Monday, January 25, 2021

Alcohol Ink Glass Plate Backed with White Spray Paint

I'm working my way through an old box of stuff I bought from the dollar store, and I found this plain glass plate. I think I bought it at the same time as when I used flamed ink to decorate a plate almost 2 years ago, so it was definitely time for me to use it for some kind of project.

I decided it I would ink it, but this time, I would use only Pinata inks (and I would spray paint it). The Pinata brand inks are a bit more saturated in color than most alcohol inks, so I figured they would work well on glass. Transparent surfaces, like clear glass plates, can sometimes be hard to achieve vibrant inking results. The colors can sometimes appear so translucent that they don't even show up. So I got out all my Pinata ink colors, a craft mat, some rubbing alcohol, a pipette, and a can of air.

I started out with some magenta and blue. I dripped a few drops around the plate and then used the canned air to spread them out. The Pinata inks don't spread much without being thinned. Since I wanted the colors to stay really bright, I didn't thin them down with rubbing alcohol or extender.

I added the teal and blue violet colors and repeated the process.

I continued around the plate with additional colors until the plate was nearly full of ink. I used a pipette to thin out some areas where the ink got a bit too dark and used the canned air to spread that ink around. 

I ended up with a vibrant multicolored plate. I was really happy with how bright these inks turned out.

Since there was quite a bit of ink on the plate, I let it dry overnight before sealing it with some Kamar Varnish. If you want to set it on a shelf, then you can stop here. Kamar Varnish sets the ink, but isn't really a long term sealant unless the item will be away from liquids and handling.

I had had some luck with spray painting ink with white spray paint to provide a bright contrast for the ink. So, I thought I'd give that a go with the plate. We had a few days of warmer weather, so I brought a box out onto the deck and put some plastic wrap on the front side of the plate. Though, in hindsight, I should have trimmed it to the edge more carefully (it kept flipping up into the paint).

I shook my can of spray paint and then applied a thin coat. Apparently, the nozzle was clogged. It sprayed a bunch of paint globs onto the back of my plate. I wiped away the big globs with my fingertips and left it to dry. After it dried, I sprayed another coat on the plate to try to even out the surface and get a solid white background. I let that dry overnight and then took a piece of sandpaper after the roughest parts. Unfortunately, while doing so, I also scraped some of the alcohol ink off the inner rim of the plate. So I used a tiny paint brush to try to reapply the ink to the places that were scraped. I was so focused on fixing the darn thing, that I forgot to take pictures of the fixes.

After the ink touch ups dried, I sprayed those areas with a little more Kamar to make sure they wouldn't react with the spray paint, and then added another coat of white paint over the back. As you can see from the photo above, the areas where I touched up the ink bled through the next layer of paint, and I didn't quite get a sold white background on the plate. Unfortunately, it was still tacky when the wind shifted and the weather is supposed to stay below freezing for the next week or I had to call it for now. I hope to add another coat or two of white spray paint to the back of the plate with long dry times in between.

Even without the white paint being completely finished, the plate turned out bright and beautiful. Once the spray paint is cured, the plate should be able to be used for dry items (since all the ink and paint is on the back of the plate) and hand washed gently. It would also be lovely on a shelf.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink Light Switch Plates

I've inked my fair share of light switch covers. It's a fun small project to add a little pop of color to a room, and plastic light switch covers are pretty cheap. I still had a bag of light switch covers leftover from the past time I inked them and, well, this pandemic has put a dent in my stash of stuff to ink, so I looked at them and thought...hmmm, what could I do that I haven't done yet. Over the course of the last year, I've been plastic wrap inking all the things. It's such a fun and fast alcohol ink method! I hadn't tried it on light switch covers yet, we go.

I rolled out a craft mat and a sheet of plastic wrap. I gathered up some colors of alcohol ink that were on the cooler side of the rainbow (no red, orange, yellow, it wouldn't turn my greens brown).

I dripped ink onto my plastic wrap and totally forgot to take a picture of it before I plopped the light switch covers onto the ink. I scattered the ink around the plastic wrap until the area was mostly covered. I tried to make sure that the plastic stayed a bit scrunched up before I plopped the switch covers down.

