the longer I am in a space the less drastic my reorganization gets because I know how I work best. If something isn’t right I change it. Craft rooms are not stagnant if they are being used because you will acquire more stuff, use up stuff, gain interests, and lose interests. I’m not a fan of getting rid of good craft supplies. Most items can be used again in different ways. Stamps and patterned paper get discontinued but that does not mean they expire and are no longer good so why toss them? Even if you dislike the pattern, guess what, the other side is probably white. Why get rid of your old decorator chalk to buy new chalk from a more trendy company? It makes no sense. Sometimes you will find something that really is not for you, you tried it, did not like it and have no plans to ever use it again, OK give it to someone who can use it but the other stuff that you bought because you loved it, keep it, everything comes back around or don’t buy the trendy stuff, get basic stuff like solid color papers and paints, pencils and inks and make your own.  If you find that you are buying more stuff than you can possibly ever use (which I think is a great deal of us) make a plan to use it. I feel bad when I buy something and don’t use it, it does not happen often but when it does I will grab that supply and dive in. You will get rid of the guilt of just owning it and get to the pleasure of using it. We buy supplies with the optimistic attitude of what we will make with it. When we don’t use it we feel like we have abandoned our dreams and wasted money, we feel like a failure. When you use the supply you will get a better feeling than a “shopper’s high” you will get a “crafter’s high” and feel so good that you used what you bought. You bought it because you liked it so use it!

I don’t know how I got on that philosophical tangent LOL! I noticed when I was watching the video back that I forgot to mention a couple of things:

  • The bird-cages hanging from the ceiling hold lace trim
  • The mail sorter on the end of my counter near “die cut land” holds glass rods for bead making
  • The big honking shelf behind me as I walk over to my bead storage area is my wood-mounted rubber stamp shelf.

If there was anything else you were wondering about in my room just leave a comment and I will explain about it:) Have a great “Superbowl Sunday” and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Beads, Books and Blending tools!

Hi there, it is the three “B” edition of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, four B’s if you count the barbells that are always around to weigh something down.

DCF 1.0

I have 3 copies of the new book, The Rainbow Paints (now available on Amazon!!!), that I illustrated, a cigar box that I glued scraps of foam board in for dividers to hold some ink blending tools (yes, I broke down and got Judikins color dusters, Sky Blue Pink had 4 packs of the dusters on sale for $3.80 last month) another cigar box that I have my 3 lonely panpastel cakes in and cosmetic sponges I use for chalk blending and my old Stampin up box that I keep my homemade bottlecap ink daubers in. Here is a close up of the cigar box I just altered:

DCF 1.0

Beads! Need I say more? Oriental Trading Company asked me to be one of their bloggers and they sent me a bodacious bunch of beads to use in upcoming tutorials.

And of course I had to find them a home;)

DCF 1.0

I wish I was so organized in the rest of my house LOL! So, wonder what all of thew WOYWW fuss is about? Check out the Stamping ground for more What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday fun and til next time happy crafting!

Free Embellishment Storage!

This embellishment cube has 48 containers for beads and embellishments and the best thing is that I made it for free!


Let me clarify, I used a 5 cent glue stick. Also I used a craft knife I already had and some paper from an American Crafts pack a friend gave me, so nearly free 🙂 My brother-in-law works at a paper mill and the electrical tape they use comes in these little round containers (pretty wasteful if you as me but not if you pass them along to a crafter!) I should have taken step-by-step photos as I made it but I thought of it too late. Below you can see the box the containers come in:


I took the box and cut one side off each then glued 4 of the cut boxes together. I turned each one so there would be an open row of containers on each side because I thought it looked nice but you can set it up however you like.

An adaptation…

I realize that you might not be able to get these awesome tape containers and boxes BUT you can still make something similar. You can buy a 10 pack of mini square or round food containers  at the dollar store. If you buy 4 packs that would give you 40 containers to put in your cardboard shelf (4 column of 10 containers.) You can make custom boxes from cardboard and tape, it is really sturdy and if you cover it with pattern paper it is beautiful. I’m telling you, most of my storage in my craft room is made from cardboard (or foamcore) tape and hot glue. It’s good stuff, not to mention nearly free!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Stamp Wheel Storage!

