Quick Tip: Ink Pad Organization + Free Template

By | 07/06/2020

I have a quick tip for you today and a free template to help swatch and organize your ink pads.Ink pad organization FREE template

I’ve made no secret about how much I love Altenew, Catherine Pooler and Distress Oxide inks.  Those are the inks that I have and use all the time.  I have tried other inks and have found other to be wonderful as well, but these are the ones I made the decision to purchase.

I picked Catherine Pooler inks because they are bright and vibrant.  I love the color collections that she has created and the coordination of colors.  I also love how easy they are to open and I LOVE the foam ink pad and the oval shape.  Foam is by far my favorite type of ink pad to stamp with.  It gives you great coverage.

Another benefit of Catherine’s inks: there are less than 60 colors.  I started purchasing them when she first came out with them and I added  to my selection as she added new ink pad colors. It’s very affordable to create an ink pad collection over a long period of time. I’m happy with the choice I made to keep adding as her collection grew. I did choose to purchase the full size pad collection for my Florida craft room.  I got them on sale with free shipping.  I just love these vibrant colors and beautifully inking pads!!  I’m never disappointed in these.

Ink pad organization FREE template

I picked Altenew because they sell them in 4 shades of a color that all blend and layer together beautifully.  Altenew has taken the guesswork out of  what colors will work together on their beautifully layered stamps.  These are felt ink pads and they also give fabulous coverage.  I love the oval shape.  The range of colors Altenew now has is fantastic.  The colors are stunning.

I also started collecting these when they first came out with ink pads and I’ve slowly added to this collection as the ink pads were released.  They have between 120-130 colors now.  I could never afford or justify purchasing the full size pad collection with that many ink pads now!  I’m so glad that I did this slowly over time.  It shocks me to see the price of a full set!  They are worth it, but you need to wait for a sale and have a coupon and get free shipping!!!  For my Florida craft room, I purchased the mini ink pad collection and I waited for a sale, used a coupon and got a freebie when I ordered!  It was still expensive!  But…alas, I’m in love with these inks and can’t create without them!

Ink pad organization FREE template

I have 2-120 slot slim ink pad holders from Stamp-n-Storage and a 60 slot Distress ink pad holder from Stamp-n-Storage.  My distress one is full and the 120 slot one holds all my Altenew ink pads.  The other 120 slot inkpad holder has my Catherine Pooler, the rest of the Altenew collection and those other random ink pads that I’ve gotten in kits or purchased to try.

The Distress Oxide ink pads are my 3rd set.  I also collected these as they were released and was happy to find there were only 60 colors…until last month!  Tim Holtz is now releasing more colors.  I’m going to need another Distress ink pad holder!!!

I also have to swatch those out on one of these templates.  I have not done that yet.

What I love about the Distress Oxides is the number of techniques I find to use them for.  I can use the CP and Altenew inks for those same techniques, but I really love the chalky look of the Oxides.  I think it adds a fun element to a lot of projects.  I have some of the original Distress Inks in the mini size and other Distress mediums that I love.  These are felt pads and they are square.  I rarely stamp with them because they are so versatile for techniques.

I was struggling to keep my ink pads organized, especially the Altenew ones.  They are designed to have 4 shades that layer together, so I like to keep those 4 pads together in my ink pad holder.  When you spend an entire day crafting and you have 20 ink pads sitting on your desk, putting them away can be a challenge.

I needed a key!  I created a template that serves as a swatch sheet and an organizer so I know which column and row each pad goes in.  This has made it quicker and easier to put them all away in the correct collections.

With my Catherine Pooler inks, I don’t put them in collections.  She sends a nice sheet with all her inkpad collection colors and names.  I laminated that to keep with my swatch template.  I organized her colors in rainbow order, which is how I always look for them and use them.  If I want to coordinate colors from a collection, I have the card she created to use for that purpose.  Ink pad organization FREE template

It works out beautifully!

I created a template with 120 slots then added an extra row and an extra column.  I was glad I did that because Altenew released 8 more inks after I made the template!!

My ink pad holder has 10 columns of 12 slots.  I just don’t use the bottom row on the template.  It is there if I want to make notes or add things.

You can just delete the extra rows and columns that you don’t need on the word document below.  You can’t add or delete from the PDF.  I’m adding that in case you are worried you might accidentally delete something!

This is a blank template.  You can put your colors in the order that works for you!

You will see that I used a journaling marker to print the name of the color and then stamped the ink color above the name.  You can type the names in or use a label maker if you are more of a perfectionist than I am.

I laminated mine because I keep them on my desk and these are dye based inks. That means that they are water soluble so they will run or react if you accidentally spill or spray water on them.  The laminating machine I use is an inexpensive 3M Scotch laminator.  I purchased mine over the summer one year during the back to school sales.  I got 2 boxes of the letter size thermal laminating pouches at the same time also on sale.  You need to go early to those sales, because teachers snatch those up for their classrooms.  (That’s why I purchased mine!   I used it for a lot of classroom needs!)

I use it for a lot of projects and home decor items that I create!  I’m so happy I bought it and I’m happy I didn’t buy anything more expensive than this 3M one.  This is perfect and I’ve had it for at least 10 years.

To use the ink pad templates, just put cardstock in your printer and print it out on the cardstock.  That way when you stamp the color on it, you can see exactly what it looks like on your cardstock.

Video Quick Tip:

Free Templates:

120 Ink Pad Swatch Template: Stamping Imperfection Ink Storage Swatch Sheet (Word version)

120 Ink Pad Swatch Template: Stamping Imperfection Ink Storage Swatch Sheet (PDF version)

The word version can be edited, the PDF can’t be edited.  Some people will want to change it up and some people will want to make sure that they don’t hit the wrong button and change it accidentally.

I did nothing more than create a word document and add a table with 11 columns and 13 rows.  I used it horizontally so that it has 13 columns and 11 rows giving it one extra column and row than my ink pad storage unit.  I cut one in half to use with my Catherine Pooler inks and one half for my Distress Oxide inks.

Supply List:

Are you interested in the products I used?  To make them easier for you to find, I have linked them below. (Affiliate disclosure ) Your purchases help keep my blog running at no additional cost to you and I thank you for the support!


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