I can’t be the only one, I’m sure. I get a lovely new item – it could be a handbag, journal, set of Big Shot cutting plates, Versamark pad – and think “this time, I’m going to keep it nice”.
I have utopian visions of a clean and tidy handbag, a journal of neatly scribed important thoughts, one unscarred Big Shot cutting plate, and a pristine Versamark pad which remains the same colour as the day I took it out of its wrapper.
And then life happens. A boiled sweet gets stuck to the handbag lining, I scribble a shopping list in my lovely new journal, both my plates turn into bananas with a roadmap of lines on them, and my Versamark ends up looking like…
It could be worse actually. I’m sure there used to be a black penguin stamped on it, but it must have been absorbed over time. A very long time.
I ordered a new one – a demonstrator can never have too many Versamark pads – but thought I’d have a go at restoring this one. I had very little to lose, after all.
I’d seen a tutorial on Pinterest which involved merely dabbing gently at the foam with a piece of kitchen roll (tissue) then re-inking but, no matter how hard I dabbed (and, in my frustration, I admit I got a little violent), my Versamark pad remained a delightful browny-orangey colour. With a weird purple line and two dots on it. I have NO idea where that came from.
As by now I’d dabbed pretty much any remaining ink from the pad, I decided to go for broke… and washed it. I ran it under a warm tap and rinsed and rinsed until it ran clear and the pad began to look a little more like its old self. The weird line with two dots remains, but is a much paler shade. But no, I still don’t have any idea where it came from.
Once the foam pad had dried thoroughly, I began the re-inking process. Versamark ink is very thick and gloopy so you do have to be patient. I scribbled lines of re-inker horizontally across the pad, as above, then worked it it in gently with my bone folder. Then I repeated it vertically, then diagonally... in the end I inked it FIVE times and I think I’ve cracked it. I used it today and it worked beautifully.
Here it is. Not perfect, but considerably better-looking than when I started.
So, if you don’t want to spend your Bank Holiday Monday sitting in a queue of traffic, why not stay at home and restore your Versamark pad instead? And, if you do, this is how I would recommend you do it. And then you can have fun in the process of turning it a weird colour again.