I am a collector of stamp wheels…you know like the Rollagraph and Stampin’ Around Wheels. I am lured into buying them imagining all of the lovely borders and backgrounds I will make and of course all the handmade wrapping paper I will stamp. Yeah right! I had all of my wheel stamps in a drawer and, well, out of sight-out of mind. So, now I am going from “Stamp Wheel Collector” to “Stamp Wheel User!” with this nifty {and thrifty} stamp wheel holder:

I got my inspiration for a sewing spool holder I saw in Martha Stewart’s Good Things for Organizing book. It was basically a board with dowels drilled into it and it looked fairly simple to make. Hubby said he would make it for me. Then I got looking at this old calendar holder (it is basically like a wooden frame with a Maronite backing board made to stick calendars in) and I started laying out my wheels on it. I showed my honey the frame and he screwed a piece of 3/4″  thick plywood to the backing board and pounded nails in from the back, we got 9 rows of 5 so that is storage for 45 stamp wheels! OR I can consolidate and put 3 builder wheels to a nail. I think I will make sure I actually use these a few dozen times before I let myself buy any more though!  😉

The best thing is that the frame was FREE! my MIL did not want it and we put it in our yard sale and it did not sell (priced at $1) and I kept it…I sent all the other leftovers to goodwill so how lucky is that!?!

I have been on an organizing kick lately…Saturday morning I wandered into my craftroom bound and determined to squeeze a little more storage into my stamp wall. I got this fab shelf at a yard sale for $5 (no kidding and the lady had quite a few of these shelves, I kick myself every day that I did not buy another one) and it held about 300 stamps. It is roughly 4′ wide x 6′ high. I had a shelf full of SU! stamps in their clamshell boxes that I was (Surprise!!!) not using because I could not see them. So I raided hubby’s scrap wood bin, my son’s box of building blocks and a box in the garage full of leftover ballasts from out new porch project this summer that were headed for the dump. Score one for planet Earth! And I used the mish-mash of 1″x1″ ballasts, blocks and wood scraps to make risers on some of the shelves literally doubling my storage for smaller stamps. Notice the arrow on the top of the pic, this shelf is so  skinny I had to tie it to the ceiling beam t be sure it would not fall over if one of my kids ran into it on a scooter (it’s happened.)

I even got all of my Christmas wood mounted stamps on the shelves. I put them on the bottom shelves because I don’t use them everyday. I loosely organized my stamps ont he shelf by theme: Occasion, nature, vintage, background, Christmas etc. I still have some room to grow too but I do not buy many wood mount stamps these days. I usually prefer unmounted rubber and I store them mainly in 3-ring binders. I have about 15 binders that sit on a shelf over my workbench and on the shelf above my binders is this:

Remember the printer’s tray I found at a yard sale last month in my “Jenga block stamp mount” post? Well, I found two more trays just like them and I put all (well almost all) of my alphabet and sentiment stamps in there. Then I cut some of the Jenga blocks in thirds and mounted some tiny postage and postmark stamps that I gout years ago and never used (cuz I couldn’t see them!) and popped them in the trays as well. There are a few miscellaneous small stamps in there that I was afraid would get lost on the big shelf. Here is a close up.

Sorry the pictures are not the best, I had to use a flash but you get the idea. Now that I feel properly organized I feel ready to stamp up  a storm! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Origami and other neat stuff!

Over at Oriental Stamp Art they challenged us to use origami this week.  Great! I had scanned some spin art papers that my son had made because I thought that they would be perfect for tea bag folding and I had a great vintage photo to use too.  Then I thought about the origami treat boxes I made last Halloween and how they would be perfect to store them bunch of $1 alphabet stamps I bought last year but never use because they are a pain to take out and put back in the teeny boxes they come in.

To make the blotter cut a peice of 13x13" matboard and cover with paper, cut 2 4" chipboard squares in half, cover with paper and attach to the corners from behind.

To make the blotter cut a piece of 13x13" matboard and cover with paper, cut 2 4" chipboard squares in half, cover with paper and attach to the corners from behind.

