Show & Tell: How I Organize My Stencils

I recently took on the huge task of organizing all of my stencils into some semblance of order. For a couple of years now, I’ve kept them in 13 x 15 3-ring photo albums by We R Memory Keepers, like these here. Although the description says they’re 12×12, you’ll see in the “answered questions” section that they’re really 13×15. Inside of the albums I use clear page protectors to hold the stencils.

This worked pretty well for me at first, but because I never set up a system inside the albums it soon became a mess. I’d use a stencil and just stick it back into any available sleeve. After a while, I had no idea what stencils I even had anymore. I knew it was time to straighten things out.

The first step was making piles of the various categories that I wanted to use.

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Here’s just one small area in my studio, covered with stencils. The rest looked the same, there were stencils everywhere! I asked myself more than once Why I started this project, but I pushed on. I knew that when I was done it would all be worth it and it was!


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Once I had all stencils sorted by category I put them back into their photo sleeves then back into the albums they went. I pulled out my handy-dandy label maker to make labels for the different categories and whipped up cute little spine tags using a Frida Kahlo stamp from Rubber Moon.

Here’s a quick video showing one category so that you can get an idea of how I organized them. Stencils in each category are now grouped together, regardless of size. Small & mid-sized stencils are in 8.5 x 11 sleeves and larger stencils are in 12 x 12 sleeves.

I hope you’ve found this show & tell  helpful. Thanks for watching!



2 Comments on Show & Tell: How I Organize My Stencils

  1. Julie
    May 30, 2016 at 8:17 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing. Although I do not have nearly the wonderful collection of stencils you have, I was just trying to organize my own in the ring binder busting at the seams. I have such a tiny space that seems to get in a disorganzied mess in no time. I love how you organized yours. Thank you. Thank you!!

    • Belen Sotelo
      May 30, 2016 at 9:46 am (5 years ago)

      My pleasure, Julie. Thank you for the comment. Good luck on your organization. I think you’ll find it makes art time so much easier when you can actually see and find the stencils you’re looking for! 😉 Happy Arting!


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