Stencil Organization 101

Posted by Anne Yorks on Friday, September 29, 2017

Ok, can I geek out a little bit over organizing stencils? Watch this fun video I posted from my Instagram account....This is the stuff a cookie girl's dreams are made of...a color-coordinated binder full of stencils. I hug it. I do.

 Check out this quick IG video.......


But trust me, they didn't start that way! I use my stencils every day and taming them (aka filing them away) has been so annoying. And finding them again also so so annoying! So I stopped putting them away and had a clean stack just sitting there...and again finding stencils became so frustrating.

So here's the story of how I tamed my stencils once and for all.

A few years ago, I picked up a three-ring 13 x 15 binder that fits 12 x 12 pages (you can find a ton of options on Amazon). This binder has some scuffs, but has held up well with lots of use. 

So let's get started!

First, to get started, my awesome helper Stacy organized our stencils into categories. We went around in circles over how to do this and ended up using the same categories from our website. I just printed the main stencil page with all the categories and used that as a guide. I have this in the front of the binder for a quick reference. There is some overlap with categories, but for the most part every stencil had a home. 

Once we had the categories figured out we popped the stencils in 12 x 12 sleeves that have 4 6 x 6 pockets. These sleeves are harder to find. Thankfully we carry them in our shop - click here to check them out!

These pockets fit the stencils perfectly! One pack of sleeves includes 10 pages. So you can easily fit 40 stencils. These pages will fit any standard 3 ring binder that is at least 13" x 15". 

But we didn't have enough pink backers leftover for all the stencils. And they are so much easier to see with a color behind the stencil. Don't you agree?

So I found these awesome 6 x 6 Origami papers on Amazon. They come in so many colors and are the perfect size.

In my opinion, solid colors would work best, so avoid the origami and scrapbooking paper with patterns. **Most** of the papers have color on both sides, but there were a few with white backgrounds. I doubled them up so there was color on both sides. Some of the colors had only 4 papers in that color...so all the yellow (even though they are different shades) are the Background/Pattern stencils. I had quite a few Christmas stencils...so again red papers, but in a few different shades. I did order TWO packs of origami paper to do the project (together about $15 with my prime account).

Then I slide a stencil in each pocket. With so many stencils on hand, I slide the stencil in the front and back of the colored square.


Finally, I have a handful of extra pages and origami papers...so I can grow with this system. Once a category has more than 8 stencils, it will need a new page. 

Here are my color coded categories (in case it is helpful):

Purple - Scrapers
Baby Blue - Baby Stencils
Hot Pink - Birthday Stencils
Red - Christmas Stencils
Yellow - Backgrounds and Patterns Stencils
Pastel Pink - Easter Stencils
Pastel Green - Flowers Stencils
Brown - Thanksgiving Stencils
Neon Pink - For the Girls Stencils
Orange - Halloween Stencils
Light Purple - PYO Stencils
Sky Blue - Sayings and Letters Stencils
Tan - Autumn and Football Stencils
Green - St. Patrick's Day Stencils
Golden Yellow - Summer Stencils
Pink - Valentine's Day Stencils

I keep my scrapers up front (with my favorite purple color). I have a lot of these for when I teach cookie classes!

And, I have the extra origami papers tucked in a back sleeve in the back for the future. 

I hope this is helpful! Are you looking to pick up some of those storage pages? Click here to find them in our shop!

Happy Decorating (and stencil organizing!),