I've been debating which inks I prefer and which colors I prefer and decided that - as with most things in my life - I CAN'T CHOOSE! The answer to this dilemma was, of course, to get all of them! Knowing myself and my preference for as-compact-and-consolidated-in-as-small-a-footprint-as-possible, I knew that full-size pads of all of those inks would be WAY, WAY too much to deal with, as well as cost-prohibitive.
I recently purchased some "spots" - little 1" cubes - of Hero Hues Shadow Inks, and decided that "spots" of all of the other inks would definitely be do-able, on the size front at least. I started pricing reinkers and uninked cubes and decided that by the time I bought the reinker and the uninked cube I wouldn't be saving any money at all, just space. What's a girl to do?
My answer: I have a whole whack of little boxes that look like this:
They came as part of this deal:
I bought mine at Walmart, but you can find them online, too. I use all the little boxes to store my embellishments (or, at least, I did - I'm regearing there, too - stories for another day). I have four or five of these... There are several sizes of small boxes included, and the ones I decided to use are the "mini" - they're approximately 1 1/4" square. I got my Inkssentials Cut-N-Dry foam: EDITED: Over time the foam broke down (it was intended for pigment inks, not dye inks), so I replaced it with Cut N Dry FELT:
and cut it into 1 1/8" squares using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler. Cut from the black side, using several passes, then clean it up with scissors (I used my Tim Hotz Tonic scissors), if needed:
Then stick the square to the lidof the box with regular old Scotch brand double-sided tape You could use a stronger adhesive, if you prefer):
Then I got some reinkers and added some to the foam. To use them, I just flip the lid open and hold it like this to tap ink onto my stamp or project:
Ignore the inky old lady hands, please - I've been playing with ink and foam all day... I wanted to identify which pad had which ink, so I got some label dots and stuck them to a non-stick sheet (the backing from a self-laminating sheet that I saved) so I could swipe ink on them, then write all of the names:
I then stuck the stickers to the appropriate lid. To protect the stickers a bit and to ensure that they stayed stuck, I also cut squares of packing tape and put them over the stickers. How much space will I save this way? Here's ALL of the Stampin'Up! Subtles colors in their boxes next to ONE full-size Stampin'Up! ink pad:
To make the tray, cut a piece of mat board 4" x 7 1/2" and score 1/2" all around. To score mat board, you actually cut through several of the layers, while leaving some intact, so you can fold it up more easily. Cut away the corners completely, so you have something that looks like this:
When you fold up the sides, the cuts are on the OUTSIDE, and the intact layers are on the INSIDE. I just used Scotch tape to tape the corners (going for function here), but you could go all crazy with your washi tape if you wanted to up the cuteness factor... Here's what it looks like with the tray inside and everything locked down (I obviously have room to add more spots...):