I love my stencils, but they were starting to get unruly. Flipping through a basket just wasn't working anymore. So I recently buckled down and figured out how to organize them in a way that is both easy to set up and easy to maintain. Since my Blending Sponge Organization worked out for so many of you, I thought this might be worth sharing too!
The fact that using a binder for my sponges worked so well meant that I was already fairly committed to the idea of using a binder for stencils, too. The only problem with using the same Kraft binder is that many of the stencils in the Papertrey line are too wide to fit into the half-size page protectors (though some are not, so you could use the smaller binder depending on your needs). Luckily, there are plenty of quality binder options on the market so I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding an alternative.
I ended up choosing a blue Martha Stewart binder. The faux-leather and fabric construction makes it nice and sturdy and will hopefully hold up to plenty of use. Inside the binder are pockets that I'm using to hold the stencils I haven't gotten around to making pages for yet. It's a really quick process though, so I'm sure the pocket will be emptied before long.
The pages themselves are fairly straightforward. I simply printed the name of each stencil along with the number of stencils in each collection at the top of an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of white cardstock (that font is Century Gothic for any of you who might be wondering).
Each stencil got its own page rather than an entire collection on one sheet. I chose to do it that way so I could sponge a bit of each pattern on the page to have a reference for what the design really looks like when stenciled. It also helps keep the stencils from getting caught and tangled on one another. No one likes a tangled (and potentially damaged) stencil.
I printed out all of the pages first and just used one ink color (Aqua Mist) for the whole book to help streamline the process. Then I tucked the sheet and stencil into a page protector. There are two sheets and stencils in most page protectors. The sets with three stencils just span two pages in the binder.
I divided the stencils into five groups and then alphabetized each group. The categories are Stencil Basics, Stand-Alone Collections, Make It Market Mini Kits, Make It Market Large Kits, and Color Pop Kits (which, yes, are Make It Market Minis, but there are enough of them that I thought they deserved their own section).
This project was such a no-brainer for me. It's so much quicker to find what I need now! And it's so easy to pop out the page I need and slip the stencil in and out of the sleeve. Like I said, I had been storing everything in a basket on my workbench, but this has proven to be a far superior solution. I'm really glad I bit the bullet and finally put this binder together. I truly hope you have found this helpful. Happy organizing and happy crafting! Have a wonderful weekend!