Happy Accident – A Recycled Storage Case for DIY Alcohol Inks

Alcohol ink storage from recycled floppy disk case
Alcohol ink storage from recycled floppy disk cases

Sometimes it pays to clean out your closet, even if you’re avoiding something you should be doing instead (preparing tax info).

So, I’m pretty sure what possessed me to do my more-or-less annual computer/office supply closet purge and reorganization. If it hadn’t happened just after I made the alcohol inks from Sharpies, this idea would probably never have occurred to me.

Old floppy disk case opened before disassembling
Old floppy disk case open, before disassembling

These cases for 3.5″ floppy disks (!) have been sitting around, surviving many sessions of clearing my closet chi. The “floppy” part will give you an idea of just how old they are. I had four of them.

Every time I went through the closet, I thought “There must be something I can do with these.” FInally, that day has come.

I tried using them to store other things, like old earbuds. But if I can’t see them, I tend to forget they exist, and these cases are opaque (not to mention 90s computer beige). So most of my storage solutions need to be translucent or really visibly labeled.

Old floppy disk case with cover removed
Old floppy disk case with cover removed

To create the storage setup, all that was needed was to pull the covers off, line the cases up and drop in the ink bottles. I had made 23 inks and filled another bottle with some alcohol for quick cleanups. The 4 cases each fit 6 bottles, with a little wiggle room and the color chart fits behind the last row. Perfect!

Two of the lids, which I never thought I’d use, surround the 4 rows of bottles, keeping them a bit more likely to stay upright.

The cases were one in front of the other, but separate. I was worried about the bottles tipping over, especially because of the mess alcohol inks can make. The caps are a little unpredictable, too.

That’s where a clear plastic case from the annual Christmas Ferrero-Rocher splurge my niece, Kayla and I do for each other, came to the rescue. It’s another one of those “I could use that for something” pieces that tend to pile up. It fits the whole setup like a charm.

Now I just need to get in gear and use the inks to color some polymer clay. More on that soon.