Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tutorial; Making Sponge Blocks for your Distress Inks

 Step by Step Instructions

A couple weeks ago I was on a blog (click HERE for Tracy's Treasures) and watched a video on her favorite crafty tools.  On that video one of her favorite things was her Tim Holtz Distress Inks, but it was her sponges that caught my attention.  She had each sponge on it's own wood block.  If you use these inks then you know how pricey the TH Applicators are and having one for each colour would be nice!  She used the Michaels $1.50 stamp blocks.  Well, I gave all mine away.  However I do have loads of SU stamps still mounted.  So here's what I did at very little cost. 


Here, I have my TH sponge applicators.  The issue with having only one.  I was destroying my sponges by changing them so much.

Step 1: Unmount your rubber stamps. Try to use a block around the same size as the sponge.

Step 2: You'll need an Industrial Staple Gun, Industrial Velcro and a hammer. 

Step 3: Trim the Velcro to fit your block and it has a sticky back. 

Step 4: Now that you have stuck Velcro on trim if you need too.

Step 5: Here's where the staple gun is needed.  Pop a staple in at the top and bottom.  If the staples don't go on the whole way (I'm not strong enough) use your craft hammer (I used my TH) to bang them down flat.  We just want the velcro to stay.

Step 6: Now, stick your sponge down.

Step 7: Next, I printed all the TH Distress inks out with a lable maker.

Step 8: Trim them and stick it on your sponge block.

Step 9:  Print all the colours out even if you don't have them yet.  These I don't have so now I know what to get.

Step 10: Now it's time to match lables to colours and get them onto the blocks.

Step 11: Once the labels are with their colours start adding them to the blocks. 

It's starting to come together.

Here I have all my Stampin Up blocks ready for sponges. 

If your blocks are used like mine be sure the inked, messy or sticky part is where your sponge will stick! 

Step 12: Next you'll need some packing tape and a square punch.  I inked the square with the colour.  I went heavy on one side and lighter on the other.  Doing dark to light on each square gives you an idea of the ink for future projects. 

Step 13: Tear off a strip of packing tape and stick on your inked up square.  Place it evenly on your sponge block and be sure to get out air and bubbles for a clean look.

Here are all my colours.  You can see where I went dark to light.

No more changing sponges.  You'll save money as they will last longer.

Step 14: STORAGE...You can store your sponge blocks upright so they are easy to see and grab.

 Thanks to Tracy for sharing her great idea and inspiring me to get organzied.  This took me about 3 hours to do.  Now as I collect more colours I will build these blocks as I go.

The cost was pretty low as I already had the staple gun, velcro and blocks.  I would say each sponge block cost me about $0.30.  That's a huge savings since the TH blocks run about $8.50 at Michaels and maybe $6+ at your LSS.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. As I was collecting colours I started noticing what a pain it was to use the sponges and store them. Now they are neatly stored, easy to use and I'll go through less sponges.

Happy Leap Year
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13 comments:

  1. Fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing your find.
    cstephenson at q dot com

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  2. Lovely idea and well done.. I will have to take pictures of what I have done with mine.. Take Care

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  3. I have seen similar things done like this. It is really a great idea, tfs

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  4. Isn't this so much nicer than peeling the foam off with each colour change. And saving money is always a good thing ;)
    Thanks for the shout out Nicole.
    I also made a video and it has a link in the description to print out all the colours:)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bInzkGc8To&feature=plcp&context=C391ffa1UDOEgsToPDskJmWOa91fTQWRewxjPink17

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  5. This is a terrific ideal, thank you so much for sharing it with us!!

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  6. Cool idea, thanks for the share and the link to Tracy. I have a contractor's staple gun - pounds that puppy in right well, no loose velcro here.

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  7. Great idea Nicole. I personally won't do it (lazy) but thanks for sharing. Cool.

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  8. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing! I will be doing mine up this way too!
    Kim

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  9. LOL I was back looking at your post... FUNNY 2 months to the day!! I have my blocks finally cut (thanks to a friend) jus have to run out and grab velcro and make the labels! FUN!!

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  10. wow how cool is this thanks so much for sharing I haven't been here is awhile miss you my friend
    Hugs
    Debbie

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  11. Thank You for sharing this idea. I was thinking of using old stamp blocks and putting a handle on them from the hardware store...I will try without handles first as they are more easy to store. Great job!
    quilt 4 fun 2 at hot mail dot com

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