Storing 6 pt. Dingbats

How do you more experienced composers store your 6 pt. dingbats, borders, etc. when you don’t have a complete set? I only have a few of each kind and don’t want to use enough compartments to separate them. If I lay them flat, I’ll have to dig through them all to find what I want, but if I stand them up to see the face, won’t they all fall over anyway when I pull some out? Thank you for any advice.

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You might try to stand them up in a compartment that has “leading” (the width of the compartment) between each line of dingbats. If there is room left in the compartment, then simply fill that up with quads or something else to make a fairly snug fit for the overall compartment. That way your dignbats should not fall over and you can see exactly what you have when you look into the compartment.

The “leading” can be something as simple as chipboard. You just want to create enough space between lines so you can take out the dingbats we want to use with your fingers (or tweezers - CAREFULLY)


For the last few years I’ve been using 2 1/4” x 3 1/8 x 1” (or close to that measure) paper covered jewelry boxes. They hold, almost perfectly, the contents of the old Handi Boxes. You can stand the borders or ornaments on their feet, and divide with cardboard strips if necessary. Or if you don’t have enough to fill them, you can use crushed paper or even packing peanuts to take up the extra space. They can be found at jewelry supply stores, as well as some craft stores, and are available online and on eBay. I label the tops with what’s inside, and can carry the box safely covered back and forth from my composing stone.


image: borderboxes.jpeg


Hi Diane,

I so admire Paul’s system, especially how everything seems to fit nicely in a type case. I have some ornaments in jewelry boxes like his, but mostly — for now — I’m using a hodgepodge of storage containers. If you’re in a “for now” stage, you might consider taking a trip to the craft and/or hardware store to see what they have. Here’s one I found at Jo-Ann’s, and here’s one I found at Home Depot. Like Paul, I use bits of packing material to keep the pieces on their feet.


Cardboard leading. And lids. Perfect.
I had tried crumpled up paper in the open spaces of my type case and a mouse came along and pulled it all out to make a nest.

I found these Bakelite cases, that were manufactured in Germany, they exist for ornaments and for brass rules. I reckon that in a hardware store you’ll be able to find something similar in plastic. Crumpled tissue paper or cotton wool works fine to fill to open spaces.

image: bakelite_cases.jpg