Keeping Stamping Supplies Close

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

My approach to setting up my stamp area has always been to keep the tools and supplies I use most often close to my working area. If I don’t use something often, it doesn’t get precious nearby space. It goes into a drawer that is further away and less handy. BUT, do you see the problem that this approach introduces?

Yep, the problem is “out of sight, out of mind”. I’ve been sorting through my craft area over the past few weeks and I’ve started noticing a trend. Many of the supplies hidden away in drawers further away simply don’t get used. My favorite inkpads and art mediums get used all the time. But others just sit. There is no point in investing the money and space in supplies you don’t use. So what is the solution?

I’ve decided to tweak my approach just a little bit. I still favor the supplies I use most often when it comes to nearby space, but I’ve decided to leave a little room for some of the stamp supply orphans that haven’t been getting enough love lately.

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

This pair of wood-topped IRIS carts sits two and a half feet behind my main work area. If I turn around 180 degrees from my work area, this is what I see. This table space holds things that I use often: my most used inkpads in a tape cartridge storage case, a variety of brushes and tools, alcohol ink markers and artist pens, stamp pad handles and water spray bottles.

But I’ve also decided to provide some space here for things that I have not been using lately and want to challenge myself to use more. So for example, I pulled three different inkpads that  I haven’t used in a while and put them into the inkpad storage case and I pulled out two ColorBox petal pad sets (one dye ink and one pigment ink) and put them right where I can see them.

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

I put a bunch of sprays that I haven’t been using in the narrow basket on the left and some brush topped inks in the narrow basket on the right. I’m hoping that having them right in front of me will inspire me to use them more often. My plan is to swap things out periodically for other supplies I haven’t used in a while so I can keep challenging myself to use the supplies I’ve already got!

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

My brush and tool storage takes up most of the second table here. I like to keep my brushes and tools close. Most of these tools aren’t really the kind you can hang up and if you put them into drawers, you get a big jumble and it is hard to find things. (If you have to use drawers, I’m thinking that divided drawer organizers might be good though.) From this picture, you might think that I’ve got a jumble here on the table, but the picture is deceptive; it’s actually neater than you might think.

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

Here is a view from above so you can see what I mean. I’ve got my brushes and tools divided out into a series of smaller containers on a glass lazy-Susan salvaged from an old microwave oven. I originally had all my brushes in one big acrylic box but it was a jumble and hard to find things. In the center are tall brushes in a wide-mouth glass canning jar. At the top is a terra cotta pot with things like craft sticks, straw pieces and eye droppers. Working around clockwise, is another pot with foam brushes, a small metal paint can with wood skewers and other odds and ends, a small jar with my bone folder, paper stumps, small scoops and clips, a ceramic mug with Styluses and a popsicle mold full of paint brushes divided by type and size.

Nearby Stamping Supply Storage

I originally checked local stores to try and find some divided brush storage, but couldn’t find anything. I thought I might use a silverware caddy instead but couldn’t find that either. I came across this popsicle mold in a box in my basement. It works surprisingly well for sorting out paintbrushes. I wasn’t using it, so it became my brush storage.

Do you find you have supplies that you don’t use often? What works for you to get them out of storage and used in a stamp project? How do you store these types of supplies?

Nancie, VSN

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Nancie Waterman

Nancie Waterman created and self published Vamp Stamp News magazine for nearly twenty years. These days, Nancie creates and posts monthly eArticles on stamping topics on the Vamp Stamp News website (http://www.vampstampnews.com)

14 thoughts on “Keeping Stamping Supplies Close”

  1. Just moved my pens, pencils, and markers sorted by type and stored in ‘Lock and Lock’ plastic storage boxes to a shelf my husband put in above my washer and dryer and below the cabinets. It holds all 8 containers which are labeled. To see is to use – and since my space is so condensed (again, my Studio is also the laundry room) I can easily grab the box I want! My brushes, stylus, micron pens, etc. are stored in 3 metal mesh cubes from Staples and placed on another shelf 6″ deep by 3′ long my husband built which sits on top of my 7′ desk and is level with the 5′ window sill above my desk. The top of this shelf also holds an Ottlite, phone, and Copic Air Brush Compressor…the base of this shelf makes another shelf that holds my Silhouette Cameo and sits 1″ off the top of my 7′ desk. One end of the 7′ desk holds a computer tower, TV, another Ott-Lite, and my Tonic cutter..the other end of the desk holds my printer, and an acrylic wall stamp storage area. Very compact, but things I see and will therefore use!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

    1. Hi Jan, I was eying the mesh cubes and pencil holders in Staples when I was looking for storage solutions just the other day. I liked the size and how they look and they weren’t all that expensive . . . but I knew I had odds and ends of containers at home that I could use so I didn’t get them. I do like boxes and drawers that you can remove completely from a storage unit like you use. It’s so much easier to get into the back corners and pull things out when you can take it completely off a shelf or out of the storage unit. It makes things nice and portable. Nancie

  2. the “freeze pops” mold made me laugh. I like the way you stored your color dusters. I just ordered a bunch (20!) on sale at skybluepink and I was wondering how to store them, I think I saw shallow baskets like that at the dollar store, nice!

    1. Lindsay, LOL. I haven’t made Popsicles in years so it was fair game. I don’t tend to throw things out. Eventually I’ll find a use for them! Before I rearranged my craft area, I used to store the Color Dusters standing right on top of the tape cartridge inkpad storage unit. At that time, the inkpad storage was up against the side of a filing cabinet, so there was a “back wall” of sorts so they wouldn’t fall off. I also kept my inkpad handles and water mister bottles on top of it. It was right behind my work surface and so really handy and worked well, but I don’t have anything to back up the top of the inkpad storage now, so the little baskets came into play. I have a Color Duster for each main color I use. Having them in the basket, I can see the color on the bristles pretty easily so I can find what I want fast. Nancie

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