After trying numerous ways to store my embossing folders, I FINALLY found a way that works best for me. Even though each of these ideas were actually really good ones, it just boils down to be one of those "preference" types of things which reinforces what's good for one person may not work for another. Here are some of the different storage methods I tried and the reasons they just didn't work for me:
- Stored loosely in photo boxes: This method was okay when I only had like 20 embossing folders, but then as my stash grew and grew, it became a pain every time I was looking for a certain one and had to dump them out of the box and go through all of them individually just to find what I was looking for. Something had to change...
- Hanging on my Clip It Up: This was actually a good system but not as functional for the number of embossing folders I own (now totals 73 - and not really sure how THAT happened since I'm not much of a cardmaker LOL!). I purchased some of the smaller 5.5" x 8.5" sheet protectors from Staples and placed an embossing folder and an embossed sample in each one and hung them on the Clip It Up. Even though I have a lot of embossing folders, there really wasn't enough to fill the Clip It Up all the way, which caused it to sometimes get too heavy on one side (not balanced all the way around). So rather than purchase a ton more embossing folders in order to fill the Clip It Up, I decided to chuck that idea and hang all my Thickers alphabets and loose/bagged flowers on it instead. This works much better for me as I use the Thickers and flowers a lot more often than the embossing folders.
- Stored in 7" x 9" binders: I basically took the sheet protectors with the embossing folders/samples from the Clip It Up and put them into some small binders I purchased at Staples. This turned out to be a great system, except for the fact there were four binders and still had to go on a hunting expedition just to find the one I was looking for. My search for the perfect storage answer was back on... Bummer...
- Darice Embossing Folder Binder: I TRULY thought this would be the absolute answer for storing my embossing folders but, in reality, it just didn't work for me at all. Don't get me wrong, this binder is a GREAT product - IF you have the right sized embossing folders. I made the mistake of not realizing that even though 99% of my folders are the regular 4-1/4" x 5-3/4" size, the majority of them are the Sizzix brand and, therefore, would not fit in the plastic slots of this binder. I had NO IDEA the Sizzix folders are just ever-so-slightly larger than the Darice, Cuttlebug, and The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) brands. Lesson learned, and SO disappointed! I toyed with the idea of just buying the larger Darice binder, but then wondered where in the world would I store THAT??? The smaller binder I already owned barely fit in my Ikea Expedit unit, and the larger binder is like 2"+ bigger which would definitely be longer than the openings in my shelving unit, so that purchase was no longer an option. Plus, with my ever-growing supply of embossing folders, I would need TWO binders. What to do, what to do???
- Iris brand Card Keeper with adjustable dividers: One day while on the Internet, I saw a posting on Pinterest where someone was using one of these to store their embossing folders/samples and got so excited about it that I jumped in the car and headed to Michaels to get one right then and there. Made my 50% off purchase (perfect sale timing...yay!), got home, and couldn't wait to fill this baby up! Gotta say, this was a GREAT system except for the fact that I had a few too many embossing folders/samples to fit into just one of these containers. Total let down. I really didn't want to just purchase another Card Keeper because, again, where would I put it??? My Expedit only has so many openings and there was no where else in my scraproom to store a couple of these. So my happy purchase is now (still!) sitting in a bag on top of my Expedit waiting to be returned to Michaels. So bummed...
- FINALLY ~ My New Embossing Folder Storage Answer!!! Again, while surfing Pinterest, I came across another post that totally peaked my interest. This lady had taken regular binder sized page protectors, the ones with the opening on the SIDE, marked the center of each page protector, and then heat-sealed that center line using her Seal-A-Meal, thus creating two openings instead of one. I was like OMG...EUREKA...WE OWN A SEAL-A-MEAL...I CAN DO THIS!!! I immediately opened another tab on my computer and searched the Staples website to see if they carried these types of page protectors and, by golly, Yes They Did!!! Woo Hoo...grabbed my purse, got in the car and off I went. After getting home and getting a little lesson from the hubs on how to work our Seal-A-Meal (it's HIS toy, not mine!), I was heat sealing away. I did find that with our particular sealing machine that I actually had to "seal" each one three times in order for it to totally seal. Not sure why, but maybe because it's a different type of plastic than the Seal-A-Meal bags??? Who knows...just happy it worked! So after spending some quality time with the sealing machine, I finally have a great system for storing my embossing folders!
Here you can see where I marked the middle on the left and right sides of the sheet protector so I could line it up and create a straight and centered seal in the Seal-A-Meal machine.
You can see the seal better with a black sheet of cardstock behind the sheet protector.
I cut an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of black cardstock in half and placed a piece in each opening. I then slid in an embossed sample paper on top of the black cardstock and next placed the corresponding embossing folder in the same opening but behind the black paper. Even though the openings are on the side, I did find the embossing folders could slip out of its opening. My remedy for this was to put a Removeable Glue Dot on the middle edge between the black cardstock and plastic right next to the opening. If you look at the top embossing folder in the picture above you can barely see the Glue Dot on the edge next to the binder ring. I'm also wondering about how using small Velcro dots instead would work. Hmmm.....
I used a 3" Binder and 30 sheet protectors, which holds 60 embossing folders and their samples. Now all I have to do is go through my binder, find the embossing sample I want to use, and easily grab the embossing folder right behind the sample. I have them organized in the binder by theme: Birthday, Floral, Swirls, Dots, Backgrounds, and Miscellaneous.
So did you notice that I didn't mention a "Seasonal" theme above??? Yeah, well I very quickly realized that the 3" binder still wasn't going to hold ALL my embossing folders so decided that the easiest "fix" was to keep all my seasonal ones separate. Since the smaller binder method had already worked for me as an option - just not for ALL of my folders - it was the easiest solution; plus I already had the needed supplies. Happy, Happy, Happy!
My pretty little binder for Seasonal embossing folders.
It took some trial and error time and some effort (not to mention gas going to and from Michaels and Staples!), but I finally have an embossing folder storage system that works for me. The best part is that this storage solution didn't cost much in the long run, takes up less room, is easily accessible, AND fits perfectly in the Expedit.
Wish I could say this was totally my idea, but gotta give credit where credit is due. Like I mentioned above, I got the idea from a link that was posted on Pinterest:
There are so many great storage ideas for embossing folders on Pinterest. If you want to see if there is one out there that just might be exactly what you're looking for, I'd highly recommend starting your search there. Good luck...and Happy Crafting!