Ink Pad Holder Tutorial

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   This is not my original design. I was looking for ink pad storage on Pinterest when I found a pin showing that someone had made one. I loved the idea but couldn’t find a tutorial, so I decided to figure it out myself. I don’t know if this is how the original person on Pinterest created theirs, but this is how I made mine. I came up with the measurements, instructions, and built this on my own.

   I wanted to share a tutorial that I’ve been asked to create. This is a great way to store ink pads in a smaller amount of space. I showed a photo on Instagram of an organizer I made out of foam core and put into a Recollections Organizer Cube – 3 Drawer that I purchased at Michaels.

Disclaimer: My measurements are based off the Recollections 3 drawer cube. Hobby Lobby also sells a 3 drawer cube, but I’m not sure of the measurements of the interior of the drawer. So, this may not work in that one.

This is the cube I’m using.

   This organizer will hold 39 ink pads in a horizontal position with room to pull them out easily. I have been able to put Simon Says Stamp, Lawn Fawn, and Colorbox ink pads in this one (only brands of inkpads I have besides Mama Elephant). Unfortunately Mama Elephant ink pads are 5/8″ too wide. However, I did make a different one that holds those. There will be a separate tutorial so as not to cause confusion.

Let’s get started!

Supplies Needed:

Recollections Organizer Cube – 3 Drawer
Scrap piece of wood
  I recommend this instead of your cutting mat because you will be making a LOT of cuts and it could damage your mat.
30″x 20″x 3/16″ piece of foam core
Utility knife or Exacto knife (If you’re going to use an exacto knife, be sure to have some extra blades on hand.)
Lip Edged Ruler or T-Square (This is the one I used.)
Ruler or tape measure

1. Lay your foam core on top of the scrap wood. With your piece of foam core landscape, measure and cut 2 widths of 13 1/4″.
Easiest way to do this is to measure out 13 1/4″ from left to right at both the top and the bottom. Then use your ruler to line up the marks.
You should now have 2 pieces measuring 13 1/4″ x 20″ and a smaller piece (use this to make a jig below).

2. Turn these pieces so the 13 1/4″ side is along the left side.

3. You’re going to get 16 – 2 1/4″ pieces out of these 2 pieces.
If you are going to make more than 1 of these, I recommend making 2 extra of these pieces to use as jigs. You should be able to get this out of the extra piece left after making your two 13 1/4″ cuts. This way you won’t have to remeasure a vertical piece for each one.

4. Take 4 (5 if you’re making a jig) of these pieces and cut the length down to 13″. Turn 1 piece portrait and use your ruler & pencil to make a line down the middle. This is where you’re going to cut up to. Now, turn it back landscape and you’re going to make a line at each measurement.
7/8″, 1 1/8″, 1 7/8″, 2 1/8″, 2 7/8″, 3 1/8″, 3 7/8″, 4 1/8″, 4 7/8″, 5 1/8″, 5 7/8″, 6 1/8″, 6 7/8″, 7 1/8″, 7 7/8″, 8 1/8″, 8 7/8″, 9 1/8″, 9 7/8″, 10 1/8″, 10 7/8″, 11 1/8″, 11 7/8″, 12 1/8″
Or you can do like in the graphic below *link will open in a new window (I found this easier with the lip edge ruler)

5. For each of these pieces, you’re going to cut out the 1/4″ sections. Use a ruler to help with the cuts so they stay straight. When cutting the middle of the piece, it’s ok to have your blade go outside the lines, as long as you get that piece in a rectangle. You can see mine aren’t perfect. 🙂

You can see why I recommend using a board to cut on.

6. Use the piece you measured out to trace the cut out sections of your jig on the remaining 3 (4 if you’re making an extra for a jig). This will save you a lot of measuring time.

7. Now cut out the traced sections so it matches the one you’ve already cut.

8. For the “shelf” pieces, you’re going to have 12 (13 if you’re making a jig) 13 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ pieces. Turn 1 piece portrait and use your ruler & pencil to make a line down the center of the piece. Now, turn it back landscape and you’re going to make a line at each measurement.
3/16″, 4 1/4″, 4 1/2″, 8 5/8″, 8 7/8″, 13″.
Or you can do like I did in the graphic below *link will open in a new window (I found this easier with the lip edge ruler.)

9. You’re going to cut out the 1/4″ wide pieces. Again, doesn’t have to be perfect. Mine aren’t.

This can be tricky, but I found a few ways to make it easier on you. You can, by all means, assemble yours using adhesive. I chose not to because I’d like these to be removable in case my storage changes.
10. Take 1 of your vertical pieces (The 4 that we cut first) and start attaching the “shelf” pieces into each of the 1/4″ slots we made.

11. Take your drawer and place it standing up with the interior facing you and the handle to the left. Mine in the picture isn’t standing up. I realized this trick after building 3 of these.

12. Hold your pieces you fitted together upright. Make sure the cut out parts of the “shelf” pieces are facing forward (This means that if your drawer tips, the shelves won’t fall out.).
Slide your pieces into the drawer while it’s standing up. The vertical piece is going to be a very tight fit.

