Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Distress Ink Handles...DIY

If you follow me on instagram, (scrappinsweetiesescape), you know that I just splurged big time on Distress Oxides. I knew I would need the foam blending pads for them so I ordered them off of Amazon. I was REALLY excited when the inks and pads both arrived, but quickly became frustrated with having to change the pads from the blending tool with every other color, I currently have 2 mini blending tools. This sent me in the hunt for a way to make my own, there had to be a way! I searched Pinterest, YouTube, Google, ect and still wasn't fully happy with what I was finding. I decided that while in town I was going to hit the lumber store. I had an idea of what I wanted. Sure enough, they had what I was looking for in the right size, not a big deal to some of you but let me tell you, living in western KS it is almost a miracle when you can find everything you need locally!! I found some knobs and industrial strength Velcro at Wal-Mart. Supplies in hand, I was ready to rock and roll. This is what I had to get started, the major tip here is you want INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH velcro.

The rod is a 1.25"x36" stick. The actual handle made by Ranger measures 3/4" thick but I did some thinking and wanted mine to be a little thicker so that I could just hold on to that itself and not use the knobs. When I use the original tool, I find myself holding onto the bottom part and not the handle part so why add it? So I measured my rod and used a pencil to mark 1" increments along it. I don't have fancy tools, so I just used my jig saw to cut it apart into 1" chunks (ok, not perfect 1" chunks but I tried). This cute little thing had to help me too, of course!

After I cut all the chunks I used my hand sander, may actually be called a palm sander? Anyway, a little electric sander that did the job perfectly! I sanded them down even and then I still wasn't happy with the edges so I rounded them the best I could. 

Next I had to decide if I wanted them the original color or stained. I opted for stained. So yep, I applied some stain to them and let them dry. I am happy that I decided to because they are so pretty now :) It is in this next step that I truly decided that I didn't want to add the knobs to the top. I was thinking they would look pretty, but then it hit me that I could use my new label maker and put labels on top with each color name!! GENIUS, well ok, not so much but hey it was a light bulb moment for me. 

Then I brought my gems inside and cut the velcro into 1.25" circles. The adhesive on these is very thick and strong so I had to use scissors to cut each one individually. Then I added them to the bottom of my chunks, ran labels and applied them, and finally attached the foam to the bottom for a test run and the results are beautiful!! I have to be honest, at first I was thinking this was a cheap fix, and it is, but in the end I am LOVING my chunks even better than the real thing. Yes, I'm serious! For me, these are perfect for my hands. I am so very glad I did this even if it was just to save money, in the end I found something I love more than the original.

So, how much did I save? Here's the run down:

Velcro- $2.97 each and I used 4 for a total of $11.88
Wood Rod- $6.00 even with tax.

So the total for those 2 items comes to $17.88/36= $0.50 each  I didn't count the stain and labels because I already had them.

Compare that to $6.99 (I realize that includes 4 foam pads but they are pretty cheap) for 2 tools that makes them around $3.25 each. So my savings.....$2.75 EACH, yes EACH!! A full total savings for 36 blending tools comes to $99.00  Now that is some serious cash that I can use for other supplies, or as my husband pointed out, to pay for the Distress Oxides I splurged on.....

The best part is yes, the money saved but honestly how much I love these compared to the real blending tools. I hope this will help someone else. Happy crafting!!!