I’ve been hesitant to spend ~$60 on an ink pad storage unit (yes, I had all these ink pads lying around on my craft desk for months in piles–ugh). I mean really, with that kind of money I could buy so many more fun crafty goodies! So I finally took the time to design, measure and cut foam core to make this awesome DIY unit that I LOVE and that cost me less than $4!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. 3 large pieces of foam core (I picked up my white at the Dollar Tree and my black at Staples)
2. Ruler (a T-square ruler might simplify the measuring and a metal ruler is better for cutting along but neither is necessary)
3. Cutting blade (I used an X-Acto Knife and a new sharp X-Acto replacement blade which made all these cuts a breeze)
For the internal shelving structure, I cut the foam core into the following 15 pieces:
1. Four verticals: 2 3/4″ x 15″ with eleven 3/16″-wide half-way slits that are 1 1/4″ apart (the 1 1/4″ gives the clearance for the 1″ high ink pads)
2. Eleven horizontals: 2 3/4″ x 16″ with four 3/16″-wide half-way slits that are 3 3/16″ apart (the 3 3/16″ gives the clearance for the 3″ wide ink pads)
Adjustment Options: The 2 3/4″ width of the pieces made the compartments shorter than the 3″ wide Distress Ink pads for which I was building this unit. The shorter depth of the shelves makes the ink pads easy to take in and out of the storage unit. If you are making a storage unit for longer ink pads, you could adjust this width to be larger (like 3 1/2″ for Ranger Adirondack ink pads). The height and width of the half-way slits for spacing out the compartments would work fine for other standard ink pads if they are more narrow than 3″ and under 1″ in height.
The following is a video illustrating these cuts as well as how to assemble the horizontals and verticals together:
For the outside frame verticals, I cut two pieces of foam core to 3″ x 15 1/4″. For the outside frame horizontals, I cut two pieces of foam core to 3″ x 16 1/2″. For the back of the unit, I cut a large piece of foam core to 16 1/2″ x 15 1/2″. For the wider base to stabilize the unit, I cut a piece of foam core to 6″ x 16 1/2″. I also cut up an old rubber mouse pad in half and adhered that down underneath the back side of the wider base to weigh down and further stabilize the unit. I filled in the front side of the base with a strip of foam core to fill in the difference where the cut up mouse pad didn’t reach. Then it was just a matter of strengthening the joints and adhering all the pieces together with hot glue.
There are ready-made charts for Distress Ink Pads and other Tim Holtz products online HERE, but I wanted one that only listed the colors I have so I created a color chart in Microsoft Word with 5 columns and 11 rows just like my storage unit so that I could use it for easy reference for all the Distress Ink Pads (and matching Distress Markers) that I have in my collection. If you are interested in the labels that I made for all of my ink pads, please check out my blog post HERE for details–I just love the free distress type font I found for those!
This DIY storage unit, that was the best gift to myself this Christmas (LOL), is being entered into the Lil Patch of Crafty Friends Anything Goes Challenge
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