Monday, May 27, 2019

Alcohol Ink on Ceramic Tile: Blown vs. Stamped

I started out this alcohol ink project trying to have both stamped inking and blown inking in the same project. It didn't work out exactly how I had planned, but it was really fun to compare the two techniques. This post is image heavy as it walks you through every color combination so you can see how the colors mix and react to the two techniques.

You'll need:
Alcohol Ink (I used 6 colors of Ranger Ink from two sets for this project: Summit View and Dockside Picnic)
Ceramic Tiles
A work surface (like a craft mat)
alcohol ink applicator and felt

The first thing I did was cut a thin strip of painters tape and ran it diagonally across two 4 inch ceramic tiles.

I decided to do the stamping side of my tile first. I started with Purple Twilight (from the Summit View Set) I dripped a bunch of tiny dots onto my felt to stamp my tiles.

The drips were pretty small, and didn't get too much ink onto the felt, so stamping didn't get the best coverage. I tapped the felt across one side of the tile until I had gotten some ink all over. On ceramic tiles, the ink spreads out a just bit as you stamp it when the ink is fresh.

I wanted to get a base of color down, but instead of adding more ink, I opted to thin the ink out a bit to get a base of pastel purple. I used a pipette to drip a couple drops of rubbing alcohol onto my existing felt square (over the purple that was already on it).

Then I stamped it across the purple on the tile and watched it spread out and thin. It turned almost pink.

I continued to stamp with the same felt with no additional ink or rubbing alcohol across both tiles until I had a light purple covering half the tile and the stamping started to create smaller circles or cells in the ink.

Then I started adding the other colors. I dripped two large drops of Sailboat Blue (from the Dockside Picnic Set) over the thinned purple on my felt and stamped it in a scattered fashion over the purple on the tiles.

Next up was Citrus (also from Dockside Picnic). I dripped another couple of drops of the "cool" color side of my felt--right over the blue and purple--and stamped it in a scattered pattern on both tiles.

Then I switched to the warmer colors and dripped two fat drops of Watermelon red onto the clean side of the felt and stamped those across the tiles. I put the red on the clean side so that it wouldn't mix with the green ink and create a muddy brown color when stamping.

Then I switched back the Summit View set and used the Sunset Orange over the red on my felt and stamped it across the tile.

It's a bit hard to tell, but on the last pass, I added the Sunshine Yellow in a few spots across the tiles. The colors from these two sets create a pretty contrast and work pretty well on one felt if you separate the reds from the greens and blues, but if you run into any mixing that you don't like, just grab a clean felt square.

Now for the blown side of my tiles. I opted to use a can of air to blow my ink. You can use a heat gun or a low powered hair dryer, but you have a bit more control over a small area (like our four inch tiles) with a can of air. So I dropped my purple on the tile to start again. I put a few big drops and a couple little dots across the tile.

I was really light on the trigger of the canned air and the ink spread out just a little.

So I added a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol from my pipette again and used the air can to carefully blow the ink around the tile to create a similar purple backdrop as the stamped side.

After the purple base, I added a few drops of blue ink and carefully blew them around. They spread a bit more easily on the surface since it was wet with ink and rubbing alcohol. You can see some little tiny fingers of ink on the left side of the tile where I pulled the trigger on the canned air a bit harder.

I added a bit of the citrus green to places on the tile that hadn't filled in with ink yet and blew it around with the air. You can really see how different that green looks in concentrated spots (far right) versus spread out spots where it is almost light enough to be yellow.

Then I added the yellow next (as I knew the yellow wouldn't mix with the green to turn brown) and added the orange and spread it around a bit with the canned air.

Then I added the red as a contrast and last pop of color. Toward the last couple colors, I was holding the trigger down all the way on the can of air to get the ink to spread in interesting ways. If it's your first time using the canned air with alcohol ink, be sure to cover your work surface well or use a splatter shield as little drops of alcohol ink will travel quite a ways.

After I was satisfied with the coverage of the blown ink, I carefully peeled off the painters tape. Unfortunately, the ink spread under the tape, so I had to come up with a solution. I could have carefully cleared away the ink with a ton of q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol, or I could cover it.

I opted for a messy stripe of gold ink as a dividing line instead. The blown ink and gold ink look so bright, though, that the stamped ink looks a little pale and pastel in comparison.

