Inspiration for art comes from everywhere…and this is one technique that just keeps on giving. First of all, if you have never used alcohol inks, they LOVE surfaces that are non-porous. So, we are talking glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, etc. The inks themselves are highly concentrated which makes the possibilities endless on what you can use them for.
Washers have been my obsession for the last few months, just because they are SO inexpensive, and can yield such beautiful results. I love to make washer necklaces and, rear-view mirror decorations (cars), and sun-catchers or dream-catchers.
The MUST-HAVES for working with alcohol inks is a full bottle of just regular ol’ rubbing alcohol. This is going to thin and mix your colors.
SIDE NOTE– if you accidentally splatter some on the floor these Magic Erasers are the only thing I have found that gets the color out of hardwood flooring. Some colors will stain on wood floors more than others, and the Mr.Clean Magic Erasers will take the color out, no matter what surface you are on. I had a horrible RED dye stain on a wooden floor, would not come out with tea soaking, vinegar, baking soda- NOTHING…except this:)
Below I have the “ingredients” I needed to make the washers come to life with alcohol inks. The necessities are really just a bottle of rubbing alcohol and the alcohol inks (you CAN make them out of old markers, but I like the vibrancy of new ones)…everything else is really for mixture and texture.
What you need:
***Felt is going to be a GREAT source of texture. You can buy the perfectly cut felt squares and applicator, or try to replicate yourself.
…Besides felt, you can try these things to create cool textures with alcohol inks:
- Straw to blow the inks once you drop them
- lace, etc.
Pick the colors you want to start with and put a few drops of each color on the same piece of felt. Firmly press your applicator onto the washer. The ink dries quickly so once you press it on you will have only a few seconds before it sets.
If you are unhappy with your washer at any point, all you need to do is either add straight rubbing alcohol (or this alcohol blending solution) to dilute the colors, or you can try simply adding another coat of colors on top.
Once the side you just painted dries, paint the back side. Once that dries you can touch up the rim of the washer to make sure it all has even color.
When the washer is completely dry (won’t take long) you can add your glossy accents.
What I do is squeeze the gel onto the washer and make sure it rounds out evenly (it does this on it’s own). Sometimes if you put too much it will run off the side, but just try to clean it up and set it on a new spot to completely dry. The Glossy Accent will take a full day to dry. Then you will have to do the bottom side the next day and let that dry for a complete day as well.
Then once the gloss is all dry, you can add wire wrapping, a necklace pendent, or however else you want to use your new beautiful piece of art.
That is it. Super simple, and the honestly the toughest part is making sure to get your Glossy Accent applied evenly.
This gloss enhancement will enhance and almost magnify the colors that you have on your washer. Bubbles are a common and universal problem with one or two-step resins. If you warm up the bottle in a hot cup or mug of water before using it, it will highly decrease the amount of bubbles. A heat gun is another option to coax the bubbles out.
You can also have a razor blade or needle on hand and check on your piece a couple of hours in. If there are bubbles, just try to pierce them out. For some pieces of art, the bubbles might just blend in, but for some it can really suck to have to correct.
I have always heard that if you get bubbles that the piece is ruined, NOT THE CASE. If that happens, you can take an extremely sharp (razor blade or clay working tool) to pierce the gloss cover. You will see the whole layer kind of “respond” to your stab, and you will see that you can almost just lift it off and then try to seal it again. Maybe trying the heat method. That seems to work the best.
Related: Affiliates For Artists
Anyway, don’t freak out, your work is not ruined, you just have to peel off the gloss layer and do it again. Just go for it, and try again:)
Thanks for using my tutorial, I look forward to seeing what cool creations you come up with.
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