So I made some storage boxes (to make see my easy tutorial here and start with a 6″x6″ paper) and while I was at it I decided to take some scrap matboard ( cut 13″x13″) and mulberry paper (from the wrapping paper isle of the dollar tree) and make a blotter that I can refill with unloved scrapbook paper (hey the backside is white after all) and when I finished that I got around to making a card:

Stamps: Studio G, paper: green: HOTP, Purple:freebie see below

Stamps: Studio G, paper: green: HOTP, Purple:freebie see below

You can download the printable sheet of teabag papers here. Print them on copy paper, not cardstock so you can fold the easily.

click to download the tea bag papers

click to download the tea bag papers

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Crafty Storage

I used to spend more time reorganizing my supplies than actually using them….or hunting for an elusive stamp, button or roll of wire. If you’ve been there maybe you can use some of these storage ideas…They are cheap (mostly free!) and effective!

Binders hold unmounted stamps.

Binders hold unmounted stamps.

I have a large collection of rubber stamps. My clear and unmounted stamps are stored in binders. I have them sorted by manufacturer except for holiday stamps, they are in one dived binder. I put my small dollar sets in baseball card sheet protectors ($3 for 10 sheet at staples and each sheet will hold 9 sets), I put smaller sets in 4″x6″ protectors (Also at Staples) and the big sets are on their original storage sheet in regular 8 1/2″x11″ sheet protectors. The binders are 4 for $8 at Sam’s Club. I love this, I can grab a binder and find my stamp in seconds!

Recycled (free) storage!

Recycled (free) storage!

I scored this rack (originally made for sandpaper) at a hardware store. The no longer needed it and it was free! I put my wood-mounted stamps in clear acrylic frames (they were $1 each at a discount store) and put labels on the end describing their contents! BTW most of the wood mounted stamps here I bought for $1 at the same discount/surplus store! They had a truckload of them once, lots of k&co, Inkadinkado and they were big ones $12-$16 regular! That was my best sale ever, If you are ever in Maine, USA you need to find a Marden’s, you won’t believe the stuff they have there!

In the olden days all my stamps fit in this HA!

In the olden days all my stamps fit in this HA!

I love these crop in style drawers but at $10 for 2 drawers they are too pricey for me, I’d rather spend my $$on the stamps rather than the storage! I have labeled these too. Labeling is key, I used to think these women were nuts when labeled everything in their craft rooms but it makes such a difference!

Drink three bottles and call me in the morning!

Drink three bottles and call me in the morning!

We received a 3 bottle boxed set of wine for Christmas last year and behold, it fits my stamp wheels perfectly…now if I could get another one of those…hmmmm, maybe I’ll pick one up before the next craft night, I’m sure the ladies will approve!

a wooden cassete rack holds my inkpads

a wooden cassette rack holds my ink-pads

An old record cabinet hold paper.

An old record cabinet hold paper.

I bought this cabinet made for holding record albums, remember those, for $10 at an antique shop. Hubby painted it and it holds my 12″ cardstock perfectly! Note: bare wood is acidic, line the shelves with contact paper or paint them with acrylic paint before storing any paper. I also put lame scrapbook paper against the dividers to buffer any acidic materials.


This pen rack holds my markers/pens/pencils and was only $10 when my LSS closed 😦

Stack of Iris and steralite carts with the wheels removed

Stack of Iris and Steralite carts with the wheels removed

This set up used to be in my bedroom. I sewed a canvas cover that snaps closed at the sides with strong snaps to keep my mess out of sight and to keep curious kids out of my paint! I would but these carts when they went on sale for 50% off at Rite-Aid but you can get them for less than $25 at Target or Wal*Mart.


Crop in style cubes (a gift from my mommy 🙂

These are pricey, $30 a cube but it is designed to hold 12×12 paper. I love these especially the ones with 5 paper shelves. Each shelf hold 2 big DCWV stacks of paper, we’re talking the 180 sheet stack too! If you are handy you can make ones just as nice from plywood and paint it white!

My yarn stash...most of it LOL!

My yarn stash...most of it LOL!

Here is another freebie, the black shelves are made to hold caulking, you know that stuff in the big tube you need a weird gun to use at the harware store. They had extra, yay me! Notice the brightly colored filing cabinet? check out the little translucent embellisment holders. My brother in law works at a paper mill and they get rolls of tape in these little containers, they just through them away so he saved them for me! I used E6000 glue to glue strong magnets to the back and they work great to store brads, sequins, band-aids…you get the picture and since they are translucent I can see what’s inside! If you know someone who works at a paper mill ask them to save you some!

Thanks for reading through this long post, I hope it gives you some ideas on how to organize your supplies and save a little cash too. Untill next time happy crafting!

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