Copic Marker Storage

Copic Marker Storage

copic pile

Copic markers are great for adding color to images, backgrounds, etc.  There are so many colors from which to choose (over 350), and they blend beautifully to add shading, detail and depth to any project.  I used to store my markers in a shoe box, but as my collection grew, storing my markers in an organized way became a must for me.  I based my storage system on the letter/number system (with natural blending groups) that the Copics fit into.  And I made sure my storage system would allow me to easily add newly acquired markers.


Slotted Trays

In my craft room, I use storage trays by Crafter’s Companion.  I believe they are designed to store Spectrum Noir markers, but the Copic markers (sketch, ciao, and original) all fit in the slots perfectly.

single tray  marker trays

Depending on where you buy them, you can get them as a single tray, or they come 6 in a pack.  (They kind of snap into place if you are stacking them- either on a diagonal or lined up straight.)  I’ve included a few links of places I’ve seen them:

I purchased singles at markerpop.com (See HERE.)

I purchased a box of 6 at Staples.com (See HERE.)

They are also available on amazon.com (See HERE).

I usually keep the trays on the shelf and bring the markers that I need to my desk.  Occasionally, I need to bring the whole stack, though, so I put some decorative duct tape on the sides to keep them from coming apart and spilling all over the place.

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How My Markers Are Organized:

I arrange my markers by keeping all the letters together, and then I arrange the markers in chronological order within the letter groups.

(click on photo to see a closer view; use back arrow to return to post)

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 Why do I arrange them like this?  Understanding what those letters and numbers mean might make it clearer!

Copic Markers have letters and numbers on the caps (or on the marker) to give information about the color itself and to help you see what markers will blend together nicely.

The Letter(S) stands for the Color family:  E = Earth, C = Cool Gray, B = Blue, YR = Yellow-Red, etc.

Copic Caps

The First Number represents the Blending Group or the saturation of the color.  Lower numbers are more vibrant (or more pure), and higher numbers have more gray (or are toned down). So B04 is a more vibrant or more pure blue than B24 which has more gray in it.

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(The E’s are a little different since you can get brown from so many different color combinations, but there are still groups of browns that seem to go together.)

The Last Number(s) represents the Specific Value or shade – how light or dark a color is.  The lower the number, the lighter the shade.  So within the same color family (B2), B24 is a lighter blue than B29.

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A Natural Blending Group is a sequence of specific values (light to dark) within the same color family and the same blending group.  In other words, a blending group of markers will be markers where the letter(s) and first number are the same and the end numbers change.  (Only the shade varies.)  When these colors are blended together, they coordinate  perfectly, especially if you choose end numbers within 2-3 digits from each other.  Use (end numbers) 0-3 for highlights, 4-6 for mid-tones, and 7-9 for shadows.

cop blending family

Using a Natural Blending Group is simply a guideline; any color has the potential to blend with any other color.  But for storage purposes, I chose to keep the blending groups together. This allows me to quickly and easily make color choices for my projects and is why I store them grouped with like letters and in chronological order.

Since I do not own all of the colors, I have left spaces for new markers.  However, the markers are easy to move around if necessary.


Label Strips

In addition to having the markers arranged “in order” in the trays, I also made strips of cardstock with the letters/numbers of each marker and put them in each of the slots with the corresponding marker. When I work, I pull out all of the markers that I plan to use for a project.  These labels show me very quickly where they go when I am done with them!  This is particularly helpful when trying to replace markers that go near the ciao markers since these don’t have letters and numbers on the caps.  (They are on the markers themselves.)

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Because these strips are just card stock, they can easily be moved to other slots if necessary when new markers are purchased and the old ones need to be rearranged to make room.


Travel Wallets

For traveling with my markers, I have 2 “wallets” that I use.  One holds 72 markers and the other holds 36 markers.

72 closed   72 open

36 wallet

I really like these wallets for traveling because the markers are very secure and easy to carry.  The reason I do not use these as my primary way to store my markers in my craft room is because I couldn’t use my card stock labels, and they were not big enough to hold all of my markers.  Also, the markers are held pretty firmly in place with elastic, and moving all of the markers every time I bought a new one would be a bit cumbersome!  It is fine as an “every once in a while” thing, but for every day use, I find the trays work best.

