Monday, December 30, 2019

Holiday Decorative Tile with Alcohol Ink and Vinyl Decal

Thought I'd squeak one more holiday craft post in before the end of the year. In November I cut a bunch of vinyl decals and ended up making Thanksgiving tiles and a Hogwarts Crest tile, but I had one leftover decal from that cutting session.

So I weeded my vinyl decal (pealed up all the excess vinyl) and set it aside and got out my alcohol inks, a craft mat, some canned air, and a 6 x 6 inch white ceramic tile.

In between other inking projects, I made several attempts and creating a winter night sky with my alcohol inks. All of them failed miserably. Most of the time on these craft tutorial websites, they don't share the mistakes, but I thought I'd show you a bit of my process. After each spectacular failure, I sprayed it down with rubbing alcohol and wiped it off with a paper towel.

After some initial irritation, I decided I shouldn't use any blacks or grays so the black decal would show up. I also nixed the northern lights and sunset attempts (all of my pink, purple, and green made it look more like under the sea than the night sky) and decided to opt for blues and silvers. I got out my Stonewashed and Denim ink and some Silver, White and Pearl inks.

After failing at my usual method of layering the ink and blowing it around with the canned air (it was too dark and busy), I decided to put a ton of inks on (seen in the first photo) and then gently blow it around the tile (seen in the photo above).

I was getting closer! Finally! So I lightened up some of the darker areas and smoothed out some of the busy spots so the decal would really pop on the tile. Then I set the tile aside to dry. I left it two days to dry because it had quite a bit of ink on the tile with all of the metallic inks.

After the tile had dried, I sprayed it with some Kamar Varnish so that I wouldn't peel up any of the ink when applying my decal. I left the varnish to cure for a day.

After the ink and varnish had dried, I got my decal back out and cut a square of transfer tape to size.

I applied the transfer tape to the decal and burnished it (rubbed it with my nail and sometimes a scissors handle) to make sure all of the small bits would peel up. Then I carefully peeled the decal off of the paper backing and applied it to the tile and burnished it yet again.

Then my favorite part! I peeled the transfer tape back slowly to reveal the design on my tile. It did pull a bit of the silver paint up as the tape pulled up, but with all the ink on the tile, it wasn't noticeable (hooray!).

After all of the attempts at the ink, I was really pleased with how it turned out with the decal. I've already found the perfect ledge for it to live on for the rest of the Holiday season.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas Ornament Collection

Merry Christmas! To celebrate, I thought I'd share a link to all of my Christmas Ornament Tutorials. From Sarah Jane's Craft Blog to all of you. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Alcohol Ink on Wooden Ornaments

If you follow the blog, you may remember a few weeks ago I posted about buying a stash of these wood ornament blanks on Amazon. I started by spray painting those and then using plastic wrap and alcohol ink to decorate them. While I was preparing those with spray paint, I made a bunch of extras. I spray painted some silver and even sealed a few with acrylic sealer so they would still be wood colored.

I laid them out in cardboard boxes and sprayed one side and let it dry and then flipped them over and painted the other. The acrylic sealed ones I sprayed just one side on because I wasn't sure that the sealer would be enough to allow me to ink the wood. I didn't even get a picture of them because they were an experiment (that and it's the holiday season and everything is a bit rushed).

I started out with the white sprayed ornaments. I laid out a craft mat (actually two because the canned air sprays ink everywhere if you're not careful) and dug out my canned air. I used a light green (Limeade) first. I dripped some ink on the ornament and blew it around with the air.

Then I added some bright blue (Sailboat) and blew it around with the air.

Next I added a color that's new to my collection. It's Blue-Violet from Pinata's new set of alcohol inks. It's a really pretty deep bluish purple. The Pinata inks don't spread out as much when blowing them with air, so you have to keep that in mind when working on canned air projects. 

I added a little pink (Wild Plum) and mixed some Rainforest Green with the Limeade to get some darker green areas.

Then I tried a traditional Christmas colored ornament. Red and green are super tricky since when they mix they turn brown, but I was fairly satisfied with my green and red on this ornament. I used two shades of green, two shades of red and some metallic ink to round it out.

The white painted ornaments worked the best out of all of my samples. But the pink and red ornaments were from the acrylic sealed batch. They worked too, and I look forward to trying that out more. The silver painted ornaments didn't work out very well. There were places where the ink didn't want to stick to the paint at all, so it took a bit of trial and error to cover those and get something that looked halfway decent. When I was satisfied with the ink, I flipped them over and repeated the process. Then I let them dry a day before I sprayed them with some Kamar Varnish to seal them.

These were a ton of fun and I can't wait to come up with new ways to use those ornament blanks in the years to come!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Alcohol Ink and Spray Paint Ornaments

Last year I made some ornaments by spraying paint into some plastic ball ornaments. In previous years I decorated ornaments (both glass and plastic ball ornaments) with alcohol ink. This year, I combined the two methods and made alcohol ink and spray paint ornaments. It wasn't exactly what I had set out to do, but they turned out neat in spite of my plans.

I started out by spraying some paint into a few ball ornaments. I was going to try to get solid coverage and then ink the outside of the ornaments, but I was having a hard time getting good coverage with my initial spray of paint. I sprayed into the openings, swirled the paint around, and then tipped the ornaments over to dry. They only got about half coverage (even less on the ones I painted with white paint). I could have continued to add layers of paint and let it dry until I got a good solid coverage, but I thought the partial coverage was kind of interesting, so I decided to ink the inside with the partial paint and see what it looked like.

