Monday, March 30, 2020

Alcohol Ink Gem Necklaces with Cabochons and Bezels


A couple of weeks ago I made some St. Patrick's Day Necklaces using some new cabochons and bezels/blanks that I had ordered on Amazon. They worked alright to make necklaces with printed paper, but now I wanted to see how they worked with alcohol ink.


I got out my alcohol inks and a craft mat. I also got out a small paint brush, some rubbing alcohol, and a can of air.


I started out by dripping some purple ink onto a gem/cabochon and used a can of air to spread it around the gem.


I added some sailboat blue to finish covering the gem with a base of colors.


Then I slowly added other colors through a combination of dripping and painting. I would drip some ink on the mat and then load the paintbrush with some ink to dot it onto the gem.


I repeated this process with pretty much the same mix of colors on another gem, but with bigger blobs of color and then I tried a monochromatic black, gray, and silver gem. I set these aside for a while to dry.


After the gems had dried for a couple of hours, I selected bezels that complimented the gems and grabbed my e6000 glue.


I squeezed a dollop of glue onto each bezel/blank and pressed the gem into the glue as evenly as possible. I ended up with just a smidge too much glue, so you don't need much.


I left those to glue for a day and came back and tried to clean off excess glue. Then I used some faux suede cording to string them up as necklaces.


This small batch of necklaces was mostly a test to see how the bezels looked with the ink. The lighter backgrounds looked pretty good with the bezels, so I'm excited to make more!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Easter Crafts Collection


Happy Spring! This week I've been dragging out the Easter decoration and it reminded me of all of the great Easter crafts that have been on the blog. Check them out: Easter Craft Collection.

Monday, March 16, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Bottle Caps and Necklaces

This post is a tale of two projects--neither of which went according to plan. But, after last week's shamrock sun catchers, I was in the mood for another St. Patrick's day craft.


I decided to try to make some bottle cap pins. I thought it might work out well to print the thumbnail art on photo paper for a crisper image. So I shrunk a bunch of clipart I found through google searches down to one inch sizes and fit them onto a 4 x 6 sheet of photo paper. I printed it out on my ink jet printer and left the sheet to dry for a day before working on the rest of the project. 


Next I took my bottle caps from various sodas and adult beverages and spray painted them green both inside and out.


Then I punched the art out with a circle punch and selected the ones that looked the best and glued them into the bottoms of the bottle caps with some paper glue.


I let that all dry over night before adding my glazes. I used some glossy accents and diamond glaze to fill the bottle caps with glue. Be sure not to shake the bottles before applying glue and leave the tip in the glue as you squeeze it out to minimize bubbles.


I popped any large bubbles with a toothpick and used a lighter to pop small surface bubbles.


After letting them dry for a couple of days, they did not turn out. There were lots of small bubbles and several of them had large indents or craters where the glue dried unevenly. I added glue to the tops of them all and let them dry again to smooth the glue out, but they just weren't clear enough to see the images.


I selected a some black bottle caps from my stash and tried to give it another go with the paper I used in previous bottle cap projects, but this batch wasn't dry in time for the post. I'll update if these turn out. They look better than the first attempt, but the glue was still cratering quite a bit.


So I switched gears. I recently bought a pack of cabochons and bezels (glass gems with settings) off of Amazon, and the circle I punched to redo the bottle caps were the exact right size, so I thought I'd make a few St. Patrick's day necklaces.


I glued the paper down onto the bezel with a small amount of the E6000. I let them dry long enough that the paper no longer twisted in the bezel and was firmly stuck in place.


Then I put a pea sized drop of glue in the center of the paper and pushed the cabochon gem down until the glue was evenly distributed (and sometimes a little would ooze out along the edge, but it can be wiped off).


After I glued all the gems down, I left them to dry for a couple hours.


When I came back, some of the paper had gone a bit translucent from the glue, but I strung them up with some faux suede cording anyway. Hopefully that wet paper look will diminish as the glue cures. If it doesn't, I'll have to figure out a different paper or type of glue for those bezels. At any rate, I'll be set for wearing green on St. Patty's day. I hope your projects go a bit more smoothly this week than mine did.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Alcohol Ink Laminator Pouch Shamrock Sun Catchers


Earlier this week I shared a project where I tied using alcohol ink inside laminating pouches to make some cute star sun catchers. Well, since it worked so well and it's that time of the year, I decided to make some four leaf clover/shamrock sun catchers.


