Making Rubber Stamp Shelves the Royal Way

As I said in my last post, I'll explain how to make my version of stamp shelves. These shelves are an inexpensive alternative to pre-made shelves, work much better for storing smaller supplies, and totally customizable. They are also mucho easy-o!
Please ignore the curtain rod hanging in the first picture - that is left over from a previous project.
I decided to leave it up so I have a place to hang my art while it dries.

SUPPLIES:

FOAM CORE - RELATIVELY THICK*
GLUE STICKS*
GLUE GUN
PENCIL
LONG RULER/YARD STICK
SCISSORS/X-ACTO KNIFE (CRAFT KNIFE)
FIVE 3/4"-1" SCREWS
SCREWDRIVER
OPTIONAL:
CARD STOCK YOU HAVE DECOUPAGED WITH TORN/CUT PATTERNED PAPER AND A COUPLE OF COATS OF DECOUPAGE MEDIUM. ONCE DRY, USE BLACK PERMANENT MARKER TO DRAW LARGE DOODLES. COVER WITH ONE ADDITIONAL LAYER OF DECOUPAGE OR GEL MEDIUM**
* The amount of foam core and the number of glue sticks depend on the number of shelves you make. It is important to use foam core of medium thickness - too thin and your shelves won't hold up, too thick and it's difficult to cut.

** You'll need either plain card stock or the decoupaged card stock to make the front lip on the shelves. This is important to keep the stamps from falling off the front - especially if your shelves aren't perfectly straight. The stiffer the paper, the better it works.

STEP 1: Decide if you want to make vertical or horizontal shelves. Once that has been decided, take a piece of foam core and mark each side at 1.5" increments either horizontally or vertically. Connect tic marks with pencil so foam core is lined every inch-and-a-half.

STEP 2: Prior to cutting strips of foam core, if you want to decorate the base foam core and/or shelves, this is the time to do it. If not, proceed with cutting the foam core at your pencil marks.

STEP 3: Decide how far apart you want your shelves - whether you want them to hold small or large items. I have a variety of stamps so I did not space my shelves evenly - I just "eye-balled" placement. NOTE: Your edges will look very raggedy and uneven. That's ok as long as no "chunks" are missing.

STEP 4: Carefully place a good-sized bead of glue along the edge of one of the strips you just cut. Place glued-edge perpendicular to sheet of foam core, taking care to line up the strip as straight and even as possible. (This is important so your stamps don't wobble or fall off one side.) I tipped the outside edge (the side not connected to the sheet of foam core) of each strip UP just slightly. This helps to keep the stamps from falling off the front. Repeat until foam core backing is full or you have the desired number of shelves.

STEP 5: Once all strips are attached to the foam core sheet, run a bead of hot glue on the top and bottom seams where the strips of foam core are adhered to the backing sheet of foam core. (Another way to say it: Run a bead of hot glue on the top and bottom of your new shelf where it attaches to the backing.) I used a semi-thick bead so I wasn't limited on the weight of stamps I could place on the shelves.

STEP 6: Cut stiff card stock into 1/2" strips. Beginning at one edge of the first shelf, hot glue a strip of card stock to the front of the shelf, lining up the bottom of the card stock strip with the bottom edge of the shelf. (The bottom of the shelf should be level with the strip of card stock and there should be an overhang - or lip - on the top.) If card stock strip is not long enough to cover length of shelf, slightly overlap next card stock strip to end of previous strip. This stiffened card stock serves two purposes: it keeps the stamps from falling off the front AND it covers up the ugly raggedness left from cutting the strips.

STEP 7: Using screws, attach to wall. Placing one screw in each corner and one in the middle should stabilize the shelves enough that you won't have to worry about it falling.

Using this process to make several shelves, I haven't had any issues with stamps falling down or the shelves coming apart. It seems that the shelves are pretty strong (relatively speaking) and could hold much more weight than the stamps I have loaded up on them.

If you wanted to store a few ink pads on some of the shelves, cut the strips of foam core wider than 1.5". Be careful not to try to make them too wide or the strength of the shelf will be compromised.
This is the best method for stamp storage I've come across.

I used to rely on a three-ring binder where I stamped every image on a sheet of paper. This was time consuming and never worked right since I'd run out of room for a particular category and just stamp the image at the end. The categories were totally disorganized and incomplete. I also had to remember to stamp every new image I got - and then wash each stamp.

These shelves are much less expensive than bins or regular shelving units; I can decorate them to match my studio and I can easily make more when I need more room. I can also customize the sizes of the shelves so I have exactly what I want. Having them visible on these shelves saves me tons of room, allows me to choose exactly what I want at a glance, stops me from purchasing duplicate stamps, saves me time since I don't have to dig through numerous huge bins and means I also save time by not having to stamp and wash every new stamp. I wish I had thought of this method years ago!


As always, if you have any questions or something doesn't make sense, please leave me a comment and I'll be more than happy to address it. I hope this helps some of you!

3 Royal Responses:

Nona Parry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nona Parry said...

This is VERY clever and creative, Queenie dear!

Judi said...

Fabulous idea! I hate digging in my bin of stamps!

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