Standing Your Cards Up to See

The forums are a buzz lately with a lot of discussion about what seems to be the best method of holding portrait style index cards. There seems to be two different camps on the subject. Card Bleachers, like the Levenger Index Card Bleacher, seems to be one popular suggestion for standing cards up. While others are leaning towards a photo clip style. I'm here to suggest a third. Clipboards. Yes, you heard me right, you can turn an simple clipboard into a dual purpose productivity tool and a work of your creative expression with just a few minutes.

Last year, while I was out shopping for new papers and other ephemera for my art books and journals, I stumbled across a kraft paper brown Clipper Frame from one of my favorite crafting companies, 7 Gypsies. At first glance it looks just like any other 5"x7" clipboard, but it's not. Carefully taking it out of the packaging, something falls down from the backside. A picture frame stand. Instantly my eyes grew big and the light-bulb in my head went on. I saw a unique opportunity to make a creative productivity index card holder.

First off, let me say that this may be a bit "girly" or too artistic for some. And that's okay. If you think you like the idea of using a clipboard to hold all your daily Actions or Project cards but don't want the thrills, then just buy one of these and don't do anything to it. 7 Gypsies makes a few different colors of clipboard so you can pick the one that fits your taste and decor best and go with that. They're cheep (only $10.00 plus shipping) and if you decide to spiffy it up later, all you need to do is slide a picture under the case and you have something that can be used for both a picture frame and a small clipboard. You could also put a yearly or monthly calendar behind the glass so that you always know what date it is.

But if you want to really show off your creative art and inspiration, then go grab one of these items and take it into your studio. Grab some paper, collage images, stickers, and fibers and start composing a collage of things that inspire you or help you to be more organized or get things done. On my clipboard I have images of things I love (my husband), images that inspire me, words that remind me to push my creative boundaries and colors that I like. I even tied some fun string off the back hole of the clip on the board to make it look a little bit eclectic.

After 15 minutes of playing with a pleasing layout, I had my new frame ready for use. Except for the glue or sticker backing, I didn't glue the collage to the clipboard. This way, if I ever decide to swap out this collage for another design, I can do this easily. The next time you think about what could hold your cards, think about whipping out a clipboard and give it a picture and some pizzazz.

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My index card stand

I've been using a small wooden business card holder to stand up my cards. I got it at the Maine State Prison Showroom for $3, and it was made by a real prisoner! It's small enough to sit right in front of my monitor, and it holds a pretty big stack-o-cards. The only downside is that I can't see the bottom inch of the card.
However, the clipboard idea is very appealing, because at times I do use 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 templates, so it may be time to try something new...

behold (giggle)

After reading your post this morning... I was in the shower (ohmy)... and I had an idea.

Behold: MY IDEA

An inexpensive acrylic-type picture frame and a binder clip... and TA DA ... my own card holder. However, after having this brilliant DIY moment... I realized that I don't have a need for it (yet). But I figured I'd share it with you ♥

ps... Innowen, you clipboard looks magnificent! Are you an artist too?

my artwork

Very pretty!

But speaking of binder clips....Depending on the size of the clipboard, I think you could use the top clip to hold two index cards side by side, and then add binder clips to hold another pair lower down.

For those of us who use LOTS of index cards. ;)

zeee artist!


Yes I am an artist. I do mostly bookbinding and altered art. I make shrines from altoid tins and used to do a lot of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I dabble in sketching and digital collage.

But mostly I turn old unloved books into art journals and art.


Shrines inno? Are you trying to remember all the Altoid that went before? :D

Shrine examples

LOL no... but there's a good idea for a shrine.

Basically what I do is take empty Altoid tins and make a "shrine" out of them. I have friends who love Altoids and have given me lots of empty cases so I can make all sorts of assemblage art from them.

Here's two shots of my generic 4 elements shrine that I made and keep near my bed:

Picture of the outside that I added polymer clay
Picture of the inside that I collaged and assembled

I'm gathering ideas for another shrine for writing. I want to mount my plot ninja, some writing quotes and other fancy papers together to put on my desk when I write.

Hope this helps,


I like your Altoid shrine, quite meaningful!

I put a small foldable shrine in my Fobster Stack.

I think ATC might have a great potential for planners. Might be fun to carry around a little gallery of prints. (Maybe motivational ones.)I have some conceputual art on some of my pages, but more straight-ahead art would be great.


You actually use a Fobster? It is SOOOOO small... I think I would go blind trying that one!
my artwork

Thanks John, Yeah.. I've

Thanks John,

Yeah.. I've been wanting to write up an article on making ATCs but haven't come up with the right angle. However... I think that the time's almost right to write this article. I have 3 different ways to make the world of ATCs and planning collide.

So, I guess there MAY be interest in doing this article after all.
.. who just wrote that down on her article to-do project cards...

Plot Ninja...

Thank you inno, you have started me off wanting a plot ninja again :O

BTW I still love all your work. May I have an 'altered book' to review? :D


You know you wanna buy a plot ninja Sard. Just do it. :)

As for the altered book... um... i'll hafta get back to ya on that. I don't have any completed that I could send to ya. But what I'll do is attempt to start a new one from scratch and send it out.

If you want book photos... i can take lots of picts of the books i've been playing in and show ya. I even sewed (yes sewed) a motherboard into one of my books. :)

inno, sewing? :O

I know what you are saying inno, I cannot take my money with me. However, you are mistaken. When I go, I plan to have the house (possible with my ex still in it) pulled down and an enormous Atloid shrine erected in my honour.... :D

After thinking about the book, I feel an unusual (for me) pang of guilt. Therefore I will review some pictures instead. ;)


I'll have to peruse your site after work tonight!

From what I have seen you have a great eye :D You are very talented!

Artist books are my passion... I draw and do mixed media for the guts and then I bind them myself... there is something about a piece of artwork that is meant to be handled and enjoyed; each viewer participates and is immersed into the piece.
my artwork

again, thanks


Thanks for the compliments again. Funny you say i have a good eye... lately i feel like i don't. That site is an old one that i used to display my art on. I own the domain and am trying to get all my work into a gallery on that site. However, that's not up and running yet... so... maybe at the end of this weekend I've have that gallery for people to see all the art.

And i agree, book arts are so much fun and my current artistic passion. I love seeing how people manipulate, paste, draw and scribble on pages to create art. it's so fun to do and a page or two sometimes doesn't take that long to do. i've got like 5 or 6 projects that i haven't finished yet... i hope to change that in 2007. :)


My Latest Solution

The creativity gods must be sending out lots of positive energy this week, because I actually had my own idea yesterday on how to display my cards. My desktop space is already pretty full with a telephone, message pad & clip, in box, and folio pad. The last thing I have space for is a way to display my cards on top of my desk.

My solution? Using two-way tape, I have adhered Fellowes 3.5" Diskette Binder sheets to the wall next to my computer desk (the place I spend most of my time). I've trimmed off the edge with the pre-punched holes, so I can get two of them side by side. Each sheet holds six cards portait style quite nicely. Since they are clear, I can read most of the contents on each card. Today I may add a couple more.


Would you say that is a possible storage solution for people using 3x5 cards and binder? (I haven't seen a diskette binder sheet before that I can recall...)
my artwork

Diskette Binder Sheets

I tried to use the diskette binder sheets for storage of notecards within a binder, but it was problematic. The top row of cards stick out about an inch or so. I actually bought my diskette binder sheets as a way to transport, strangely enough, 3.5" computer disks, but then I discovered the Lexar Jump Drive and my disks became obsolete.

Any office supply store that carries planners & accessories should have them. I got mine at Office Max.