13. Take your remaining 3 vertical pieces and line up the openings (one end has a wider space) with the cut out pieces of the shelves. You will have to wiggle the shelves a little, but it WILL work. I have now made 5 of these. This is the hardest part, but totally worth it in the end.

14. Turn your 3 drawer cube on its side and slide in your drawer.

If you chose to make jigs, you’ll have 1 vertical piece left and 1 shelf piece left. You can use these to make more ink pad holders.

Be sure to comment below if you recreate one. I love hearing that someone liked something I created. Also, be sure to link back so that others can find this!

Yay, 51 comments!

  1. Jessica shares:

    Hi Lissa so this wonderful and perfect! I have so much different inks I have SSS MFT HA mementos Ranger ME Distress that I would need literally six of these cubbie things so I’m going to Micheals to get two of them to start with. Thanks for sharing

  2. Rubeena shares:

    Wow wow this is amazing!!!! I hope I can do something like this one day!

  3. Maxine shares:

    Brilliant! You are so clever.

  4. Cyndi shares:

    Excellent information and turorial! I can’t wait to make a few of these. I’ll let you know when I get one done!

  5. Melissa shares:

    This is fab! I’ve been looking for something. I’d seen the foam core stuff but didn’t think it would hold up, but putting it inside the drawers is ingenious! Love it. I can’t wait to try.

  6. Lisa M shares:

    This is fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing your details, I really appreciate this.

  7. Barbara F shares:

    This is great. I have been trying to figure out how to make something like this. .thanks for sharing

  8. Ronnie D shares:

    Thank you so much for doing the math on this…I have done one and love it!! I was wondering if you could come up with the measurements for distress inks also!!

  9. me shares:

    Thank you! I LOVE these! They’ve made me not feel guilty when I buy more inks and I actually now have places to store them all where I will actually look for them AND USE THEM! For the distress inks, which size? Full sized or minis? I think the pull out drawer would be overkill for minis. I could try to do the full size, but it might take me a bit until my current project is finished and my kiddos are out of school.

  10. kathystamps101 shares:

    Finally a plan that makes sense! The foam core has always intrigued me but I didn’t think it would be sturdy enough. When you put it inside the sturdy structure of a drawer you have a winning scenario! I am thrilled to have stumbled upon this today! I would also love to see info for the full size distress inks. The mini just wouldn’t make sense to do this way, but I did see a great way to store them – I will give you a link to them. It would be great to have them fit in the drawer in one large slot – big enough for the case to slide into – providing that there was enough room left after the ink pads.

    Link to mini ink storage:

    Is it OK with you if I show a the pic from pinterest and link back to you on my blog? When I find items (DIY or purchased) that are of great worth to our sister crafters’ I will share, just as you have. Too many things in this world cost too much. We have to look out for each other.
    I will return & show post here once I have completed my projects. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

  11. Marissa shares:

    I heard cassette tape storage would work but my Stampin Up inks don’t fit in the one I picked up at a thrift store. I have craft foam. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow! Thank you so much for this brilliant solution! 🙂

  12. Barb Flavin shares:

    Great idea! I really love that your method stores the stamps on a shelf vertically. The cassette tape set up (which I was considering buying) is more horizontal and takes up a lot more shelf space. Thanks so much for such wonderful measurements and photos!

  13. Deb Montijo shares:

    Thank you so much for posting. Like everyone else I didn’t think foam core would be strong enough but I will try this method and let you know how mine came out. I have mostly Stampin’ Up stamp pads but I guess you can measure pretty much any to fit. Thanks again!

  14. Penny R Gillespie shares:

    Wow, have been looking for some way to store my tim holtz ink pads without spending a fortune, bought a ton of foam core, but never got around to using it. I really love this idea, as space is an issue also.

  15. Sherie Strokllund shares:

    Please be sure and state somewhere that this wonderful design (and I’m serious) DOES NOT WORK WITH STAMPIN’ UP PADS!Because I thought it was an ingenious plan, I bought the cubes and cut the foam core (not all, but enough) then tried to fit them in and they are too tall. I’ve tried them every which way and they don’t work.

  16. Lesley Welte shares:

    Thinking of making this to store all my cross stitch supplies.

  17. Trudy Miller shares:

    Great tutorial but need a bit more explanation. What is a jig? Where is it used in your drawer system?
    Does anyone know if it will work with Stampin Up ink pads

  18. Pat Eastland shares:

    Thanks so much for sharing your hard work figuring out measurements, giving clear directions with pics, etc. I can’t afford custom storage right now but this looks like such a manageable compromise & I’ve looked at lots of other ideas.

  19. Susan Miller shares:

    Hi, This is amazing and affordable.With each unit holding over a hundred ink pads Wow.This is what I need but being disabled I cannot do that right now. You should sell the inserts.Seriously consider selling the inserts on Ebay. I think you would get a ton of business.You should try and figure out how to get them done in wood. Then I know you would sell out it you could keep price low.Thanks for a great tutorial.

  20. Debra B shares:

    This is wonderful! I was storing laces in this type of unit and need to change my storage solution. That left me with these. Now I have an idea to build ink storage, which I’ll be honest has gotten crazy too! Thanks again!

