Creating Washer Pendents W/ Alcohol Inks and Metal
For the past few months I have been experimenting with alcohol inks, and out of no where, I thought about adding another element to my alcohol ink pendent creations. Metal stamps!
They are fairly cheap, very easy to use, but you must have the right tools to get the beautiful results you are looking for. Here is a sneak peak at the finished product…
I am constantly experimenting with different textures and designs & ink color combos. This type of art is great because even if you do not consider yourself an artist, you just might after playing around with alcohol inks.
For metal stamping in general, you will need a hammer, a stamping block, metal stamps (like alphabet letters, textures, and doodles), and enamel to make your stamps stand out even under the alcohol ink.
The brand I have been mostly sticking with is Impress Art, because I like the thickness of each stamp, the variety of designs, and accessibility between local art stores and Amazon.
Here are some of my favorites…all impress art…and these are a FEW of the hundreds of different stamps available. If you live in the US and are familiar with Joanne's or Hobby Lobby then you need to download the smartphone app (if you haven't already) because you will have a readily available coupon for 40% AND UP for every time you shop. Neither one of these guys are my affiliates, but I love them so, and want to make sure EVERY single crafter out there knows about the possible savings.
Last month I ordered an off brand name for metal stamps, was a hell of a deal (like 20 pieces for $22), but they are a lot thinner which makes it more difficult to create the accuracy you will want. I would not return the purchase by any means, but it would take more practice is all.
I feel like you can really create a lot more things, like mandalas, detailed flowers, nature scenes, etc…but you probably need some experience with metal stamping to really appreciate this beautiful set. Taping your washer to your stamping block is very necessary to make sure the stamp comes out clear.
Below is a screenshot of the bunch, and i would totally recommend adding them to your collection…just maybe don't start with these.
SO now that I have your attention with the metal stamps, let me backup and give you a quick run-down on how to create a washer pendent with alcohol inks.
I have learned from so many different artists so I cannot even narrow down who the credit needs to go to, so it will make me feel better to just pass the wonderful knowledge around to YOU…
Seriously the hardware stores are where it is at…and for this project, you will want to go and find blank washers. They are super cheap, and you can find them at your local home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowe's, or any local hardware shop). Don't forget Amazon!
The washers that I find hold the color better are the flat shiny washers..I will buy a huge bag of washers for under $10. If you look online, they will charge you more for “art washers”. Just get them from your local home improvement store.
If you are just starting with alcohol inks, you can go two routes.
One is the alcohol ink bottles, or the alcohol ink markers.
Both are great, but it really depends on what you are trying to create to find the best choice FOR YOU.
For alcohol ink washer pendents, I have found that the ink bottles are much much better. More vibrant colors, no painting skill at all is required to create a beautiful work of art.
You can play around with different items for texture. Besides the felt applicator (which is my favorite) you can try things like makeup sponge, foam roller with a rubber band wrapped around the roller, cotton balls, rubber stamps- try anything that comes to mind. This is how awesome discoveries happen.
The markers, are a bit different. Alcohol inks dry really quickly, so when you use the markers, don't try to get into great detail, just draw the approximate idea you are going for because once you dilute it with alcohol, it is going to blend and mix together very spontaneously, so you want to leave some room for adjustment in your alcohol marker art.
If you use the markers, personally I would recommend using Yupo Cardstock or white adhesive vinyl…
Yupo cardstock is a smooth and non-porous surface that is ideal for alcohol inks. Usually a pack is around $10, but the pic below is from a sale from Joanne's.
If you go for the ink bottles (this is totally my first choice), then I would suggest at least starting with primary colors, and then adding more of colors you love as you go.
A three pack of the ink bottles are usually around $11 (PRE-coupon though) so when just starting out, I would go primary so that you can create every color at minimal cost, and make sure that this is something you want to invest your hard earned money into.
Also, if you go ink bottles, then I would highly recommend the felt applicator (and felt refills). Since my blog is about selling your art from home and trying to find the best deals and ways to do that…I refused to purchase the diluting alcohol solution, the applicator, or the pre-cut felt squares.
BUT, not even a day into creating awesome stuff, I realized my creations were not turning out nearly as beautiful as what I had seen online. So, I bit the bullet and bought the applicator. Completely worth it.
Sometimes I will add wire wrapping to the pendent, or beads, or just a plain necklace cord to make a simple but pretty necklace.
The vibrant colors and textures that the felt applicator gives your projects will astonish and make you very willing to spend some money on the applicator and felt squares. I tried to just buy felt from the dollar store, and it was a lot thinner, and VERY difficult to cut into size. I highly recommend just paying the minimal amount that it costs to buy the Jim Holtz or Ranger product. Totally worth the time and effort.
Then, I tried the alcohol blending solution…thinking that it was basically alcohol really over priced. But totally not the case.
The solution is a yellow color, and has some type of oil in it, so it is definitely a must have solution. For ONE: if you spill any ink (which will happen very easily if you don't slowly tip over the bottles, or accidentally squeeze one harder than you intended, or if you half drop one and ink will spray everywhere.
If any of these things happen, the alcohol solution will save the day.
You can use just regular old alcohol, but depending on the severity of the spill, you may need to take it a step further and use the solution. Wet a paper towel with either of the two listed above, and rub the spot the ink spilled onto. The ink will come right out.
Directions for making the pendent with alcohol inks and metal stamp decorations:
So, here are the basic steps to creating the washer pendents with Impress Art metal stamping, finished with alcohol inks…
- Start with the plain metal washers you bought,
- stamp each washer with a texture or picture from your stamps- I have not completely wiped off the enamel on this washer, but wanted to show you what it looks like in progress…
- apply the alcohol inks to your felt square piece and velcro attach to your applicator- U can try dotting the felt with all sorts of colors, squeeze the bottle and try and keep the colors separate, or drip the inks in a certain design…play with your alcohol inks and you will discover favorite methods.
Then, use the applicator to apply the alcohol inks, keep adding layers and colors until you are happy with the result.
The inks dry within a minute, so once it is dry, flip and do the backside. If you decide you want to thin out the paint or completely remove it to start over, dilute it with regular alcohol or the solution.
If your washers are thick enough to notice the sides…apply your inks to the rim sides of each washer.
Then, for the final touches, I have always used the Ranger Glossy Accents. This is basically a one step resin type effect. You can use it on really any mixed media projects, but I have found this to be my favorite for creating alcohol ink washer pendents because it accents the colors, and preserves the washer pendents from any scratching or water damage.
Wear and tear is going to happen, so I would recommend not wearing or advising to wear the jewelry you seal with this gloss through showers and everyday wear and tear because it is not invincible. BUT, this gloss will give it the longest life possible and make your artwork even more stunning.
For the necklace part, I usually use either a leather string, a chain (silver or antique bronze), or a waxed cotton. Just use a simple self adjusting know when using leather or cotton cord, and you will have a beautiful necklace for you, or for you to sell on some type of art website or local art fair.
If you have any questions or suggestions I LOVE to hear from my readers…please
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