Monday, December 21, 2020

Snowflake Suncatchers from Alcohol Ink on Laminating Pouches

Earlier this year, I tried inking laminating pouches and running them through the laminator. It worked pretty well, so I cut some stars out of the inked plastic and made some sun catchers. Next I made some shamrocks out of some green inked laminating film. This fall, I made some pumpkins, but decided it would be fun to see if I could cut the film out with my Silhouette. It worked! So, now that Christmas is just around the corner, I knew I needed to try it again.

I turned on my laminator and laid out a laminating pouch onto a craft mat. I also grabbed a can of air and a bulb blower and my stash of alcohol inks.

I grabbed all of my blues, especially the lighter ones, and some white and silver. I even tried to use some pearl, but the white and pearl inks got a bit gloopy. I had to smear them around to thin them out. I used my finger and a foam brush. Needless to say, it took a lot of drips of ink and a little bit of rubbing alcohol and canned air blowing it around and smearing it with a brush to get it looking ok. I didn't want a fully transparent blue sheet or a sheet that was too dark because I wanted to make snowflakes.

So I grabbed another laminator pouch. This time I decided to make a white base before adding on my ink. I used a foam brush to spread out a thin coat of the Pinata white ink.

Then I added my blues and a few drops of silver over the top. This one turned out a bit better, but I wasn't sure what it would look like as snowflakes.

I let the sheets dry until they were completely dry to the touch. If they are still wet, the laminator will squish the ink around, and it won't get a good seal. If it's not sealed well when it laminates, the two sides can come apart when you're cutting it. So after they were completely dry, I ran them through the machine. I was surprised by how transparent the first one came out. It looked like there was a lot of ink on the sheet, but because the insides of the laminating pouches are a little frosty colored, they were clearer than expected.

After my sheets were laminated, I found some snowflake shapes online and traced them in Silhouette studio. I looked for snowflakes that were a bit beefier so they wouldn't be super thin. It also had to be an image that would leave one single piece once cut. I added some holes the top for hanging and sent it to my machine using the clear sticker paper settings (Blade 3, Thickness 33, Speed 4, Double Cut).

I started with the sheet that I thought was a bit of a failure, first just in case it didn't work. I stuck it onto my Silhouette mat and let it run.

After the design cut, I peeled away the excess laminating film and was left with snowflakes--I still needed to finish weeding, but it was a success! After these were peeled off the mat, I ran the other inked piece of plastic through using the same design.

I ended up with 12 bigger snowflakes (about 3 1/2 inches) and 4 little snowflakes. Most of them turned out great. A couple of the snowflakes cut out of the first sheet were so light that they didn't look like they had intentional ink on them, but the rest turned out great!

I immediately hung them up on my patio door and let the light shine through them.

These look great as suncatchers, but would also look cute hanging on a tree as ornaments--especially the more vibrantly colored ones.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Jewel Toned Alcohol Ink Ornaments

After last week's ornament project, I found myself in the Christmas spirit. That, and I found these awesome faceted ornaments in my container of plastic ornament blanks. I bought a big tub of these clear plastic ornaments from a craft store after Christmas a couple of years ago. I didn't really notice these until I had pulled the flat ones out for last week's project. These were just begging to be inked.

I knew I wanted to go with jewel tones since the ornaments kind of look like gem stones. So I pulled out my can of air, a craft mat, and a bunch of purple, teal, magenta, etc... inks.

I decided to add a little glitz and glam to the ornaments by starting out with some metallic inks. I used Ranger's silver for a couple and Pinata's gold for the other two. I dripped a couple of lines of ink into the ornament, and then I used the canned air to blow it around as best as I could.

I let the metallic ink dry for a little while before starting the other inks so they would mix less when added the other inks. I tried out several different colors and determined that the Pinata inks worked great for these ornaments because the inks are a little thicker and not quite so transparent. I did have to use quite a bit of canned air to get the ink to blow around since it kept getting caught up in the pattern on the ornament.

After I had the ornaments colored with my jewel tones of ink, I added a bit more metallic over the top to fill in some gaps. The ink that was added first was a bit brighter and didn't mix with the colors of ink as much as the metallic ink I put in at the end, so it created some nice depth.


After they were all mostly covered in ink, I let them dry with the open ends tipped towards some paper towels. Then I popped the metal hangers back in.

I was really pleased with how these turned out. I even got the husband's comment of, "Hey, those turned out cool," so I know they must be pretty good. :) 


Monday, December 7, 2020

2020 Grinch Ornaments made with Alcohol Ink and Vinyl Decals

A couple years ago, I made an ornament using my Silhouette cutting machine and an alcohol inked plastic ornament. Over the years, I've made many versions of inked globe ornaments, so I wanted to try something a little different this year. It's been a memorable year, so I thought I'd make a commemorative ornament.

I had some plastic globe ornaments in my craft stash. I figured these flatter ornaments would be easier to apply decals to, so I got out some green alcohol ink and a can of air and got to work. I took off the metal hangers on the top of the ornaments and started squirting ink into the interiors of the ornaments.

I started out by coating the ornaments with a lighter shade of green as a base. I used 4-5 drops of Limeade ink and some swirling around with the air can to coat the insides of the ornaments.

Next I dripped a couple drops of Botanical ink into each ornament and blew it around with the canned air until it was dry.

Lastly, I used a few drops of Bottle ink to create some contrast. I accidentally squirted much more than a couple drops into one of the ornaments, so I squirted some rubbing alcohol into the ornament and swirled it around. Then I turned it over and let it drip out onto a napkin. Then I added some of the lighter green back into it until it looked the way I wanted it to. It was still a bit darker than the others, but it was salvageable.

While the ink was drying, I used my Silhouette to cut out some designs. I cut out a Grinch face, a Grinch hand holding an ornament, and some text that said "2020 stink, stank, stunk." I found the face and hand through a quick google search and used a font called Grinched to make the text.

After the designs were cut and weeded (excess vinyl removed), I cut them into their separate designs and cut out some transfer paper tape for the designs with multiple components.

I centered my Grinch face on the paper tape and burnished (rubbed) the vinyl design so it would stick to the tape.

Then I applied the decal to the ornament from the center out. I was surprised that even these flattened globes had quite a bit of curve to them, so some of the vinyl wrinkled a bit.

I rubbed the design down and carefully peeled back the transfer tape to reveal the vinyl decal.

On the next ornament, I made some cuts in the transfer tape to eliminate some of the wrinkling. It worked perfectly.

On the back side, I repeated the process with my other decals. The hand and ornament decal was all one piece, so I applied it without transfer tape. Then I lined the text up next to it with the transfer tape and burnished it onto the ornament. I cut the transfer tape between each line of text so it wouldn't wrinkle (sorry I didn't take a picture of that application).

I repeated the decal process on all four ornaments, and aside of some difficulties getting the decals on straight, the ornaments turned out positively Grinchy!