Welcome to this new monthly feature from the My Favorite Things Design Team! The monthly focus will always be on organization but the area and type of organization will change each month. I'm really looking forward to gradually getting different areas of my studio more organized and efficient AND seeing all the different suggestions from the team!
Thin, versatile, durable -- stencils are all of that and more! If you haven’t amassed a collection of stencils yet, we’re confident that once you give them a try, you’ll become quickly addicted! Whether you use them as a mask for applying color or a texture medium, or run them through your die-cutting machine to add subtle texture, you’ll never run out of creative uses for these supply staples. This month, the MFT team is sharing their storage solutions for stencils.
I planned on having a video for you today but unfortunately, it seems the new iOS8 operating system doesn't like my iPad. :( So here we go with some photos!
I have my stencils organized by category, in a white wooden storage box which sits on my die cutting station/table, so they are easy to access if I want to dry emboss with them in my Big Shot. I like having them stored this way, so I can easily flip through them:
I made category dividers, using Ellen Hutson's Craft-a-Board. It's a soft white sortof chipboard material -- nice and sturdy. I cut it to 6-1/2" wide x 7-1/2" tall and rounded the corners with my Corner Chomper. Labels were added, using my Brother P-touch label maker:
Here are my 8 divider categories, in case you can't read them well:
Alpha/Numeric | Elements/Nature | Floral / Frilly / Patterned |
Geometric-Circles, Diamonds, Squares | Geometric-Other | Holiday/Seasonal
Stripes | Other
I usually leave the stencils in their original packaging and just trim off the top of the celophane sleeve package (below, the stencil on the left was new and the stencil on the right has the package trimmed off the top). I also save the packaging from my MFT Background Stamps to store the stencils for which I don't have the packaging -- they are the same size). This way, the stencils are easy to slide in and out (I don't like having to tear open the package flap every time I want to use them!) and I find if they are super easy to access AND put away, I tend to use them more!
The back of the sleeve also gives me space to store partial pieces of unused items I've created, but want to save for another project:
The sandwich stack for embossing with a stencil in your Big Shot die cutting machine is this (I have this printed and stuck in the side of my stencil box, for easy reference):
1-Sizzix Multi-Purpose Platform with all tabs closed (just like you cut with MFT dies)
5-Embossing Pad Combo thin pad
The pastes are very easy to apply through the stencils, to create wonderful texture (white paste on Grout Gray cardstock on the left in the photo below) -- and in the case of the pearlescent paste applied to Natural cardstock on the right in the photo below, pretty shine!
If you don't have the original packaging, or it has worn out, etc., here is another storage option I found to be handy: Sizzix Plastic Envelopes 6-1/4" x 9" -- they fit most sizes of stencils perfectly and are VERY nice and sturdy!
You could either store a LOT of stencils in each of these envelopes (my whole collection would probably fit in just these two envelopes!), or I use them by category to hold stencils for which I don't have the original packaging. You could even turn them lengthwise (tall) and use them as your category dividers -- just label the top. These would also be a great way to transport your stencils to crops/classes, etc.
The background of my Whip Cream card base was first dry embossed with the Petal Pattern Stencil, then the centers of the flowers colored through the stencil with the same Copic markers I used above, for perfect color coordination!
Here's a close-up of the background -- I had a hard time getting the dry embossed flowers to show up on the light cardstock (it is gorgeously deeply embossed in real life):
Inside, I placed another pierced tag and the rest of the Happy Birthday Die-namics sentiment, die cut from more of the Fishnet airbrushed paper I made:
I know once you give stencils a try (if you haven't already!), you will become hooked on their wide range of versatility! Be sure to check out the MFT Blog, to find a list of all the designers participating in today's organization hop -- I know you'll find a lot of great ideas!