Ink pad organization and storage

Whether you have a ton of ink pads or just a few, if you don’t have a good organization and storage system for them, finding the perfect color when you need it can be difficult.

If you’ve followed along with other classes and videos you probably already know that I’m going to suggest either an ink catalog – for those of you who have a lot, or an ink index for those of you who have just a few.

Let’s start with the ink index.

An ink index is a small card or sheet of paper that is typically stored right with your inks. If you want to maximize the use of your inks you could create 2 cards at the same time and store the second one in your Rainbow section with your other supplies. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Read up on the 4 Section System.)

When you’ve stored the index with the inks, you’ll be able to know exactly which inks are in the container (brand, name, type) and also what color those inks truly are.

I created the Tim Holtz distress ink index using a simple Excel spread sheet. If you’re using or Edna Buddy Bag to store your Tim Holtz distress or oxide inks, you can download this index from here. There is also a full blog post about this topic – read it now.

Organize Distress or Oxide inks in the Edna Buddy Bag from Totally-Tiffany.

The ink index should be easily visible -for some containers you’ll want to put it on the outside, if you’re using our Buddy Bags the index cards can slide right into the side of the bag for maximum visibility.

If you’ve got tons of inks and like a variety of brands, creating a color catalog is the perfect way to organize and store your ink pads.

Step 1 – Search for color charts from your favorite ink pad manufacturers.

This is easily done with an internet search or you can visit the Files Tab in the Get Organized Challenge Group – you’ll find many of them there.

Step 2 – Supplies you’ll need

A Notebook – You can use a Spinder from your ScrapRack to create a color catalog that stays in your ScrapRack, or you can use a 3 ring binder.

You may want to use page protectors for each of your color catalog sheets – but it isn’t necessary. It is easier to remove the pages from your catalog if you are just pulling them out of page protectors instead of having to open the rings on the binder. I used 12×12 paper to create my color catalog and Super Sized Single pages as a page protector.

Containers to store your inks – these could be Buddy Bags, Small ink shelves, or boxes. If you need help finding storage containers visit our “We’ve got an organizer for THAT!” page and view options based on the type of inks you are trying to store.

A small basic stamp – choose a stamp that is going to put down a lot of ink so you can get a really good idea of the color.

Stamp cleaner

Create a color catalog with Totally-Tiffany

Step 3 – Load your ink pads into their storage containers.

It seems counter-intuitive to do this, but this will ensure that your catalog reflects the correct location of each ink pad.

Because ink pads come in so many different shapes and sizes, it’s generally the most economic use of space to store ink pads together by brand. There are a few brands, Colorbox, Fun Stamper’s Journey, Staz-on…that are all about the same size, so they will all store together if needed.

Once your containers are loaded, add a label to each container. I tend to use the brand of ink and a number. I.e., if I had 3 Gail Buddy Bags loaded with Quick Quotes inks, I would label the Bags QQ 1, QQ 2 and QQ 3.. If the bags were mixed inks, I would use the bag name – Gail 1, Gail 2, Gail 3.

Create a color catalog with Totally-Tiffany

Step 4 – Create catalog sheets.

Label 1 sheet of paper for each color of the rainbow. If you’re using 12×12 you may be able to get more than 1 color on a page.

Don’t forget Metallics, Browns & Nuetrals, Black & White.

If you like to keep things neat and tidy, you can “grid” out your catalog sheets to fit the stamp you are using. I’ve done color catalogs with and without grids. They work equally well. The only advantage to grids (other than how they look) – is when an ink pad dries up or gets damaged, it’s easy to cut a square of paper the same size as the grid an add another color swatch in that location.

Step 5 – Begin the process of cataloging.

Start with 1 container of inks and work through the container 1 ink pad at a time stamping out an image on the proper sheet of paper. Under each stamp note the name of the ink and where it is stored – container # or name.

Add a notation to the manufactures color chart indicating that you have the color and where it is located. Some color charts are printed with the colors and some are blank boxes. If the boxes are blank, you may want to fill in the box with a little of the ink so you know the color.

Step 6 – Create your notebook or add to your ScrapRack

After the ink has dried insert your catalog sheet into a page protector – I use the ScrapRack Super Sized Single Storage Page. This page is a little oversized at 12.5″ x 12.5″ so it’s really easy to pull sheets in and out of. I also like using page protectors instead of just 3 hole punching because I can put a sheet in each side.

Our 12×12 Craft Binder is a perfect solution for creating a stand-alone binder. If you’re using a ScrapRack, use a Spinder and put it in front of your Rainbow section on your ScrapRack.

Tips and Tricks

If your ink pads don’t have easy to read labels, now is a good time to add the name of the ink to the edge of ink so you can easily read it.

If you’re going to store your inks upside down, write this information upside down as well.

If you’ve got re-inkers that match an ink pad, add a notation to the color block – something as simple as a capital R will work.

If you’re using our Buddy Bags from our EZ2Organize line, write the name of the bag on the bottom of the liner tray. If you need more, you’ll be able to easily choose the perfect bag.

Thanks for stopping by today to learn a little bit about ink pad organization. As always if you have questions or comments please do record them in the comment box below. If you need help choosing the storage items for your ink pads you can always call or email. or (253) 284-9200.

Happy Crafting!

2 Responses to Ink pad organization and storage

  1. I have questions if you use category by colors of rainbow where do u put colors like gray pink would be with red tan with brown

    • Grays come in different shades – green, blue, purple – so depending on the shade of grey it’s possible to put them with the “color,” but I put Greys with Black & White. Yes, I do put pinks and reds together, and brown, tans, neutrals together too.

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