Alcohol Ink Ceramic Tiles with a Valentine's Day Resist

Well, it's almost Valentine's Day and I've been puttering away at a few V-day crafts, but neither of them turned out quite like I was expecting. After a few twists and turns, I ended up with a few cute ceramic tiles decorated with alcohol ink using heart-shaped resists.

My first heart-shaped resist comes from a bag of foam stickers from Dollar Tree. I picked these up last Valentine's day absolutely certain that I'd use them for some project. So this year, when I saw them hanging around in my craft stash, I knew I had to try and use them. So I slapped one on a ceramic tile to see if I could use it as an alcohol ink resist.

I dug out all of my pink and purple alcohol inks and a felt applicator. I set my ceramic tile on a craft mat and got to work.

I covered the tile with raspberry, wild plum, and watermelon colored inks. I stamped until the colors started creating little circular cells in the ink.

Then I dripped some twilight purple and eggplant onto a felt to add a bit more depth to the color.

I let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then I tried to take the sticker off. Nope. It was on there good. I used my nails and a dish scraper and worked at when ever I passed by it for a couple of days a couple minutes at a time until the darn thing finally came off. Then, I used some hot water and a paper towel to remove the last of the sticky bits.

After the sticker was off, it looked ok. It wasn't terribly exciting and the edge of the heart wasn't terribly clean. I could have quit here, but I wanted something a bit more exciting.

So I thought of my new little spray bottles. I loaded one of the little mist bottles with rubbing alcohol.

So I sprayed it with a few mists and panicked. Then I sprayed it a couple more times and let it dry.

It created a unique watercolor effect and made the imperfect edge of the heart look a bit more intentional. At any rate, it was fun to test out my new spray bottle.

I wasn't a hundred percent satisfied with that project, so I went about trying again. This time I used leftover hearts from last week's candle holder project. They were just cut out of contact paper with a scissors. I stuck them to my ceramic tiles and set out to see if contact paper would work as a resist with my new favorite inking technique--fire.

I dripped all of my pink and red inks onto the tile around the hearts.

Then I lit it on fire. It's hard to see, but there is a little flame on the right side. I had to light this one on fire twice as it missed the upper left hand corner. The ink mixed and set beautifully.  The contact paper didn't melt or burn, which was a possibility, so I guess that was a win, but the ink did seem to run over the edge more than I had hoped.

Optimistic, I repeated the process on the other tile with the same colors and set it on fire. This time the whole tile went up in a large flame (so be sure to set up your area to be flame and heat proof if you try it!).

I let the tiles dry for a half and hour or so and then peeled off the contact paper. The ink had run under the vinyl. I must have been so disappointed that I didn't take any photos, because I couldn't find any on my camera or phone. I then tried to clean it up with q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol, but the alcohol ran into the not quite set up ink and made it worse in places. A few days later, I tried to put some triangles of painters tape onto the hearts to try to clean up the bottom edges.

It didn't work. The ink ran under the tape even worse than the contact paper. So I peeled all of the tape off and spent over a half an hour carefully cleaning off ink with a paper towel, lots of q-tips, and a paint brush dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Once I had most of the ink cleaned off, I dipped a small paint brush in some alcohol ink to try to cover any areas that needed to be filled in. Then I repeated the q-tip in rubbing alcohol thing until I had it mostly cleaned up. Needless to say, the edges of these hearts weren't as clean as I had hoped for either. So I have to keep looking for a way to create a resist when lighting the ink on fire.

In the end, none of them turned out quite like I had hoped, but I made the best of them. I learned what not to do and how best to clean ink up on the tile (with lots of patience and extra q-tips). They turned out fairly cute in the end and will make lovely candle plates or coasters. I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful love-filled Valentine's Day!


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