As any stamper knows, finding a rubber stamp storage solution can be a tricky task. However, there are several ways to keep your growing stamp collection from taking control of your craft space.
Rubber Stamp Storage Tips
As you're developing a rubber stamp storage system, you'll need to remember a few basic tips to keep your stamps in top condition. For example:
- Whenever possible, avoid exposing your stamps to heat or sunlight. This will damage the rubber.
- Always clean your stamps before putting them away. Use a specially formulated cleaner or scrub them with soap and water. An old toothbrush works well for removing stubborn stains.
- Don't store wood mounted stamps directly on top of each other. The added pressure can warp the image and create blurred impressions.
Mounted Rubber Stamps
Wood mounted rubber stamps are a favorite among beginning stampers, but these stamps are bulky enough to present an organizational challenge. To keep your collection in order, considering using one of the following rubber stamp storage methods:
- If you have a small collection of stamps, slip them into the pockets of a clear hanging shoe organizer.
- Keep a larger collection of stamps neatly organized inside a tall DVD/CD cabinet.
- Store your stamps inside a simple plastic three drawer storage unit.
- Store stamps inside thin plastic pencil boxes or plastic shoe boxes and stack the boxes on a bookshelf. Attach a stamped image to the front to help identify the contents.
- A fishing tackle box works well to store small mounted stamps, such as the letters in an alphabet set.
- Create inexpensive display shelves for your stamps from a baby's crib. Remove the hardware from the side piece of the crib, turn the crib on its end, and use the wooden slats as shelves for your mounted rubber stamps.
Unmounted Rubber Stamps
Unmounted rubber stamps take up much less space than mounted stamps, but they still need to be stored properly. If you have unmounted stamps, consider the following storage ideas:
- A three-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors
- An old photo album
- A photo storage box with labeled dividers
- Old CD jewel cases or VCR tape cases
- Ziploc plastic bags
Creating an Index File for Your Stamps
Regardless of how you decide to organize your rubber stamp collection, it's a great idea to create an index file of all of your stamps. Just follow these simple steps:
- Stamp your image onto paper using black ink.
- Label the image with relevant details such as the product manufacturer and whether or not the rubber stamp is part of a larger set.
- File the stamped images into categories such as alphabets, flowers, geometric shapes, and holiday-themed stamps. Many crafters like to use a three-ring binder and plastic sheet protectors for their index file, but you can choose another method if you wish.
- Update the file whenever you purchase a new stamp. If you have a very large collection of stamps, consider taking the file with you when you shop to avoid making a duplicate purchase.
Storing Your Ink Pads
Once you've chosen a method of rubber stamp storage, you'll need to find a way to store your ink pads. Generally, you can use the same storage methods used to organize rubber stamps if you remember these key points:
- The storage system you choose should make it easy to keep the lids securely on your ink pads.
- Rainbow ink pads need to be kept level to prevent the colors from running together.
- Many people believe storing felt-based ink pads upside down will keep them from drying out.
- When you're organizing your stamps, don't throw out old ink pads. Any store that sells rubber stamping supplies should be able to sell you a bottle of refill ink that you can use to bring your stamp pad back to life.