Storing Stamp Pads & Stamps

In one of the art groups I belong to (Art Group Newbies), we've been talking about ink pads. Imagine - some of the girls found it odd that I have over 100 stamp pads. It sounds completely normal to me...but then I am supply obsessed! (Hence the formation of pARTs-a-la-cARTe!)

I said I would show the SugarLoaf caddy. It's a great little idea - it has 30 nice-sized Whispers permanent, waterproof dye-based ink pads (in a fantastic array of colors) and 15 Whispers Strokes (markers to color stamps) - all contained in a compact little locking case. The case has a drawer on the bottom that stores the markers - and it slides out on either side. A fantastic invention! (Note: When I purchased the caddy it came with the 15 Whispers Strokes. The SugarLoaf website now says the caddy comes with "A Complete See-D's Alphabet Set and SeeClear Block".)

Fifteen Whispers ink pads sit on one side and fifteen fit on the other side. There is a drawer on the bottom to hold markers, stamps, etc. This drawer is accessible from either side of the caddy. Each side has a locking arm mechanism with a snap-lock closure on the top, securing the contents of the caddy really well while still offering easy, one-handed access.

The rest of my ink pads are stored in a large translucent bin that has handles for portability (not that I go anywhere). The bin holds about 40-50 stamp pads, depending on how neat I am when I put them away. The ink pads I use the most are stored in drawers that I can get to easily. Another small bin holds my small cube pigment pads.

I've tried storing ink pads and rubber stamps in stackable baskets - but that did not work. At all. Everything ended up a mess, lids came off stamp pads and dust accumulated way too fast. (I hate to dust and believe you should avoid it if at all possible!)

Another topic I brought up in Art Group Newbies* (which, by the way, is a fantastic group for novice and experienced artists alike) is stamp storage. I battle with storage and organization issues on a constant basis - the townhouse the childebeasts and I live in is a good size but we are bursting at the seams - which means I have to come up with creative storage ideas. I am not good at this - which explains why my supplies are all over the place.

I can't remember if I already posted about my shelves or not - and frankly, it's a hot Saturday afternoon and I'm just too lazy to go look. Since I was talking about the shelves, I'll go ahead and write about them here. If I've already done a post about them then just consider yourself twice as edumacated.

I have always stored my 700+ rubber stamps in really long, clear bins purchased at the Container Store. I also tried the stacking baskets for a short, unsuccessful time. (See issues above.) Storing all these stamps in the long bins makes it very difficult to find particular stamps. For a long time I just didn't use my stamps because of the problems associated with locating a specific one. That wasn't a feasible solution either. I finally ordered 25 sheets of foam core board because I was going to cover them in fabric and make one wall a bulletin board of sorts. They took so long to arrive (well over a month) that I changed my mind before receiving them and decided to make stamp shelves. I will explain how I made them in the next post...but for now you can see the final result.

This is only one small section of the shelves I made - I will post a wider picture in the post describing how to make them. I like these shelves for several reasons:

  • You get to decide on the shelf spacing when you make them
  • You can make them whatever color suits your decor - or decorate anyway you like
  • You can use the foam core to make vertical or horizontal shelves
  • Very cost effective
  • Easy to clean
When I was looking at different storage ideas, one problem I kept running into is that most shelving is far too big for stamps - not to mention expensive. It is easy to make 20 of these shelf sets for less than the cost of one regular shelf.

I hope this inspires you to find new ways to organize your stamps and ink pads. I am trying very hard to only purchase unmounted stamps from now on. If you are new to stamping, UM stamps is the way to go. They are much cheaper and take up far less space.

Now, either go rearrange your stamp/ink pad storage or go make something!

* If you are interested in joining Art Group Newbies, more information can be found here. For more information on pARTs-a-la-cARTe, click the "Yahoo Groups" link on the right side of this blog or on the group name above.

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