Organizing Your Flat Embellishments

by - Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This article is part of a series on scrapbook organization. If you would like to see more, please click here to go to the first article.
To badly quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Oh do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
Now, if I were to actually count the embellishments I have, it would probably number in the THOUSANDS. Yikes! We scrapbookers just love the variety of enhancements that are available on the market today and most of us just can't help ourselves. We see these cute little bitties and we simply must have them. I truly hope that you regularly USE up your brads, buttons, ribbons, die-cuts, gems, stickers, rub-ons etc. but sadly if you are like most of us you have a huge amount of these pretties cluttering up your space or lurking in the depths of closets, boxes and bags.

So, how can we possibly keep track of so many types and styles and colors and sizes of embellishments? It ain't easy my friends, but there are some great tricks and products that can help you get control.

Because of the sheer variety of embellishments available let's try to break them down into sub-categories and tackle them that way. Today let's talk about FLAT embellishments - things like stickers, rub-ons and other items that are produced or packaged flat.

Hanging storage is always a great option - it lets you use vertical wall space and keeps things visible and handy. I love how Scrapbooks etc. editor Leah Fung organizes hers on her wall:

[caption id="attachment_1319" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Use pegboard to hang embellies in their original packaging. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1320" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Once opened, stash flat packaged embellies in hanging plastic bags. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

 Leah has used pegboard mounted on the wall, but you could also use other hanging systems like rails:

[caption id="attachment_1324" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Use S hooks to hang embellie packs from their original merchandising holes. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

If you like your items to be tucked away, consider good old binders. Add some page protectors and you have an inexpensive way to keep things under control - and you probably have lots of binders you can repurpose!

[caption id="attachment_1325" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

You can buy special binders that have custom protectors to slip your products into. Cropper Hopper makes a nice one:

[caption id="attachment_1327" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cropper Hopper Craft Binder"][/caption]

 And Store in Style offers a variety of divided page protectors so you can customize a binder for all the different sizes of your embellishments.

[caption id="attachment_1328" align="aligncenter" width="153" caption="Store in Style Multi Refill Pack"][/caption]

I use my old Creative Memories accessories binder for my alphabet stickers and retrofitted a few 12 x 12 page protectors by trimming them and sewing up the sides. This works great for me...I pull out one binder and can look at all my alpha stickers just by flipping through.

[caption id="attachment_1341" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Alphabet Stickers Binder - inside the alphas are grouped by color"][/caption]

Since most flat embellishments fit in a letter or legal size file folder you can also using traditional filing systems - a file cabinet, hanging files, accordian file system or even a desktop file holder.

[caption id="attachment_1331" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

I use a polypropelene accordian file for all my sticker sheets. I labelled the dividers by theme (Baby, Christmas, Summer, Floral etc.) and slipped the sticker sheets into each folder. I stash the whole accordian file on a shelf in my cabinet and pull it out when needed.

[caption id="attachment_1342" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Accordian Sticker File - stickers are grouped by theme/topic"][/caption]

If you like to store items where you can see them, a pretty way to do it it stacking them in a decorative bin or basket. Stand the items on end and just flip through your stash when you're looking for the perfect sticker or alpha:

[caption id="attachment_1332" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1333" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

Shelving is another convenient way to store flat embellishments - you can stack your items flat inside a small shelf you may already have:

[caption id="attachment_1329" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Reuse an old shelf (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]
...or use a storage cube fitted with shelves:

[caption id="attachment_1330" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Cube from Oriental Trading Company"][/caption]
The storage cubes also come in many different configurations like shallow drawers, which are another great option. I use stacking Sterilite drawers for my paper scraps but they would work equally well for flat sticker sheets.

[caption id="attachment_1339" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Sterilite Drawers (Style # 2093)"][/caption]

I sourced many of the pics in this article from BHG Scrapbooks etc. website. They have many articles dedicated to craft storage which you can check out here.

Another great resource is Aby Garvey's organizational wesbite Simplify 101. She and Wendy Smedley literally wrote the book on getting your scrap space organized (The Organizd and Inspired Scrapbooker). Unfortunately the book is no longer in print, but Aby has some great tips for scrapbookers here.

I hope this has given you a few ideas to help you get your sticker stash organized! Next we'll tackle the itty bitty embellishments like brads and buttons and bling - oh my!

Have a great day!

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