Sponge Daubers tips & ideas

Sponge Daubers are my little secret… but not any more!  Thank you to Fiona for your question about what you can use sponge daubers for, I’ve finally sat down and put my thoughts together in one place.  Also, Kim B you asked about pastels, you might find some more ideas here. Karyn, you asked whether I use Sponges or Sponge Daubers, I much prefer sponge daubers – to get the colours blended in well I start with only a little bit of colour and work in small circles while adding more colour as I go if needed.  I love sponge daubers because before them I couldn’t get nice smooth and blended sponging, no matter what I used plus they’re so versatile.  These little beauties are always within arms reach on my desk.  So what can you use sponge daubers for? Here’s a list of Sponge Dauber ideas to keep you busy:

Sponge Dauber Ideas:


Poppin’ Pastels.  Stamp with Versamark then use the sponge daubers to dab colour onto your stamped image and make your image pop.

chalking double-poppin

Double Poppin’ Pastels.  Sponge pastels/chalk onto the cardstock first, then stamp your image with Versamark then use the sponge dauber to add the same colour on top.


Stenciling.  Use your sponge daubers with an inkpad and stencil to do stencilling.

rainbow-background fresh-rainbow

Pretty rainbow background.  Use your sponge daubers with a variety of coordinating onto glossy cardstock to give a dreamy background then stamp your image over the top of the background with dark ink.  Somehow I can’t photograph that stamped one to show the colours that well but I used the background in the first photo and stamped over it, so the background is green/blue/purple.


Basic Colouring.  Stamp in a dark ink (black/navy/chocolate) then use sponge daubers with chalk to add colour to your image.


Colouring Emboss resist.  Stamp in Versamark, emboss in any colour and then add colour to your image with sponge daubers loaded with ink from your inkpad.


Fun Background.  Load the sponge daubers with chalk then use that to make a ‘dotty’ background.  Do that by pressing the dauber onto the cardstock then giving it a little twist. (that idea from my 11 year old daughter Jade, this photo is of Jade making the background in her favourite colour-combo: Pink Passion and Green Galore)

rubon close-up-of-chalk-rubon

Make customised coloured rub-ons! Apply white rub-ons then use a sponge dauber and chalks to add colour to the rub-on to change it from white to any chalk colour you like.  Use a small brush to dust off any excess chalk and an eraser to erase chalk from areas you don’t want it to be on.

Vintage Cards esme2


Softening Edges of your cardstock. I use this method a lot!  I love the look of sponging around cardstock, either with a neutral cardstock like white or vanilla or sponging the same colour ink as the cardstock I’m using.  The cards and scrapbooking layout in the photo above all have sponging around the edges, in this case I’ve used three different colours to create a depth and interest. In the second card I’ve sponged blue cardstock with brown but only very lightly around the edges to soften the hard lines.  And in the third card I have sponged Olive ink on Olive cardstock then Ruby Red ink on Ruby Red cardstock to give the card some warmth.

ink-heart two-toned-heart

Multi-Coloured Stamping. You’ve got to try this, it looks absolutely awesome and nothing but Sponge Daubers will give you this smooth and blended look… trust me, I’ve tried many other ways!  Not sure if you can see the grading of colour in the heart but it’s really fabulous.  Ink up your stamp in one colour as usual, then use a Sponge Dauber to add a different colour around the edges to give a two-toned effect.

Sponge Dauber Tips:


*  I keep one sponge dauber for each colour I use and label it so that I can use that same sponge dauber with either the chalk or inkpad of that colour.  The daubers are then all stored in a plastic Stampin’ Up! container that used to contain little stamps (I gave those stamps away).

*  You might prefer to keep one sponge dauber for each colour ‘group’ such as one for greens, one for yellows, one for reds, etc.

*  Sponge daubers can be washed with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and warm water.  That’s a bit of a hassle for me though which is why I keep one for each colour.

Okay that’s it.  I’m tired now after all that but feeling good that I have a heap of little bits and pieces of stamped and sponged cardstock that I have ready to turn into cards.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sponge Dauber ideas, if you did then please feel free to add your name to my newsletter list (pink bog at the top right hand side of this blog) to receive more tips and ideas.  Or maybe you’d like to join me on my Facebook page.

