If you remember my recent post on “My Stamp Supplies Storage”, I showed you the inside of the drawers where I store most of my embossing powders and inkpads. I needed to do some surgery on the drawers (see “Fixing the Stamp Supply Drawers” post) and so had to take everything out of the drawers yesterday. When I put them back in today, I made some changes to how I arranged things.
The picture above shows my newly reorganized embossing powder supply drawer. You may remember that it originally looked like this (left.) I was storing most of my embossing powders upside down so that I could see the bottom through the clear base of the embossing powder jars. This was actually fine, but all the jars loosely filling the drawer tended to move around and I had lost my original color-based organization.
So when I put things back in, I used a shallow box, its lid and then another shallow box lid to create four partitions for the drawer. From left to right:
- 1st box: Distress powders, Puff powders and Glitter powders
- 2nd box: Pearl powders and Metallic Colors
- 3rd box: Color powders sorted by color
- 4th (open area): Clear, black and white powders plus anti-static pouches/powder
I also decided that since they are now in more confined spaces, I would try storing the powder jars on their sides. This way, I can see what is in the jar but can also read the labels (usually on the sides.) We’ll see how it works. If I don’t like it, I can always flip them upside down again.
This reorganized drawer (above) is devoted to dye inks. I started to put the inkpads back in the same way I had them before, but then I decided to make a change. Originally (right), the inkpads where mostly arranged by manufacturer. Because inkpads vary in shape and size, organizing them by maker makes stacking them much easier and the drawer looks neater. The trouble is that I don’t always look for an inkpad that way.
Usually when I want an inkpad, I am looking for red dye ink or yellow pigment ink or whatever. So I decided to rearrange by color instead of by manufacturer. While it may look like a jumble, it is now actually much more organized. There are roughly seven columns. From left to right:
- Oranges, Yellow, Peach and Pinks
- Red, Raspberry and Violet/Purples
- Two half columns of Greens
- Blacks in the right bottom corner
- Colorbox multi-color dye Catseye stacks behind the Blacks.
- A few large Rainbow pads across the back
I also have some smaller dye rainbow pads that are fifteen to twenty years old and have blended to mostly one shade of ink (usually brown, green or purple.) I’ve never wanted to throw them out because, although they are not the original rainbow colors, the blended brown or green or whatever is perfectly usable. But I was stacking them with rainbow pads and I never used them. So instead, I tested each pad and put a sticker on them identifying the color and put it in with the regular pads of that color. Hopefully now they will get used.
This drawer (above) is for pigment inks. I haven’t sorted this one by color. I may do that at some point, but this one doesn’t have as many inkpads so doesn’t seem as necessary. This drawer is still split into regular pigment inks on the left two-thirds and chalk inks on the right third with a few rainbow pads along the back corner.
I’ve been testing out my pigment inkpads and have tossed quite a few so you might notice that this drawer is not as crowded as it used to be. I’ve found that while most pigment inkpads will last for years if they are well made and you treat them right (I’ve had some for decades), foam pigment inkpads often tend to break down over time. They look fine but when you go to use them, the foam either flattens out when you try to stamp with it or it sheds pieces of itself. The ink is still good but the pad is a lost cause. I had a very old but beautiful Cyan Colorbox inkpad that I used to stamp the Kimono in the recent “Sponge and Brush Techniques for Stampers” eArticle and the first couple of times I stamped it, it was fine. By the third time, the inkpad was coming up in chunks. Sigh. It’s just something that happens with foam pads over time and another reason why using pigment re-inkers and sponges can be a good way to go.
If you look closely at the Memento Black inkpad in the above picture, you might notice a green sticker on it. I decided to put green stickers on any inkpad for which I have a re-inker. Whenever possible, I store re-inkers near the inkpads in the drawer. There are a few that are too tall for these drawers and have to be stored in another drawer beneath it. The sticker reminds me to look for the re-inker if needed.
The fourth drawer (above) holds specialty inkpads (and their re-inkers when I have them.) I didn’t put stickers on the Pearl-Ex pads on the left because I have all the re-inkers running next to them on the side of the drawer. Over in the bottom right of the drawer are watermark and embossing ink type pads. Further back are specialty inkpads like sticky ones or pads for fabric. I’ve also got a few blank inkpads in this drawer, most in the bottom half of a black food take-out container that was the perfect size.
So now I’m feeling better about my inkpad and embossing powder storage. It was ok before, but between fixing the drawers and re-sorting the contents, I think I’m going to get more use from more of these inkpads and embossing powders!
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