Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Scrap Room - part one

My scraproom storage


I store all my patterned paper and cardstock by colour, using Cropper Hopper vertical storage. This suits the way I scrap as I make it up as I go along, prompted by colours. When there are multiple colours without one dominant, they go into separate files: stripes, floral, vintage, printed – theme and printed – no theme.

Paper scraps

I have two sets of A4 plastic drawers, labelled by colour, into which all my scraps go, unless they are deemed too small to keep. Recently, I have been going through these and converting a lot to ready-made photo mats – mainly 5”x7”, which are filed by colour in an old letter holder. I am also creating journaling cards using stamps, which are filed with my bought journaling cards. This will cut down on my scrap collection as well as give me new supplies. I try to go to my scrap drawers first, before cutting into fresh cardstock.

Flat embellishments

I have binders in which I keep a variety of plastic pocket-type pages – various sizes, intended for trading cards, business cards, photos etc. Each binder covers a broad theme, which is broken into smaller themes with dividers. So one is “Occasions and Themes” – inside would be birthday, pets, seasons etc. Almost everything flat is stored in these. The stuff that isn’t – recent purchases, stuff that is on its last chance, hard-to-assign etc go on my version of a clip-it up system: a curtain rod across the shelf supports, with café-curtain clips hanging on it. Simple but effective and right in my face, so I go to it.


Two systems – anything that is a sticker sheet goes into a plastic sleeve in a binder. Anything die cut goes into my lovely little Ikea drawers. Inspired by others seen online, I don’t have the need/space/budget for one drawer per letter, so I divide them using the plastic dish that my favourite tuna snacks come in! Works perfectly.

Other embellishments

I am a colour-inspired scrapper, so have converted my embellishment storage to work with this. I love using recycled and vintage jars – either from our kitchen or the local second-hand shop (where my daughter works and gets a further staff discount!) The jars are grouped by type and then colours are separated in their own jars. This works for flowers, buttons, brads/eyelets and also for odds and ends that have been left-over from other projects etc. So short ends of ribbon etc and anything that doesn’t match the specific jars. I love the look of them grouped this way – it looks like a lolly shop! – and I find I use more of my stash.

Art media

Pencils, markers, paints, stamp pads … each is corralled by type and kept in open storage so they are seen and get used.


I am not a big collector of stamps and am not always thrilled with my results using them. I have two types of storage – unmounted stamps go into plastic sleeves in a binder, mounted stamps are housed in a new wall display shelf. I have a drawer that holds larger foam alphas and months of the year stamps.


I have a set up for ribbon on spools that keeps them in sight and accessible. It is simply a piece of curtain rod set across the shelf supports! I bought a box of ribbon on spools and I reuse the spools by winding on lengths of ribbon. Anything that doesn’t fit the spools goes into a ribbon storage box with holes for it to poke through. Too small for that and it goes into the colour jars.


I have a Making Memories carousel, which holds an amazing amount of stuff. Here I keep my adhesives, scissors, sanding tools, scalpel etc as well as my pens. The little drawers hold those odds and ends that need to stay together. I don’t use any die cutting machines, but have a few cutting tools. My big Purple Cows paper trimmer sits on top of a rolling filing cabinet that tucks under the desk, so I can easily haul it up when needed. My other Purple Cows trimmer sits in an otherwise wasted nook on my shelves. The rolling filing cabinet has two normal drawers as well as one for hanging files. The top drawer holds my other cutting tools, while my Silent Setter is in another drawer with my heat gun and punch thingy.


As I have been scrapping for more than ten years, I can proudly say most of my photos are to be found in layouts in albums!! I have a few photo boxes in cold storage, holding photos that didn’t make the cut or are on the backburner (mostly old prints rescued from ‘magnetic’ albums and stored in categories ready to go). As a fully digital photographer now, I use Google Picasa to organise my photos in the computer and online and also back up to external hard drives. I print photos to scrap as I go and when I get enthusiastically ahead, I make little bundles ready to scrap. I group the photos with a piece of cardstock, all secured with a Smiggle X rubber band. These stack in a handy basket and I can flip through and choose a project.

Tech gear

I try to consolidate my digital life. I use one laptop for everything – it goes to and from my paid work with me. I have an external hard drive at home, one at the office and a portable one that travels with the laptop. I also back up using Carbonite. I have recently replaced my printer/scanner with a newer model, which gives me photo lab quality prints, so my small photo printer has been tucked away for use when I am away from home or work. I have hung onto my old scanner, as it does negatives and slides, but it is in storage because I don’t need that option everyday. My camera is always kept close at hand.


I have a magnetic whiteboard and a large pinboard above my workspace, where I place stuff that inspires me, plus the odd embellishment I need reminding to use! Another piece of curtain rod with café clips holds up to three layouts for consideration and appreciation before they go into their respective albums. I also use two decorative metal stands to hold layouts, mini albums, books etc I want to look at or get out of the way!


After many years of dependence on Creative Memories albums, I finally weaned myself and now also use a mix of other 12x12 albums. I have a series for each of my three children, my husband, myself, my parents, Christmas – even the dog - ; a series for my volunteer life over 25 years and a series for my family history, broken into family lines. I also create mini albums for special subjects – one each child with every single school photo in it, one for Santa photos each year, as well as various online challenges etc. These are basically all located in a bookshelf and adjacent cupboard, for ease of evacuation if required. I also photograph every layout and store it online. I have never counted but figure I am close to 1000 layouts!

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