02 March 2019

Craftroom Transformation: Ink Pad Storage using Tjena packaging

I used a Tjena box from Ikea and the packaging from the box and another Tjena to make a storage rack for my Distress Oxide pads for under $5 Canadian and it fits in the space I have for it.

Putting It Together

I've been working on transforming my craft space from mid-Feb as a birthday gift to myself. I switched rooms with the guest room, moving into a larger space. I'm also doing a bunch of re-organization and tidying. I'm documenting the transformation in a series of blog posts: Craftroom Transformation. The first post of the odyssey is The Tale of Two Rooms.

A few months ago, I made an ink pad storage unit for my Distress Oxide pads from a foam-core panel. But...

It doesn't fit in the new place I have for the ink pads unless it's on the side which really isn't ideal. So, I decided to build new storage from packaging that comes with the Tjena boxes from Ikea.

I have fallen in love with the Tjena series from Ikea. They're sturdy and have an easily paintable surface. The smallest of the boxes (7x9 ¾x6" / 25x18x15cm) is a great size for storing stamps, Bigz dies, embossing folders, 6x6" paper pads, and various other things and the small flat box (9 ¾x13 ¾x4 / 35x25x10cm) is good for paper and other stuff, like my new stamp storage. I also like the sturdiness of its magazine storage for my 8 1/2 x 11" papers. In Canada, the small box is $3 with the small flat at $4. When I went to my local Ikea in mid-February, the small box was even better at $1 off for Ikea Family members. I bought bunches. I've even decided I want to paint many of them to customize them for my room: Kitty Stamp Storage.

Each of the Tjena boxes (other than the magazine storage) comes with a panel of cardboard to reinforce the collapsed box. I've been keeping that panel to re-use in crafting. While I was sick the beginning of this week, I realized that the panel could be transformed into ink pad storage. I used the panel from one small flat box and one small box. If you count the full price of both boxes, the cost of this project was $6 (with the $1 off on the small box), but the small box is used elsewhere in the room. The only other items I needed: a pencil, scissors, and a t-square or ruler.

For the uprights, I used the inside panel of the small flat box to trace on the cardboard packaging. Using the inside panel to size the storage unit ensures it will fit in the box without any issues.

I trimmed the panel to that line and the marked 2" intervals. Distress ink pads are shallow and I wanted to have room to pull out the pads easily.

I joined the marks to scribe 2" strips which I cut out.

I cut nine 2" strips. I could have made them a bit wider but I didn't want to use up all the cardboard.

For the cross strips, I traced the width of the inside panel.

I cut five 2 1/2" strips. I decided to make these a bit wider than the other strips because the pads will be sitting on the cross pieces and I wanted them to have a wider base. Having the strips of two sizes did make it easier to assemble the unit since they didn't need to match up perfectly at the back.

For the uprights, I marked 1" intervals with the last interval a little short.

I cut notches at each of the marks 1/2 of the width of the strip. The cardboard is thin, so the notches don't need to be more than 1/16" wide. With the foam-core board, I needed larger notches so had to do more measuring. You need a space at least 15/16" (just under an inch) between the notches for the height of the ink pads. After notching one strip, you can use it as a template to notch the rest. 

For the cross pieces, I made 3 notches: one notches 1/4" in from each side, a notch in the middle, and another notch at the midway from the side notch and middle. For Distress Oxide pads, the space between the large spans needs to be at least 3 1/4" wide.

Slide the strips together matching up the notches.

You can test to see if the notches are in the right place (before cutting all the strips) by assembling at least 2 of each type and then putting an ink pad in place in the resulting cell.

Continue sliding the strips together. As you build the unit it will become more sturdy.

Once it's assembled, simply slide it into the box. It should fit like a glove since the strips were sized on the inside panel.

Then all you need to do is slide the ink pads into the cells. I put the box lid on the back so it's handy if need to take the ink pads anywhere. The top cells are a bit too thin to fit an ink pad unless it's very slim, but I have some small containers I use for some of my sequins that will fit there. The box will fit 36 Distress Oxide pads so I will need to make another later when I get more of the Oxides.

As a side note, the side strips are necessary for proper structure. I blame it on the flu for thinking I didn't need them on my first run st the structure because it would be in a box. Silly me. Thankfully I have a lot of the cardboard packaging reinforcement panels.

And, the ink pad storage box fits perfectly on the shelf I have for them.


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