Saturday, 2 October 2010

Ink pad racks for pennies

Thanks to a mishap on a quad bike I've spent the last 8 weeks with my right hand in a cast, oops lol. Wasn't fun really as I could barely brush my teeth left handed let alone stamp. so I decided to tackle a job that I've been sort of tempted to do for a while but had kept putting off.. Sort my ink pads out.

Ok I'll admit I've got rather a few (stop laughing Angie) and my SU inks are all beautifully displayed in a nice wooden rack (not that cheap) but thanks to the new colour renovation I wasnt going to have enough slots to house the inks I'd intended ordering.

Brainwave time, make my own but I havent got the tools let alone ability to make one out of wood so I decided to see if cardstock would be strong enough. Armed with my mates hougie board (she hates it so I have it on a permanent loan, cheers Sara)I did work out that if I shoved an embossing tool into the cast and held it between my index & middle finger I could at least use a scoring board. Out came the rulers, quite a few sheets of strong card and a whopping great roll of strong dst.

It took a few goes but I managed to make my first rack. Woohoo, 1 down another 5 to go!

This is how my desk looks now with my new ink pad racks, it won't stay this tidy for very long.

Here's how I made them.

Take some time, read through and see if you can work out the pics before attempting as there are a few small things that make a massive difference to the end result. You might want to grab a cuppa first as the instructions have seemed to resemble a novel, sorry. Each rack has taken less than an hour to make so please don't be put off. Once you get going it's quite easy.

This is the basic folding & cutting pattern for the shelves. The dashed lines are scores and the solid lines cut. If you look closely you'll see on lines a & b there are cuts both sides with just the section below the letters being scored.

If you've ever made a 3*3 memory book from a single sheet of 12*12 you might recognise the general principle.

I havent added sizes just yet, with there being more than a few common sizes it would get just a wee bit confusing. There are size diagrams at the very end of this post.

Worth pointing out that if you are making sleeves for supersized ink pads like SU you'll only fit 2 sleeves to a sheet of a4.

Here's the first sheet scored, pic is using the 2 panel sleeve for SU inks.

I've cut and folded the card. Doesnt matter which way you go but the horizontal folds have to be in the opposite direction of the vertical ones. Sorry if that doesnt make sense, it will in a minute.

Here's the first tip I found out the hard way. The dst needs to go the full length of the card, not just those two tiddly bits. You'll get a tidier rack if you get the dst as close to the edges as possible.

Sorry, the next step isn't something that worked in the pictures I took so I had to redo them.

I'm using a sheet cut and scored for the versamark size pads as this bit is the one that gets people flustered.

Ignore for now where the sticky is, this is all about how we fold them.

BTW I used a nestie circle in this one to make a finger grove. Bad idea as it really weakens the sleeve.

Bring A & B up and stick B to C. Try and make sure they're straight as you stick them.

Tuck C (along with a & b) underneath d

Bring D up and stick to E.

Now the bases are stuck together it's just a case of sticking all the sides together. If you feel that you're handling a live octopus, first one is the worst. Now that you're sticking them together you'll notice that one side is very slightly shorter than the other. The shorter side is the one that goes on the inside. Be very careful and make sure the top of the longer side is lined up with the top of the fold on the longer side. You'll get a very lopsided tower if you dont!

That's the first of the stacks made. Now you need to make a couple/few more if you're as bad an inkpadholic as me. I wouldn't have more than 12 sleeves together though as they've surprisingly heavy when filled. That's not a problem when they're on the desk but you don't want to struggle carrying them to crops etc.

For stability it helps if you cut some card into the same height and depth and stick them to each side.

Now you've stabilised the stacks use the trusty dst and stick them together.

I used a1 centura pearl cardstock and made an outer shell with double fold sides. Not fun working with the hougie on my lap and the card dangling all over the place lol Pointless me giving sizes for the outer box as each depends on the thickness of cardstock used. If in doubt you're more than welcome to email me the size of your completed inner and I'll work it out for you.

Total cost of my rack, £1.50 tops and £1 of that was the a1 card stock.

It wasnt until I'd battled with the sheet of a1 card and finished the first rack that I had a 2nd brainwave.... washing (laundry) tablet boxes. They're often sort of the right size.

This was a 48tablet sized box. It didn't really fit 2 pads longwise iykwim but they worked quite nicely being put in sideways. Using the same principle I managed to make a set of really deep sleeves & drawers, perfect size for holding my tim holtz cutndry foam applicator and spare bits of foam.

Since taking the original pics I've turned a 24 tablet size box into a holder for my alchie inks. I did have to trim the sides down but I'm dead chuffed with it. It should be possible to adapt the sleeves to fit lots of craft toys, promarkers, embossing powders, cosmic shimmer mists.. I'd love to see what you can all come up with.

As promised these are the sizes

First one holds the pads with the narrow side showing, the 2nd with the long front showing. Reinkers/Alchie inks need scoring on 1, 2, 3, 4 & 4.74" and to be 2" deep for the shorter alchie inks, 2 .5 for distress reinkers.

One of my lovely docraft buddies Noreen came for monthly playday earlier this week and you can see the ones she's made on her blog Hers are posher than mine as she's taken the time to decorate them.


judie said...

these are fantastic, i would love to try these when i finaly get my craft room back, well done xx

kay said...

these are fab sue,might have a go sometime,x

Noreen said...

Huge, huge thanks for this fab (& cheap)storage solution Sue. I had a great time making them, & as you say, once you know the principle, they are easy to make.

Now I must start taking in other people's washing as I need more storage for various things lol - think I'm also going to try a box the cat's food pouches come in too! xx