Click HERE to see 72 marker wallet on amazon.com

Click HERE to see the 36 marker wallet on amazon.com


Color Swatch Book

One final thing I want to share with you is my Copic Color Swatch Book.  This contains a blank rectangle for each of the Copic markers available.  The book has the markers arranged the way I arrange them on the trays and really helps when setting up the trays initially!  When I purchase a marker, I color in the rectangle that corresponds to that marker.  This helps me keep track of the markers I own.    Coloring in the “swatch” also shows the true, actual color of each of the markers which makes choosing colors for a project much easier than relying on the caps.

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Click HERE to see it on amazon.com


(Some of the above photos were found on google images, some were found at the various links provided, and some were taken by me.)

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Ranger Ink Pad Storage Rack

Ranger Ink Pad Storage Rack

Most of the stamp pads that I use regularly are stored behind my desk in racks on the pegboard.

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I found these great wire racks at the Ranger Warehouse Sale that they hold once a year at the Ranger Headquarters in Tinton Falls, NJ.  (HERE  is the link to their blog post announcing this year’s sale.)  I went this year and last, and they had these racks both times, for $5 a piece.  Incredible value, I think!! (I think they are usually sold with ink pads to suppliers; I guess they sell off the surplus at the warehouse sale because I can’t find them sold separately online or in stores anywhere.)

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I have 3 of them and have them hanging on hooks on my pegboard.  They are easily removed and can stand upright on my desk if needed, but I usually just leave them hanging.

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I have each of my ink pads in a 4″ x 6″ plastic bag.  I do this to keep a foam pad for the foam applicator for each color with the ink pad and also to keep the ink from drying out.  (I’m not sure if that’s at all necessary, but I just feel better keeping them sealed well!)

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HERE is a link for the bags I use for my ink pads.

A note about storing ink pads on their sides – I have heard some people say that ink pads are best stored upside down so the ink stays on the surface of the pad.  I have been storing my ink pads on their sides without a problem.  I did have a problem years ago when the few ink pads I owned were just tossed in a cardboard box, and they dried out.  I don’t know if the lids were not secure since they were bumped about in the box, or what, but that is why I now store them in the bags.  I also tend to ink up my stamps by keeping the stamp on the table facing up and tapping the ink pad down on the stamp.  As I work, I place the ink pad face down on its lid on my desk.  Maybe, the ink “moves” to the surface while it sits on my desk like that – who knows!!

For what it’s worth, I found this HERE on the ranger site :   “How should I store my Distress Ink Pads?    The molded plastic case is designed to create the proper fit needed for the ink formulation. While storing the pads flat with the bottom side up will neither help nor hurt, we usually store pads on their sides or flat with the right side up.”  I’m not sure if this is correct for all ink pads.

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IRIS Scrapbook Case and Craft Organizer Tray

IRIS Scrapbook Case and Craft Organizer Tray

I use these scrapbook cases for storing quite a bit of stuff in my craft room.  They are the perfect size to hold 12″ x 12″ paper and other scrapbooking materials that size.  They are roomy enough to hold a lot of stuff, but not so much stuff that it becomes hard to find things in the box.  I store my re-inkers in one, alcohol inks and supplies in another, heat embossing stuff in one, etc.  These scrapbook storage boxes are sold separately or with the storage unit (scrapbook chest).

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IRIS 6-Compartment Storage System

I also really like the organizer tray that was designed to fit inside this box.

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The organizer comes with 10 adjustable dividers which is nice because they hold items in place if you don’t have enough to fill the section of the tray completely.

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One of the things I use the case and organizer tray for is my Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads.

I have 44 ink pads and several foam applicator tools in mine.  (The right column is wider than the middle two; the left column is smaller and not as wide as a distress ink pad.  However, if you rotate the ink pad a quarter of the way around, you can fit a few more on the left.)  I have each of my ink pads in a 4″ x 6″ plastic bag.  I do this to keep a foam pad for the foam applicator with each ink pad and also to keep the ink from drying out.  (I’m not sure if that’s at all necessary, but I just feel better keeping them sealed well!)

