My inexpensive stamp and die storage

In the beginning, all the craft things fits in one large shoebox. Eventually, the addiction and obsession sets in because you just got to have all the ink colors and that stamp and that die too! And don’t start me on paper! Does this sound familiar? If it does, then I may have a solution for you!

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In this blog post, I would like to share how I store my stamps and dies. As you can see in the picture above, I store my stamps and dies in plastic pockets that are very similar to the a name brand stamp and die storage pockets. However, I made my own pockets and I  buy inexpensive plastic CD sleeves for my dies. The difference between the pockets I make and the pockets you can buy is that they do not have a closing flap on the back. The CD sleeves do have a closing flap though. I personally think it’s not necessary to have a closing flap, unless you plan to store them sideways, toss them around, or travel with them in a way they may get jostled around.

Before we get into it, I want to first tell you why I store my stamps and dies this way. I used to store my stamps in the packaging it came with inside a drawer, but then my drawer was starting to get full as I started to accumulate more. For the dies, I stored them in old CD jewel cases, but again, I started to accumulate more and there were not enough jewel cases for me to use and I realized that this takes up a lot more space. One normal-sized CD jewel case is equivalent to about 10 CD sleeves with dies in it! For a time, I switched to using an ArtBin Magnetic Die Storage Case. However, I found this would eventually get expensive as I would have to buy more of the magnet “sheets”, and then the box would start getting heavy, and shuffling through the box was not practical.

So I needed something that was space saving and organized so I could easily find my dies and stamps. For now, I’ll show you how I store my dies, and then I’ll show you how I organize them in another post.

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The CD sleeves.

Let’s begin with most of my dies. The CD sleeves I buy are 12.4 x 12.4 cm and are perfect for holding most of my thin metal dies. I buy them at an online store called Opus. Here is a non-sponsored link: Plastic CD/DVD sleeves with flap.

For my stamps and larger dies or die sets, I make my own pockets and these are the tools and materials used:

  • a soldering iron set that has a point attachment or a wood burning kit
  • large wooden board or glass mat
  • a metal ruler
  • glass clear A4 Punched Pockets or A4 Document Folder
  • black fineliner
  • magnetic tape
  • paper for lining the homemade pockets
  • paper trimmer or scissors
  • T-ruler (optional)
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Most of what you need is shown in this photo.

Punched Pockets are also called sheet protectors or plastic sleeves. Document folders are just like punched pockets, but has an opening on two sides (top and right side) and no holes. Please note that since I am based in the Netherlands, all my measurements will be in EU measurements and terms.

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The Punched pockets and Document folders I buy.

Another note on the Punched pockets and Document folders: the Punched Pockets are 70 microns thick and the Document folders are 100 microns thick. Because the plastic for the pockets are thinner, the plastic is a lot clearer. The folders are slightly less clear, but because they are so much thicker, it’s more heavy duty which is good for the large dies or stamps with a matching die set so you can put them all in one folder.

Let’s begin!  First I warm up my soldering iron with a point attachment, this can take about 2 minutes or more. Then I work on my wooden board.  You can also use a glass mat if that’s what you have.  Taking a piece of the pocket or folder, I then place my metal ruler to line where I will use to solder my plastic. The first part I work on is the bottom edge because it’s a sort of machine binding and leaves an awkward edge so I solder the bottom edge which also cuts it off.

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Measuring the pockets the with T-ruler.

Next, I take my T-ruler and measure out the pocket size I want and mark out where I need to solder. I use a T-ruler because I want to make sure my measurement lines are exactly on point, but a regular ruler would work too.

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Lining up along the lines with the metal ruler for soldering.

Anyway, I make about 3 marks because I cannot use my plastic T-ruler to solder against, and this way my metal ruler can lie as straight as possible with three points. When all the pockets have been soldered, I trim them down to size with my paper trimmer.

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Cutting the pockets to the right size.

One Punched pocket or Document folder can make 2 medium size, 1 medium and one small, or one large size. I can also make 2 large die storage pockets with a Document folder, but this is not possible with the Punched pockets because punched pockets are slightly smaller than the folders. The following are the measurements of my storage pockets. The measurements in the parentheses are for the paper lining I will mention later.

Large: 17 x 23.5cm (16 x 22.5cm)
Medium: 12 x 21cm (11 x 20cm)
Small: 9 x 13.5cm (8 x 12.5cm)
Large Die Pockets: 15 x 17cm (14 x 16cm)

Below is how I solder and cut the plastic pocket and folder to make each stamp and die storage pockets. I do not have a template listed for the medium + small size because I rarely make this. In the templates, all red lines are soldering lines, and all blue lines are cut lines (using a paper trimmer, craft knife, or scissors). Always solder everything first and then cut last.

Next, I cut sheets of patterned paper to go inside each pockets. The paper I use are printed on one side and white on the other. It’s not necessary to use patterned paper… regular copy/printer paper could work in any color you like, cardstock if you want your pockets to be more sturdy. Anyway, each pocket gets a lining paper that is cut 1cm smaller than the storage pockets. Also, the CD sleeves I mentioned above also gets a piece of lining paper. These are cut 12 x 12cm.  Some stamps or stamp+die sets do not need a paper lining because I just use the cardboard the stamps were sold in.

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The completed homemade stamp and die storage pocket folders with the lining paper.

The final step is inserting my stamps and dies inside my homemade storage pockets. For dies and stamps with matching dies, I cut pieces of magnetic tape and stick it onto the lining paper and place my metal dies on the magnet tape. For some dies, I don’t even use a magnetic tape; I just toss it inside the CD sleeves. But dies that have a lot of pieces, like alphabet dies or nesting dies, I will use magnet tape to keep the dies in order and the pieces easy to find. Below are samples of my storage pockets with stuff in it.

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Left pocket is an example of a die and stamp set stored with the cardboard the stamps/dies came in. Right pocket is a set of stamps with the matching dies on the back.
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The matching dies on the back.
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Dies in CD sleeves and the larger dies with magnet tape
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Tada! Everything nice and neat in baskets.

And that’s how I store my stamps and dies! If you’re into the cost of this, here’s a simple and quick breakdown:

  • The soldering tool was €10.
  • A pack of Punched pocket or Document folder is 79-99 cents.
  • Magnet tape costs about 79 cents per roll, I have used about 5 rolls.
  • Everything else I already had.
  • I currently use 118 mediums, 21 large, and 19 large dies pockets.
  • Doing some math, the total cost of plastic pockets cost me about €3,60 and €7,70 (including shipping) for 100 CD sleeves.
  • Total: €25,30.  If I include the cost of the lining paper and other bits and stuff: under €30!

If I were to buy the pre-made storage pockets, it would have cost me €56 for the same amount.  And I made it for nearly half the price…and it can only be cheaper because I don’t need to buy a new soldering tool everytime. 🙂

How I organize my stamps and dies will be in another post, so please stay tuned!  If you don’t want to miss it, please sign up to follow my blog (link in the right sidebar…you may have to scroll up) or simply follow me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest!

In closing, I want ot mention this is not an original idea as I’m not the first to do this.  But how I went about making making my pockets I thought of myself.

Let me know in the comments what you think about my stamp and die storage solution!

If you have any questions too, please ask too!

And as always, Create Happiness Today!!

 

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