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Iris 12×12 Scrapbook Case

Reported by Kristine Fowler
Typically, storage designed for and marketed specifically to scrapbookers is expensive (or at least that is what my experience tells me). Perhaps this is because a scrapbooker’s needs are unique: 12×12 paper is the standard only in this industry, scrapbookers tend to ‘crop’ together thus often look for supply storage that is also portable and scrapbookers want storage products that are acid-free. Unique needs mean that manufacturers have to devise unique solutions, and unfortunately unique solutions often come with a hefty price tag.

Today though, I want to introduce you to what I feel is an exception to the above generalization, the Iris 12×12 Scrapbook Case. A global manufacturer of high quality injection-molded plastics for storage, office and craft uses, Iris has addressed the unique demands of the scrapbooker, yet the storage solution remains affordable.

You can probably find these on the shelves in abundance at your local Michaels store for $14.99 (Canadian) but I always wait for them to go on sale and purchase them them at 50% off. If you can’t wait for the sale, you might also try shopping the storage sections of Walmart (or Target in the US) as I’ve seen them there also. Online, I found them at Amazon.com & Spacesavers.com ranging in price from $6.99 to $8.99 (US Dollars) per unit.
Designed specifically to store 12×12 scrapbook paper, the cases are deep enough to hold about 100 sheets of cardstock and if you use it to store patterned paper it’ll hold even more. The inside (and outside) corners of the case are rounded, to prevent paper curling and the case is even large enough inside to hold papers that have the additional 1/2″ manufacturer UPC strip still attached.
What Else Can they be Used For?
  • Storage for pages/projects in progress, keeping all of the supplies you are using for one project together. When you’re on the way out to a crop, just grab a box or two and go.
  • Storage for Embellishments (my personal favorite): I have all of my metal and plastic embellishments separated by color and have four 12×12 cases to hold them. I have one for gold/silver/pewter, one for black/white/cream, one for red/pink/yellow/orange, one for blue/purple/green. Inside each case I store brads, eyelets, acrylic letters, buttons, clips etc. Inside the cases, I keep most of the embellishments in the original manufacturer containers, but in some cases use baggies and plastic jars. When I go to crops, I don’t take all four though, instead I combine a bunch of my most commonly used items regardless of color into one case and then re-sort by color when I get home.
  • Storage for small hand tools, like a paper crimpers, rulers, bone folders, embossing stylus and brass templates, Coluzzle cutting knife and templates, etc.
  • Temporary Storage for Completed Pages before they go in the album — for those pages that maybe require just one or two finishing touches (maybe some journaling) before they go on display, or for those that are 100% finished and the album just isn’t handy.
  • Make up a journaling kit which includes all of your journaling stamps, markers, pens, pencil, eraser, ruler, journaling tags etc. so it’s all handy when you need it.
  • Storage for 12 inch strips of stickers, or maybe some chipboard letters — the possibilities are really endless.

Pros:
  • Polypropylene construction makes it strong, durable and easy to wipe clean.
  • Portable
  • Can be stored horizontally or vertically
  • Secure closure won’t open up accidentally
  • Holds 12×12 paper safely, without curling.
  • At only 3″ high (outside dimension), it can slide easily under a bed if you want it to be out-of-sight and/or have limited storage space
  • Seals tightly due to double edged closure which prevents little items for slipping out when turned on it’s end.
  • The case is 2 1/2″ deep (on the inside), but the lid gives you and additional 1/2″ or so of storage room when closed, so you can really load if up if you need to.
  • Stackable with built-in feet to prevent slippage.
  • Transparent: You can see what’s inside without opening the case.
  • Acid-Free
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • My Fiskars 12″ Paper trimmer does not fit — and this is a must-have for me when I’m cropping so it means carrying it solo or in an extra bag. If the case was just a bit larger, I could tuck it inside.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to close (due to the double-edged closure design) and if you’re not careful you can pinch your fingers.
  • The hinge may wear over time requiring replacement of the unit. (I have not personally experienced hinge breakage/wear, but it’s something to consider with long term use)
  • Transparent: If you don’t like ‘visible’ storage, this product may not be for you.

