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Unread 05-17-2017, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Die sample organization?

I have either asked this before, or been on a thread about it, can't remember which. Probably on a thread, since I have not until now felt that making samples of my dies is becoming necessary. Too many are getting forgotten.

I am thinking it would be good to start with my nesting shape dies, so that I can see what I have and play around with the samples while designing. I know many have done this. How do you label them? Store them? I was thinking a 5x8 binder with PPs, and I could put a set in each. But better ideas are probably out there.

Then there are all the stand-alone dies. I had done some of these by mounting the samples onto cardstock and interfiling them in my stamp panel bins. Which was a nice idea, but I am finding that it's not working for my process. Stamps and dies are two different things in my mind. Plus, once mounted, I can't really hold them up and see how they would look. So what to do with those.

Interested in advice and suggestions. Before I start in on this monumental project, I want to at least have the right system so it works for me once I've done it.

Thanks.
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Unread 05-17-2017, 05:56 PM   #2
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I have samples of all my dies. I used cardstock scraps and started with the nesting dies. I do use a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 binder and page protectors. I put the brand, item # and name at the top of the page and even list the sizes of each. For stand alone dies, I used 3 small scrapbook albums that I had and never used for scrapbooking. I again used scraps, die cut them and used the same brand, item # and name. I put flowers and garden type dies [butterflies, etc] in one; border and tag dies in another; and words and miscellaneous items in the 3rd. Christmas and other holiday dies went into another 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 binder. My latest binder is samples of dies with matching stamps.

I have found this works very well for me; when I have an idea for a floral card I look through the floral binder to see which of my many dies will work best.

For me, I have to be organized so I can find things quickly and not spend hours looking for something I might have "just put here for a minute"!
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Unread 05-17-2017, 07:11 PM   #3
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There was another thread about this, and you can find it HERE. I did this with my dies and punches (more details in post #22 in the above-referenced thread):

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Unread 05-18-2017, 03:43 AM   #4
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Thanks Sue, it all comes back to me now.

I had bought the small binders, now I'm wondering if the Avery Elle envelopes in the large size might not be better. At least for the nesting dies sets. I had sworn not to invest more money in this but the AE pockets are not that expensive. And could be stored in a plastic shoebox, of which I have plenty.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 03:53 AM   #5
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An idea I've been playing with for my nesting dies is to cut samples, punch a hole in the corner, then string on a binder ring of some sort. Then I can just hang them up and easily see them. I got the idea from the way Tim Holtz stores his stencils.

I have sets of nesting dies I completely forget about and only find them after I've used something else and glued everything down, lol.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 04:44 AM   #6
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I did that for all my cardstock colors (well, I cut a square and mounted them on tags) and I am very glad I did. Saves so much time.

But I can't think of a way to do that with dies, especially sets. Would you put one set on a ring or several? Wouldn't the holes eventually get worn and torn unless you reinforced them or laminated the samples? Maybe you could divide them by shape (the nesting ones) a ring for circles, one for squares, etc. But they would be a lot more work to put back together in the proper order than if you had a separate pocket or page protector for each set I would think.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 06:23 AM   #7
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I didn't want to have all of those pieces to figure out a home for, which is why I made the templates instead. I can still see what I have, but they take up less space and I can use the templates to see how dies will fit on or around whatever I'm cutting with them or gluing them to...
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Unread 05-18-2017, 06:36 AM   #8
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I love the idea of a stencil for your dies. That way you can put it over the area and see if they will fit in the space you have. I HAD cut my dies out and glued them to clear sheets and put them in a notebook. Right now I have my dies stored on magnetic sheets and in page protectors in a zipper notebook. I have cut the die out put the name and maker of the die on the die cut and glued it to the page protector
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Unread 05-18-2017, 06:37 AM   #9
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Die cuts are kept in the Avery Elle pockets that also contain the dies, but behind the white CS divider that's in each pocket. The bin is just turned around to see die cuts instead of dies.

If the dies are really big and/or I have multiples of die cuts so they won't easily fit into the same pocket, I add a pocket behind the die.

Categories are labeled front and back: Geometrics, Leaves, Flowers, Animals, Sentiments, etc.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 07:08 AM   #10
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The stencil idea is intriquing. But I have some very intricate shapes dies that I couldn't trace. And can be used with each other for different results, depending on what you pair together.

bjeans, I'm thinking I want to keep the samples separate. So I don't have to mess with the dies (mine are on magnetic panels in bins) until I've messed around with the samples. Or even look through them.

It's like my EF samples. They are not with the EFs. They are in a small container, each labeled on the back and I can grab that and fan them out. And then go through the bin for what I want.

Different ways of working, I guess.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 07:28 AM   #11
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Makes complete sense. For me it's as if I have two bins, since facing forward I have dies and facing the other direction I have samples. A la Jennifer McGuire, I only have magnetic sheets with nesting dies and a few others, which keeps bulk/weight/more down.

If I didn't do it this way I might keep them in pockets or a small ringed binder with pocket protectors. I'd thought of a regular sized binder with 4-pocket and 2-pocket protectors, but it would bug me to pull out die cuts on a page with different types of dies, plus dealing with a full sized album isn't my cuppa given my work space and brain.

When I started paper crafting, I thought I'd prefer binders rather than a pockets for organizing, but over time found it was mainly the opposite, with the exception of color swatches, kind of.

These have been in my Amazon "saved for later" cart for ages in case something needed organizing in small binders:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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Unread 05-18-2017, 07:48 AM   #12
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Yeah, that's pretty the binder I got (in black) and now I'm thinking "Why?" I am emphatically really not a binder person, I am a bin person, and I know that. In the moment, it seemed like the thing. Now it doesn't so much.

The AE envelopes are really the right thing for me. Of course once I buy them I'm going to feel like I'd better get busy. Since I bought them.

Only bought 2 binders, so no big waste. I'll use them. They're cute.
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Last edited by Rachelrose; 05-18-2017 at 07:51 AM..
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