Shortly after starting my shaving hobby/habit/obsession I was given my first few samples.  When a fellow shaver hands off a sample they will tend to come in a small dollar store zip lock bag or in a small plastic container.

It was at that point I started thinking about the best way to keep my samples so that they didn’t end up in a pile that would be forgotten about.  I came up with what you see pictured above.  I’ve posted a few times with work in progress pictures of my sample board and I’ve been asked about it a few times.  I figured it would be a great topic for a post.

First off, I wanted something that I would display them in an organized fashion, making it easy to pull a sample when the mood so moved me.  I wanted them to pay homage to the original branding so it would to be able to display tub artwork/logos. (OK, there was also a slight OCD tendancy involved too haha)  And lastly, I wanted something that would work well in the travel kit for taking on the road.

What I came up with was a container and magnet setup.  I mounted a metal backsplash in my den.  The containers I used, I grabbed from ebay (with the exception of a few smaller ones that were original samples that already worked as is).  If you search ebay for “50pc Mini Sample Bottle Cosmetic Makeup Jar” you will find what I ordered.  I opted for the largest size.  They are about 1.5″ in diameter.

On the bottom I have stuck on magnets.  I found these 1″ peel and stick magnetic dots at our local dollar tree store.  They are branded CraftMedley “Magnet Wonder Dots” and cost $1-$2 for 18.  I grabbed a few sheets so that I could stick the containers to the metal backsplash for easy display/organization.

I wasn’t able to find 1.5″ labels for the top, so I settled for 1″ 6450 Avery labels.  They aren’t perfect, but they did the job.  From there I set to work creating the labels.  Generally the artwork is quite easy to find using a Google Image search.  Find the label you want and save it to your computer for labeling.  To layout the labels, I used the design & print online website from Avery.  It is very user friendly and doesnt require any software installed on your computer to use.  Now it is just a matter of adding the images you downloaded to each label and you are set to go.

Now when I receive a sample, I drop in a container, print another label on my sheet (you can refeed the same sheet just making sure to only use positions for empty labels), stick a magnet on the back and mount to the backsplash.  It makes a really nice display that adds to my den.  Everything is organized so I can pull a sample quickly and easily.  I have also added my favorite soaps to containers for the wall as well.  Now when I travel, I can just pull a few off the board and put in my travel kit for a great selection of travel shaves wherever I may roam.

I have a few other containers on order as I want to add aftershave balms/splash to the mix as well.  That way I’m ready to hit the road with pretty much any software I so choose.  All this, in search of the perfect shave.

How about you?  Do you have any OCD fueled den ideas you want to share?