Monday, January 11, 2016

Storing and Organizing Stencils

The use of stencils in my artwork has increased and therefore I've amassed quite a collection of them. I use to keep my stencils in page protectors ~ in a binder (the ones that fit anyway) but needed to find another solution with my growing collection.

I now store them in scrapbook storage boxes that I get at Michael's. I love it when they have them on sale! I have 6 full boxes that are organized but when creating I was wasting so much time going through the boxes to find the stencil I wanted to use on a project. I have the boxes labeled by brand (4 of them are DecoArt Stencils to include Tracy Moreau Stencils & 1 box is full of Creative Arts Lifestyle Stencils by Patricia Rawlinson). Not only do I have a lot to pick from, but as I go through them, another thousand ideas flood my head with future projects. I LOVE it when that happens ~ but not when I need to focus on getting a project done - lol!!

So......I came up with a little storing/organizing system that has worked really well for me and I wanted to share it with you!
I cut off the picture of the stencil on the cardboard packaging and put them on a metal ring so that I can thumb through them ~ my version of stencil swatch cards. As my collection grows I see the necessity of having to have several rings of stencil swatch cards ~ like one with flowers, one with letters, one with borders, etc. I also have several stencils that did not come with a picture or cardboard packing so plan to take pictures of those, print them off on cardstock and add them to the ring.  This has SAVED me a TON of time when I'm in the middle of creating. I can look through the ring quickly, pick the one I want and then go to my organized storage boxes, pull the stencil and it's back to creating!! PLUS, I have to add that this has kept me from purchasing duplicates/triplicates of stencils (Yes, I've done it before) as I know which ones I have now!!

Hope this helps you make storing and organizing your stencils a little easier!
Happy Creating!