Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Acrylic Ornaments Using Alcohol Inks

I recently did this project for the Crafts Unleashed design team, and wanted to share it with YOU all too!!

When I first heard the term "alcohol inks," several years ago, I couldn't possibly imagine what use I would have for them.  Alcohol?  In an ink form?  Isn't alcohol for drinking?  Or cleaning wounds? And then there were so many other terms that went along with them - ink applicators, blending solution, metallic mixatives...I admit, I was intimidated!  And so, I just stayed clear of the whole world of alcohol inks!!

That is, until several months ago, when I attended a workshop, and one of the techniques I learned was - you guessed it - how to use alcohol inks.  All of a sudden, a whole new world was opened up to me!  Alcohol inks will work on pretty much any non-porous surface, dry quickly, blend easily, and clean up easily with a little blending solution.  Don't like what you've created?  Swipe some blending solution over what you've done, and you have a clean slate!  They can also be used on porous surfaces, though are less easily "erased."  A light bulb went on in my head, as I realized the many applications and ways I could use them...
  • Only have white/cream buttons, and need one to match your project?  No problem - alcohol ink to the rescue!
  • Need blingage to coordinate with a layout?  Just buy clear or white all the time, and color with alcohol inks!
  • Want to colorize clear acrylic or glass?  Alcohol inks!
  • Want to create your own gorgeous papers?  Alcohol inks on glossy cardstock!
  • Need to adjust the color of fabric or paper flowers to fit your project?  Try alcohol inks!
  • Want to color something detailed?  There are even fillable pens made just for alcohol inks!
On top of being SO versatile, a little goes a LONG way when it comes to alcohol inks - so they are very cost effective.  Just a couple drops will color a lot of area.

When I had to pick a December design team project for Crafts Unleashed, I immediately knew I wanted to do something with alcohol inks!  And when I saw that Consumer Crafts carried fillable acrylic ornaments, I thought this would be the perfect project for showcasing what the inks can do!  You get to choose the colors, and they make a great place to tuck away small gifts, gift cards, or even perhaps a bit of good 'ole cash for a loved one!

Materials used:

Kraft colored crinkle cut paper filling
1105-65  Clear plastic ornament balls
29992-028  Ivory double-satin poly ribbon, 1/4"
DS-6182  Canadian pine garland, 3/4"
RITIM20707  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Tuscan Garden
RITIM21247  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Gold and Silver
RITIM22121  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Pesto
RITIM22060  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Latte
RITIM21995  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Cranberry
RTIM964  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink, Butterscotch
RITIM19800  Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks Blending Solution
RAIBT23616  Ranger Ink Blending Tool (using felt NOT foam)


1.  With a felt pad on your ink applicator tool, add several drops of alcohol ink to the felt by putting the tip of the ink bottle directly against the felt and squeezing for just a second or so.  You can choose one color, two colors, or more...this is entirely up to YOU.  For my first ornament, I went with a combination of cranberry, red pepper, and gold.  (Of note, regular colors of alcohol ink are transparent, while the metallic mixatives will add a more opaque look.)

2.  Add a squirt of blending solution in a diagonal line across your felt pad.  This will help your colors blend nicely on the ornament.

3.  Holding one half of your ornament in one hand, use the ink applicator in your other hand and "pounce" the ink applicator onto the ornament repeatedly, spreading the ink all over the ornament.  You can twist, turn, pounce and have fun with this, until the ornament is covered in ink to your satisfaction.  Repeat with the other half of the ornament - you may need to add more ink to your felt for the second half.

4.  The ink dries almost immediately, but if you find you are not happy with your results, you can simply pour a little blending solution onto a clean cloth, and wipe your ornament clean - and start over!!  How's THAT for letting go of your fear of imperfection?!  (Wait - YOU don't have that problem?  Oh, that's just ME!)

5.  Once you are happy with your ornament, simply fill it with whatever your heart desires, close it up, tie a ribbon through the holes at the top, and finish it off by wrapping a little piece of garland around it.

Have fun making this quick, easy, and affordable holiday project!!


Karen said...

VERY Cool Project, Jen!!

Jen said...

Thanks, Karen!! It was fun!! :) And it really is SO quick and easy!! I love playing with alcohol inks!! -Jen


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