Monday, October 24, 2016

Alcohol Ink and Plastic Wrap on a Glass Bottle

I found this fabulous decorative wine bottle at Dollar Tree, and I just had to bring it home and ink it, but I didn't know exactly what I should do with it. Dripped rainbow ink looks fabulous on glass, but I wasn't sure it would look awesome on this bottle. Stamping is always an option, but I didn't know how it would look with all of the ridges and details on the glass. So, I decided to try a new (to me) technique using plastic wrap that I had seen on Pinterest. Unfortunately, I never did find a complete tutorial, so I was just winging it.

I knew the colors would mix together, so I picked ones that were adjacent to each other on the color wheel so they wouldn't turn into a muddy brown mess. I grabbed some blues, a purple, and a teal. I spread out a sheet of plastic wrap (just some cheap stuff I had in the cupboard) onto my craft mat.

Then I dripped a bunch of ink randomly onto the plastic wrap.

To thin the ink down just a bit, I dripped some rubbing alcohol onto the ink.

Then I wrapped my vase in the plastic wrap. I made sure it was wrinkled and a bit lumpy when I applied it. Then I peeled it off and wrapped it up the neck of the bottle to cover the whole bottle.

After the first application, it was mainly blue and not completely covered (especially around the neck of the bottle where I had reapplied the plastic). So I repeated the same exact procedure again with some darker blue and a little more purple and green to try and give it a bit more dimension. I peeled it up and replaced it any place where the color hadn't covered enough until I was satisfied. I might have even dripped a bit more ink on at one point--It was hard to take photos of these steps since it's a two-handed type of process (and there was ink all over my hands by this point).

In the end, I really love the way it turned out. It's almost iridescent! I can't wait to try the technique on some other surfaces!

What I learned: 

If you don't like getting ink on your hands--it's very hard to keep your hands clean with this method, so you may want to wear gloves. 

You may want to try using a bottle or vase or whatever that you can completely cover with a single sheet of plastic wrap (this bottle was just a bit too big in either direction). 

If you're not happy with the way it's turning out, just keep peeling up the plastic and adding ink until you like the way it looks. Since I was using those analogous colors, it never looked like there was a point of no return.

And if it does feel completely off, glass is a pretty forgiving surface to ink--just wash it with some rubbing alcohol and start again.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Updated Guide to Adult Coloring

Last spring I made a Guide to Adult Coloring, but since then, I've picked up a few new supplies and coloring books that I think are worth sharing.

First up, coloring books. I still recommend the Joanna Basford and Eleri Fowler coloring books, as they are high quality with beautiful designs. But if you're looking for something a bit more economical, I've found a few options. This coloring book was so good, that I even added the recommendation as an update to my original post over the summer. Parragon publishes a line of coloring books that are each 288 pages long and are priced around $8-12. The paper isn't quite as thick as some of the high-end books, but it's jam packed full of great designs. They range from geometric to floral to doodle-y--whatever your mood may be. The three images below are all from Coloring for Creativity. They also have a Coloring for Tranquility and Coloring for Inspiration.

In most of my coloring books there are mandalas or some take on mandalas, so when I saw a rack of coloring books on sale at our local Barnes and Nobel, I picked up Magical Mandalas for $5. The mandalas are beautiful and only single sided on nice quality paper so they could be framed or gifted very easily.

I really love how the mandalas are repetitive (to simplify color choices), but not so geometric to feel rigid or simplistic. I haven't been able to stop coloring them since I got the book. They are completely addicting and great to color while watching TV.

In addition to the great coloring books, I've also picked up some additional supplies. I still highly recommend the Prismacolor colored pencils (Verithins--hard for fine designs, Scholar--for medium multipurpose, and Premier--for soft saturated color and blending).

But I also found that their blending pencils come in really handy. They will smooth colors together and allow you to avoid pencil lines. They are well worth the price to pick up a couple.

If you're looking for a budget friendly colored pencil, I now have a second brand to recommend after Crayola. These Sargent Art colored pencils are similar in quality, hardness, and price to the Crayola pencils. So if you're looking for more colors to add to your collection, or if these go on sale...they're a pretty safe bet.

