15 Ways to Use Sponges in Your Paper Crafting

Author: Jessica Taylor

A sponge is an inexpensive tool that can be used in a wide variety of paper crafting techniques. Sponging is a great way to distress, add dimension and texture, or antique your card stock, paper or chipboard.

Sponges come in a variety of textures and different sponges will give different looks. The best type of sponge for these techniques is a small round stamping sponge with a smaller pore size. A single sponge of this type can be cut into six to eight wedges. Designate a sponge wedge for each color ink or keep each wedge for use in the same color family.

Grab your sponges and try these 15 techniques in your paper crafting:

  1. Add dimension and the illusion of a card stock mat by heavily sponging the edges of a piece of card stock. This will create dimension on your project without adding the bulk of additional layers.
  2. Fix ink blunders like smudges and finger prints. Gently dab a sponge in the same color ink and then lightly dab over the paper evenly for an all over effect that will cover stray smudges.
  3. Dab an inked sponge onto paper for a speckled effect. Lightly dab for a light speckling, press harder and more often for a darker effect.
  4. Rub an inked sponge over paper in a circular motion to soften a background. Choose an ink color that is the same or lighter than the paper for the best results.
  5. For an antiqued look, sponge brown and yellow ink over paper and around edges.
  6. Emboss Resist Technique - Heat emboss an image on white paper with white or clear embossing powder. Use a sponge to rub ink over the embossed image. The embossing will resist the ink and make your image pop out.
  7. Sponge ink lightly inside of a stencil for a soft image, sponge more heavily for a more defined image.
  8. Sponge around a die-cut for a reverse image.
  9. Create clouds in a blue sky. Sponge light blue ink around a purchased cloud template or make your own by layering different sized circles together.
  10. Sponge ink onto the side of a die-cut to create a shadow.
  11. Rub ink over a dry embossed image or background to make it stand out more.
  12. Sponge ink onto chipboard to color it.
  13. Sponge the paper behind chipboard letters to make the title of your scrapbook page stand out more.
  14. Create unique backgrounds. Glossy card stock doesn't soak up ink as quickly, allowing you to blend colors of ink while sponging. Use your sponge with different motions to apply the ink.
  15. Use a sponge to apply shimmer paint to your rubber stamps. Pick up a light layer of paint with the sponge and then gently dab it onto the rubber image.

About the Author

For more paper crafting techniques, visit Jessica Taylor's blog at http://www.inkitupwithjessica.com. Through tutorials, videos and project ideas, Jessica will help you easily make paper projects that make people say "Wow, you're creative!"

How to make Magnetic Jewelry



You can make your own magnetic jewelry, and there are plenty of styles that you can develop and produce in your own home. While your homemade magnetic jewelry will have a charming and pretty look, you should not expect it to look like the brand designs available in magnetic jewelry shops. It takes time and expensive equipment to make really smashing magnetic jewelry. You will also have to learn a lot about the magnets, their strength and position in the jewelry, but as a craft and learning project it can be amazing to make your own magnetic bracelet or necklace.

Getting the Right Magnets

It can be tricky to find the right magnets for homemade magnetic jewelry. You can\'t use regular fridge magnets, these have strength of about 50 gauss and you need many times more than that to make a magnetic bracelet with any sort of effect. You also need to consider the smoothness of the magnets for your jewelry. If you are throwing out an old computer you can certainly find strong neodymium magnets in it, but they won\'t be suitable for jewelry unless you want to make something funky looking without much thought of the healing effects.

The magnets can also be expensive if you buy them from the wrong place. Rare earth magnets are your best choice but ceramic magnets will also work fine for magnetic jewelry. Just make sure that you truly know how to apply the magnets to your jewelry before you get them or you might ruin the magnet and have to get a new one!

Get some Inspiration

Before you start making your homemade jewelry you can check out professional stores online like Acemagnetics.com. Stores like this have a varied selection of magnetic jewelry with plenty of styles to gain inspiration from. Look at the colors and the materials and see how the magnets are inserted in the different models. You can even order a copper bracelet of a simple style to look closer at how it is arranged and set up. This can help you develop your own styles for homemade magnetic jewelry.

Be careful with Strong Magnets!

When you want to learn how to make magnetic jewelry a word of caution is in place. Strong magnets will not sit still on your desk if there are metal objects or even worse, curious kids or pets around! Magnets must be handled with responsibility and not be left around without supervision. If you have children or pets you are wise to keep your magnetic jewelry project in a safe box when you are not working on it. The same thing applies to your ready designs of magnetic jewelry. If you are responsible with your magnets they will give you the joy and inspiration that you are looking for, so have fun making your own magnetic jewelry!

About the Author

This article was written by Lisa Nilson for Loyal Writer