Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Make an Ink Swatch Ring

A lot of the blogs I like to follow have been sharing how they organize their inks and how they make swatches for them.  There is a kit at Simon Says Stamp for this exact purpose.  It is a super cute way to organize your ink colors to make it easy to pick out colors for projects.  I would LOVE to have this little swatch kit but I knew that I could make my own version with supplies I already had on hand.  Let me show you what I came up with!

Aren't these fun?!  All of these tags are on one ring and I can easily fan through it to pick the inks I want to use on my projects.  This is so much easier than going through all of my ink pads.  Also, sometimes the colors on the ink pads aren't actually what you get when you use them.  Plus, this just looks so pretty!  Let me tell you how I made these and why I have two different types of tags.  

I used some plain white cardstock cut to 2" x 4" and punched a hole with my Crop-A-Dile- in the center.  Now I'm ready for stamping.  The first tags I'm going to show you are for my Close to My Heart and Momento inks.  These inks I use for stamping detail stamps and images.  I first used the back side of a border stamp to stamp the solid image.  Because it is the back of a stamp the top and bottom edges aren't very defined.  I'm OK with that.  You could use the back of any rectangular stamp to get this solid image.  Next, I used a fun chevron stamp to see how the ink works with a background type stamp.  Finally, I stamped a cute ticket to show the detail when stamping with this type of ink.  I then wrote the brand and color on the bottom with a marker.  Super easy and a great way to organize. 
Now let me get to my favorite inks.  Tim Holtz Distress Ink.  If you follow my blog you know that I use this ink on almost every project.  I love this ink!  I use this ink in different ways though so I couldn't make the tags the same.  I wanted to make sure that these tags reflected how I use this ink so here's what I did for these.  

I started with the same tag but used more distress looking stamps.  No clean edges here.  That's not how I use these stamps.  I started with a solid stamp again, this time a paint stroke.  I wanted to get the natural color of the ink.  I then stamped the same image again only this time I covered it with clear embossing powder.  Distress Inks stay wet longer so I often use them with clear embossing powder.  This makes a more intense version of the color.  I love that even though it's the same color you get a different look.  Although I do use my Distress Inks for stamping I mainly use them with my ink blending tool to blend color on paper or over another stamped image.  I grabbed another distress stamp, inked it with VersaMark, covered it with clear embossing powder, heat set it, and then blended the ink over the top.  The Distress Ink will wipe off the embossed area leaving the design in amidst all that gorgeous blended color!  I did use a piece of masking paper to mask off the top part of the card before I started blending. 
One thing I found helpful to do when making these Distress tags was to make them in color families.  I grabbed five colors from one family and did all the solid color stamping first.  I them stamped the bottom of the card with the VersaMark and then finally the solid stamp to be covered with embossing powder.  That way I could apply embossing powder to both areas at once.  I could then heat set all the cards and then apply the blended ink.  Working in color families from lightest to darkest meant I didn't have to worry too much about contaminating colors and it saved a lot of time.  Yes, I have a blending tool for each of my ink colors.  I love it!  A big thanks to my dad who made them for me.   
I just love how pretty these all are lined up together!  Lovely!!
Once all your tags are done and on a ring it is super easy to look through the colors to match to your project and each other.  I will often pick out my colors and leave my ring open out on my table while I work.  Here are a couple of combinations that I used recently on projects.  

I love how I can see what the colors will look like together before I even start my project.  If you don't have an ink swatch ring I would highly recommend making one.  Mine hangs right next to my work space and is there whenever I need to choose ink colors.  No need to run around my room collecting inks and then finding out they don't look right together.  Perfect matches every time thanks to this little ring.  I hope you've been inspired to make your own swatch book.  If you do let me know.  I'd love to see how you created yours.  Thanks for stopping!

  • ink- Momento Dew Drop, Close to My Heart, Tim Holtz Distress Ink, VersaMark (Water Mark)
  • stamps- Lawn Fawn (Chevron Backdrops), My Minds Eye (Dilly Dally 'Adventures'),Bo Bunny (Geometric Patterns), Hero Arts (Brush Strokes)
  • embossing powder- Ranger (Super Fine Clear)
  • pen- American Crafts (Project Life 05-Black)
  • cardstock- The Paper Studio
  • tools- paper trimmer, Crop-A-Dile II

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jen, LOVE your tag book. I did one for just the distress inks, now you have me thinking I need one for the other inks as well. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for popping by with kind comments. Keep smiling and creating.