Sunday, August 28, 2011

Organization of Cartridges

Cricut cartridge organization, a relatively new bane to my patience.  Even following my mantra to only buy on sale, they take up a lot of space.  Provocraft has been releasing piles of new cartridges to meet customer demand.  Unfortunately, more & more cartridges are 50, 100, 200, 300 images when a full cartridge usually has almost 700 images.  This creates a storage problem.  And then, some come in boxes, some come in plastic boxes, some come in plastic packaging. Well, they all come in plastic packaging that you risk slicing your hand to remove, But I'm stepping away from that soapbox...
Many creative people are getting rid of the boxes to just store the cartridges, booklets & overlays.  I've seen plastic bag systems; binder systems; plastic buckets using plastic embroidery grids custom cut to contain cartridges; and file systems.  I use my Gypsy a lot, but sometimes I need to reference the handbook to figure out the image or how something fits together.

These green file folders have been sitting around forever.  Using a heavy duty chopping paper trimmer I cut them down to 11 3/4" x 7 1/8" (except the tab height) I was able to cut 2 mini folders from each full size folder.  I measured to find the centre (except the tab) & aligned 1/4" more each side to accommodate 1/2" wide cartridges.   Then I enlisted my Martha Stewart scoring board & a nail-file to score since I couldn't find the scoring tool (my house ate it).  I put a sticky note on the board to remind me where to score repeatedly.  As always, scoring makes folding easier.
After cutting them all to size I started rounding corners one at a time until I realized, Hey, I have a tool that will do this faster and easier.  I used my new Zutter 1/2" corner rounder and found I could clip 10 corners easily.

Here is my results.  On the right it shows 7 cricut boxes in a Recollections brand photo storage box.  Of course different brand photo boxes do not have the same dimensions, I checked.  My mini-file measurements may not work for everyone, so always measure before cutting.
On the left is my mini file folders.  I found that if I aligned all the cartridges on one side it padded out & I couldn't fit as many in.  Alternating cartridges to the left & right of the book/overlay easily fits in 15 cartridges. The cartridge boxes will go in the basement into the empty cricut packaging box until I decide if I really need them anymore.  This was an exercise in assembly line production.  I made over 200 mini file folders this way.  I knew I would never find file folders for this purpose so it made sense to make them.  If I'm going to the trouble of making them, I may as well make a lot and be done with it.  Yes, its time intensive, but I'm working for me and that is important too.  6 hours well spent: 1 hour figuring out design, almost 3 hours cutting them down, 1 hour scoring, 30 minutes clipping corners, 30 minutes folding and they're done.  The nice thing about assembly line style is that I can do one stage at a time and still progress through the job.


Thank you for taking a minute to share your thoughts.