One of the most common problems for crafters, especially when you work with a lot of different materials, is remembering what you have. To prevent buying doubles or forgetting to use stuff you actually like just because you forgot you had it, it’s a good idea to come up with an efficient organisation system.
One of the things I like to do, especially for scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies, is to make samplers so I know which cardstock I have. This post shows some of the solutions I use to keep myself organised and always know what I have available.
I started with cardstock and paper. It was difficult to remember all the patterns and colours available, so I cut a rectangle out of each one, punched a hole on one end and gathered them all on safety pins. Now I have a small sampler, always at my fingertips, whenever I need to coordinate papers.
To make it easier I gathered the paper in three different groups: patterned cardstock, plain cardstock and thinner paper, which doesn’t work for every project so I felt it should be separate.
Following the same method I tackled my paints and inks next. I cut little tags out of white cardstock and painted the color for each stamping ink so I can tell what they actually look like on paper. I did the same for ecolines because they always look so much darker in the jar, and also pasted a label with the painted color on the lid of each jar. I store them in a drawer so the top of the lids is all I see and it’s nice to be able to grab the right jar on the first try. I still need to do a sampler for the acrylic paint.
As for markers, copic has a blank colour sheet you can download, so I printed that and filled out the colour I have.
I made an A6 version of the sampler for my sizzix embossings folder.
Finally I did the a catalogue for my die cuts. On one page I cut out the shapes and on another I glued the shapes I had cut. The cut shapes are handy to place over a picture and see which size frames it best. The glued shapes are just to remind me of what I have.
For the rest of my scrapbooking materials I opted to use 2 ring binders with pocket sheets. That’s how I store my die cuts, lear stamps and pre-cut shapes.
For my wash tape sampler I just pated a it of each tape onto a sheet of paper that I store in one of the binders.
I added stamped sheets of paper with my clear stamps so I can see the designs more clearly when I’m looking for the right one.
On another binder I store mypre-cut die shapes along with embelishments such as bows and brads.
For jewellery making, I also created some samplers that make my life easier. For example, I made different findings and added a small tag with the length and gauge of wire used for each one. It saves me a lot of time and frustration because I don’t have to keep trying to figure out how to reproduce them the next time I need to make earrings or a clasp.
I also made a sampler for the textures I can make with my rolling mill. I cut bits of copper sheet and added a swatch of the fabric that creates the texture or wrote on the back how to achieve the effect – through hammering, for example. It saves me time and materials.