Stitch Craft Create Blog

Inspiration Notebooks

I admit it: I’m a magazine hoarder. Not only am I an impulse buyer, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them long after they’ve been read! A few years ago, my collection of issues really started to pile up; so I came up with a solution for saving my favorite ideas to free up much-needed storage space. Now, instead of overwhelming stacks of magazines, I have neatly organized “inspiration notebooks” that are extremely valuable and useful to me when I’m feeling creatively “stuck.”
All you need to get started is a three-ring binder and a box of clear page protectors. Set yourself up on the floor or at a large table with some great music or TV show, an empty plastic bag or trashcan for scraps  (something you can easily toss into the recycling bin later) and a pair of scissors and/or paper trimmer. Start paging through your stash of magazines, tearing out anything that speaks to you – whether it be an amazing DIY idea, a beautifully styled interior, a great party idea, etcetera, and set them aside. If you’ve got a ton of magazines to go through, I recommend that you don’t spend tons of time on this part – flip through the pages quickly and go with your gut reaction!

After you’ve amassed a decent stack of torn-out pages, divide them into categories; my inspiration notebooks tend to be split up by holidays and/or seasons, with one notebook dedicated completely to amazing home decor ideas and non-holiday-specific DIY. (I have one thick notebook that contains nothing but Christmas – and I need to start a second.) Then, slide each page into a page protector and insert them into a notebook by category. Sometimes you may need to use a paper trimmer or scissors to cut down pages torn from larger-sized magazines, or to even up a badly torn edge, if that type of thing bothers you.

The beauty of these notebooks is that you can always expand them! I started with just one, but now I have several; and because the pages are easy to switch in and out of a binder, you can easily reorganize or pull things out. And don’t stress over ripping up an entire issue if you find you want to save every single page; just set them to the side and keep them organized separately in magazine files. I find that I often want to save entire issues of seasonal craft magazines, and there is a section of my craft room bookshelf dedicated especially to them.
And so, that’s all there is to it – just take the time every few months to go through your mounting magazine stash and pare it down to the pages you really love and want to keep. (I admit that I don’t do this as often as I should, but it makes for a great rain/snow or sick day project because it’s pretty mindless.) When you’re done, you’ll have the most amazing collection of eye candy and inspiration to turn to when you need a little creative boost!
Are you a magazine hoarder like me? What are your tips for staying organized? Share with us in the comments!
Shannon Miller is the editor of Stitch Craft Create magazine. Having previously worked as art director for Sew Beautiful magazine and with a love of all things crafty and creative, she feels blessed to work in such an inspiring environment every day. She admits to having a problem with coffee, an exploding stash of fat quarters, a strong dislike for cleaning, an addiction to reading blogs and an overwhelming affection for naps. Shannon lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband Nathan and their one-year-old daughter, Georgia Mae. She is due with their second child, a boy, this June.

5 thoughts on “Inspiration Notebooks

  1. OMGosh yes, I do exactly this! Binders and sheet protectors are my friends 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years, and have 3 binders: Sewing, Home Dec, and Crafts. I like to use the view binders so I can slip a cover page in the front…I made a quick title page and slipped it right in.

  2. I crosss stitch and had so many cross stitch magazines that I have purchased and subscribed to since I started cross stitching in 1977. So to, like you free up space I did that same thing. I also have one that have the free design patterns that I have downloaded from the internet.

  3. I’m so glad to hear you guys have found this useful as well!! I’d love to look through others’ notebooks… wouldn’t that be fun? I have a huge stack to get caught up on..maybe during my maternity leave!

  4. Since i was 16 I have had subscriptions to certain fashion and beauty magazines. I love them for their amazing photo shoots, stunning clothing and make-up styles. To me certain elements of fashion and style are classic and timeless. To preserve them I put clips inside a sketchbook, bound up with quotes and scribbles next to them. Even though it’s not for crafts, they are my inspiration books. It’s fun to flip through every now and then. I’m not a very artistic person, but these books are like my little secret, hidden and forgotten styles and advice to keep with me!

  5. dearest shannon,

    lovely idea but as a magazine hoarder AND fickle pickle, i can’t bear to tear out pages because chances are, in a few months the pages i recycled are likely to become my new favorites. (i hope that made sense) luckily, since i have been published, i now feel like buying magazines is “research” and no longer feel the need to curb or rationalize (hmmm. scary?)

    anyway, i’m glad all of that lead me to discovering your magazine which is like a glass of raspberry lemonade but with zero calories and all the flavor. adorable, lovely and inspiring! now, who could ever rip up any of that? let the hoarding continue! (lol)

    warmest congrats on a wonderful publication


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