This post sure has been a long time coming! I'm excited to share my new system for storing clear stamps and happy to report that it has been working extremely well - I can find the stamps I'm looking for quickly and it's a breeze to put them back where they belong.
Over the years I have tried a variety of storage systems - everything from drawers and baskets, to CD cases and binders - nothing has made my stamps as easy to use as this. Here is what I have wound up with -
This was my first attempt...
I loved the idea of a Clip It Up, but didn't love the price tag that went along with it. I was intrigued when I came across a few posts from people making their own homemade version and thought I would give it a try.
This is where I began - I got this shoe rack at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for less than $15 (used a coupon).
I know some versions kept the shoe tree part intact and used that to hold a basket for storing other supplies, but I knew that I would be using this just for stamp storage and so I decided to cut off the extra wire using a heavy duty cutter.
I found these at Home Depot for around $1 per package.
and used hot glue to attach them to the cut ends of the wire.
and then I put it all together, spent a week or so moving my stamps to clear folders (more on that later) and viola!
I thought I had the perfect system! Absolutely LOVED this...
for the first few days... but then, I noticed that it was starting to get a bit wobbly... wasn't spinning as easily and the tiers were starting to tilt... within a few more days of moderate use, it was really coming apart to the point where I felt it would all topple over at any minute. Maybe this would be okay for less heavy items, but the stamps proved too much. Very disappointing.
What I learned was that I did love this storage system, and it made me feel better when I decided to shell out the money for an actual Clip It Up. I was thrilled when my Clip It Up arrived and I saw that the heavy duty construction could easily handle the weight of the stamps. I've been using this for a few weeks now and it has been wonderful - no regrets whatsoever about spending the extra money for the real deal.
I was able to salvage the bottom tier of my homemade version. With only one level, I'm not afraid about it toppling over and it has saved me (so far) from having to purchase a second Clip It Up. It also holds a lot of sets - maybe even a few more than a single tier of the clip it up.
So that is pretty much how I came to have the two different versions of the Clip It Up.
I keep smaller stamp sets right in their packaging and simply add a clip to the top. For larger sets, including Papertrey Ink and Technique Tuesday, I am using Tim Holtz's Storage Binder Refills. They are made of heavy duty plastic and hold the larger stamp sets nicely.
I found that by creatively cutting the image sheet that comes with the set and using a transparency sheet from the office supply store cut to fit inside the pocket, I could fit each of my sets in one pocket (some have stamps on the reverse side as well). I came across this YouTube video which shows this in more detail.
So that's it... I finally feel like I have a workable system for storing - and more importantly - USING my clear stamps. Yes, I spent quite a bit more money than I originally planned on, but I think that's better than not using my stamps because finding what I need is too difficult! I hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to post any questions you have in the comments section and I'll try to get back to you quickly. I'm off to do some stamping. ☺