It was a fun experiment to put these two techniques next to each other, but if I do it again, I'll make sure the stamped side is as bright as the blown side to make for a better match. If you end up with an awesome combo when you try it, be sure to seal your designs with mod podge or an acrylic sealer.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Laminated License Plate Game

I thought I'd share a quick bonus craft this week. Travel Iowa released a Family Fun Guide to promote county parks in Iowa that had a map of all 99 counties in Iowa for a license plate game. When we drive long distances, we often like to keep track of license plates to pass the time. Since Iowa posts its counties on the license plate, it can add a level of difficulty to your search to keep track of county plates in addition to the states. A quick google search located a Map of the U.S. to put on the other side of my Iowa Map from the Raising Whasions blog. If you're not from Iowa or planning to travel in Iowa, you could put a map of your state to keep track of where you've visited or a Canadian map to keep track of province plates as you see them.

I printed out my two maps on some lightweight (60lb) card stock and slipped it into a laminating pouch with the back sides of each map towards each other and the map sides facing out.

The pouches come in 8 1/2 by 11 size, so it's super easy to laminate full sheets of paper. Just smooth down the laminating plastic and make sure your printouts are lined up (you could print on heavy weight card stock and print on both sides--or use a piece of double stick tape to keep the sheets from getting out of alignment).

I have an older version of the Scotch Laminator, and it works fairly well for home projects. Just pop the pouch in the top and let the machine pull it through and heat as it goes. I often have to run it through a couple times to get the edges to seal well, but it's very easy to use.

Now that my maps are laminated, I can use a dry erase marker (or wet erase/overhead marker if you want to make sure it doesn't wipe off for the whole trip) on it to keep track of the license plates we've seen. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Crafting Revisit: Glitter Magnets

I've been going through some of the oldest posts on this blog to update them a bit (make sure the links work, etc...) and after updating my post on Glitter Magnets, I knew I needed to try it out again. It was only the second craft I did for the blog over 7 years ago, so I thought I'd give it a revisit this week.

You'll need:
Glass Gems/Flat Marbles
Mod Podge and a foam brush
glitter of your choice
a work surface (a paper plate works well to contain the glitter)
magnets and glue to attach (I used e6000)

I grabbed some glass gems from my craft stash and a bunch of old glitter and put the gems flat side up on a paper plate. Then I painted all of the gems with a layer of mod podge. Then I started covering them in glitter.

After the gems all had a layer of glitter on them, I let them dry for about an hour before coming back and repeating the process. This time I poured some mod podge into the cap to paint onto the gems and started with the lightest glitter as the glitter sticks to the glue a bit. Then I poured another layer of glue onto the gems. With the glue in the cap, I rinsed it out in the sing along with the foam brush to avoid glitter transfer. When I came back to check on them an hour later, the glue was still white, so I let them dry overnight before topping them with yet another coat of mod podge just to keep them from shedding glitter.

After the sealing coat dried clear, I used some e6000 glue to attach some small neodymium magnets. The magnets I used were about a quarter of an inch in size--pretty darn tiny, and I wouldn't recommend them for any house that has small children or pets that like to eat things. That being said, they are surprisingly strong and work perfect for these little fridge magnets. You can get them in larger sizes that might be a bit safer, too.

I put a tiny drop of glue on each gem and then placed the magnet on and let it dry overnight before hanging them up.

These magnets are so strong that you need to place them strategically on your plate or the magnets will pull out of the glue and attach to each other. This was just about as close as they could get before being attracted to each other. Weaker magnets won't have that problem.

This was a fun glittery project and could definitely be modified to be a kid or teen craft. Finer glitter seems to have better coverage, and I probably could have managed a third coat of glitter if I wanted. If you like glitter, but hate the shedding, make sure you have a good sealing coat of mod podge (maybe even coat it twice) over the glitter before attaching your magnets.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Marbled Tile Coasters

Last week I posted about creating more pages of spray paint marbled paper. So this week, I decided to make some coasters out of the paper. I used the same method I've used in the past with scrapbook paper.

All you need:
Patterned Paper or Card Stock (I used my marbled paper)
A cutting tool (you could use scissors or a paper cutter, but I had my rotary cutter and mat out)
4 inch Ceramic Tiles
Glossy Mod Podge 
A Foam Brush
Paper plate or sheet of Parchment (to protect your work surface)
Sheet of Craft Felt
Tacky Glue (or a hot glue gun to glue on the felt)

As mentioned in the supply list, I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut the paper and felt for this project. You'll also need a straight edge of some kind. I measured my ceramic tiles at about 4 1/4 inches (they have a slight bevel or slant along the edge).

I went through my stacks of marbled paper and chose two sheets that had similar colors and cut four squares (at 4 1/8 inch) out of each sheet. Then I selected the 4 squares that I thought had the most interesting patterns to use. If you're using scrapbook paper, you can skip the extra squares.

