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Monday, August 30, 2010

Custom Storage Solution for Embossing Folders and Dies

ttodd on the Florida Stampers group asked us for ideas for inexpensive storage for embossing folders and dies.  This was my suggestion:  If you are looking for inexpensive -- and have a little time -- why not consider custom? 

Office supply stores are going to be marking down binders In the next week or two.  I got a bunch of them last year for a penny each from Office Depot.  Watch for sales and pick up a few more than you think you'll need.  That way you have room to grow and they will match.  Consider the insert type of binder so you can put labels into the spine to indicate what's inside.

Then get a package of the heavy duty sheet protectors.  look for 3 mil or higher.  We are going to modify these to hold your dies. You can do basic sizes like these

Binder pockets.jpg
Or you can do custom sizes for the pieces you have.  Just measure and add an inch or so; this lets your die sits inside the pocket and gives it room to move on all sides.  You need to be able to slip it in and out without needing to pull the pocket apart.

You are going to cut through the top layer of the sheet protector to create additional openings.  Then you'll be sealing the bottom edges of any pockets that require it.


  • Binder
  • Sheet protectors
  • Scotch tape
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Sewing Machine or Sticky Strip
  • 1.5" Circle Punch (optional)


1.  Cutting the Pockets

  • Use the item to be stored to measure and mark your cut lines with a strip of scotch or masking tape. You are going to need to add a little space around the edges so that the item can be removed easily. You'll need a good half an inch at the bottom for things the thickness of this embossing folder.
  • Insert a cutting mat, double layer of chipboard or a clip board into the sheet protector.  You can use anything you have. This is just to stop the blade from going through the back. 
  • Put a ruler along the tape edge and use a craft knife to cut through the sheet protector.  Do not cut through the edges.
  • Move the ruler 1/4 inch and cut again.  Remove this strip entirely.

    2.  Sewing the Pockets

    • Set your machine to a long stitch length
    • Use a teflon foot, walking foot, or reduce your presser foot pressure.  I have a teflon foot for my machine and it's a breeze to stitch over the plastic.
    • Put the folder in the pocket to check the setup.  Move the needle closer to the cut edge, if needed.
    • Sew the bottom edge of the pocket
    •  If you are dividing pockets, sew from the bottom to the top. This will help to prevent a buckle at the end of the stitch.  Start with the needle in the stitching line.

    • If you don't have a sewing machine, you can do this with Sticky Strip too.  The hold is not as strong, but it will work.

      3. Finishing the Pockets

      •  Use a 1.5" circle punch (which ever you have) to make the notches at the top of the pocket.
      •  If your punch doesn't make a nice cut, try inserting a piece of paper to give it more stability.  If it's still gimpy, you'll need to sharpen the punch.

      •  Fill with goodies and put it in your binder/binders.


        • Adhere examples of dies to the inside (front) of the pocket.  If you put them onto colored CS first, it works great and doesn't get damaged with repeated removal of the die.
        • You can store your spellbinders this way too, on CS with a strip of magnetic tape attached.
        • If you have thicker dies, you can create a pocket for them as well, but it takes a bit more work, let me know if you need those instructions.
        • Yes, I know you can do the cutting without the tape, but the ruler can easily slip.  The tape helps to prevent that and is an added ridge that could stop your knife from slipping with the ruler.

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