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I made my own labels for my ink pads since you can’t see the colors when they are stored in the box.  I recently found a pdf file here that contains labels for the distress pads on the ranger site:

http://www.rangerink.com/pdf/organize/DistressInkPads_Labels_2016.pdf

http://rangerink.com/pdf/organize/Distress_MiniPad_Labels_CHA2016.pdf

I like how they are colored and may need to re-label mine!

pdf file

(There are a lot of good organizational goodies on their site which you can check out here: http://rangerink.com/organize-your-ranger-products/.)

I store this box (and one other that contains extra foam applicators, foam pads, mini misters, reinkers, etc.) in the storage unit.

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A note about storing ink pads on their sides – I have heard some people say that ink pads are best stored upside down so the ink stays on the surface of the pad.  I have been storing my ink pads on their sides without a problem.  I did have a problem years ago when the few ink pads I owned were just tossed in a cardboard box, and they dried out.  I don’t know if the lids were not secure since they were bumped about in the box, or what, but that is why I now store them in the bags.  I also tend to ink up my stamps by keeping the stamp on the table facing up and tapping the ink pad down on the stamp.  As I work, I place the ink pad face down on its lid on my desk.  Maybe, the ink “moves” to the surface while it sits on my desk like that – who knows!!

For what it’s worth, I found this HERE on the ranger site :   “How should I store my Distress Ink Pads?   The molded plastic case is designed to create the proper fit needed for the ink formulation. While storing the pads flat with the bottom side up will neither help nor hurt, we usually store pads on their sides or flat with the right side up.”


Another thing I use the box and organizer for is ribbon storage.

I have to confess, I am not a lover of ribbon as some crafters are.  (I use a lot more jute, raffia, etc.)  I admire ribbon on others’ projects, but I often can’t seem to make it work on mine.  As a result, I probably own less than most, but what I do have was making me crazy because I didn’t know what to do with it!  Originally, I had all the spools thrown in a few plastic bins with lids.  I could never find the colors I needed, and the ribbon always unraveled and got tangled when I rooted around the bins. When I moved into my craft room, it all got placed in a drawer which quickly became an even bigger disaster than the original bins because it was bigger so there was more of a mess in there!  Then I discovered that the ribbon fits nicely in these scrapbook cases, and if you use the organizer trays in them, the ribbon all stays put!

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The dividers that come with the tray hold the ribbon in place if there isn’t enough to fill a whole column, and when the lid is closed, the ribbon does not move around at all!  Again, one of the columns is wider than the middle two and one is more narrow.  The small spools of ribbon that I bought in packs at the craft store fit perfectly in the thinner one.  I have two of these boxes filled and they sit stacked in the drawer.  (There were a few spools that were larger than most that didn’t fit in the case so I put those in a box to the side.  Since there are so few, it’s easy to keep them in order.  I also have loose pieces of ribbon in a bag stored with the larger spools.)

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I put my twine, jute, string, yarn, raffia, etc. in the bins I was using before since they are too big for these boxes.  This system is working out much better for me!

 

HERE is a link for the bags I use for my ink pads.


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Stamp Storage

I’d like to share my system for stamp storage with you!

(I’m going to show you the types of containers I use for storing my stamps and my system for easily locating all of my stamps when I need them for projects.  My system is easily adapted for using any containers you either prefer or may have on hand.  Here’s what I use …)

This is the corner of my craft room where all of my stamps are located.  (You can click on the photo to get a larger view.)

01 Craft Room Stamp Storage

I have 4 different types of containers where stamps are stored:  BINDER POUCH, VHS CASE, CD CASE, and BOX (with number).


The first type of container is a BINDER POUCH filed alphabetically in baskets on the shelf unit.  These binder pouches (actually called binder pockets) are from Staples and are the perfect size for my Gina K Designs stamp sets and for most of the other larger unmounted sets I have.  I use Gina K binder sheets to store my unmounted rubber and acrylic stamps, and they fit in these pouches perfectly  The pouches have velcro to keep the stamps or sheets of stamps from falling out.  I make a label with the name of the stamp set and company for the outside and a copy of the stamp images for inside.  (I would have used all clear pouches, but usually Staples carries more of the colored ones at a given time.)


