Thursday, 17 January 2013

Distress Ink Shelf Unit

I decided (in my infinite wisdom !) to make myself a shelf unit to house my Tim Holtz distress inks. They were all stacked in a box and it was such a pain to keep lifting them in and out and searching for the colour I wanted to use.
I was going to buy one but, after seeing the price of them and the shipping costs, I thought to myself I can make one of those (or something like it) far cheaper ! (this is where I should have thought a bit longer about it!!) Had I known it would take me the best part of four full days, I would probably have changed my mind - that being said, I am very pleased with the end result and it serves it purpose very well.

It`s not perfect as it is all hand measured, cut and glued out of medium weight chipboard but I have to say it is very strong and sturdy and it is going to last.
For those of you that want to know how I made it, I took a series of pictures each step of the way while I was constructing it. The quality of some of the photos is not great as I took them in a hurry while I was in the middle of construction and the light was really bad for shooting but you get the idea of basic construction.

I started by measuring the depth and width of the distress ink pads so I knew how wide the finished size would be and then I cut the back and sides and glued them together using Jim the Gentleman crafters (blog link in my side bar) technique of construction strips of craft card.

Basically they are long strips of craft card 1" x 12" scored in the middle with strong tape applied to the back, they are a very easy and sturdy way to glue two pieces of chipboard together at a right angle.

The inserted shelf supports and the top and base are all fixed in this way.

I then covered the whole thing in patterned paper, I used Bazzill Basics - Antique Newsprint available from Sir Stampaot as I wanted it to be a neutral colour but have some intrest and look kind of old and worn. I just used PVA glue and a sponge brush to paste all the back of the paper before applying, I felt like a wall paperer after I`d finished !!

I then cut 33 internal shelves and drew around a 2p piece and cut that out for finger grab holes to make it easier to slide the ink pads in and out of the shelves. These were all cut using a craft knife and my fingers were sooooo sore after I`d finished. I then cut 72 tiny shelf supports in the same way.(This is when I started losing the will to live!!) but I persevered.

I then covered them all in paper to match the carcass of the unit and sealed them all with Claudine Helmuth Studio - Multi Medium Matte which is a brilliant, non toxic, easy to use product.

I glued the shelf supports in and used a scrap of chipboard the same thickness as the shelves as a spacer between them so I could make sure the shelves would slide in afterwards.

Then the whole thing got covered in a second coat of the multi matte to seal it all and make sure the paper wouldn`t lift or catch on the ink pads as they were being taken in and out.
Then for the feet.

I had originally planned to use the Tim Holtz feet but as they are a corner fixed feet, part of the corned piece would have impeded the bottom shelves for the ink pads to slide out so I had a furtle around in my Dad`s garage and came across some old plastic door knobs he didn`t need and claimed them!

I sanded them back and covered them in tissue paper using the Multi Matte again and then sponged black ink, then daubed SU platinum all purpose ink randomly over them to give a metallic look to them, again covering them in a couple of coats of the Multi Matte to prolong wear and stop the ink from coming off. Then just hot glued them to the base of the unit and Voila! - The finished shelf unit :-

I found the labels for printing out on the Ranger web site and just punched them out using an SU label punch.

Like I said, it`s not perfectly straight in a few places but it was hand measured and cut and a real labour of love. I`m pleased with the end result and it has sorted my ink pad storage problem and now sits proudly on my desk.

I am toying with the idea of making some more units to store other craft procuts but my poor hands need a rest from all that cutting so it won`t be just yet !

Looking forward to getting back to some plain ol` card making now LOL !
thanks for looking in, bye for now and happy crafting xx


  1. Well done Sara, great lookin storage unit

  2. i've been thinking of doing the same thing because youre right they are very expensive. i've been searching ebay for old cassette holders but they are like hens teeth. i think i may ask hubby for a hand and make one out of MDF. good job tho' you should feel proud of yourself!!!

  3. Well done you - this is amazing! Jo x

  4. Totally fabulous Sara,gorgeous,unique and useful too.
    Hugs louise xx

  5. Hi! oh wow Sara,this looks amazing and so useable :))))
    All those pieces to cover,a real labour of love- just fab.
    hugs Lou.xx

  6. wow this is fab hun would love to have a go but not that patient lol you should be very proud of yourself hun. you could sell in kit form for us to decorate and construct, i would be very interested :-) xxx

  7. Love it! Well done. :-)


  8. FANTASTIC idea AND tutorial !! love it !


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