In this post I’ll take you through the method to my madness for organizing dies & stamps (as well as stencils & embossing folders) using our Die, Stamp, & Supply Organizer.
In this studio tour post, I’m working on organizing dies, stamps, brass stencils, plastic stencils, and embossing folders. Because I’m using a catalog, I can mix my products together in a DSSO, but still find things quickly.
Step 1 – Gather
My first step was to round up everything I needed:
- A couple of Sharpie type pens
- Clear Pockets – Large, Medium & Small
- Small Shut Your Flap Tabs
- Die, Stamp & Supply Organizer
- A box of dies, stamps, embossing folders and stencils
Step 2– Sort by size
This is so simple, I just added the items to my DSSO based on size. The dividers in the DSSO can be moved around to best accommodate your supplies.
Many crafting supplies are a standard size. In most cases everything in my sections are the same size. I used our Die & Stamp Clear Pockets to standardize the size of things that were odd shaped, too big, or too small.
Putting small dies & stamps into small pockets brought them up to the height of other items in that section.
I had one set of stamps that was too tall, I cut it in half and put both halves in one medium pocket.
I try to use the space in my DSSO as efficiently as possible. Sometimes that means combining things in pockets.
With these Halloween stamps, it was a better use of space to put the two of them together in a large pocket, rather than put each of them in their own medium pocket.
Step 3 – Label
I’m creating a catalog, so giving each item in my DSSO a location label is the next step. I used our small Shut Your Flap tabs to label each “section” within the DSSO – A.B.C…J. These are just temporary labels. Once I’m sure everything is going to fit, I’ll make the labels more permanent.
I also used the small SYF tabs to label each individual item/pocket in the DSSO. I used the section letter and a number.
I labeled each section A-J. Next I labeled each item, with the section number & pocket number.
Step 4 – Turn all your labeled items backwards
This step is fast and easy AND it will help you keep track of where you are in the cataloging process.
If you’re following along, I strongly recommend doing all of these steps. It might seem silly, but if you get called away from your task, you’ll be thrilled to easily pick up right where you left off.
Step 5 – Add items to your catalog pages
Whether you’re actually stamping, embossing, die cutting, or using a scanner to make the impressions, add an impression/representation of each item in your DSSO onto the proper page(s) in your catalog.
Put your catalog sheets back in your catalog and replace the items back in DSSO with the labels facing forward.
Tips and Tricks
Sometimes I think I should call this section of a post “Mistakes and Mishaps”, because usually I make a big mistake or figured something out at the very end of a project. When taking things out of the DSSO, keep them in the labeled pockets. It will be easier to put them back in the proper place.
It isn’t necessary to put every item into a clear pocket.
I used clear pockets:
- for acrylic stamps that were either too small or were missing/didn’t have acetate sheets on both sides
- to keep matching dies and stamps together
- to combine sets of things like the brass Christmas stencils, Kiwi Lane template sets, and plastic stencils
When you’re using a catalog, you may not need to label every item.
In the embossing folder section of my DSSO I only labeled the sections in the DSSO with letters, I didn’t actually label each individual embossing folder.
When I created the catalog pages, I just used the letter – in this case “J” and “H”. (See image under Step 5.)
I’ll have to flip through 12 embossing folders in that section to find what I’m looking for, but it will only take a couple of seconds.
The back side of the image on each of the embossing folders has been marked with a letter, i.e., J or H – so I know where to return it when I’m done.
Add more dividers to your DSSO
If you would like to add more dividers to your DSSO, you can easily cut them from heavy chipboard or lightweight wood, and paint them white. Use one of the existing dividers as a template. (Additional wood DSSO dividers will be available for purchase from our website after November 1, 2017).
What kind of crafter should use the DSSO?
The DSSO is a perfect organizer for crafters who generally work at home. It’s highly visible and easily accessible. It also fits in our Companion Cart.
Thanks for joining me on my craft room tour!
Can you please share where and how you have little printed embossing folder samples on your embossing folders?
Hi Melissa –
Here’s a link to article that shows how I labeled them. The top part of the article is about rubbings, the bottom half is what I think you’re looking for. Embossing Folder Labels. Thanks, Tif
I was wondering the same thing. Thank you for the link Tiffany.