So just like last time, I opened up my laminating pouch and started inking one side of the inside of the pouch. I took out all of my different shades of green alcohol ink and started with some of the lighter colors first. I used a can of air to spread them out a bit and dry the ink faster. The slightly textured surface of the laminating pouch kept the ink from moving too much, but it still works.


I added my darker colors to fill in the pouch. I even tried dripping a little bit of rubbing alcohol on with a nearly empty pipette to bring in a bit more texture, but the effect was pretty minimal.


I let the ink dry for about 10 minutes and then folded it closed and ran it through my old laminator.


It's so satisfying when it comes out with crystal clear plastic and vivid colors. You can sort of see how the ink along the fold was still a bit wet. The laminator squished the ink into some interesting patterns. Since high heat and alcohol don't really mix well, I wasn't trying to run it through while still wet; I must have been a bit impatient. It all came out just fine in the end without any flames or melting, so you know, success!


Just like with the last batch, the colors came out great!


This time, though, I printed out a four leaf clover onto some card stock and used it as a template. I traced around it with permanent marker and cut the shapes out with a scissors.


When I made my star sun catchers, the black line from the marker came out straight and I liked the way it looked a bit like stained glass leading, the black marker on the shamrocks created less of a contrast and because of the curved lines of the template, was generally more sloppy looking. So I used a napkin and some rubbing alcohol to remove the lines from the permanent marker along the edges.


Then I used a single hole punch to punch some holes in the tops of my shamrocks.


I hung them up with some hooked suction cups, and I'm ready to celebrate St. Patrick's day!


Monday, March 9, 2020

Alcohol Ink Laminator Pouch Sun Catchers


A couple of weeks ago, I tried making sun catchers with laminating pouches and tissue paper. The project worked pretty well, and I wondered if I could use ink on those laminating pouches--they are plastic after all, which usually inks well.


So I got out my alcohol inks, a craft mat to protect my table, a can of air, and my laminating pouches.


I opened up my laminating pouch, and I chose a rainbow of ink colors. I wanted something bright and fun. I started with some sailboat blue drops that I spread out with the canned air. 


I kept dropping ink onto the surface of the laminating pouch and blowing it around to spread it out and dry it. The surface of the laminating pouches is textured to keep items from slipping around too much in the pouch, so the textured surface absorbed the ink a bit, but it still worked pretty well.


I did get a bit of ink on the opened side of the pouch and a bit along the edges, but I wasn't too worried about it being perfectly neat. I set the pouch aside to dry for about 10 minutes before folding it up and running it through the machine.


I have an older little 3M laminator that I let warm up while I was inking my plastic sheet. Once it was dry, I ran it through the machine.


The frosted texture disappeared and I was left with crystal clear plastic and a rainbow of ink! It worked!


I decided to print some star templates out on some card stock. I traced around them with a black marker.


Once I filled my sheet with stars, I carefully cut them out with a scissors.


After they were cut out, I decided I kind of liked the black border that was created by the marker, so I cleaned up any edges that had been cut off by the scissors or points that didn't have marker on them.


Then I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the stars.


I used some little suction cups to attach them to my window. They create a pretty faux stained glass effect. The inked laminating pouches were such a success that I can't wait to try it again with other shapes.


Monday, March 2, 2020

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink on Small Ceramic Bowl


A while back I picked up some small white bowls from Big Lots. I already inked one bowl using the flame method, but I still have a few bowls left, so I decided to give one the plastic wrap treatment.


I got out my craft mat and some alcohol inks. Then I cleaned my bowl with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and removed the sale sticker from the bottom. I tore a piece of plastic wrap off the roll that was large enough to cover my bowl and I set it down on my craft mat, being sure not to smooth it out.


Then I dripped ink on the plastic wrap until I liked the combination of colors and the plastic was mostly full of color.


Then I placed my bowl in the center of the plastic wrap and carefully applied the plastic wrap to the sides without smoothing it out too much. Then I flipped it over to dry.


I ended up using 7 colors on the bowl. I wanted something bright and fun so I went with Purple Twilight and Sunshine Yellow, Sailboat Blue and Watermelon Red, Clover and Raspberry, and Limeade.


I left the inked bowl to dry for 2 days, but 1 would have been enough. Just poke at the plastic and if none of the ink seems squishy and wet, you're probably good to go. It will take at least over night for it to dry.


I carefully unwrapped the bowl. I got a little ink on the inside of the bowl. I wiped that excess ink off with a napkin and some rubbing alcohol.


Once all of the plastic was off, I could see the pattern left behind and how the colors mixed in places. It turned out really pretty! I love this method of inking, it's so easy and gets such interesting results!