Crafts · Paper Crafts

Samples and Inspiration Book

     It’s probably a really common thing to have but I’ve recently discovered how useful it is to have a book of samples, tests and inspirations – does anyone else have one?

      Mine is this cute little notebook I picked up from Flying Tiger a while back:

     I didn’t have a plan for it when I got the notebook, I just thought it was cute! When I finally started using it, I thought I’d use it for keeping track of different crafts I could make, detailing out all the things I would need for it and any notes worth taking about the project.

     But, I never seemed too bothered about filling things in. I listed a few crafts at the start but never updated it so I stopped with that use for the book.

     With all but a few pages left blank, I thought I’d try use my book as an inspiration book, somewhere I could stick in pictures of things I wanted to try make:

     This seemed like a great idea – I could cut out pictures from magazines and have a one stop spot for ideas! Only then I realised that I don’t actually buy craft magazines and most of my ideas come from online so I’d have to print them out first and then stick them in…

     Okay, so scrap that use for this notebook too!

     Onto idea number three – somewhere to test out my stamps, dies and embossing folders.

     I don’t know about you but sometimes, I just forget what craft supplies I have!

    I liked the idea of having a book I could flick through to see everything I have so that when I am watching card making videos, I can quickly see if I have suitable supplies to try out a technique and such. I have folders of stamps that I can flick through which is handy but those folders are up in my craft room and a bit bulky for when I’m lounging on the couch watching YouTube videos. Also, just looking at an embossing folder doesn’t really give you a good impression of what effect you’ll get – you really need to see a sample of it to know if it’s what you want on your project.

     I set to work with my stamps and some black ink and very quickly stamped everything onto the pages of my little notebook. I wasn’t bothered about perfect stamping at all – I didn’t need it to be perfect, just recognisable as to what the stamp was! I didn’t even put my clear stamps on clear blocks to stamp, just kept them on the backing they were on! It kept the job simple and quick but being able to see roughly what the stamps look like on paper is just great.

     As for the embossing folders, I cut a few pieces of white card and ran them through my die cutting machine.

     Before sticking them onto the pages, I did run some ink pads over them, well half of each one, to get an idea what that looked like because I do often use my embossed pieces like that (especially that wood one). I really do think this will help me use my embossing folders more because I often forget about them but now they’re at the start of my samples notebook so I tend to see them every time I open it up.

     The die-cutting went similar to the embossing – I grabbed some coloured card (just to make the shapes easier to see) and ran everything through my machine.

     For the set I have of shapes that can layer on top, I made sure to use different colours just so I could easily see how they might work together.

     I did also stick some examples of the dies in use. These were from cards I was making that I made mistakes on but I saved these parts for my books because they’ll remind me of what I can do with my supplies.

     So that’s my samples book, as I’m calling it. There’s still many more pages to fill and I’m going to make an effort of stamping any new stamps I get into it as well as testing out those dies and embossing folders. I think this will be the use that sticks! It’s just really handy having one notebook to check for my supplies. I definitely recommend doing something like this for whatever material you work with in your crafts!


19 thoughts on “Samples and Inspiration Book

  1. This is a great idea. I have a couple of binders from college with supply and technique samples. I love the idea of going through the studio and documenting the look of particular tool/media and documenting technique.
    I keep art journals, by subject, that have notes, sketches, photos of completed art and sometimes the creative process. I often carry them with me and refer to them often when starting a new painting.
    Thanks for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂
      What a useful resource to have! Always great to have notes on how you’ve achieved a certain look. I often forget what I did to get a certain effect and can never reproduce it 😀


  2. Brilliant idea! I’d thought of doing the stamp thing previously, but have been put off because of the amount of stamps I have. But having seen yours, I really think I should get going on it.

    I hadn’t given the Embossing folder thing a thought. …. WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!!! Emma I love it and am going to adopt it. I’m going off tomorrow to see if I can find a book which will work for me.

    While I’m here … I’ve nominated you for the Blue Sky Tag Award.

    It’s not a complicated award. All you have to do is answer 5 crafty questions. Nominate 5 other people for the award and then simply pose 5 questions for those people to answer. (you can use my questions if you like).

    But … if you would rather not get involve Emma, that’s fine and groovy. Just pop over to my blog and leave me a message saying that you’d rather not be nominated and I’ll remove your name and link and replace it with someone else. No worries, and … I’ll still love you to pieces. 😀
    Sending squidges … and thanking you for the brilliant idea!
    ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely do it, even if you have a lot of stamps – actually, all the more reason to do it! Even if it takes some time 🙂
      And thanks for the nomination! I’ll definitely do it! (Although you know me, it could take up over a month to do that xD)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Aanytime you like. Whenever you have a few spare minutes. No pressure, no worries.

      I’m absolutely going to do it. I’ve dug out my (unused) journals and just have to decide which one I will use.
      It’s going to happen, I promise! ~ C xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An amazingly inspirational idea – perfect occupation for those odd days when your mojo has disappeared and a great idea for tracking what you have and don’t have lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely a good project to get going when your mojo is down! You don’t have to do anything creative but still get to work with your supplies and if if you’re lucky, something will spring to mind when you do!


  4. Good idea! My stash is kind of beyond the cataloguing size, but certainly when K had less stuff this would have been very useful. Might still manage it one day, when I move house… it really does sound like a good way to kick start some inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe a bit intimidating to start if you have a large stash! Definitely worth doing so if you’re ever reorganising supplies though – or just do a small bit at a time and see it as a long term project xD

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea! I started a binder of sorts with my imprints of my embossing folders but didn’t really stick to it. Inking them is a great idea too. THanks for sharing your creativity. Such a clever idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only recently went on a shopping spree but they are few and far between. I usually only shop when there is a great bargain going on and I have my trusty coupons. I do go a bit crazy when they have embossing folders on sale for $2 or less combined with a 20%. Off coupon. Then I have to give myself a strict budget. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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