Feb 152013
 

In the last couple of weeks I have been organizing my paper crafting tools, moving them from plastic shoe boxes to three-ring binders to make them more visible and accessible. In previous posts I discussed how I used a variety of vinyl sleeves to store acrylic and rubber cling stamps, as well as cutting dies. These sleeves can be purchased at office supply stores.

This last week I transferred all of my embossing folders and Fiskars Texture Plates into binders. I used a standard-sized three ring binder for Cuttlebug™, Lifestyle Crafts™ (formerly QuicKutz) and Sizzix® embossing folders, and a smaller 7-1/2 inch x 9 inch binder for Fiskars Texture Plates.

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Because I already had an unused box of vinyl sheet protectors, I decided to use them for the embossing folders. However, they had to be subdivided into 2 sections to hold two embossing folders, side by side. Ahead of time, I sliced a sheet of 8-1/2 inch x 11 inch card stock in half, cutting it 1/16th of an inch shy of a half-sheet. Then I inserted it into the sheet protector, and used the edge of the card stock as my sewing guide. In almost no time at all, I had a thick stack of pages ready to insert in my binder. Instead of labeling the embossing folders, I stuck labels to half-sheets of card stock. Why? Sometimes I apply paint or embossing powder to the plastic embossing folders. You don’t want to adhere paper labels to something that will get washed later.

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Some of my embossing folders come in varied sizes, particular when I have bought them as a set. I had to sew customized pockets for them, which was surprisingly easy to do. I took a sheet of thin chipboard (the kind you find in a package of sheet protectors—no big surprise there!) and slid it inside the sheet protector. Then I used a metal ruler as a cutting guide, and sliced through the vinyl with a Slice™ ceramic cutting blade. You can use any blade that is handy, to be honest, but use a light touch. You don’t want to cut through your chipboard to the back side of the sheet protector!  Then I sewed the open sides of the pockets. The sheet protector shown below has four pockets.

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I discovered that the lightweight pages in the binder have a tendency to droop, and was afraid this would result in torn pages where the binder rings went through the pages. To remedy this difficulty, I just wrapped an elastic hair band around the binder. This worked nicely.

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My next challenge was customizing the sheet protectors to fit 5-3/4 inch x 7 inch Fiskars Texture Plates. This took more work. Initially I sliced off 1-7/8 inches from both the top and bottom of a sheet protector, and 2-7/8 inches from the right side. Then I took what was left and tried to stitch the bottom and right edges to form a pocket. This didn’t work because the two layers of vinyl were too slippery. You can’t pin vinyl, and I didn’t want to take the time to stabilize the two layers by “pinning” them with paper clips. Instead, I sliced off part of the bottom, then stitched it closed right away. Then I sliced off the right side of the page, and stitched it closed, too. Doing it in stages seemed to keep the vinyl from slipping. You’ll notice that I used a permanent marker to dot where holes need to be punched to fit the page inside the binder.

Left photo: Trim bottom edge of sheet protector and stitch it.
Right photo: Trim right edge of sheet protector and stitch it.

The finished pocket holds a Fiskars Texture Plate snugly. I hole-punched the left side of the page to fit inside the binder.

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As I was punching holes in the customized pockets, I learned that if I was even slightly off in my measurements, the page didn’t line up with the binder rings. My choices were to be more careful, or use a more accommodating punch. I used my McGill Badge/Slot Punch, and that worked much better.

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I know it sounds like a lot of work to customize vinyl sheet protectors for your embossing folders and texture plates, but I got the job done in one evening—not too bad!

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© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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  2 Responses to “More ways to modify vinyl sleeves for your papercrafting tools”

  1. These customized pages are so handy! I love the one with four pockets…great work!
    I used to have a system called a ScrapRack and it had pockets similar to these in all different sizes. I noticed that if you filled them too full that they drooped as well…something I didn’t like about the system. Your hair band is a great idea to fix that!

  2. Once again you have a fantastic storage idea! The other day, I was looking around my apartment and thinking that crafters shouldn’t be allowed to live alone. With no one else to hold me responsible, my things sometimes get a little out of hand! I’ll need to get better about organization, though, once my guy gets back!

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