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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Organizing Your Ink Pads

Did you organize your stamps last month? I’ve heard from several of you who did. Way to go! Hopefully it will be easier to get to your stamps and use them!

This month we’ll tackle ink pads. You can’t stamp without them! Well, you could use markers, but that takes forever on the larger stamps. So you have lots of ink pads, because you need lots of colors. How do you organize them? They usually don’t stack well, and even if they do, it seems you always need one that’s towards the bottom.

Stampin’ Up! has the Color Caddy, which holds 48 ink pads, each in their own slot. There are 12 slots on each side and it rotates. There’s even a handy tray at the top for holding your ink refills. And when you fill up the 48 slots, there is an Extender Kit you can buy and attach to the top of the caddy. It will hold 12 additional pads. Perfect!
But not for my stamping room/office. I don’t have room for something that large and still have it rotate. Plus I like seeing all of my ink pads at once. I use an old cassette tape organizer instead.

It sits on my stamping desk so all of my ink pads are right in front of me and I can see them all easily. Some of these have full shelves, but this one just has little nubs on the sides that hold the tapes in. The ink pads are too narrow to sit on the nubs, so I cut little pieces of thin cardboard to make shelves. They sit on the nubs and then the ink pads sit on the cardboard. This works for my new style ink pads from Stampin’ Up!, the old style flip top pads from Stampin’ Up! (I still have one Basic Black!), Versamark pad, and Staz-On pads. I have room for 100 pads, but don’t have that many! So I keep the ink pads towards the top, arranged by color collections: Brights, Subtles, Regals, Neutrals, and the last column is my miscellaneous: craft pads, Versamark, Staz-On, etc. The In Colors are in the lower left hand corner. The rest of the bottom is open, and that’s where I keep my Stampin’ Mist sprayers, Staz-On Cleaner, Crystal Effects, and Smooch. Then I know right where they are and that they are standing upright at all times!

I did have John cut a piece of trim to put under the front edge of the holder so it’s tipped back a little. That way nothing falls out. I thought about hanging it on the wall just above my desk, but I wouldn’t have been able to reach the top pads if I did that. This way everything is within reach.

The Color Caddy is on page 193 of the Idea Book & Catalog. It is $59.95 and the Extender Kit is $14.95. I haven’t seen cassette holders for sale anywhere for quite awhile, but you may find them at garage sales. If you do a search for “Ink Pad Storage” online, you’ll find lots of other options. Everything from cardboard to wood, in styles similar to the Color Caddy and my tape organizer. It all comes down to what works in your space and how much you want to spend. Another thing to consider is if you need something portable. I know of several people who have found organizers in stores like Home Depot and Menard’s that are for “guy stuff” but are the perfect size to hold ink pads and are designed to be carried. You could also use plastic shoe boxes or containers.

Whatever you use or decide to use, get your ink pads organized so you know what you have, can see them, and can use them! Now go stamp something!

Next month: Cardstock!

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