I love my stamps from PTI! They arrive with a clear CD case plus a label to adhere to the CD case. It was great at first. However, as my collection has grown over the past year and as I looked at my available space I knew I needed to make a change.
Here's my current storage. I have an antique dresser drawer hung on the wall and the CD cases lined up along the bottom shelf. My challenge was that not only was I running out of space but the CD cases would topple over as I pulled one, two, three, six sets off the shelf as I used them. I also had several sets that were fairly well smooshed into their cases. They needed some breathing room!
I'm a fairly organized person and I've learned what sort of organization and storage containers work best for me. I like drawers and I like to flip through files. I found this Youtube video and I really liked the idea.
So, here's my process I went through to get my stamps from their CD cases into a pocket.
I bought lots of these Tim Holtz Unmounted Stamp Refill Pockets. I bought mine at Archivers. They come 5 in a pack for $3.
This is what the pocket looks like.
You'll need some white cardstock. I bought the cheap stuff at Michael's. The cardstock is to place behind your stamps for two reasons - one, so the stamps don't stick to the pocket, and two, so you can see the stamps better. I cut rectangles of 6" x 8-7/16" and then rounded all four corners.
Next is the acetate. I found this at Michael's in the drafting and art supplies area. It is the PERFECT size. A match made in heaven! :) First, I cut the acetate sheets in half so they were 9" x 6". The sheets were just a bit long at 9" so trimmed them down to just under 8". And, again, I rounded all four corners with my Corner Chomper. I wanted the acetate sheet shorter than the white cardstock because I put my label at the top of the white cardstock and I didn't want the stamps blocking the name label. Make sense?
With my latest PTI order I ordered lots of index labels for the sets that I already own.
Now it's time to get down to business of cutting the label and fitting the stamps to the sheet. For some sets, such as this smaller, $15 set of Just the Ticket, it was pretty easy to figure out how to place the stamps on the 6" x 8" sheet. For some of the bigger sets it was a bit more tricky. In the picture I'm cutting apart the labels and then sticking them to the acetate. The acetate appears to be white (even though it really is clear) because it is backed by tissue paper. Each acetate sheet in the package is separated by tissue. I found that it was easier to see what I was doing if I left the tissue backing until I was done.
Remove the tissue paper and flip the acetate sheet over and then start sticking the stamps to the 6" x 8" sheet.
Here's the finished product. The name label of the stamp set gets adhered to the white cardstock, which is just a hair shorter than the pocket itself. Place the acetate sheet on the white cardstock and slip it into the pocket.
See how much thinner this is! For some sets, such as All Star Team, All Star Team Additions, and Have A Ball, I have all three sets in one pocket. All Star Team is on the front, Additions and Have a Ball are on the back. They're all together in their happy family. :)
Here's my basket of stamps now. When I took the picture I was only partly done so it's definitely looking more full now. I bought the basket at Hobby Lobby some years ago. It's wide enough so that the pockets can go on the left and a tin pail sits inside the basket, holding my acrylic blocks.
Another suggestion discussed on the PTI forum is for stamp sets that have matching dies to include the dies on the backside of the cardstock so that everything is together in one pocket. Brilliant idea, no? I store my dies another way but I'll definitely keep this idea in mind should I ever decide to change.
So far I'm really loving my new system. I hope this helps some of you who are looking for another way to store your clear stamps.