Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tutorial- How to make custom sponge tools

Whew, it's been a busy few days! But I'm finally back with the tutorial I referred to a few days back. I'm going to show you how to make your own sponge tools for fun and interesting nail art!

Before you start, you need to gather your supplies so you won't have to stop halfway through and bug your family about helping you find the glue stick, the way I might have done here.

The list is simple enough. Basically, you can use whatever you have on hand!

Supplies for sponge tools:
  • Sponges
    • Don't feel like you have to use what I used! Use whatever you have around the house...
    • Kitchen sponges, makeup sponges, whatever sponges you
  • Scissors
  • Sticks of some kind. I used coffee stirrers and bamboo skewers.
  • Some sort of adhesive. (Not pictured)
After that, it's really simple- cut the sponges and stick them on the end of the sticks! However, I went to a bit more trouble and showed different options you have.

To start with, I used the sponge from an old set of sponge rollers I have on hand. This particular roller had broken, so I decided to recycle the sponge into a tool for sponging.

I decided to cut it into different shapes to see what sort of effects I could create. I cut off small round sections from the end of the sponge, then cut them into half-circles and quarter-circle wedges.

I also cut the sticks into small segments that would be easier to control. I eventually cut the ends of the sticks into points, but I don't have pictures of that. I kind of forgot...  oops!

Then, I decided to cut a small opening into the sponge so that the stick would go inside of it. That would make it a bit more stable when stamping, I think.

This was so awkward to photograph, since I needed two hands to actually work the scissors and hold the sponge! So, pretend this photo is of me snipping into the bottom of the sponge segment.

You can also use your sticks to just sort of tear into the bottom, if you like. It all depends on what shape the bottoms of your sticks are. If you're using a bamboo skewer, you can just sort of shove it into the end of the sponge.

At this point, you would put glue on the end of your stick and shove it into the little hole you'd made in the base of the sponge. Unfortunately, I'd lost the glue stick I'd gotten out to do this tutorial with as soon as I started photographing, so after looking for a good 45 minutes, I decided glue wasn't important and I made do with what I had.

Instead, I painted the stick with a glob of nail polish and shoved it in. Surprisingly enough, this worked really well! I did find the glue stick after I'd finished this tutorial (of course!), and used it on later sponge tools... but the ones with nail polish held up just as well!

Who knew?

And now comes the fun part... seeing the different patterns and stamp styles you can get with the different tools! Believe it or not, they really do look different...

No matter how I tweaked this, it was hard to make it understandable. The colors basically match up the sponge shapes
to their patterns when stamped onto paper.

Stamp pattern of the center of the flat side of the half-circle section.
Stamp pattern of the edge of the quarter-circle wedge.
Stamp pattern of the flat edge of the quarter-circle wedge.

Stamp pattern of the side of the round.
Stamp pattern of the flat portion of the round, by the hole.
Stamp pattern of the flat portion of the round, by the hole.
Stamp pattern of the scratchy side of a kitchen sponge.
That last photo shows what the scratchy side of a kitchen sponge looks like when you stamp with it! I actually think it's pretty... very interesting, almost like when you splatter nail polish from a straw!

So, the idea here is simple: don't feel like you always need to spend money on expensive nail art tools. Sometimes you can do cool things with stuff you already have around the house!

Til next time!

My mind never stops with the ideas...
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