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How Do You Organize Ephemera?

Ephemera — do you have enough? Do you do both paper and fabric? How do you organize your finds?

I have been struggling to organize my ephemera in a usable fashion. I have a printer cabinet located in my utility room that contains 20 drawers filled with vintage ephemera … I rarely dive through its contents. I have 3 IKEA bins overflowing that I have been tryingto put into 12×12” clear folders, and sleeves.

If you have any suggestions on how to store ephemera in a user-friendly way, please leave a comment below. In return, your name will be entered into a drawing for a special ephemera package from my studio.

Why all this talk of usable storage? The goal was to clean off my studio work table of all the glue and paint, in order to have the space to use for fabric. I have been trying to catch up on creating journal pages for our round robin and I have been on a card making kick.

Woven paper and ephemera greeting cards created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

So to finish up this project, did I dig deep and pull out any of my stored ephemera? Nope! What I find myself really using are pint-size plastic bags that contain everything I have scraped off my table! Any scrap goes into a bag, because for sure I can’t toss it in the garbage… it might be usable!

Woven paper and ephemera greeting cards created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

In a previous blog posting, I wrote about how I created these cards. I still had more woven paper strips and wanted/felt I had to use them, so I went back and selected some additional vintage portraits to use.

Woven paper and ephemera greeting cards created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Last year in December I created mixed media collage cards (view post) using bright paints and vintage/retro sewing pattern illustrations, and I’ve made more in this style too.

Monoprints/vintage sewing pattern collaged cards by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

The backgrounds of the sewing pattern cards were printed on my 5" x 7" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate, and stamped using the great full page sized stamps by The Backporch Artessa (Kari McKnight Holbrook).

Monoprints/vintage sewing pattern collaged cards by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Since our weather forecast for Christmas Eve is temperatures breaking a record and reaching the high 70s, maybe these are actually seasonal after all!

Wishing you the same sentiments as one of the vintage ephemera downloads offered in our most recent enewsletter: a holiday season filled with prosperity, health and happiness!

Please leave me a comment about your ephemera stash, your organization tips, etc. You might be the lucky winner of a package from my studio to add to your collection!

Collaged greeting cards by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Posted in Fiber, Newsletters, Photos | 10 Replies

About Judy

I am a fiber person. I have been involved in fiber art since elementary school. After graduating college with majors in Fashion Design and Business Marketing, I have since learned to weave, sew, dye, stamp, quilt, bead. All those experiences and contacts have bought me to fiber art and mixed media through art quilts and my fiber jewelry. And I inherited the collector gene too - I enjoy hunting and gathering really cool stuff which the casual observer would think has outlived it's usefullness and use it in my art.

10 Comments to “How Do You Organize Ephemera?”

  1. Carmen Goyette

    Hi Judy!
    I don’t have bunches of ephemera but what I do have I keep in a CD holder book. The CD sleeves are plastic and hold everything just firmly enough to allow me to flip through the book and look for what i need. Plus, the book zippers closed. I found a single-CD sized book at the thrift store for $1 and it works perfectly. I use a larger (4 CD slot per page) book to hold ATCs. I use a small plastic sleeved photo album to hold my small stencils and a large photo album to hold the large stencils (both also bought at the thrift store for cheap). They fit just perfectly and I can see everything easily. I completely understand not using/knowing you have other ephemera. The stuff I don’t have in photo albums or CD holders I never use and can’t sort easily. My fabric scraps are all in huge ziplock bags, though. Can’t see to get organized with those, no matter how much time I spend on Pinterest looking at ideas 😉
    Merry Christmas! Carmen

    Reply
  2. Joanne Carpenter

    I put my bits and pieces into the plastic sleeves that are made for 3 ring binders. Then I organize them by categories into labeled binders. I then store the binders on bookshelves.

    The bits that are waiting to be put into sleeves are placed in “to be filed” trays.

    Reply
    • Judy Post author

      Joanne- good idea as well. I find the plastic sleeves frustrating it I try to use the ones that are too thin. Binders another easy find at the thrift stores.

      Reply
  3. Barb Bullen

    Oh, it’s all stashed in 12X12 binders with plastic page protectors. They are catagorized alphabetically…so I can always find them. Before, I couldn’t find anything, so it was a system developed out of shear desperation! Lol

    Reply
  4. Cheryl Demas

    It may be a holdover from my days working in an office (but more likely my slightly OCD nature), but I store my ephemera in file folders. I have a portable file box and the hanging folders in it have different categories (flowers, girls, steampunk, etc.) and the folders within each hanging folder are grouped by color. Works for me!

    Reply
  5. Cindy Lou

    I have mine organized in plastic containers with lids, labeled and stacked. They are labeled as: acrylics, watercolors, alcohol inks, collage papers (sorted by dominant colors and divided by large files), card making supplies, beads (sorted by color), epherma is labeled as collage items and separated by labeled folders (stickers, stamps, cutouts, flowers, etc.). Different papers are lined up on a bookshelf, and drawers contain different kinds of glue, pencils, pens, inks. My stained glass supplies are in a separate labeled container, and the slabs of glass is stored neatly between wood dividers. My tools are all hung on the wall on a tool board like the type men have in their garages. I know exactly where everything is since it is labeled, and it makes it so easy to clean up and put stuff away between projects.

    Reply

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