Then I wrapped the edges of the plastic wrap up onto the backs of the plates/covers and folded it up into a neat little book. One side turned out pretty blue and green.

The other side turned out very rainbow colored. I set my book of light switch covers aside to dry for a day before coming back to it.

The next day, the ink had darkened and dried. I poked at the folds and there wasn't any ink squishing around, so I knew it was dry (this usually takes 12-24 hours depending on humidity levels and the amount of ink).

I unfolded the book and began by peeling the plastic wrap off of the backs of the switch covers.

Then I peeled up the plastic wrap from the fronts for the big reveal! 

This switch cover was really bright and colorful when it was wet. It had a a lot of folds (big white spots) and ended up darker than expected.

The blue and green one turned out about as I expected it to for colors, and the plastic wrap pattern turned out pretty good, too.

All in all, I was pleased with how these turned out, and I was happy to find yet another surface that works for plastic wrap inking. I hope to seal these this week if the weather cooperates. I will spray them with a couple coats of Kamar Varnish followed by a couple coats of acrylic sealer.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Alcohol Ink Mason Jar Revisit

Three or so years ago, I inked the inside of a mason jar that I had lying around. I put the jar on my kitchen window sill pretty much immediately after inking it, and there it sat for 3 years. I loved to watch how the colors changed depending on the light in the window. Well, alcohol ink fades in the sun, so it needed a refresh.

The colors had been bright blue and aqua and had faded. (My etched bird candle holders have lived on the window sill for quite some time too, with their heads turned permanently towards the colorful jar.)

In addition to the fading, some of the ink had turned grainy. I'm guessing it was what was left over after the lighter areas of ink had faded.

So the first thing I did was use a pipette to drip a little bit of rubbing alcohol into the jar to reactivate the inks. I turned the jar and let a little run out onto a napkin. I wanted to make sure I wasn't just adding ink over top of the grainy looking bits. After I had the ink free flowing again, I turned it several times and then left it to dry.

When I came back to it, I added drips of bright green, pink, and purple alcohol ink to try to break up the blue and aqua that was leftover in the jar. We've had a stretch of very dreary winter days here lately, so it was really hard to get enough light to take good photos. But I did manage a fun shot of the inside of the jar as I was finishing up adding inks. You can tell just how much brighter the colors are with light behind them.

When I felt like I had good coverage and some brighter colors added to the jar, I put it back in its place of honor. Hopefully, it will stay bright and beautiful for another 3 years!

Monday, January 4, 2021

2020 Best of the Blog

To say that this year has been unusual would be an understatement. When I found out I'd be home, well, pretty much all the time, I figured I'd be doing more crafting. But, somehow, there was always something else to do. I did manage to get some awesome crafts completed this year, so I thought I'd share my most popular posts and a couple that I think turned out well that haven't been getting as much love.

1. Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink on Small Bowl

This little rainbow inked bowl turned out amazing and earned the most views this year.

My tutorials for creating the Olson face mask came in at #2 and #3 this year. 

These cute suncatchers came in as the next most popular post this year. They also inspired several subsequent projects (after I learned it was possible to ink laminator pouches): Shamrock Sun Catchers, Pumpkin Sun Catchers, Jack-o-lantern and Leaf Sun Catchers Cut on the Silhouette,  and Snowflake Sun Catchers.

4. Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink Fried Onion Container

The next most popular post was attempting plastic wrap alcohol ink on a French Fried onion container. The colors turned out fantastic, and I can't wait to try inking more plastic containers!

And rounding out the top 5 (well 6 because of double face mask posts), is the plastic wrap bowl interior. 

Honorable Mentions:

The next most popular posts, just missing the top 5, was a Flamed Alcohol Ink Bowl.

Next are a couple of posts that I think turned out great: Dripped Alcohol Ink on White Coffee Mugs.

Thanks for reviewing my year in crafts with me. I hope that 2021 is a whole lot more crafty and a whole lot less weird. Happy New Year!