Here is another long overdue post, my DIY blending tools and sponge daubers, another great money saver. I found this You Tube tutorial making use of store bought wooden blocks. I went to a school supplies store to search for an alternative wood material and found the alphabet blocks which are actually perfect for the job and super cheap. The video made use of cosmetic sponges which I don't really like as the ink from the ink pad does not really get absorbed evenly which results in messy blending. I went to the furniture upholstery shop and found this nice thin foam which works perfectly. For efficient storage, I adhered a small piece of cardstock to easily identify the color used. I saw a small chess set right next to the alphabet blocks and got them as well and with a small round piece of foam adhered to the base, they work very well blending small areas. I used a double sided tape in adhering the foam to the wood which works very well instead of Velcro as shown on the video. These work just as efficiently, if not better, as the branded ones like the Tim Holtz Distress blending tools which I bought but found the handle not really that useful. I find it easier holding the sides of the block itself which gives me a better grip for a more efficient blending.
Another nice blending tools are the sponge daubers. I use these a lot for distressing the edges of cut paper flowers and the edges of the card layers. I got a couple of packs by Tsukineko several years ago which cost about $5.00 for a pack of 3 daubers which I found quite expensive considering I needed a lot for the many colors of ink pads that I use. I eventually found a great video tutorial making use of a PVC pipe and even with the purchase of the PVC pipe cutter as shown on the video, the cost for making the DIY daubers is just a fraction of the cost of the store bought branded ones like the Tsukineko. I initially bought the PVC pipe but when I got home to try it, I found the the hole too tight for my index finger. I went back to the hardware store and found other options. I chose the hard plastic rubber that is used for making a garden hose with a diameter of 3/4". I bought one meter to try it first and it was perfect. One meter is only Php18.00 (about US$0.40) and with the 3 centimeter length for each dauber, I was able to make 30 pieces from the one-meter pipe. The price of the PVC pipe cutter was Php600.00 (about US$13.00).
|The TIm Hol|
|The selection of pipes at the hardware store|
|One meter garden hose pipe|
|Cut into 3 centimeters length|
|This was the first PVC pipe that I got which has a smaller diameter that was too tight for my finger.|
|The PVC pipe cutter which cuts like butter.|
|Scraps of foam that I got from an upholstery supplies store|
|I trimmed down the edges for a better fit inside the tube|
|The finished DIY daubers, they just look like the branded store bought daubers.|
|Comparison of the diameter size between the PVC pipe and garden hose pipe|
|Found the perfect plastic container for my DIY sponge daubers|
|This is also a great giveaway to crafting friends|