Sunday 17 September 2017

New Die Prepping and Storage

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.\

As I've mentioned my kids are back to school (yay!) and that means that they have brought home all sorts of nasty germses (Gollum voice) and all those nasty germses have manifested in the mama. I have had the worst cold since I don't even know when. I slept for 13 hours last night. 13. Hours. In one night!! Craziness!

So in light of my inability to move, I don't have a product review for you today. But fear not! I do have a fun post lined up that I think you'll find very helpful. I've had a few PMs about how I deal with my dies; cleaning, storage and whatnot so I thought it may be time to share.

So here we have some brand new dies. As you can see I was so excited about them that I forgot to take the picture while they were still together. So we're just going to pretend that these are all still attached and just removed from the sticky backing and packaging they came with. (The dies here are from the Lawn Fawn "For You, Deer" set - guess what's coming for the holidays!)

Most dies are pretty easy to deal with, you just bend them apart and the little tabs break and you're done, easy peasy. But if you're like me (and let's be honest if you've been reading along this far, you just might be) those little ends are going to drive you insane.

And probably poke you. Which is not cool.

I like to use a pair of wire snips - these ones were super cheap in the wire and beading section at my local craft store, like $7? Once I get the dies apart as you can see in the picture, I lay down a damp baby wipe and snip off as much of that pokey piece as I can. The baby wipe stops it from flying away and inevitably ending up in your foot when you least expect it.

Once I have snipped off as much as I can, I use the flat metal file (also from the wire and beading section) to file down the sharp little edge as close as I can to the edge of the die.

When I get in the zone, I don't notice those sharp little bits and I've cut myself. And I've bled. On my tools, on my clothes and worst - on my projects. Again, I do the filing over a damp baby cloth because you don't need metal shaving laying around the craft room either.

Next, I deal with the sticky stuff that is on the backs of the dies. While it is wonderful that the stamping/die companies package the dies so that we can actually see them before we purchase and they aren't in a tangle at the bottom corner of the package; that adhesive, without fail is going to be stuck to the back of your dies.

Does this change the way the die works? Nope. Does it change the way the die is stored? Nope. Does it drive me as insane as the the pokey little pieces we just got rid of? Yep.

So once I've wrapped up my metal pieces and shavings, and wiped down my whole work surface, I lay out some paper towel and grab this stuff.

Un-Du. This stuff can usually be found in the sticker or stamp section of your local craft store. If not there, you can probably find it at your hardware store. It comes with a scraper attachment, I didn't like it so I took it off.

I put the dies on the paper towel and put a couple drops of this over the back and let it sit for 30-45 seconds. It has a strong odor and a slick feeling, I think it's based on turpentine or paint thinner. I have no idea but for some reason it makes me think of my Dad's workshop when I was a kid. No particular memory, just the feeling of being there.

After a time, gently roll a Q-Tip or cotton ball or a dry cloth over the goopy stuff and poof! It's gone. If it isn't all gone on the first pass, repeat the process. Then wipe with a baby wipe to get the residue off. You'll get the hang of this real quick.

This stuff is also super great for scissors or craft knives that have been gunked up by adhesive. And the bottle lasts forever. I'm going into year 2? with it and I still have about half a bottle.

Now that my dies are all apart and gunk-free, I store them in a binder. I get these adhesive magnetic sheets from the dollar store and centre them on a piece of cardstock. I slide that inside a regular school page protector and into the binder.

I write the brand and name of the die somewhere on the cardstock as well, just so I know what is where and if anything has gone missing (kids). And so I can reference it when I'm doing posts for you guys.

As my die collection has grown, this isn't the most ideal storage for them. Sooner or later the weight of the dies is going to do a number on the rings or rip the plastic from the page protectors, but so far it has worked out for me.

Side note:
This whole process can take a while, especially if you've never done it or just got a bunch of brand new dies. I like to set up my iPad and watch Netflix or Youtube while I do this. Once you have your current collection done, upkeep is easy if you get into the habit of doing it as soon as you get new dies.

I hope you found today's post helpful. If you haven't already please follow me on the right side bar, you can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about this or suggestions for a future post, please toss me a line in the comments section below. I love to hear from you.

*disclaimer: all the information above is based upon my experiences through trial and error and what works best for me. I am not sent products to review and I receive no payment, reward or incentive to do so. All the information here is my experience and opinion only.


  1. awesome ideas. I store them in a similar way, but in a box instead of the binder.

  2. Thanks for the tip on cutting the Dies as those little nips left on the die after I cut them apart drives me insane so going to try this. Have a great day!!

  3. I never thought to file them I just tried to cut as close as possible.

  4. Love un-do! I was storing my dies in a binder like you. Unfortunately the binder became too heavy so I added a 2nd binder. It became annoying having to flip through them even with a picture showing which binder had which dies. Now they are in a box close to my desk. I glued magnetic vent covers from the hardware store to heavyweight chipboard. I also label mine and I add any stamp sets that go with the dies.

  5. good info! Would love to see more styles of of how people are storing the dies


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