Welcome to week four of the craft stash decluttering challenge, week four that is a month, where has the time gone? The good news is that my craft stash has already been reduced by thirty items that I will barely notice gone. The biggest change in the last week has been the introduction of the Silhouette Cameo 3. As this is somewhat bigger than the cameo 1 I am no longer able to stack it on top of the ScanNCut when they are not in use so I have had a bit of a move around. Not only does this mean that the two cutting machines have their own dedicated space but my Cutterpillar Pro has a much better home. Previously it was on the very edge of a counter and every time I cut something I had to catch the piece to stop it from falling, the move has been a very big little change! Enough craft room news and on with the challenge. If you are new here this is what we have covered so far:
Thoughts about my Die CollectionDies are a funny one, they spread into different categories. There are the basic Tonic Nesting Dies which I find useful to have around, I have the circles and the Scalloped Circles. There are dies which can cut into the page as well as cutting shapes to add to a page and there are the dies that also emboss rather than just cutting. Since I have had the ScanNCut I have used this to cut out any of my stamped images so I no longer need to get matching dies to go with stamps. I no longer need any fairly simple shapes because I can easily create these on the ScanNCut too (in a multitude of different sizes at that). As a craft hoarder, I am guilty of having a wide collection of dies I have never actually used and I for some reason feel worse about getting rid of these than I do with stamps or embossing folders. Probably because dies are usually so much more expensive. But then I have to remind myself again which is more valuable a collection of items I may never use or a decluttered organised workspace that I can get the full value of. My dies are in three different places so I guess it is time to get them out and see what I can do!
Die Storage Display OptionThe first set of dies are from the wall, having seen the idea on various blogs and Pinterest Boards I decided to have a go at mounting them on the beam (the room has a sloping ceiling so the beam is easy to reach) this worked really well for a few days until the extra-strong fastener gave way (in some cases the paint came off the wall bringing the magnetic sheets and dies with it!) – One of the reasons to reduce and declutter the craft stash is to repaint the room! So here are the rest of the dies that were upon the beam and ceiling!
Dies in Storage FoldersOriginally I stored my Dies in Storage EZMount Storage Folders from Create and Craft on magnetic sheets. This used to be fine but since I have had Fibromyalgia I have found they can be too heavy to handle. I still really love the folders though and use the smaller ones for stamps now with the cling panels instead of magnetic sheets. Ironically it is still the largest (and heaviest) that still has some stamps in, which can make them inaccessible on a bad day.
Dies in a DrawerThe final place I keep dies is in a draw, these include some of the unused ones still in their original packing. They are pretty accessible but hidden away and you know how it can be as a visual person, things that are out of sight can become out of mind. Hence why they are probably still in their packaging in the drawer!
For anyone interested, yes, it is the Alex draws from Ikea. I have two sets of these with an Ikea worktop and the corner desk to one side of them. When I have completed the decluttering and decorating I promise to do a craft room tour. As for how I am going to store my Dies going forward I really don’t know! I have spent more time than is healthy pouring over Pinterest boards looking for a solution that: Is not heavy to lift, is not out of sight and is not cluttered and taking up too much space. Currently, I am considering some sort of verticle storage box that I can flip through. Much like Supermarkets use for sauce packets, I’m sure you know what I mean… Let’s get down to the job I am here to do though and choose ten that I can let go, wish me luck!
Well, I am embarrassed by how easy that was I got as far as looking through the stack of magnetic sheets that had come of the beam. I have not so much chosen ten dies as ten sets of dies and I’m sorry to say they are pretty much all X cuts Nesting Dies. The reason being that they are in a variety of shapes that I do not often use. They are a straight cutting die and don’t really emboss the edges in the same way as for instance the Spellbinders do and these are dies that are easiest to replace with my ScanNCut. I am more than happy to ensure they go to a good home, I am fully aware that there are crafters who do not have the same budget I have had until recently who will really appreciate the addition to their craft stash. Here are my choices to liberate:
These simple butterfly outlines are showing their age a bit, I have some ornate Spellbinders butterfly dies and various individual ones that have come with magazines not to mention the butterflies on the Tattered Lace USB for my ScanNCut.
I don’t think I have actually used them so that is pretty much the reason why!
Flowers! I have floral quilling dies, Dreamees floral stamps that can be cut and layered, an abundance of cutting files, shall I go on? Do I need these? Absolutely not.
Ornate rectangles rarely feature in my crafting and if I decide to use them I can design my own shapes and sizes in ScanNCut Canvas.
Well, I’m calling them Paisley Bird dies, they are just right for either purpose. I bought them an age ago because I saw these birds made from them I thought were really cute. Did I ever try creating my own birds? You’ve guessed it – No!
I still like this petal shape and there is a good chance I may want to use something similar in the future, however, I have already got similar if not the same shaped cut file within the ScanNcut so they are not needed.
Postage Squares, a nice idea but stamps are rectangular, not square and if I want to use this type of cut it is most likely to recreate a postage stamp, yep, same again I’d use the ScanNCut.
I have actually used some of these over the years, there are some usefully shaped dies there. The only problem really is that the size is pre-decided. Last time I needed a tag none of them would fit the project so I created my own with the ScanNCut. Are you spotting the pattern here!
The final two sets have been put together and these are the only sets that are not from X Cuts. I believe they may be from Crafter’s Companion. They come into exactly the same category as the ones above. I have used them but have found with time that I am restricted by the size and prefer to use the ScanNCut to create my own.
Minimising Focusing on Dies AchievedOnce again I really thought I would struggle and the experience has been totally pain-free, I wouldn’t be surprised with time if I am not able to liberate more from my stash. Dies are one of the categories that I think the craft industry has seen the most altered. I think it is fair to say that it is thanks in no small part to Stephanie Weighman and Tattered Lace. She has taken die cutting to a whole new level with her intricate designs and all the dies I am liberating have simply had their day. They were once the elaborate designs that you had to have (well if you are a crafting spendaholic.) To be honest I do not have an awful lot of Tattered Lace dies I pretty much jumped to the USBs. My die collection story looks to go: X Cuts, Crafter’s Companion, Tonic and now one set from Hunkydory. When it comes to finally deciding how to store the dies I think it is going to be a shrinking collection as my digital cutting file collection continues to grow. Spoiler Alert I am hoping to start designing some cutting files of my own at some point in the not too distant future. you, of course, will be the first to know.
How is your craft stash looking? Could you do with some motivation to declutter? Why not join in and share your journey.