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Saturday, May 4, 2013

DIY Cutting Die Storage Sheets!

Well, I guess it had to happen.  I got the Grand Caliber because I wanted to be able to cut larger things - and then I had to figure out how to store the larger dies!   

First a little history - some time ago I shared how I was storing my smaller dies. That worked great for standard Spellbinder's nesting dies (and was a great way to make use of those printed advertising magnets that we all get from time to time).  Then I got some larger dies and had to find a new solution. The first larger dies were Spellbinder's Edgabilities dies and Cheery Lynn Reflections dies.  For these I found a magnetic die storage case that worked well.

But at $8 or more for 3 additional sheets, they got pretty expensive, so I reserved these for larger die sets and continued using CD cases for the smaller ones. And then I got a Grand die set and again they didn't fit!  In addition, I was finding I wanted an easier way to look through my dies and I wanted to store similar dies together. For example, all nesting dies that cut square shapes could be stored together so that when I wanted to cut a square shape, I could quickly and easily see what options were available.  As I was currently doing things, my larger square dies - like my reflection dies - had to be stored in one place (ArtBin storage case), and my smaller die sets were in another (CD cases).

I looked at purchasing some sheets that were designed for cutting die storage that were 8 1/2" x 11" in size, but these were also pretty expensive - $9 for two 8 1/2" x 11" sheets!  I knew it would take quite a few sheets to house my growing collection - especially if I signed up for a cutting die club that sent out a die set each month!  And I knew I wanted to save my money for buying more dies rather than using it to purchase expensive storage systems! :)  

My solution started with some adhesive backed magnetic sheets that I found at Oriental Trading Company.  At less than $1 per sheet (or just over by the time I added shipping), these looked much more affordable! Now how would I use them?  I figured I wanted to make sheets that had holes punched on one side and could fit in a ZIPPERED notebook (I didn't want to chance loosing any little dies that might sometimes slip off the pages!).  So far as the pages themselves were concerned, I knew I wanted something sturdy that would not bend.  This was the downside of some of the purchased magnetic sheets.  If I tried to look through the ones I had, they would bend a little and dies would fall off.  I knew I didn't want that.  This is what I came up with:


I found a nice zippered binder that had an accordion-style file in a pocket in the front cover.  This file works great for holding the packaging materials the dies come on in case I want to refer to them for some reason.

Magnetic Pages: For some time I've been saving pieces of sturdy cardboard that I got in various places - in calenders, in paper packs, in other shipments.  I cut these into pages that were 9" wide and 11" tall.  I adhered the magnetic sheet to the right side of these, leaving a 1/2" lip on the left side where I punched holes. 

TIP: to adhere the sheets, start by rolling just 1/2" or so of the backing paper from the top of the page and getting it lined up and pressed in place with the rest of the magnet sheet raised off the page.  Then, just slowly pull the backing paper down, sliding the magnet into place as you do so.  Then punch your holes.  

My 3-hole punch wasn't sturdy enough to punch through the heavy cardboard, so I just used a 3-hole punched page as a guide, lined it up along the edge of my page, traced inside the holes, and used a standard 1/4" round punch to punch each of the holes.

I then made a list of my dies according to the way I had them organized and put that in the front of the binder.  

Actually, I used two binders so my collection has room to grow.  I put all my nesting dies in one binder, and any other dies in the 2nd one.  The list on the left, printed in black, is what is in the black binder, while the list on the right, printed in blue, is what is in the blue binder.  I printed two of these sheets and put one in the front of each binder.  It's wonderful to have all my dies together, and hopefully this system will allow me to grow my collection of dies without more storage challenges!

1 comment:

Carol J said...

Wow, so creative. Thanks for sharing. I need something for my dies also and since I do have some large ones this might just work for me also !