15 January 2012

How I store my Tim Holtz's Distress Inks and blending tools

Ink pads:

I have looked high and low on the internet for the "PERFECT" solution of how to store my inks.  Upsidedown/rightside up???  How to tell which pad is which without digging through them all?

I have experimented with many different ways, but I think I have finally found the way that works perfect for ME!  I am sharing it with you today, maybe to inspire you on your own perfect way, or to help you in your search of a perfect way.  

I began with a set of drawers made for holding floppy disks.  Who uses floppy disks anymore? My uncle had this great set of drawers and he gave them to me.  They are perfect for holding ink pads.   I have 14 drawers and 7 are filled with stamp pads, 7 are filled with flower embellishments.

The next step was how to tell which pad was which color (while they were in the drawer) without digging through all of them.  I opened Pages (but would work any word processor document).  I typed each ink pad name 4 times.  When it printed I cut them apart in strips, leaving the 4 names of ink in a strip.  I think took my ink blending tool and in each color I inked its coordinating strip.  Then I ran a length of tape runner on each strip.  I cut them apart and put a section on each ink pad.  EASY!!! 

Make sure you put a label on on four sides, then no matter how they are stored you can see the side and what the name is at a glance. 

Gosh, I just realized how pretty those colors are.  I do love these inks!!!

 Ink Blending Tool:

Tim makes a great ink blending tool thing-a-ma-jig.  I have only one!  I had to make a choice, do I want more ink or the $4.99 ink blending tools?  Well, since the inks are $4.99 at Michael's it was a no brainer for me.  I tried using my one tool and changing out the pads.  The pads simply get too worm out and thin and will rip.  And if you use lots of different colors on each piece as I do, it is a waste of time to keep changing that pad. 

Option #2-  I had to devise my own tool.   If you have ever looked at the ink blending you can see it is a block of wood, with the male side of velcro on it.  That's it nothing more.  I can do this.

I perused the aisles are Michael's and found a block.  A simple 1.5 inch block for .99 cents.  I bought one.     I got home and pulled out my velcro stash. I took the velcro and cut it into strips (cutting off the flat edge so all I had was the male part).  It was self adhesive, but the way I use this ink I thought I would double duty and use hot glue too.  (If you have ever removed a pad from Tim's tool, you will see that the velcro tends to want to come off, I was trying to prevent this.)  I put the glue on the block and then the velcro.  Let it dry and viola!  It was better than I had hoped. I could get FOUR colors on each block and still have plenty of comfort in the holding of the block. 

 I currently own 6 blocks.  One is for blue inks, one red, one greens, one browns and I have just started one with a black.

I label the sponges so that I know which pad goes with which ink.  I only label one side of the block because I have gotten pretty good at telling which pad goes with which ink (I have memorized the order on the block).

You can see on the green block that I only have 3 green inks, so I have one spot left for another green ink.

I store them all in a wooden box that used to
 house some toy magnets that belonged to my kids.  See double duty there!  This is currently working out perfectly for me.  I store this wooden box directly above the drawers so everything is centrally located.  
 I hope you have enjoyed my version of the ink blending tool and my organizational tips on Tim Holtz inks.  I would love to hear any tips that you might have on how you store your inks or what type of ink blending tool you use.