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Old 07-16-2020, 06:13 AM   #1
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Default ink blending tools?

I've been away from the craft for quite a while. I'm wondering what the latest and greatest ink blending tools are. I'm using those wooden handles with the little round velcro pads. Tim Holtz, I think. I hate them. What do you all use?
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:28 AM   #2
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I never could get those little round pad things to work well either no matter how many tutorials I watched and tried to emulate exactly what they did. Several years ago people started using Clarity Blender Brushes and they are amazing. Another favorite are the Picket Fence Life Changing Blender Brushes (their name, not mine). They come in several configurations but you can get a whole set of them on Amazon for about $14.00 or so.......sold as make-up brushes but they are the same thing. I'd include a link but that's outside my skill set. Hope this helps........Diane
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:38 AM   #3
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I love the blending brushes by The Stamp Market. They make blending so easy where I always struggled with Tim's little velcro pads no matter what I did. I also got the knock offs on amazon but I really like the Stamp Market's better. I got a pack of 4 and just wash them with Dawn soap after each use before using a different color.
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:08 AM   #4
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Diane -- THANK YOU! I just bought a 10 pack on amazon.

Clarity brushes -- I totally forgot I own those LOL!!! Will get those out.

Sherri - thank you - I will check it out
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:48 AM   #5
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I have different ink blending tools, from daubers to long handled brushes to daubers and soft brushes, but always come back to my faves - the Tim Holtz/Ranger blending tools that you hate. But I mostly use Distress Oxides (not regular Distress), which blend like butter.

There are so many tools now - before you buy more, maybe google/watch videos/read reviews.

There are long handled brushes like these:
TE Blender Brushes and many people buy similar ones sold cheaply on Amazon. I like that the handles show color family for quick grabbing. But they hurt my hand some due to how they’re held and my hand having an old minor injury.

Similar are new all white ones (also good for seeing colors) from Rabbit Hole Designs that are inexpensive and come in one size - but the company is moving their website so they may not be up until Saturday. therabbitholedesigns.com

Looking somewhat like the Tim/Ranger blending foams but domed at the top are these by Nuvo - I bought some to try and they’re not for me. I find the domes harder and sound a little scratchy on paper - but others like them.
Ink Blending Tool with Domed Foam Applicators

There are all kinds of brushes that look more like paint or stencil brushes, but are very soft. If interested, I - or others - can post links. I have two types.

There are also small and large finger daubers but they have been out a long time. I use the small ones occasionally. There’s a fun set of them that stack up and are colored too:
i-Brush Blender Brushes – 10pk – i-crafter

Scrapbook.com has a set of 40 in a case (not stackable) for $19.99 right now, or about $23 (?) on amazon with free Prime shipping.
https://www.amazon.com/LIPROFE-Finge.../dp/B07C9VN8X7

And there are other stackable finger daubers that are less expensive that are clear. scrapbook.com has some at Scrapbook.com - Clear Stackable Sponge Daubers - 40 Pack

Large and super sized daubers are out there too.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:46 AM   #6
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I love the scrapbook.com domed blenders and find them much easier to use than the Tim Holtz foams. The domes are more substantial, blend well, and the Velcro more secure and easier to peel off the holder. I also use my brushes when I need a softer look.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:41 AM   #7
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Bjeans -- wow! Thank you for taking the time to share this awesome info! It's clear there isn't just one option! I'll check out all the options
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:41 AM   #8
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Ergonomic Blending Brush - Pink and Main LLC
This is the latest from Pink and Main. They now have a smaller version as well I believe.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #9
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First, welcome back to cardmaking!!! I've taken breaks in the past two and I think I come back each time with more fervor.

My FAVORITE ink blending tools to date are *like* the "Life Changing Blender Brushes" that are out there... except I got mine from Amazon: They're basically just makup blending brushes with handles on them; I think I paid around $10 including shipping for my set of 6 sizes. They work like a charm!

Hugs & blessings,
C
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:01 PM   #10
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My new favorite blending brushes are from The Rabbit Hole Designs, they are only $2.99 each! https://therabbitholedesigns.com/col...ending-brushes
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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I also gave up Tim's round foam pads in favor of the make up brushes on Amazon...they really are a steal, even if you don't use some of the sizes. They work beautifully. The Life Changing ones only change your life by charging you a fortune and all reviews have said they can't tell the difference!
So many choices and it comes down to what works best for you!
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:10 AM   #12
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Honestly, I find that the blender brushes (whichever brand; they all seem the same to me) give blotchy results if I'm using them on a background. I use them for stencils, because the daubers get shredded when I use them. I use large and small daubers for ink blending, but I have to use a very light hand - especially with Distress Oxide Inks. They are way too "juicy" for me, and I find them difficult to blend.
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:59 AM   #13
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Quote:








Originally Posted by mphb
<View Post>

I also gave up Tim's round foam pads in favor of the make up brushes on Amazon...they really are a steal, even if you don't use some of the sizes. They work beautifully. The Life Changing ones only change your life by charging you a fortune and all reviews have said they can't tell the difference!
So many choices and it comes down to what works best for you!



OMG this made me laugh so hard but you're right on and I agree with every word! I watched several YouTube review/comparison videos where they had both and showed the results and truly, they all said the makeup brushes on Amazon worked darn near just as well... for a teeny tiny fraction of the cost. Had Picket Fence invented the brush from the get go, I'd be all about supporting them, but since it appears like perhaps they just found some makeup brushes already out there and realized they worked well for ink blending, I'm all about saving money and getting something I can afford instead! <>
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:01 AM   #14
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Quote:








Originally Posted by dancingpurplecat
<View Post>

My new favorite blending brushes are from The Rabbit Hole Designs, they are only $2.99 each! https://therabbitholedesigns.com/col...ending-brushes



Question - I can't tell from the pictures or the description in that link but are those brushes with bristles or are they "brushes" with some sort of foam or cotton pad on them instead? They look intriguing! <>
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:








Originally Posted by DancesWithHooves
<View Post>

Question - I can't tell from the pictures or the description in that link but are those brushes with bristles or are they "brushes" with some sort of foam or cotton pad on them instead? They look intriguing! <>





They have bristles, but the bristles are very soft and very densely-packed, so the brush almost feels like you are blending with foam. I don't have the Rabbit Hole brand, but they look to be the same as the ones I have. Also, in case anyone is wondering, I purchased the Taylored Expressions brand when they had a good sale, and I have some from Amazon and they are indistinguishable from each other. I like the Rabbit Hole ones because the price is decent and you can buy them one or two at a time - if I hadn't already amassed a bit of a collection, I'd be ordering from them right now.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:17 PM   #16
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I bought my set from Amazon, having seen how much the big brand ones were being sold for. Did a blog post about them.I had a lady leave me a comment- she'd recently bought a set of craft branded blending brushes, for a lot more than the Amazon version, and to her amazement, some of the handles had 'foundation' 'blusher' & 'eyeshadow' on!
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #17
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Much appreciated, Cheryl! Thank you for sharing!!!! I'll save this note so I know where to look if I need to replace any of the ones in my set eventually.

Have a great weekend!

Warmly,
Chrissy
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:40 PM   #18
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Thanks OP for starting this one. I have not done blending for a while but after seeing some videos I decided to try again. I used my sponge wedges and after 2 card front layer panels my hands here hurting! I guess I don't have a light touch but I wanted the color on the paper! The next day I tried with my daubers and every one of them was falling apart! I got more dauber than color on the card front panels. So I am now in the market for blending tools that are not sponges nor daubers.

Thanks for the links, they are super helpful and the ones who stated what they didn't like and why. Very helpful.
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