Storing Dies – Solving a Paper Crafter’s Dilemma

I love dies!  They are a great tool, but there are so many on the market you can go bonkers and end up with a storage dilemma!

I  use lots of Spellbinders and I love the dies that Memory Box, Poppy Stamp, Couture Creations and My Favorite Things put out.  I have some Sizzix too, but not many.  I find the size and thickness of those other Tim Holtz dies too problematic to store, so though I have a couple I no longer buy them.

The dies I do buy are thin.  They may be thin, but they are weighty.

When I first starting using dies, about six or seven years ago now,  I kept them in their packets in a small box.  I kept buying more dies [all paper crafters know it is addictive!] and they graduated to a large shoe box or two, where they got all muddled up and I spent more time hunting for what I wanted then actually die-cutting.

About two years ago they found themselves being fitted onto magnetic sheets and being stored in a purpose built plastic case.  Which the growing number of them soon out-grew. This solution was also problematic – the cases are pricey and the specially shaped magnetic sheets are also pricey.  The cases hold a finite amount of dies and do not hold the larger ones at all [Spellbinders ‘Grands’ for example.]

Their next home was an apartment building of 3 hard cover large ring binders, still attached to their magnetic sheets and each sheet individually encased in a plastic sleeve.

That seemed to work better than any of the previous scenarios, but the weight of the combined dies in each folder made for two problems.

1: hoisting the folders down from their storage shelf and back up again [I’m short and leaning over the work bench and reaching up to the shelf with weighty things can be fraught in a crowded working space – if you drop a folder it breaks stuff!]

2: the weight was tearing the plastic sheets away from the binding holes, making the folders unstable and searching for items more difficult.

There was still also the issue of searching through weighty pages of dies to find the one I was looking for.

Then a couple of weeks ago someone in my local Freecycle group advertised 30 new, empty DVD cases to give away.

I was on the phone like a shot!

When I got to the house to collect the cases the lovely man asked me how many I wanted.  “All of them” I said – meaning ‘all thirty.’ and explained what I wanted to do with them.  He swooped up two boxes and carried them to the car.  When I got home I discovered I had ninety new, empty DVD cases.


Here’s a shot of about forty of them:

Die Storage 2

All beautifully and tidily lined up, labelled and categorised.   Every Virgo’s dream  🙂

Some of the fronts even have a picture of the contents, others just a list.

Die Storage 5

Open one up and take your pick – this is a selection of my favourite embellishment type dies::

Die Storage 3

This is a Sizzix set of stamps and dies – most recently used in the making of the ‘Box to Book’ project:

Die Storage 4


No more hunting through pages of heavy dies – now a quick peruse down the spines and Hola!  there is the one I want to use!

Die Storage 1

I love my little mannequin posed there – he ever so slightly reminds me of C-3PO out of Star Wars ….. Perhaps I should paint him – is it silver or gold, I can’t remember – what do you think?

There is now one remaining large folder housing the  aforementioned ‘Grand’s’ and a couple of extra long lace edge dies from Couture Creations.  Not a problem with just six pages to sort through.

The remaining DVD cases are now being utilised to store acrylic and unmounted rubber stamps – still in progress.

And there we are my friends, one less dilemma in the creative space   🙂  It is working really well and is encouraging me to use my dies more often as they are so easily accessible!

Thanks for dropping by today, I love that you did!

28 thoughts on “Storing Dies – Solving a Paper Crafter’s Dilemma

    • My goodness you are having a long visit – I didn’t realise I’d posted so much without you dropping by! You are a good friend to take the time to have a look at everything! Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement, I really appreciate it!


      • I love catching up on all your goings-on. Monty and my two little cherubs (i have two sons aged 6.5 and 8 years) keep me very busy in between times! : )))xox


  1. oh my word you have a lot of dies, and fellow enthusiast here can imagine what pleasure it brings to look at them and admire how well organized everything is!


  2. Fantastic, you are so clever Pauline. I have to look for some DVD cases too. I’ve also been collecting for a little bit. I love Memory Box and Sizzix and like you, have very few Tim Holtz. His packaging is terrible. I love those dies in your ‘Favourite Embellishments’ case, I’ve not seen any of them here. It’s so awesome to be organized. I’m keeping mine in a vintage travel case right now, but you’re right, I spend a lot of time looking thru them.


    • Thanks Boomdee 🙂 Those dies you like are all Memory Box, except for the brown doily which I’ve forgotten the brand of…. I got it in a sale and its been just marvelous. I like that Memory Box dies come in those little envelopes. I stand all the envelopes in a box and cut extra when I am at the die machine and store them in their envelopes for later use….. So organised ! lol


      • Hey, that’s a really good idea to cute extra….I’m going to copy that too! HA. I’m going to visit the Memory Box Web site. The store I buy them at will order you what you want….dangerous right? HA


        • Copy away – that’s why we are here, to inspire and help each other. God knows I get so much inspiration from everyone else! Very dangerous! I hope you have a sizeable budget! 🙂 I’m trying hard to curb my die buying – but then I went and got other stuff instead…. it’s an addiction!


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  4. Oh….I have a Big Shot but use embossing folders in it mainly. I do have 3 die sets…but the Tim Holtz ones. I do like the look and versatility of the Spellbinders….may have to try them out.
    Great score on the cases! Awesome storage idea. xoxo


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