Budget Friendly Paper Storage Options

Ah, I have just enough time left in the morning to wish you a good morning! Five minutes to spare. Phew! The morning just flew by- and now I’m here spending time with you!

If you’re anything like me, finding ways to store your craft supplies is hard. Especially if you’re looking for budget friendly (meaning cheap or FREE!!) storage solutions. As more supplies are added to my arsenal, finding inventive ways to store it all in one place becomes challenging. As a result, what I store items in changes and evolves over time to make more room for things and free up space elsewhere. Other times, its finding something else that just makes sense.

Storing my paper has been one of those challenges. There are so many options to consider when storing your paper! Do you store horizontally, vertically, by color, by theme, by collection, all together, separately, do you divide them…the list goes on. Those are some of the things that run through my mind when brainstorming ideas. The monkey wrench: not having shelving in my craft room! I have a very eclectic collection of hand- me- down pieces of furniture from my parents, my mother in law, and even a teensy little table that a previous homeowner (that we bought a house from) left behind. If you’re lucky enough to own your own shelving system from Ikea, Canadian Tire, or another office type store, consider yourself very lucky! If you’re like me, and have a small space (or a bedroom, like I’m lucky enough to have), but don’t own the furniture you’re dreaming of having to make your life easier, then read on! This may help you! (I hope, at least!)

Obviously, the option we’re left with is making the best of the situation we’ve been dealt. Right? That’s all we can really do; make lemonade from the lemons in your life. I’ve concluded that the bottom line is deciding what works best for me. Your job is to do the same for you. Even if you have all of the furniture and storage options, you’ve got to find something that jives with how you operate and do things, otherwise you’ll be left searching, looking for another epic way to store your craft items. Often times, that becomes a work in progress, because our tastes change, we realize something isn’t working, we’ve added more to our stash, maybe you’ve moved…the list can go on and on.

Happily, though, I think I’ve stumbled upon a system of storing paper that works perfectly for me. Because I’m a home business owner, finding a way to keep my current papers separated from the retired ones became a new challenge. Even if you’re not a business owner, this might be an option to consider, too. Especially if you’re a nerd for organization, like me. Side note: until recently, I was a believer in keeping everything I purchased from CTMH. While the deepest part of me would seriously love to keep everything, my craft room would love to beg otherwise. So, I sell some stuff, and organize the rest better.

I don’t remember where I dreamed up the storage idea I implemented for my card stock (see below), but it was a sheer stroke of genius. Truthfully, I think I saw something similar on Pinterest, and wondered why a person couldn’t just build them, rather than buying them. I’m uber lucky to have a dad that’s handy with wood!

He built me these storage boxes from left over wood he had lying around his shop. The dividers the paper lies on pulls out, and as you can see, it makes for a lot of room to add paper! Until you decide that some of the paper you own needs to go (for whatever reason- mine was to de-stash and make more room), I hadn’t thought of labelling the sides of the boxes until this latest batch of CTMH card stock retired. Then- Uh oh. I had a problem. I didn’t know what some of the colours were!

Enter my label maker. Everything is now organized, labelled clearly (certain colors are still a mystery to me- there’s one that I just can’t figure out what color it is), and just the way I like it. No more getting confused, or sitting staring blankly at my computer screen when I’m trying to blog about the latest papers and colors I used!

Did you notice that some of the stickers aren’t staying put very well? It kind of annoys me (truth be told), but I’m relieved to say that they are not permanently attached! If I need to replace that color with something else, they’ll be easy to change. Phew! (And, look at that- more room to grow! There’s some empty slots there! Seeing some empty space makes my heart happy!)

For a long time, now, I’ve used a legal-size hanging file folder system to store my patterned papers from CTMH. Recently, I decided to separate the current patterned papers from the retired ones. The retired papers I just can’t bear to part with, so I had to find a solution to store them and make room for them. I thought about this option for some time. I looked for ideas on Pinterest, I looked at storage boxes and filing cabinets, and eventually found a great idea that was posted to one of the CTMH group pages I belong to on Facebook. I don’t have what this person used. I had even pondered using 31- style boxes for storing my paper, but ultimately settled on the best deal of all: things I already had at home. It isn’t pretty, or glamorous, but it works. That’s all a girl can ask for, right?

