Now that I have figured out how I will be using my um stamps I needed a system to store them. One that is thrifty is preferable. :) I stumbled upon the Inque Boutique website and saw the video for their Stamp Keepers. I also questioned one of my favorite stamping groups, Technique Junkies, for their storage ideas. It seemed one of the most popular ideas was to use three ring binders and some sort of storage mechanism (sheet protectors, laminated sheets, etc.)
So I started on my search to purchase some Stamp Keepers. I HATE to pay for shipping. So I set out to find a local store that had some Stamp Keepers. I came across the Checkered Cottage in Kirkwood, MO; a wonderful little store full of crafty items (and some wonderfully sweet owners). They didn't have any stamp keepers but could order some for me. Well, I picked up my keepers a few days ago and have opened them up and begun to play with them. ;)
First let me mention that these cost me $2.25 for each page and I bought four. My investment was $9 plus tax. The 2 1/2" three ringed binder I found in my stash. Because the Keepers are clear it is difficult to get a really good picture. Here is a photo of a Stamp Keeper.
Inque Boutique provides this description, "These sturdy, acid-free clamshell pages keep stamps neatly organized and at your fingertips. Made to fit into any standard 3-ring binder, they offer simple, compact storage & easy portability." My first thought was that the thickness of the pages is really nice for storing rubber which can get a bit heavy. This was really good news.
This next picture shows one of the Keepers open. The sheet on the left is the promotional sheet that came inside the clamshell. I'm not sure if you can see it clearly, but they come completely apart, no folded sides. Easy to open when they are in the binder. My thinking before I had these in hand is that I could use both sides to store stamps. As you will see soon, that isn't always possible.
Before I go on I will mention that on all four Keepers I had to use my Crop-A-Dile to modify the bottom hole to fit into my binder. In holding a Keeper next to another 3-ring binder I see that it isn't just a misalignment with this one binder. It wasn't really a difficult problem to fix just more of a small irritation.
This next picture shows all four Keepers being used. Because they are clear you can see down through them. I will pick up a package of tabbed pages to put in between the Keepers to help in seeing what is in/on the individual Keepers, as it can be confusing looking down through them. It will also allow me to note what company is being stored on which Keeper.
I mentioned that I purchased four of these Keepers. The first one I put See-D's stamps from Inque Boutique, (seen in the next photo.) Since these stamps are from the same company as the Keeper I figured these stamps would be ideal for the Keeper. Actually, I am least satisfied with storing these stamps. The stamps themselves don't stick as well and require being inside the clamshell so they don't get lost. You can see in the picture where a couple of the stamps slid down to the second set. See-D's are thin and fit nicely into the clamshell, but only one layer deep which means that you can only use one side of the Keeper to store stamps on. When I tried to put stamps on both sides of the Keeper it would not stay closed. After a day of photo taking and moving things around I am noticing that this Keeper doesn't want to stay completely closed along the bottom corner, (with the stamps only on one side inside the clamshell.) I expect to loose some stamps if I don't figure out a way to conveniently keep it closed.
This picture just shows the open Keeper with stamps that clung to the correct side. Stamps on the right weren't clinging. Perhaps it is just this one set, as the bottom set doesn't appear to be having problem falling off. This is more an issue of the stamps clinging rather than the Keeper itself.
The second Keeper has a background stamp from Cornish Heritage Farms that is mounted on EZ mount. I taped the promotional sheet inside the clamshell and mounted the stamp on the outside of the Keeper. Used this way you can store stamps on both sides of the Keeper allowing you to store twice as many stamps than if you only stored them inside the Keeper. Of course, when storing your stamps this way you want to ensure that they have a good stick which the EZ mount does. The EZ mount used on this stamp is the thicker one, and although I didn't try it I am pretty sure that it won't fit into the clamshell.
This next Keeper is storing my um rubber from I Brake For Stamps that I used Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over. I taped the promotional sheet inside the clamshell and then used it as a guide to stick the stamps on the outside. These stamps stick very well and I don't have any fear that they will fall off. (I would like to find this little missing butterfly, somehow lost her while I was cutting the rubber, no she didn't fall off.) I like being able to use both sides of the Keeper. I did not try to put the stamps on the inside since they stick so well and I will be able to get more use out of using both sides not to mention that it will be much easier to access the stamps this way. If there were sentiment stamps I'd probably mount the stamp next to the stamped image in order to read the sentiment easier rather than storing them inside the clamshell, exceptions might be a set of sentiments such as the next set.
Now in the fourth Keeper I have some of my acrylic stamps. (I'm sorry, I threw away the plastic they were in and don't know who's they are.) These were a bit trickier. I taped the sheet inside the clamshell but as I was sticking them to the outside I realized that they would have to be stuck on backwards over their image, thus making it difficult to read. So what I did instead was stick them inside the clamshell (back onto the plastic sheet that you would normally store them on.) Storing them this way will only allow me to store on one side (just like the See D's.) The acrylic stamps stuck without problem to the outside of the Keeper so with sets that aren't sentiments I'll probably stick them to the outside of the Keeper just as my rubber stamps are on the previous page.
Here is the open Keeper so you can see the acrylic stamps inside.
- Sturdy pages
- Multi-use design (storing on the inside or outside of Keeper)
- Clear design allows you to store inside or outside of the Keeper
- Improper alignment of bottom hole
- Cost ($2.25 per Keeper)
- Keepers that do not stay completely closed risks losing stamps stored inside