If you have any favorite supplies or books, be sure to mention them in the comments!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dripped Alcohol Ink Halloween Candle

A while ago I decorated some pillar candles by stamping alcohol ink on them. Ever since then, I have wanted to try dripping alcohol ink onto pillar candles. With Halloween around the corner, I went with some holiday colors for my first attempt.

Once I had my white pillar candle, I grabbed my craft mat and a couple shades of orange and black alcohol ink to drip onto my candle.

I started out by dripping Sunset Orange in one-inch intervals around the candle. If my single drip didn't make it all the way to the bottom, I added a little more to the stream.

Then I went around the candle with Terra Cotta and finally with some Pitch Black. The black didn't run quite as much as the orange did, so I had to add more to most of my trails of ink. As the ink started to mix a bit toward the bottom, I realized I'd have to add more orange to fill in and mix a bit on purpose.

After adding more orange and black, I had a pretty funky Halloween candle. All the while I was working on this one, I couldn't help but wish I had a second candle that I could do in red and black to make it really gruesome for the holiday. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Duct Tape Covered Disinfectant Wipes Container

I'm knee deep in paper grading, so I have just a quick project to share with you this week. I had an empty disinfectant wipes container, and from past experience, I know that they make great bag containers. The last time I made one of these, I used tissue paper and mod podge, but I was looking for something even faster, so duct tape it is.

I grabbed a cutting mat and a rotary tool along with two rolls of duct tape--a solid color and a print. I measured my container and found out it was just under 8 inches tall (from base to lid) and about 10 inches around.

So I made a sheet of duct tape that was 8 inches by 11 inches (for good measure). I laid my strips of the solid color along the bottom and a single row of my print tape at the top. I picked this print because it had a little yellow in it to coordinate with the lid.

Then I used the rotary cutter to trim the edges to make a nice neat square of duct tape. Next, I carefully peeled the sheet of tape off of the mat.

I lined the edge of the tape up with a seam in the plastic and the top edge of the container. Then I carefully smoothed it onto the container. I had a little extra tape at the bottom that I folded over the bottom edge.

When I was all done, I stuffed it full of some store bags. You can toss it in a drawer or cabinet or even in the trunk of your car. I even put a roll of tall kitchen bags in one to take camping and it works great!  And if you want your store bags to pull out neatly, you can even go through the trouble of rolling them up like I did the very first time I covered up a wipes container

Monday, September 26, 2016

Favorite Fall Crafts

After most of September being quite warm, some cooler crisper air has finally settled in for this week. Since it's starting to feel like fall, I thought I'd share some of my favorite fall posts to help get us all in the spirit of the season. I know I needed some coaxing after last week's hot and humid air.

First off is a Halloween inspired metal flower pot that was turned into a Jack-o-lantern with the help of some alcohol ink and a little painter's tape cut into the classic face shapes. I fill it with the candy that we're allowed to eat so I don't dive into the trick-or-treater's stash.

Next is an autumn inspired pen bouquet. All you need for this one is silk flowers, floral tape, and some stick pens. I gathered it all in a terracotta pot that I had painted orange and red ombre with spray paint. These make great gifts for anyone who works in an office!

Another one of my favorites is this collection of paper pumpkins made out of scrapbook paper strips and metal brads. These create quite the impact for the cost of just a few sheets of decorative paper.

Next are the sun catchers I made out of fall leaves that I ran through my laminator. If you can't get enough of the reds and golden oranges of turning leaves, one way to preserve them (at least for a season) is to laminate them.

And lastly, is one of my first attempts at a traditional silk flower wreath for fall. Time to go hang it on the door!