As I mentioned, I don’t own what this person used to store her papers (It looked like a filing cabinet drawer on casters. And, it was full. #paperstoragegoals LOL) My tall upright filing cabinet has two empty drawers at the bottom. I tried that first. I couldn’t close the drawer because the paper is too tall. (12×12). My little filing cabinet is broken- neither drawer has the rails in it to hang file folders from. And, I’d run into the same problem with the little filing cabinet- the paper is too tall. Hmm. I shopped at Walmart and pondered the storage options they had there. I wasn’t interested in spending money if I didn’t have to. I finally settled on trying my Bankers Boxes, (they usually come in a set of three, which is what I have), and which has been collecting dust since we moved into this house. (October will be 7 years, in case you were wondering). Surprise! It works!

If you’re a part of any of my groups on Facebook, you’ll have heard me refer to my scrap paper Sterilite drawers that I use for scrap paper storage. I probably have mentioned it here once or twice, as well. There was enough room under my little work table to store my Bankers Boxes next to my Sterilite storage boxes, and still work comfortably. (No pictures yet of my work table. Its currently a mess because I’m mid- workshop planning!) The hanging file folders fit neatly over the edges of the box, and the paper fits comfortably inside. The lid doesn’t fit on the top of the box (of course, paper is sticking out of it!), but it doesn’t need to. I put the lid on the bottom of the box, should I ever need it. (Also, as you can see, not all the paper in there is CTMH. There’s one giant paper pack that I can’t part with from Michaels, and a paper pad gift I got from Creative Scrapbooker Magazine.) My plan is to utilize a different file folder for a different collection. When I need to purchase more file folders (note that they are legal size, not letter size), I can pick up another pack from Walmart for a decent price. You can, too! Or, don’t use the hanging file folders. Nothing is set in stone. I like using it because it keeps the paper together, in one place, and neat looking. Someone else may just opt to throw their paper in a box willy- nilly, and carry on with their day. More power to them if thats how they roll!

This is how the file folder storage system should look (when you purchase the entire system, not just the file folders):

The black case and file folders all came together for one nifty price. (Check your local Walmart for them). I’ve had this filing system for a number of years. It began as my card stock storage (see, evolution at its finest!!), which is why you see a half circle (homemade) tab that’s coloured orange. I abandoned that idea a long time ago, but kept using the storage system for paper- now patterned paper, not card stock. (I also use this idea elsewhere in my house- one for storing the current years’ pay stubs, bills, receipts, and medical expenses to include with our taxes because of my husbands’ health issues; and a second for storing gymnastics board stuff. It works well. When the year is out, I empty the one that stores pay stubs and bills and start over! (They go into the large filing cabinet in my office).

In the picture above, you can see that I left the paper in the plastic bag it comes in from CTMH. My plan is to leave them that way so when they are moved over to the retired filing box, the sticker on the front of the package will tell me what’s inside that bag! Genius! This idea dawned on me after the fact, so that’s why they are not in a plastic bag in the Bankers Box picture above.

So, there you have it, my paper storage ideas in one neat blog post. Did you find this information helpful and useful? Not everyone is going to find this method of storing paper beneficial for their needs, but that’s ok. The beauty of sharing this information is providing people with options and ideas, because you just never know when the ideas presented here will work for someone else. I’d love to see how you store your paper, and what you love about it!

I just have to make a disclaimer- CTMH does carry paper storage items, and they are phenomenal storage ideas, as well. I couldn’t draft this post without sharing what they offer, as well. While I would like to add what they carry one day, right now I’m more focussed on using what’s on hand. If I had a million dollars at my disposal, I’d be all over all the storage options, LOL! I’m making lemonade from lemons. Remember that ❤

Don’t you love how sleek and classy this paper tray looks from CTMH?! It fits a 12×12.5×2 inch stack of patterned papers or card stock, its stackable, and perfect for storing your papers within arms reach. The best part is, there’s an entire system of storage options that coordinate with it, too! Think pen storage, ink storage, washi tape storage (oh, yes!!), and more! There’s boxes, too, for your ink pads and stamps! (Watch the new catalog for new storage boxes from CTMH).

If this looks like something you’d like to give a whirl, let me know! I can get it ordered for you, or you can do it yourself by visiting my CTMH website. While this item is available to customers across all our markets, I can only offer this to Canadian residents. Sorry. If you are located outside of Canada, you can search for the consultant nearest you via my website. (In America, New Zealand and Australia).

Thanks for joining me today!

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Do You Heat Emboss?

What’s something in your crafting that you haven’t done in a long time? For me, that’s heat embossing. I rarely do it, and I discovered that it’s long past time I ordered a new versa mark pad. The one I currently have is drying out. It’s got to be at least 8 or 10 years old. Possibly more.