I picked out a dark shade of blue green for my first partially sprayed ornament and dripped it into the ornament and swirled it around a bit.

Then I used canned air to blow the ink around the ornament and get good coverage. It created sections of transparent green and sections of solid silver. It was interesting looking, so I kept crafting.

The white sprayed ornaments didn't have as much solid coverage and were instead sort of frosted white, which created an interesting semi-opaque look when I put ink inside the ornament. I put purples and pinks in one and yellow and red in the other and blew them around with the air.

I used a more traditional Christmas green for the last silver ornament and blew it around the ornament with the canned air.

Then I turned them over and let them dry overnight before putting their caps back on and hanging them on the tree.

These started out as a bit of a craft fail, but turned into some cool looking ornaments. I'm so glad I decided to experiment with them!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Alcohol Ink Decorative Ceramic Tile Christmas Ornaments

I love making Christmas Ornaments. I have more than I need, but, I just can't help myself. So, when I was at the hardware store and saw these tiles, I knew I had to get them to make ornaments.

They sell these "arabesque tiles" in sheets that are roughly 1 square foot. The sheet includes 18 tiles attached to a mesh backing.

I opened the package and peeled the tiles from the backing, so I could work with them individually.

Then I got out my alcohol inks, a craft mat, and a can of air. I knew I wanted to use the metallic inks (Ranger calls theirs mixatives) to give them a nice shimmer and shine. It felt like a festive choice.

I decided since I was adding the bling with metallics, that I'd stick with similar color shades as a base. So my first one was red. I chose a few shades of red and dripped them on the tile and blew them with the canned air.

I layered lighter and darker shades of red and gold ink until the tile was completely covered.

Next I tried some greens. I layered some lighter and darker shades and then blew them around with the canned air.

This time I tried some copper ink with my greens and blew that around, then I layered more green ink over top until I liked the mix and had covered the tile.

Next up were blues and silver. I repeated the same process with several other colors. I even used a foam paint brush to make sure the edges of the tiles got covered (I just squeezed a bit of the metallic ink color I used for that tile onto the foam brush and covered any white on the edges).

It would probably be a good idea to seal these with some kamar varnish or acrylic sealer, but I was impatient and knew that they wouldn't get handled too much since they are Christmas ornaments. So I threw caution to the wind and decided to work on the backs as soon as they dried. I pulled out my felt stash and amazingly had coordinating colors for all of my ornaments. I traced the ornament shape onto the felt and cut it out with a scissors.

I used a hot glue gun to attach a ribbon and then cover the backs of the tile in the felt I had cut out. The hot glue is a bit lumpy and difficult to work with, so it might work better to glue the ribbon with the hot glue and then glue the felt on with tacky glue (which I know works well on the backs of ceramic tiles from making coasters). I ended up using tacky glue to get the edges of the felt all glued down anywhere the hot glue didn't quite get.

After the glue had all dried, I trimmed any excess felt that was hanging over the edges of the ornaments.

These turned out so colorful and cute! Even if I was swearing at the hot glue gun a bit, I'm still happy with the finished product--they look great on my Christmas tree!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink on Painted Wood Ornaments

A few weeks ago, Amazon had a lightning deal for a bag of 100 wooden ornament blanks. I knew I could do all sorts of fun stuff with them, so I snapped them up. I'm sure I'll be crafting cool ornaments with them for years to come, but here's my first project.

I decided to paint a bunch of them so that I could ink them. I laid them in a layer on the bottom of a box and sprayed them with white spray paint. I had to do two layers on each side, and they still weren't quite 100% covered, but since I was going to be inking them, the most important part was that the ink wouldn't soak into the wood.

I opted for my current favorite application method--plastic wrap. I have done several projects with this method. It's really easy and works great on white surfaces, especially ones that are just a bit porous so the ink can sink in just a bit, so I thought it'd be a perfect fit for the painted ornaments.

I laid out a piece of plastic cling wrap large enough to cover both sides of my ornament and then chose a selection of alcohol ink. I opted for a few shades of green and some gold.

After the inks are dripped on the plastic wrap, I put the ornament down on top of the ink and folded the remaining plastic over top. Do not smooth the plastic out, the wrinkles make cool patterns. I folded the remaining plastic over to make a little packet of ink and ornament and set it aside.

I repeated the process, this time with reds and some more metallic inks.

And then made a neat bundle of the ornament in the plastic wrap and set it aside like the green one.

I apparently got carried away and forgot to take a before photo of the blue one. I used some blues and some pearl and silver ink for this one and then wrapped it up.

I left these to dry for a day, but got busy and they were left alone for 2 days. However long you leave them, make sure the ink is dry before peeling the plastic wrap off. I usually leave it about 24 hours.

This is the first time I have used the metallic inks with the plastic wrap method, and it worked out great! It's so much fun peeling the plastic off and being surprised by the results.

The back side of the green one had less big wrinkles, so it came out kind of feathery. It looks pretty neat.

The poor sad blue ornament's photo came out blurry, so I didn't get a good one to share, but it turned out neat. The red one turned more maroon and pink, but still got some interesting patterns from the plastic wrap.

I'm pleased with how my first 3 ornaments turned out. Only 97 more to use. :)