Welcome back to part 2 of Stencil Storage Ideas from the TCW Team.
There are many different ways to store your stencils, but finding the right fit for you might depend on the way you create and how you find your inspiration as well as limitations defined by your creative space.
You might see that many of our designers store their stencils similarly, but each one has something a little different and you might pick up tips along the way.
If you only have a few stencils, you might find that hanging them from a clip works for you. Life may be throwing some curveballs at you where you find that a simple cardboard box works best for your current circumstances.
No matter your circumstance, we think we might have some ideas for you. The entire design team here at The Crafter’s Workshop is sharing how they store their stencils and why their methods work for them.
This will be a 3-part series so bookmark now to come back to read all the ideas.
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We are sure you will find inspiration and the right fit for you. Make sure to leave a comment letting us know which method works for you OR….. do you have another stencil storage idea we didn’t mention and why it works for you.
I store all my stencils in 12×12 scrapbooking sleeves. Each sleeve contains 12×12 and 6×6. I put the number on the top and bottom corner plus the name of the stencil and the designer. They all fit in the one plastic box on wheels I bought from Ikea but I’m starting to run out of space. The pink background paper behind the sleeve was just for the picture. I don’t use the paper backing in my storage.
The small plastic bin next to the large one is storage for the new slimline stencils and 6×6 stencils that I don’t have a matching 12×12 for. Most of them are very old and were only sold in 6×6 size. I use a Sharpie and write the stencil number on the both sides of the stencil. They are in one of three 6×6 sleeves in number order. The slimline stencils are in a 12×12 sleeve folded to fix in the box. The large sign stencils just sit on top of the small bin. This year’s large sign stencils are the first batch I have. Jaime usually asks if I want them or not so that’s why I don’t have many because I usually say no.
To look for ideas or a certain stencil, I start by looking through my blue stencil binder at all the stencil sheets. Find the number and look in my box for it. The binder is an easier way for me to see what the stencil looks like and if it would be a good fit for my project. It also helps me when I’m struggling with my art, like now, it gives me ideas for projects for posts. The biggest problem I run into is that when I get an idea for a stencil it’s usually an old stencil and not being sold anymore. LOL Before Jaime sent the stencil sheets in our boxes, I had a word document where I would cut and paste a stencil image from the TCW site. I would print them out for the binder. Although time-consuming, it worked for my needs.
I’m lazy so I don’t automatically put them away. I have one drawer that I throw everything in as I use them. Eventually, there are so many empty sleeves and stencils piled in the drawer sticking together that I have to take the time and put them all away. I’m lazy so I only do this maybe once a month. I’m usually digging through the drawer looking for a stencil. 🤣
I keep my 6″ inch stencils in manilla folders cut in half, by topic/theme in the top shelf of my rolling cart.
I keep my 12″ stencils in the bottom shelf of my rolling cart.
All stencils are kept in the plastic folders they were shipped in, however, I cut the sticky seal off the bottom, then cut that in half. Place the half with the label inside the folder on the back of the paper (telling me the artist). I do this to keep them from hooking to one another in the manilla folders, and so that I can easily read the stencil numbers when posting or blogging.
For the sign stencils, I keep them in the plastic bag they were sent in, which I taped to the side of the rolling cart.
The rolling cart also keeps my mediums. on the middle and top shelves. Each medium is labeled on the top of the lid/jar.
I did this approach to keep my TCW items and stencils separate from all the other brands and items that I already have. This helps keep me focused on only our products, to ensure that I use only our products in my designs for us, and keeps the items close at hand whilst I’m working so I don’t have to get up and go and get them.
I store the stencils by size and brand. I keep all of the 6 x 6 inches stencils in A4 file folders. These file folders have 60 or 80 plastic sleeves and I keep one or two stencils in each sleeve.
I keep 12 x12 stencils in A3-sized clear plastic envelopes. I keep 2 stencils per envelope. I would like to keep them in large file folders and page protectors but these are not available where I live.
I don’t label them. I don’t organize them by design. I just go through the stencils or the printed PDF and select the ones I want for my project.
I store my stencils by size. They are actually kept in the cardboard box that they arrived in. 6x6s all together in a plastic bag. I used to have them in 12×12 plastic storage boxes but I really just have too many now and I want to keep them all together, as I am never sure until in the middle of a project which stencil will be just right.
I also am super busy (2 jobs, 3 kids) and may only get a small window to crack out the stencils, paints & pastes, so I really need something easy to roll out and pack up… I don’t want to waste precious crafting time reorganizing stencils.
The last two years have also seen us move twice for home repairs related to a catastrophic storm that hit our suburb. I had to pack up everything multiple times depending on which repair was happening next. The cardboard box became the perfect storage to be able to have my most important supplies with me wherever we were staying. So.. even though it is a bit ugly my cardboard box storage has allowed me to continue crafting and moving and crafting and moving, during a very stressful period of time.
Lastly, even though we are now back in our house, my craft room has become the main storage area for all the unopened moving boxes. So, by necessity, I still move around quite a bit to create. I may be in the kitchen whilst helping with homework or cooking dinner. I may be out on my verandah videoing a tutorial. I may even be lucky enough to be at a friends house or teaching a class… I need my stencils to travel with me at very short notice.
Don’t miss the last of our 3 part series tomorrow.