Close to My Heart to the rescue! They have it, and carry a variety of Ranger embossing powders! (The versa mark ink is on my wish list for April).

I mention this because I heat embossed some elements on a layout I made today. I was thinking of ways to fill a space that felt too empty, and heat embossing popped into my brain. It was worth a shot, right? Here’s what I came up with:

The stamp I used is Showtime, the stamp set that comes with the Step Right Up paper packet. It’s still available- just a couple days left to get it, in fact. Want it? Head to my website. I’ll share the link at the bottom of this post.

Here’s a couple more close ups of this birthday themed layout:

Check out the heat embossing products we carry at Close to My Heart, or grab some Thin Cuts and the Step Right Up paper packet and stamp while you’re at it. These items are available for only a few more days; they’re all on my Close to My Heart website: theeverydayscrapbooker.closetomyheart.ca

CTMH Gymnastics

Hello friends! I have something totally different to share with you today! It isn’t often I get to mix ‘work’ with ‘play’. I’m not sure which is which, but here I am, killing it for our gymnastics club!

I used CTMH Play Hard B1512 and Gymnastics B1304. These are both retired items, but I’m so glad I finally got the chance to use them on a project! It helps that I’m on the gymnastics board, too! See- stamping and creativity can be applied in many areas of our lives- not just card making and scrapbooking! What off the page or out of the norm project have you created using stamps or other media? What was the result?

I’m waiting on approval of this flyer from the rest of the board, but once its approved, I’m off to Staples to have it printed. Wish me luck!

DIY Envelope Tutorial

Hello, friends! 

As promised, I will share a quick and simple tutorial today for making your own envelopes!

To start, you’ll need one sheet of 12×12 cardstock or patterned paper and glue. I like using CTMH Liquid Glass for a strong bond, but you can use whichever glue you have on hand or like to use.

Decide which side of the patterned paper you would like to face outwards (in this case it’s the floral pattern), then make two folds approximately 1- 1.5inches from each side (fold inwards, towards the centre of the paper). 
A trick I like to use is placing my letter in the bottom centre of the patterned paper, and fold each side around it. I use this trick to also roughly guesstimate the bottom fold (next step).

Apply glue to the bottom portions of each 1-inch fold, then fold paper upwards (pictured below). The bottom fold should be approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the paper. This will become the bottom of your envelope. (Place your letter inside, for reference). 

This is how your envelope should look now. Next, you’ll want to fold the top edge of the patterned paper envelope approximately 0.5- 1 inch inwards, and again nearer the top of your letter (approximately 2-3 inches from the top edge fold).
*Note: I say approximately, because I haven’t measured exactly each of my folds. I’ve created my envelopes strictly by feel and by my naked eye.

Measurements will be different, dependent on what size paper your letter is written on. I currently use standard loose-leaf paper, which I assume measures 8.5×11 inches. My envelopes were created around this standard size, folded in three). 

*Another Note: before gluing any corners, mock up your envelope to avoid making any mistakes. I always make all my folds first, and then go back and glue where appropriate.  

(Top edge folded down, 0.5-1 inch from top edge); glue the thicker, corner portions. Here’s how it should look completed (below):

(I flipped the envelope over, so the front is facing outwards.) The backside of your envelope will have a clean edge where you’ll adhere it closed with glue. This is unlike a standard card envelope that has the V-shaped flap. 

Lastly, decorate to your hearts desire! I’ll sometimes add washi tape to the back fold after I’ve glued it closed for a little more pizzazz. That’s not necessary.  Do whatever feels right!

I hope today’s tutorial made sense and was clearer than a load of mud to you! If not, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to clarify it!

Western and Beach Theme Cards

Hello everyone! It’s a blustery day in my neck of the woods today. Yuck. I woke up around midnight last night from the wind, and it’s still blowing now. The sun is trying to shine in between all the clouds filling the sky. Hopefully tomorrow will be a more sunshiney day than today is.

I have a couple custom cards I whipped up yesterday to show you, and later this week, I’ll return to sharing all the great stuff I’ve been trying to post over the last month or so. Slow and steady wins the race.

If you missed it, I accept special requests for cards and custom scrapbook albums- all at a reasonable price. You can read more about it here.

The person that requested these cards is a returning customer- I made Princess and the Frog themed wedding invitations for her. While I’m pleased she’s asking for more cards, I’m also pleasantly surprised. I made the wedding invitations over a year ago!

