When I was growing up my Papa called me his princess. My husband and son treat me like one to this day. Yet, for the longest time I was a pauper to the clutter in my every day life in my home and my finances. Then one day I decided it was time to stop living like a pauper and to be the princess everyone thought of me as. This is the journey I took to de-clutter all aspects of my life and become a true PRINCESS!

Monday, March 3, 2014


As the week rolls on I find more and more to clean, sort, organize whatever you want to call it.  While most of the drawers and such have been previously organized during the big culling event last year there are odds and ends to deal with on a daily basis. I have a huge feeling that once the room is “completed” I’ll be going back through those drawers real soon and culling more as well as tidying up more in them.

Some organization is for convenience once I get into full production on cards, scrapbook pages, charts and such more than storage.  One such item was the swatch tags I did today as my project.  I decided to start them now before my embossing folder collection grew too large.

Again this is an idea I scraplifted from various sites and then tweaked it to my needs.  Most of these swatches I have seen are done on a hinged type circle key ring and in solid white.  I chose to repurpose what I already had and expand the thought a bit.
Basically these are samples of each embossing folder I have.  I made my sample cards out of white cardstock, just as everyone else has, but I also put lavender dividers in for ease of use in the future. 

Let me back up here and explain how I did it a bit better.  You could use ready made tags for this project if you like, but I have the Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge for my Cricut machine and it has a nice tag shape in it.  So I cut my own.

Setting the machine to make 4” white tags and using the fill the page feature I was able to easily get eight white tags out of each sheet.  If I had cared to work at it a bit more I could have got ten, but I was in a hurry and had plans for that additional cardstock on the edge that wasn’t going to be cut for tags.  

I cut enough to make two full sets of the swatches, plus a few extras to use in the future.  

I chose to make two sets for sheer laziness in the long run.  I wanted one set to keep in the craft room for when I was designing projects and another set to leave in my truck for when purchasing folders to help me avoid purchasing duplicates.

On the back of each tag I wrote what brand it was, the name of the folder and the size.  Then I embossed it.  One of each folder for each set.

Once I had completed all the folders I then changed my cutting size to 4.5” and switched to lavender cardstock.  This allowed for six per sheet with the excess on the side for the future project.  

These tags remained unembossed, but instead were labeled on the bottom edge with the different categories I file my folders under: celebrations, fauna, flora etc. 

Next came binding the swatches together.  This is where my repurposing came in.  I did not own any of those hinged type key rings, which I believe are called book rings,  so I looked around for alternatives.  

I had just culled items under my bathroom sink earlier that day and came up with a ring that previously held elastic ponytail holders.  We are a bunch of long haired people here so we purchase a lot of those bands.  

By removing the bead from one end of the holder I was able to easily fill it with the swatches and the dividers in just seconds.  This was destined to become my traveling swatch set.

No second ring was available at this point so I grabbed a scrap of lavender with white polka dot ribbon and threaded the second set onto it.  This set will stay in my storage box with the folders. 

The longest part of the entire project was embossing the tags, and anyone who does this type of embossing that doesn’t take long at all.  

The end result is two sets of swatches that will allow me to shop and plan with ease in the future.

Don’t do embossing?  Then think about other things you do create with.  You could make similar sets to keep samples of colors of paints, chalks (be sure and seal with fixative so it doesn’t smear), colored pencils, fabric.  The possibilities are endless.

Not a crafter?  Are you remodeling?  Attach samples of your wallpaper, drapery fabric, dabs of your paint, small photos of your furniture etc to them so when you are shopping you have the exact samples you need to match up to.

An additional hint here, that I’ve used numerous times when trying to match fabrics, upholstery samples etc and I have nothing I can cut a swatch from to haul with me.  Embroidery floss.  It’s cheap, it comes in hundreds of colors, every color and hue under the rainbow.   Plus it is very portable.  Attach a good size piece to the swatch card to haul with you instead of lugging sofa cushions around like I saw one woman doing. 

Whatever your need to match up, or to avoid buying duplicates of these little swatch cards are very handy.

Jan who loves the look of these swatches and the ease they came together in OK

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