March 10, 2015

Reference Binder

Hi. Today I'm sharing with you all, another important tutorial which has made my life much easier - 'REFERENCE BINDER'. This binder was created to address the following main problems.
  • All the paper printouts, tip sheets, sketches and other reference material, which is often used for crafting but not organized.
  • Keep a track of all the growing stash and maintain a reference of the following
    • Stamps
    • Dies
    • Punches

  • Easiest way to look up for stamps or other stash that you need for a project.
  • A great reference to keep track of all the stamps, dies, punches and other stash that you own. (as we may not remember a stamp set that is not so often used, bought a couple of years ago)
  • Details about all the stamp sets you own is preserved.
  • All the lookup information that you need for crafting purposes, will be in a single home.
  • No more loosing important reference documents or helpful information.
  • No more rumbling all your shelves and drawers for finding the right stamp set


Materials that you will need for making this reference binder are
  • 3 Ring Reference Binder
  • Page dividers
  • Labels
  • All the paper printouts to organize and file
  • Page protectors (Optional)
  • 3 hole paper punch (Optional)
  • Colour pens and stickers (Optional)
Below are the steps for making this binder.
Step 1. You could personalize the Reference binder front with a decorated pattern paper or a graphic printout of your choice.. This step is optional. Below is an image of how I personalized my binder, with white heat embossing and white gel pen.

Step 2.  Decide on all the categories of information that you wan't file in this reference binder. Then label the page dividers with those categories. Following are the categories that I look up to in my binder.
  1. Stamps
  2. Dies / Punches
  3. Tips
  4. Sketches
  5. Tutorials

Step 3. File papers on both sides of a page protector and arrange them into the binder. Following are the tips for organizing/ file papers onto different categories.
  • Prepare a PDF/ word document with all the images of stamps that you have in your stash.
  • You could include digital stamps that you own as well.
  • In case you have some miscellaneous stamps that you cannot find a reference image of, or rubber stamps, you could stamp them directly onto an A4 paper and file them. 
  • Take printouts of the word document that you had prepared and file them as shown below, into your page protectors.

You could also file papers by grouping similar stamps into one, to ease your look up of stamps. Eg: I filed all the sentiments together by grouping 'sentiment only' stamps as shown below.You could group or create an index for looking up stamps, based on the stamps that you own.

  • Prepare a PDF/ Word document with images of all the dies that you own. 
  • Along with dies you could also file paper punches together.
  • Take printouts of the word documents that you has prepared and file them into the page protectors.
  • In case you own paper punches, then you could punch out some samples from colour papers. You could then glue these paper punches onto A4 sheets and file them along as well. (image shown below)

  • At times you come across some creative ways to use specific stamp sets that you own, which can be a very helpful reference document to save.
  • Also, if you own any PTI stamps, then you could download and save the tip sheets that they share online for the corresponding stamp sets.
  • All the possible combinations for a layering stamps or sentiment stamp sets can also be saved.
  • All the above information can be created into a word/ PDF document. Later print all the pages and file them into the page protectors.
  • A Sample tip sheet that I have filed is shown below.

  • All those interesting sketches that you find online, or all the scraps of hand drawn sketches that you have can be filed under this category
  • Certain websites/ blogs share sketches for free, which can be downloaded and saved.
  • All the above materials can be printed out and filed under this category for reference.
  • Below image shows all the sketches that I have saved from CASE This sketch blog.

  • Any graphic design tips/ tricks that you find helpful can be saved and filed under this category.
  • Standard card sizes, shapes, templates can be saved under this category as well

The uses of this Reference binder are endless, you could expand the use of this binder to suit your specific needs.

Hope you find this tutorial helps you. Do share your ideas and opinion about this tutorial.
Thanks for stopping by. 
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