I got out my mod podge, a foam brush, and a paper plate (to protect the table from glue).

I painted a thin layer of mod podge onto the ceramic tile and then placed my paper square onto the glue. Smooth from the center out. I usually use any excess glue on my brush on the edges of the paper before I glue it down to make sure the edges are secure. If your edges are loose, dab glue along the edges and smooth out carefully with your fingers.

Once the paper is adhered to the tiles, let it dry for an hour or so to make sure any wrinkles or bubbles smooth out completely. The marbled card stock wasn't entirely flat since it was soaked in waterin the marbling process, so it had a few wrinkles that smoothed out a bit as the mod podge dried.

Then I painted on thin sealing coats over the top of the paper and let them dry for for about an hour before coming back and repeating with a second coat. There were a few brush streaks in the photo above, I smoothed those out a bit before I let it dry so there weren't any ridges or opaque glue spots. Mod podge can, if soaked in water, become a bit gummy, so some folks opt to put a coat of acrylic sealer over the top of the mod podge to make it water safe. That being said, I haven't had any problems with regular sweating drink glasses making coasters gummy.

After my sealing coats had dried, I cut squares of white felt for the bottoms of the tiles. You can use little stick on felt circles or cork if you have some, but craft felt is the least expensive (and I have a bunch of it in my craft stash).

I used Tacky Glue to glue the felt onto the bottom of the tile. Hot glue also works well with felt if you don't have Tacky Glue in your stash.

After the glue for the felt had dried, I had a cool marbled set of coasters. It's so nice to be using that marbled paper for craft projects--I can't wait to make more!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Spray Paint Marbled Paper

One of my absolute favorite projects that I've done on the blog is to marble paper with spray paint. It's fast, easy, and incredibly satisfying. Since it's my favorite, it's one that I've revisited a couple times. The first time, I had a ton of fun, but didn't wear gloves (and regretted it). The second time I tried spray paint marbling, I tried to make combs to stir the paint (it didn't work). And the most recent time I marbled, I made red and green paper for the holidays. This time, I got my husband to help. It's a project that you have to work quickly to complete before the paint starts to dry, so having a second set of hands allowed me to take more pictures of the process (and to avoid getting paint on my camera). Also, I think he had a good time. It's a great project to try with folks who think they aren't terribly crafty or artistic.

You'll need:
A plastic tub or bin that you don't mind getting paint on (a plastic dishpan works perfectly)
card stock (110lb works best--I got mine at Walmart)
spray paint (the Rustoleum 2X seems to work the best, but any kind you have will work)
Gloves (dish gloves, nitrile, or vinyl are all fine)

The first step is to fill your tub with a couple inches of water. Warm water seems to help keep the paint fluid a bit longer. Then you spray paint onto the water until you can visibly see the paint. Make swirls or straight lines or add multiple colors--it's up to you. (Hubby was going for a stripey thing here.)

If you want to swirl your paint, you can jiggle the tub a bit, but you don't have much time to mess around with it. Then just dunk your card stock into the water making sure to get the corners under the water so the paint sticks all the way to the edges.

Then flip your paper over and voila! All you have to do now is figure out how to dry all the wet sticky paint covered paper. We worked on our deck (good ventilation is important when working with spray paint) which had the added benefit of working on a glass table top. Our patio table cleans up easily...if you can't wipe it off, you can probably take a razor blade to the paint after it's dried. However, I'd generally recommend covering a table with an old vinyl table cloth or some parchment paper to dry all your wet papers on (you'll find out why later).

Once of the really great parts of having my husband help out with the craft is that he tried stuff that I hadn't thought of yet. He figured out how to spray the paint into the center of the water and create circles or rings in the paint.

They were a little fussy, but when they worked, they turned out really cool. He also generally opted for not jiggling or jostling the bin of water before he dipped his paper in, so the paint stayed where he sprayed it. It was so much fun to get his perspective on the project, and he had a ton of fun making the marbled paper. After making several sheets, we swapped out the water and kept marbling.

After some of the papers had dried to the touch, I laid them out on the kitchen table so we could keep decorating paper outside, but we didn't let it dry quite long enough, and I ended up with several splotches of paint on the kitchen table. I was really worried I had ruined our kitchen table, but learned that Goo Gone and some elbow grease would clean it up. The card stock takes several hours to dry out all the way, once they are almost completely dry, you can stack the papers up and put something heavy on them to help them dry out a bit flatter. Be careful though, if the paint isn't completely dry, they can stick to each other.

Even with the paint on the kitchen table, this project was a blast (and extra fun to make something with my husband)! I can't wait to use this paper in future projects!