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The rest of my stamps are stored on the tall VHS storage shelf or in the media cabinet.


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The second type of container is a VHS case filed alphabetically and stored on the tall VHS storage shelf.  (I had more than would fit on this shelf so they continue into the cabinet to the right.)  All of my wood-mounted Stampin’ Up stamps are stored in these cases.  I ordered these cases online where they came with flat interiors (no hub).  I put labels containing the names of the sets on the spines of the cases.

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The third type of container I use is a CD Jewel case filed alphabetically in the media cabinet.  I bought these at Staples.  They need to be the standard (thicker) cases, not the slim ones.  The inner part that normally holds the CD in place is removed and the stamps stick to the inside. A picture of the stamp set is copied (and reduced if necessary) and attached to the front.  I put labels containing the names of the sets and the companies that make them on the spines of the cases.  These are for smaller sets of unmounted stamps.

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The fourth type of container I use is a plastic box that is often used for school supplies.  I purchased a bunch of these at Walmart when they had all of their back to school stuff out. These boxes have numbers on them.  These contain miscellaneous wood-mounted stamps.  I don’t worry about separating these stamps by theme; I just fill up a box and move on to the next one.

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Here’s how my system works.

All of my stamp images are located in this “Stamp Index” binder.  I’ve divided the binder into the categories I use when looking for stamps.

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I either stamp the actual image on the page in the binder, or I use a copy of the label or image sheet that came with the stamp set.  I make a note on the sheet of the location  where I store the stamp.

Here’s an example of a page in the binder.

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For this one, I copied the original image sheet that came with the stamp set.  I made multiple copies of this sheet and placed them in all of the categories that I would look when looking for these stamps. This particular sheet can be found in the following sections:  flowers, leaves, encouragement/sympathy, and GKD sets (alphabetical).

When I need a stamp, I look in the category in the notebook to find the image I want.  Then I note where it is stored (binder pouch, vhs case, cd case, or box#).  Then I simply find the corresponding container and get to work.


Here is a card sample and how I would have found the stamps to create it:

11 Craft Room Stamp Storage

If I wanted to make this Christmas card, I would first look in the binder in the Christmas section.  I would flip through the pages until I found the image I wanted to work with.

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The deer image is on this page.  The sheet tells me it’s in a binder pouch and is in a set called “Christmas Silhouettes” so I’d go to the baskets and pull the alphabetically filed pouch with that label.

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In addition to the deer stamp, I also need the sentiment stamp to create the background.  I found that in the Christmas section in the binder as well.

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The sheet containing the stamp I want says this set is in a VHS case and is part of a Stampin’ Up set called “Star Santa” so I’d go to the shelf and find it alphabetically.

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Here’s another sample card.

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This is a birthday card so I’d look in the birthday section for my stamps.  (This owl could also be found in the “Birds” section.)

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I can see that this stamp set is in a CD case and is called “Birthday Hoot” so I’d find it in the cabinet filed alphabetically.

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Another example:

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This card required a number of stamps, but if I were just looking for the pumpkin stamp, I’d look in the fall section of the binder.

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This is an example of an image I stamped directly on the page in the binder.  Next to the image, it says it is in Box 14 so I’d go to the box labeled 14, and this wood-mounted stamp will be in there.

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Another one:


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This is another Christmas card so I’d look in the Christmas section in the binder.  The santa image is in box 19.  Notice that all of the Christmas stamps on this page are stored in different boxes (which contain non-Christmas stamps as well).  The number next to the image in the binder makes it easy to find this particular stamp regardless of the theme or category.

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To find the greeting stamp, I’d find it in the Christmas section of the binder as well.

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According to the sheet, this one is in a CD case.

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A final example:

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The images on this card would be filed under Miscellaneous in my binder.  (It would also be in the birthday section.)

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This system makes it very easy to locate stamps quickly.  Browsing through the binder in each section also helps me to remember what stamps I have.  It does require a little work when I first purchase a stamp or set, however.  A sheet needs to be added to the binder in all of the sections that would help me find it later.  I also need to prepare a label.  However, once it’s categorized and “filed” in the appropriate container, it is easy to locate.


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