All the products I’ve used in this post (apart from the one feather stamp) are from Stampin’ Up! and you can visit my online store to view Stampin’ Up! product by clicking the Shop Now button below

Pink Shop Now button

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  1. says

    Thanks so much for all that Angela! I can’t wait to start ‘daubing’! I haven’t really known how to use them :)


  2. Fiona says

    Oh wow Angela, no wonder you were tired after putting all those wonderful tips together for all of us! Some ideas there I know I never would have thought of – the photos and info are certainly an excellent resource to keep handy. Thanks so much once again!

  3. Donna Zammit says

    Thankyou Angela,
    for being so thorough in your explanations. I was wondering though, with the chalks, do they smudge after you’ve completed your project? If so, is there a fixative you can spray over the top to stop it smudging once your project is complete? I’ve heard hairspray can stop it smudging.

    Cheers Donna

  4. Angela says

    Hi Donna,

    I never seal my work that I do using Stampin’ Up! chalks. I just rubbed my hand over some of the chalking I did this afternoon and it didn’t smudge. The seahorse I did with the double-popping did come off a bit on my hand but it didn’t smudge the image. The reason I don’t seal my chalked cards is because the chalks I use a very stable and I don’t expect anyone to really rub the card hard (as I did just now to experiment), just as they wouldn’t with any other type of card.

    Yes you can use hairspray to seal if you like. I suggest using Cedel Hairspray (the pink one) as I find that’s best. You can also buy a professional sealing spray from any art shop if you prefer.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Karyn says

    Hi Angela
    thanks for these sponge tips. I particularly like the softening cardstock edges tip. Do you also ink the card edge by running the card along an inkpad? or do you just sponge the edge?

  6. Lynda says

    Man-o-man Angela….are you a post-a-holic or what?? Thanks so v v much for all the effort you put into this tutorial…it was very helpful….VERY!! Looking forward to more of your YODA like postings to educate and inspire those who read you!!

  7. Annette says

    Hi Ange

    Thanks for that tutorial I found it very useful. I’ve not used sponge daubers yet, but I will add them to my very long and extensive wish list. Just a quick question. Do you keep one dauber for ink and one for chalk of the same colour? If not, do you wash them in between use. I’m just having trouble imagnining using a dauber with the pastels after having used it with ink (even of the same colour). I hope you understand what I’m getting at.

    Thanks again.

  8. Angela says

    Hi Annette,

    Actually I do use the same dauber for ink and chalk of the same colour. Usually I use that colour for ink/chalk on different days so the ink left on the dauber is quite subtle by the time I use it again for chalk. If you’re worried about it though you can just give the dauber a little rub on some scrap paper to take off any excess ink.


  9. Lana says

    Thanks so much for all those ideas, I am going to grab them out and have a go; can’t remember the last time I used chalks. Cheers.

  10. says

    That post was incredibly informative!! And even if I knew the info your pictures were inspiring, Thanks!! I have used daubers before for a lot of things but I get lazy and don’t clean them and end up inking on edges directly using my ink pots. It’s not the same. Thats it I’ve decided now- At least one dauber for every colour group, at least. Also loved the baroque motif cards ( one of my sets). The force is great with you Yoda LOL

  11. Jane Logan says

    WOW! Well done Angela! I never knew my daubers were so versatile – now where are they??

  12. Angela says

    Hi Karyn,

    I do on occasion also ink the edges of the cardstock by using the inkpad directly onto the cardstock. However I usually do this if the card is going to be a ‘heavier’ distressed type card. If I want to keep it soft then I only use the daubers. Using the ink directly onto the cardstock is especially great for masculine cards.

  13. Yvonne says

    Wow Angela, I never thought there were soo many ways to use them. Thanks for all the great ideas. Definately will be ordering more daubers now!

  14. says

    Just discovered your blog. Thank you so much for all of the useful information on the daubers and the TIP about the incentive stamp holder. I had been storing my daubers in the Big Shot #2 boxes (each box holds 12) but I like this so much better.

  15. Janette C says

    That was great…very informative for the uninformed !!! So much to learn but you obviously will be a great and helpful teacher. Thanks for all your help so far.

  16. Kate says

    Hi Angela,
    I did a search on “how to use daubers?” as I’ve just bought some, loved the look of what daubers can do, but wasn’t quite sure how to use them exactly. Thanks so much for all this info.
    I too loved your Baroque Motif cards, and particularly laughed at your card: “I’d rather be on Isle Esme”. Me too!
    Will visit again

  17. Charlotte says

    Love your ideas. I too love using the daubers and especially like your hints for storing them.

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