Product Specifications:
  • Inside dimensions: 2 1/2″ high, 13 1/2″ wide, 13″ long
  • Outside dimensions: 3″ high, 14 3/8″ wide, 14 5/8″ long

Also available from Iris if you want it, is a table-top unit that holds 3 of the cases, or a floor cart that holds 6 cases and has casters & can be wheeled around. The benefit of these units is that the cases are kept separate and they are not stacked, so it’s a little easier to access them. The downside is that the cases must be stored horizontally within these units — so if you like your paper to be vertical, this won’t work for you. Also, if your hobby area is carpeted, the wheeled cart might give you some trouble, especially if your cases are weighted heavily with paper.

Do you use the Iris 12×12 Scrapbook Case for something other than what is listed here? We’d love to know. Who would of thought that a simple plastic container could be so versatile?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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9 Responses to Iris 12×12 Scrapbook Case

  1. Avatar
    lisa g. June 3, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    I used to be a big fan of this storage system until I realized that it is impossible to look through your papers without removing them all…even though the boxes are transparent you can’t look at the prints, etc. without taking all the papers out every time. I have since switched to vertical storage and am much happier.

  2. Avatar
    Toni June 3, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    I use these containers. I agree with the last comment, it is diffucult to find specific papers in a full case. Another thing, full cases are heavy! I had three stacked on a wall mounted shelf,- the weight pulled the screws right out of the wall!
    I still use them, now I store them on a sturdy table. They are still the best option I’ve found to store large papers.

  3. Avatar
    Kristine June 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Thanks for your comments! I do agree with you both about using them for paper storage and the inability to view patterns etc. without removing everything from the case. I personally don’t use them much for paper (with the exception of my textured cardstock collection) instead choosing to use vertical paper storage by Cropper Hopper for regular cardstock, and a file cabinet for my patterned paper. I use these exclusively for tool storage, pages in progress, and for embellishment storage (sorted by colour as I mentioned). For these things I haven’t found anything that works better!

  4. Avatar
    Mary June 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    I do agree with both Lisa and Toni comments.

    Also, I have often thought that they should sell plastic inserts so that you could “change” it up to hold embellishments etc…

    I have 2 of the cart systems (and thus 12 cases). So far it’s worked for me but mainly because I haven’t looked at any other alternatives and I have a small area to work with.

  5. Avatar
    Elaine June 5, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    These cases are nice. I have a few singles but I also have the 6 drawer cart that came with 6. I store my 12″ Fiskars trimmer in one with my other cutting tools. It fits in on an angle.

  6. Avatar
    GW July 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    I find the plastic bins by Art Bin to be the best. The separate latches are easier than the one-piece molded snaps when it comes to fastening and unfastening the latches. They’re really well-made.

  7. Avatar
    GW July 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    P.S. I love using them for bringing projects to crops. I can put several patterned and solid cardstocks in one, along with embellishments and photos. It’s so handy to just bring coordinating stuff. I get more done when I don’t have all my supplies — less decisions and deliberating. LOL

  8. Avatar
    Anonymous January 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    I am a model railroader. I have these boxes in both the 3 inch and 1.5 inch sizes. I use them for project boxes where I can throw a bunch of unfinished kit pieces when it’s time to quit or for storing cars in their boxes. I am currently outfitting the cases with foam to hold cars without their own cases. For me, these boxes are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Ralph

  9. Avatar
    Anonymous June 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    I have five of these scrapbook paper stacks and I love using them to store unused paper. I have my paper sorted by color and theme… I agree that sometimes you have to take a little more time to find the paper you want…but this storage method works to keep paper neat and unwrinkled! I found an accordian folder that fits 12×12 paper works to separate solid colored paper… and it doesn’t slow down my scrapping… I also use the accordian folders for my current scrap projects and have added the photos and the extra scraps, stickers, and ribbons that go with the individual projects! The accordians are good for temporary storage but the paper is more vulnerable to bending or wrinkling.