  21. Sharaine Cone shares:

    Thank you for taking the time to create this post and this wonderful ink pad storage draws. Will be making this on my next day off.

  22. scrappergirl56 shares:

    Hey there, fabulous tutorial, I just might have to try my hand at one of these…I have 18 of the drawer units full of goodies, so I will need to figure out different storage for that stuff…LOL…always something, right?

  23. Karen Menard shares:

    This is great! My hubs has made foam core inserts for other drawers and I have found inserts for them on Amazon (where I also find my lavender colored cubes), but this is magic. I can’t wait to get the supplies and ask him to tackle this. I am good with crafts but not a person with spatial ability or precision! Thank you so much!

  24. Dolly shares:

    I don’t have enough inks to fill 3 draws. I created dividers in the other 2 drawers, dividing the space up evenly and use it for my ribbon (which I definitely have tons of!!!). I put a small lip on the front so the ribbon will not fall out.

  25. Kim Rasmusson shares:

    Great ideas. I am going to give this a try.

  26. melinda patek shares:

    Hi I ove this idea very do-able, I was wondering if you could measure the little openings for the stamp pads. most of mine are from Stampin UP. Thanks so much!

  27. Laurie Ann Grant shares:

    Fabulous idea and a fantastic tutorial! Thank you for sharing,for those asking if it works for Stampin’Up! Inks-it has already been mentioned inthe comments tgat someone tried and they are too big for this display.

  28. marieceleste shares:

    use old cassette case storage racks and save some time

  29. Sarah J Erwin shares:

    I may be the first to do this with the cube turned sideways, though I’m not sure whose photo you saw. In 2012, I made storage for my Distress Inks, Ink Daubers and for my embossing powders. Photos were posted (at that time) on the Get Organized Challenge FB page, but when I sold the idea to a company who manufactured this for their cube system, I removed my photos. Here’s the link to the design that I sold to JetMax. They are available on Amazon.

  30. Katherine Dent shares:

    this looks amazing. I’m redoing my craft room and am looking for storage ideas. Thank you for all your work and excellent tutorial.

  31. Janet in the Jaw shares:

    Would this work for Stampin Up, CTMH or TIm Holts ink pads? Curious as I have about 60cubes and this would be a great solution…

  32. Veronica Gonzalez shares:

    great idea! thanks for sharing

  33. Kathy shares:

    This is the BEST self made one I have seen. I have been wanting one for so long, but didn’t want to pay the price. It’s snowing here today so I’ll have to wait to get the materials needed. You can bet that I’ll be making one of these!

  34. Claire Lapierre shares:

    This is just brillant! Congratulation!
    From quebec Canada

  35. Elaine M. shares:

    Love this and I have those drawers but took them out of my craft room when I remodeled it. May put this on my to-do list for the future!!

  36. Sandi shares:

    Fantastic idea and tutorial! Thank you so much!

  37. Lauren shares:

    Awesome, I can even see this as possible sewing organization, working slightly larger depth shelving. Great job. Foam core is great for so many things

  38. Angela shares:

    I have everything to build this and as I started I had a question, how do you keep the pads from falling out when you open the drawer?

  39. Diane Koele shares:

    This is a fabulous idea. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!!

  40. Sharaine Cone shares:

    Just thought you might like to know you are now famous on Facebook group Stamp Junkies. Viola Lisa Gryzbeck Leary made your ink holder and everyone is asking her to do a video. I made this last year, also took the dividers and used them to store my Nuvo drops in a drawer upside down. So your idea was great for several craft things.

  41. Eliza Bedell shares:

    Thanks so much for your tutorial! What a great idea! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks again!

  42. Rosie Walker shares:

    Thank you so much going to try this and hope to get at least one made.

  43. Frances shares:

    Excellent idea, I only have two problems. I don’t live in America and I have Ikea Kallax shelving. I am going to have to modify your superb idea for a two draw Kallax unit. Wish me well!

  44. HeatherDinnocenti shares:

    I just got done making this ink pad organizer and it’s great! I truly love this and the measurements are perfect.

  45. Bethany Lang shares:

    Hello. Did your ink pads dry up or lead on their sides?
    You can email me at

  46. Brenda Parsons shares:

    I have the organize recollections drawers

  47. Vicki Caschette shares:

    I love your idea, did you ever figure out measurements for the full size distressed inks?
    thank you so much

  48. Kathy Jones shares:

    This is wonderful. I have been searching for ink pad storage that was reasonable. I just found the cubes at Michaels for 50% off thanks so much for sharing this. Kathy

  49. Cynthia Parent shares:

    Thank you for the information. I file my old stamp pads this way but they tend to fall out.If got rid of them then the colour will come back into the pallet.
    Also thanks for the PDF. I truly appreciate it.

  50. Toni shares:

    I have the same problem as u did. Ty, I will try this. The others that I have tried just fell flat. Ty for the post.

  51. TONI shares:

    Thank you so much. I just bought foam core board and asked hubby to try to do something for me. I have Stampin’ Up and Ranger distress inks. By any chance do you know measurements for those? Thank you again for the inspiration.

Send me some encouragement!