No matter. I’m pleased she remembered me and asked for more hand made cards. The two cards I made have very specific themes- one is western themed and the other is beachy. 

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To create the western card, I first turned to Pinterest. I needed some ideas- which, there was lots! I came across horse shoes, horses,  stars, cacti…I really liked the cacti, but I have nothing of the sort in my stash, so settled on a unicorn turned horse.

(I plan to remedy the cacti problem. CTMH carries adorable stamps and coordinating dies that work with most non electronic die cutting machines!) View them here.

I had burlap left over from a banner I had made for a dear friends’ wedding, so trimmed the pennants off and layered it on top of the card base. My liquid glass (CTMH) worked well to adhere it.

Next, I adhered black lace to white cardstock (to help it pop against the kraft background better)- once again using my liquid glass. I thought burlap and lace worked well for a western theme.

To finish, I inked the edges of the image mat and card base using CTMH Barn Red and Cocoa inks, and added a bow beneath the image.

(The inside of the card has Best Wishes stamped on it).

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I also searched for beachy card ideas on Pinterest too. I immediately thought of using CTMH Seaside, but I don’t have the entire collection. Then I remembered that I’ve had a SU nautical stamp set in my stash for quite a few years. That would work!

I stamped the background using CTMH Whisper, Flaxen and Juniper inks, then layered the anchor on top, using CTMH Basic Black ink.

I used long retired CTMH sticker alpha stickers for the title, and the button and twine have been lurking in the depths of my stash for quite a while.

(I want to make the beachy/nautical card again- but smaller). Stay tuned for it sometime in the future!)

Holla at me if there’s a special or unique card you’d like made. If not, how do western and beach themes inspire you? I’d love to see! Share what you make when you’re done!

Customs, Anyone?

Hello everyone! Today is the first day in awhile that my husband actually had work! Which meant that I could finally get back to my regular routine. 

Boy, it feels good 😃

So, y’all know that I’m crazy for paper crafting. I established that fact a long time ago.

And y’all know that I am proficient in card making and layout making. Also a long established fact.

It’s also well known that everything I’ve shared- to date- is meant for my personal use.

But, did you know that I accept custom requests, as well?

Times are tough, and I’m actively looking for ways to creatively supplement our income- hence the reason I am a Close to My Heart consultant and create and sell custom requested cards and albums.

Now, I know this craft isn’t popular and in high demand like other handmade products are. Scrapbooking and papercrafting is a lost art- “snail mail” is a lost art. Needing a card for different occasions in our lives never goes out of style. We’ll always need them.

Not very many people have requested hand made items, and of the ones that did, even fewer have come back for more than one purchase. I’m OK with that. The ones that have returned, I’m incredibly thankful for and sincerely appreciate their kindness. I know there are more of you out there- the trick is finding you!

They haven’t returned not because of the poor job I’ve done, or lousy customer service. It’s solely because there’s very little interest in this type of art these days. It’s a dying breed.

If anyone wants a scrapbook or handmade card, they usually can (and do!) make it themselves. I’m looking for the people that love the way it looks, or would love to create something themselves, but don’t have a the time, know how or patience to paper craft! I know you exist, and I know you can have pretty paper-made things with very little effort. The question is, are you willing to give in?!

In turn, help support a local, home-based business.

All cards and scrapbooks are made from high quality products (mostly Close to My Heart), and are affordably priced. All the work you’ve seen here are indicative of what your finished projects will look like. Scrapbook albums can be purchased through CTMH if you don’t currently own one; if you do, kindly send it along with your printed photos, so each page can be created around the theme of each photo/group of photos.

As I alluded to above, in order for a scrapbook album to be created, I kindly ask for your pictures to be printed and sent to me (I will pick up if you’re in or around Edmonton!) along with your scrapbook album and any other mementos you’d like included in your custom scrapbook album. If you opt to purchase a scrapbook album via Close to My Heart, the price of it will be included in your total. (Albums are $100 + cost of album and shipping from CTMH).

Cards are $2 each, but can be bundled into packs (of any denomination) at a discounted price.

All prices are in Canadian currency. I will ship across Canada; shipping charges will be included. If you live in or near Edmonton, I am willing to meet you to pick up and drop off all orders! 😃

Comment here or email me at theeverydayscrapbooker@gmail.com for more information.

I hope this appeals to someone out there. If it does, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here and more than happy to help you out!