September 22, 2014

DIY Distress Ink Storage


About five years ago, I made a storage container for my distress inks with 20 available slots and was certain it would be large enough to accommodate any future purchases. Hah!

So I recently crafted a new container that is larger than the original with some minor modifications. I decided to document the process and pass it along via this post in case others might want to make one.

All my photos can be enlarged via the lightbox feature--just click on them for a close-up view.

You will need:

- One sheet of foam core board (20" x 28" - 3/16" thick)
- Utility knife and an extra blade or two
- White glue (I used Elmer's)
- Ruler and pencil

Measure and mark your pieces using a ruler and pencil:

I've provided measurements for a box that will hold 28 ink pads but you can modify the design (make it taller, add more columns, etc.) to create a container that fits your needs. Mine will sit upright on a shelf next to my craft table so I sized it accordingly.

Back = 6 - 9/16" x 13 - 7/16"
Top & Bottom = 3" x 6 - 9/16"
Left/Right Sides & Center = 3" x 13"
60 Strips = 1/4" x 3"

Cut out the pieces using a utility knife (don't forget to protect your table surface).

Cutting tips:  Make multiple SLOW passes with the knife (don't try to cut through the entire thickness at once). Keep your knife straight up and down (parallel to the edge) and the blades sharp. Don't worry if some of the center foam flakes out because you can turn the rough edges towards the inside when you assemble it.


Cutting the strips is pretty easy--just make longer lengths first and then shorten them into smaller pieces.




Mark guidelines on the left/right sides and center pieces:


It will be easier to attach the strips if you mark lines for them first. I left a 1/4" gap on each end, then made marks for a 1/4" strip followed by a line for the space in between which was 5/8". Make sure the measurements match on all the strips. Remember you will have to mark both sides of the center strip.

edge + 1/4" + 1/4" + 5/8" + 1/4" + 5/8" + 1/4" + 5/8" + 1/4 + 5/8"  etc.

Glue the strips to the side and center pieces:


Apply glue to the paper side of the strips and attach to just one side of left and right side pieces. Glue strips to both sides of one piece and this will be the center support.

As with all things glue--don't use more than you need. A light, thin covering is sufficient and will set more quickly.

Assemble the box:



Build your box by attaching the top and sides to the back in sections. Make sure the edges line up evenly and hold in place until the glue begins to set.

Install the center post:

Make a mark at the center of the top and bottom pieces to assist with guiding the center post into position. Apply glue to the back, top and bottom of the center post and slide it in place.


Insert your ink pads and you are done!




I printed a Ranger ink template on plain paper, cut out the strips of text and glued them to the front of the pads (I didn't have printer labels). Then I tinted the labels with ink.

I did attach a small wooden base to mine because of the uneven wire shelf it will sit on but that is optional and won't affect how the container itself functions.

If you like to build things and need better storage for your ink pads, you might want to consider this. The end result is a lightweight but sturdy, custom container that costs very little to make and can be modified easily to fit your needs.

If you have any questions or need some advice leave a comment or send an email and do share this post with others who may be interested.

Update: I modified this storage tower when I cleaned-up my craft room. If you'd like to see the new version, here's the link.

September 17, 2014

No. 6173


I'm posting the results of an experiment with gel pens that was driven by this week's SSS Monday blog challenge which is "rock the techniques."


Using the pens, I wrote directly on the rubber of small sections of various stamps and pressed them on to the tag. Then I filled in the blank background areas with distress ink. I was able to capture detail with accuracy and color changes were a snap, thanks to the small pen tips and slow drying time.

Would I use this technique again? Definitely, but just for small bits and only after planning for potential smearing when other inks are applied on top. My gel pens aren't waterproof/permanent but that can be an asset with other techniques (see previous post).

September 13, 2014

Sugar Crush


Another irresistible photo prompted the creation of this tag using a page from the French Industrial paper collection by Tim Holtz as the background.

Click to enlarge
Sugar sprinkles were added with off-white paint using a stencil from Simon Says Stamp called Falling Snow (...sweet...)

Some of the larger sprinkles were made to look like peppermints by adding stripes with a gel pen (...delicious...)

The border was distressed with Walnut Stain and I've linked it to the Monday blog challenge at SSS (...sugar crush...)

Spending too much time playing a certain online arcade game may have also been a factor.

September 09, 2014

Rain


I live in the desert. We've had severe drought conditions for the last several years. If and when it rains, it usually comes in the summer and we call it the "monsoon season."

Yesterday half of all the rain we usually get in one year came down upon us in less than 24 hours. Streets were shut down, roofs collapsed, schools were closed. The season finally lived up to its name.

This helps to explain why I made this tag. Also, the only SSS product I own is the Falling Snow stencil and using one of their products was encouraged for this week's Monday blog challenge which celebrates "STAMPtember."

And the final reason for making it? I wanted to see what colored rain drops would look like. I expect the end result of all those colors dropping and mixing would be mud and we now have a lot of that here. But fear not, in just a few days it will all be hard as rock again.

Photo credit:  Ralph Morse

September 07, 2014

If Only...


I don't know what possessed me to purchase a face stamp (this one's by LaBlanche) because I've found them rather limited in use. But seeing Tim's September tag and the others who've posted links, has given me some new ideas.

I also admit that alcohol inks intimidate me so mine have gathered dust but it was good to get them out again for this project.  I do love the glossy paper because it takes ink so well, stamped images are super crisp and it may be a "must have" for any success with alcohol inks on paper.

I tried Tim's background technique, to no avail, so I just dripped the colors right from the bottle onto a tag cut from glossy paper. Then I randomly stamped off-white paint through some homemade and store-bought stencils and went over it with distress inks after the paint had dried. Some light stamping with script, borders cut from washi tape and a bit of Dymo tape text finished it off.

September 05, 2014

Going Back


Posting journal pages and using strong hues isn't in my comfort zone but the Monday blog challenge this week at SSS is "bold" so I just went for it.

Long ago, I found two images that, by coincidence, seemed to go together. I've wanted to connect them in a composition and was lucky to find a passage from a book by Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon) that helped to convey my thoughts.

No magic techniques here--just stamped deli paper and dictionary pages, a stencil, acrylic paint and a permanent black marker were used (script stamp by Dark Room Door, stencil by Crafter's Workshop, photos via Nordic Thoughts).



During difficult times, finding a muse can be a challenge but when I do, I'm grateful for the benefits. This time, the act of being "bold" was good medicine.