Get organized this Spring with Do It Yourself rainbow negative sleeves that are perfect to store your Spinner films!
I got this idea from a friend who was trying to avoid spending money on expensive negative sheets to store his film. I knew there was no way I was going to do this for ALL my film but I thought it was a great idea for storing my Spinner negatives.
His idea was very simple: cut some long card stock pieces and staple them to divide an ordinary A4 sleeve into 35mm film holders. The hole to insert the film would be the upper part of the A4 sleeve, making vertical holders longer than the ones on regular negative sheets. That’s why it is great for the loooong Spinner pictures!
I decided to take my friend’s idea further with some basic office material. This is what you need to make your rainbow negative sleeves:
- A4 colored cardboard
- A4 plastic sleeves
- permanent pen
- long stapler
- file with box
Step 1: Cut the cardboard.
With one cardboard sheet in portrait orientation, place the ruler horizontally over it and make 8 tiny marks with the pencil with 0,8 cm between them. Repeat the process 3 more times lowering the ruler along the cardboard.
You can now use the cutter to cut the 8 cardboard pieces by placing the ruler vertically along the pencil marks (don’t forget to use something to protect your table!).
Step 2: Mark the plastic sleeves.
Use the permanent pen to make tiny dots along 2 plastic sleeves to mark the places where you should staple the cardboard pieces. You can use different colors to match the cardboard so the marks aren’t visible at the end.
There must be 4 cardboard dividers in each plastic sheet. My first pack of A4 sheets measured 22 cm so 4,4 cm between the marks were fine and there was margin for a little error. When I bought the second pack of the same exact plastic sleeves, the sheets were 0,5 cm less than the first pack and I had to change my measures to 4.3 cm. I imagined it was a standard size!
Anyway, it is better if the cardboard dividers are placed in the same place in all the sheets so that when you file them later, the staples don’t touch the film on the sheet before.
Step 3: Staple the cardboard pieces.
Insert a cardboard piece into the plastic sleeve and place it in the marks. Staple it with a long stapler and repeat the process 3 times to finish the first sleeve. Do it again with the second plastic sleeve.
This part requires patience and I recommend the use of a long stapler since the tiny ones will make very hard to keep the cardboard pieces in the marks. Try to staple in the middle of the cardboard pieces so that the film doesn’t gets stuck on the staples later when you insert it.
Cut the extra cardboard bits outside the plastic sleeves and there you go, you have space for 10 film strips which is enough to store one Spinner film! Repeat the process with different color cardboard each time.
Step 4: Organize your films.
You can now organize your film according to colors, which can be very useful. Use sets of two sheets of the same color to archive each of your 35mm films. They will look good, be protected and the color scheme keeps it organized.
I also made a document on my computer with the information about the films to make it easier to browse through them: film name, date, places, archive color set and number.
Step 5: File the negative sheets.
Now all you have to do is get yourself a nice file to put your sheets in. You can decorate the file if you like (I will do it later to mine for sure!). I recommend one with a box so the negatives get properly protected. Print the document with the films information and file it together with the negative sheets, following the rainbow sequence.
My Spinner negatives used to be stored inside film canisters, therefore very curly and difficult to properly handle. Now I have a lovely rainbow colored archive to keep my Spinner negatives at hand, straight, safe and cute!