You can see all of my fall inspired crafts here: Sarah Jane's Craft Blog Fall Crafts Collection.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Alcohol Ink on Glossy Cardstock

As anyone who frequents this blog knows, I like alcohol inks. What you may or may not have figured out yet is that I'm also terribly cheap. It's why I made my own ink applicator instead of forking out  5 or 6 bucks for one. Needless to say, I wasn't about to spend $7 on a pack of 10 sheets of paper for the Ranger brand glossy cardstock. And I certainly wasn't going to spend the $14 for 10 sheets of Yupo (which is plasticized paper and works even better than glossy cardstock...or so I've been told as I'm too cheap to buy it). So when I noticed you could buy a package of 250 sheets of Xerox's brand of glossy cardstock for about $12 I figured that was a deal I could get behind. Heck, even if it doesn't work perfectly for alcohol ink, I can still use it in my printer.

So I grabbed my inking supplies: a craft mat, my applicator and felt, and several colors of Ranger alcohol ink and tried just stamping a pattern onto the paper.

Much like the surfaces on the white gift bags I inked last month, the ink soaks in fairly quickly. I wasn't able to cover the whole surface with my initial inked felt. As you can see above, it faded out as I moved along the sheet of paper.

So I used the same felt and added drops of similar, but different colors so I could layer them over the top of each other. I simply stamped from the side of the page that had very little ink and worked my way back to the other side. It worked out pretty well to create a sort of confetti look.

Next, I tried using a water brush filled with some rubbing alcohol and a plastic palette to do some painting. This worked out perfectly. The ink soaks in enough that it doesn't smear. It actually works better than the times I've tried using the water brush on ceramic tile. That being said, it's not a very user-friendly painting medium since it does soak in and can't be changed or layered very well. So I created a nice striped pattern. You could do all kinds of neat things with the water brush as long as you planned them out ahead of time.

Lastly, I tried the good old alcohol ink standby, squirt the ink and blow it with canned air. The canned air didn't move the ink much, but the squirts of color turned out nicely on the paper.

I kept squeezing the ink onto the page until I filled it up and created a design. Since I was just playing around with this new paper, I think these turned out pretty well. I have a better idea of what I can do on this paper and I look forward to trying out new techniques.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Trying Out Pinata Alcohol Inks

If you've been to my blog before, you know that I have made all kinds of projects with alcohol ink. But, in all of those projects, I used Ranger Inks (since they are more widely available at craft stores). Pinata alcohol inks are the other major brand (made by Jacquard), and I finally got myself a starter set

The Pinata set usually costs around $20 on Amazon and comes with 9 bottles of ink. So it's actually fairly comparable in price to the Ranger Inks, maybe even a little cheaper. The colors are all bright and vivid versions of yellow, orange, magenta, bright blue, purple, and green. It also comes with a black, white and a gold (which I didn't try my first time out).

I grabbed a 4-inch glossy ceramic tile to try the inks out on first. I'm pretty familiar with how the Ranger Inks behave on this surface, so I felt it would be a good comparison for me.

I decided to stamp the on my first one with cool colors. I dripped the inks onto my felt and covered the surface of the tile in one pass. The bottles didn't drip quite as much ink onto the felt as the Ranger bottles do and the ink seemed thicker and didn't spread out on the tile as much. The Ranger Inks will usually create a watercolor look unless you make multiple passes with the applicator.

I stamped the tile just a bit more to fill in some of the white space and then put some 90% rubbing alcohol onto my applicator and made another pass over the tile. The ink thinned out and behaved more like watercolors.

I ran my applicator over it some more and stippling occurred. I was really pleased with how the inks didn't seem to get muddled and brown in color, but still separated with the addition of the alcohol.

Next, I tried dripping some colors on the tile. Like with the applicator, the ink seemed thicker and didn't spread out as much on the tile.

So I used an eye dropper with some rubbing alcohol to try to spread the ink out.

I added a bit more ink and then used a can of air to spread it out a bit.

Then I used the eye dropper again with nearly no alcohol in it to blow some alcohol droplets onto the ink and get it to separate a bit. It behaved pretty much just like the Ranger Inks with this technique.

My two practice tiles turned out really neat. The biggest difference between the Pinata ink and the Ranger inks is that it seems to be a bit thicker/more saturated in color and will need to be thinned out with rubbing alcohol or a blending solution for it to behave the way I'm used to. I'm really looking forward to using this ink on some of the jewelry I've made with Ranger Inks in the past to get even more saturated color.