Monday, August 26, 2019

Alcohol Ink Glass Gems: Plastic Wrap Application

A couple of weeks ago I finally got the plastic wrap alcohol ink application to work on a ceramic tile. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out how else I could use that method of application. So I thought I'd try it on the most popular alcohol ink project on the website: glass gems.

To decorate the gems you'll need:
clear glass gems/flat marbles
plastic wrap
alcohol ink (I used ranger inks)
table covering (I used craft mats)
if making necklaces: glue on bails and cording

I started out by laying a sheet of plastic wrap onto my work surface and then squirting several colors of ink all over. It's ok (actually better) if the plastic wrap isn't smoothed out during this process.

I then placed my glass gems flat side down onto the ink wherever the colors looked interesting. And that's it. I carefully slide the whole works over to the corner of my table to dry for a day.

The next day, the ink had gotten darker as it dried. I didn't really know how it would turn out. I know that this method works well on white ceramics--I've pictures of other projects online that have turned out great--but I haven't seen it done on small clear glass objects before.

And it was a pretty good success for the first time out. I had some really good ones with multiple colors and crease lines, but I also had some that were pretty blah. And some that were hard to see because I pulled the gems out of my leftover bag and some had pretty heavy iridescent coatings.

So, as a test to see if it made any difference, I repeated the process on about half of the gems. And yes, you can reapply ink if you need to, but most of these had so many colors on them they started browning up a bit.

After they all dried, I decided that they would benefit from aluminum foil tape backing so the designs would really pop. I used a pencil to trace around the gem on the aluminum foil tape.

Then I cut the circles out with a scissors and applied the foil tape to the flat side of the gem. (You can see just how translucent the gem is without the foil when it's sitting on my hand.)

The foil tape is awesome stuff. It seals the inked surface and provides a nice finished looking back on the gem

The tape also makes the ink more visible and provides a nice metallic shimmer.

I foiled the backs of all of the gems and then selected a few of my favorites to turn into necklaces. I'll probably turn the rest into magnets.

I used some E6000 to glue bails onto the backs of the best gems and then after letting the glue dry, I used some faux suede cording to string them up.


I think these turned out really neat. The gems have multiple colors and a lot of visual texture from the creasing of the plastic wrap.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Deadpool Canister

Earlier this week I shared a project where I made some Incredible Hulk Decals for some snack containers. I also had a leftover Folgers can lying around and the red plastic just called out for a Deadpool decal.

I found a design online and traced it in the Silhouette Studio and cut it out of glossy black vinyl. I weeded the design and decided that there were enough fine bits (and at least one section that wasn't attached to the rest of the decal) that I needed to use some transfer paper.

I lined up the transfer paper as best as I could and rubbed it down onto the decal.

Then I peeled the decal up off of the backing paper and applied it to the Folgers can. I rubbed the design down and then carefully peeled back the transfer paper.

Afterwards, I decided that all leftover Folgers cans from here on out are getting a Deadpool decal. (We're a tea household, so this should be an easy decree to keep up.)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hulk Canisters

Emerald Nuts used to sell these to go snack cups of their nuts. I thought they were neat containers, so I tossed them in my craft box instead of in the recycling. It doesn't look like they still sell these, which is a shame. They have nice twist on tops and came out super clean when I peeled off the labels. Since they were so nice after I cleaned them, I decided it would be a pity to cover them up with decoupage (which is what I usually do). 

So, I opted for vinyl decals. Since the containers are green, I decided to go for some Incredible Hulk decals. I did a Google search and looked for designs that would fit the container and would look good when cut out fairly small, and then I traced them in Silhouette Studio. (Reminder, if you hope to sell things that you make with your digital cutting machine, make sure the designs are free for public and commercial use. Designs of licensed characters like these are often made and shared by creators online but are only available for personal use.) After the designs were made, I cut them out on some glossy black permanent vinyl.

After they were cut, I peeled off the excess vinyl and was left with some fairly simple decals. The first one I applied was all one piece, so I just peeled it off it's backing and stuck it on the container like a sticker and smoothed it down.

This second decal was a bit more detailed, but I didn't realize as I peeled it off, that the L wasn't attached to anything else in the design. I applied the rest of the decal like a sticker and then had to come back in with the L and carefully place it. The letters were pretty thin, and if I had to do it over, I would have used transfer tape for this design--but it came out just fine.

So now my cute green containers have been all Hulked up with some fun decals. Since these nut containers aren't available anymore, please comment below if you know of other similar cup sized containers with twist off lids that folks could recycle and repurpose.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink Tile

If you follow this blog, you know, that if there's a way to apply alcohol ink, I'll try it. If I see a new way floating around the internet, you bet I'm going to try it out. I may even make up my own ways (wax paper, really?). So I've tried the plastic wrap application a few times. However, every time, I'm too impatient. I wait a few minutes, then a few hours, but each time, it's still wet, and it doesn't work as expected (though still creates some interesting patterns--the clingy nature of plastic wrap allows you to add and remove ink in fun an unique ways even when the ink is wet). So this time, darn it, I was going to let it dry all the way before peeling back the plastic wrap--I was on a mission.

So I grabbed some plastic wrap, alcohol inks, my craft mats, and a 6-inch ceramic tile.

I pulled out a sheet of the plastic wrap and set it on my mat slightly crumpled.

Then I squirted ink onto it. I used colors that I thought would mix together well and not turn brown, but otherwise I just dripped and squirted the ink onto the plastic wrap until I had an area covered that was roughly the size of my 6-inch ceramic tile.

Then I tipped my tile over onto the plastic wrap and tucked the edges around it so it would stay in place. And then I set it aside. I poked at it a few times to see if the ink in the wrinkles was still liquid. Every time I checked it (by poking at it--no peeling off that plastic!) that day, it was still a little wet. So I left it over night.

The next day (I checked the time stamps on the photo--it ended up being about 22 hours between application of the plastic wrap and peeling it off), the ink appeared to be dry even in places where it was dark in the wrinkles of plastic, so I bit the bullet and peeled the plastic off.

And low and behold, the pattern that was visible through the plastic wrap, stayed in place. And it finally worked the way I imagined!

I let it dry several more hours without the plastic on and then gave it a quick spray with Kamar Varnish. This stuff works more as a fixative than as a sealant, so I may follow up later with something else that's more durable and glossy.

I'm really pleased that I finally got this method to work and can't wait to try it on other surfaces. As this is 6 inch tile, I'm not really sure what to do with it. I'll share it here when I come up with something. Until then, happy crafting!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Vinyl Decal Mini Sign

After making last week's sign for my mom, I knew I needed to finish the sign I had planned for my dad. He has an office attached to the garage that he calls his Micro Shop. I thought it'd be cute to make him a micro sign for his shop.

I found a small pine plaque, sanded it a bit, and painted it red (because of my dad's love of Farmall Tractors).

After the plaque was completely dry, I prepared my vinyl. I cut the words and two little sets of tools out of black vinyl with my Silhouette. I weeded the designs using a craft knife to pick out the tiny bits left behind.

I lined up the words using some transfer paper and carefully applied it to my plaque. I burnished the letters (with the back of my nail) and then carefully peeled the transfer paper back.

Then I repeated the process with the little tools.

Once the vinyl was applied, the sign was nearly complete. The craft paint was really flat, and I didn't want the letters to peel off, so I decided to seal it.

I ended up using a quick coat of mod podge to add some glossy shine and give it a good seal. I applied a thin layer with a foam brush.

After a couple of hours, the sign was dry and complete! This was a fun quick project to make a little sign. Since I'm still learning all of the things that my Silhouette can do, this is definitely a good beginner project!