Sunday, 24 May 2015

Revitalising a Versamark ink pad

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. 


  1. That sounds a much better idea. ;)

  2. I have a pad that looks almost like yours but with out the two purple dots. hee hee. Stuff happens.

    I do have an ink refill and when time allows I just may try bringing some life back into my pad.

    Thanks for sharing this tip.

    1. Yes! Solved my comments issue by clearing cookies. This post is from nearly four years ago but the Versamark I restored is still going strong... albeit looking very much like the "before" picture again!


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