Monday, March 9, 2015

Crafting Revisit: Alcohol Ink Glass Gems


A couple of weeks ago I dug out my old decorated glass gems and whipped up some magnets.  The project reminded me just how rewarding decorating glass gems with alcohol ink is. And since I have more colors of alcohol inks and some new glue-on bails since the last attempt, I thought it was worth a revisit (original post).


So I grabbed some 1 inch glass gems (which I picked up at Dollar Tree), my inks, and my applicator and got to work on a craft mat. I remembered from last time that the brightest and darkest colors work the best, so I used a variety on the backs of the gems.


I just dropped a few different colors onto the felt and stamped and switched colors until I liked what I saw. And just like last time they turned out so pretty so quickly!


After they had dried (and I had taken some photos), I flipped them over and mod podged the backs to keep them from smearing or scratching.  A clear sealer would work well for this step too, but it was cold out when I was crafting, so I opted for the mod podge.


Then I grabbed my new bails. I ordered a big bag on Amazon so you'll definitely be seeing more necklaces from me in the future. I used some E6000 glue to attach the bails to the back.  These were a bit smaller than the ones I used the first time around from Michael's, so they didn't show through as much. But for good measure I still chose the gems that had the darkest designs to make into necklaces.


After the glue dried, I grabbed some ribbon and some suede cord to finish them off.


They turned out fantastic and I can't wait to wear them!


28 comments:

  1. love your idea colors came out so nice thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Hi Sarah Jane (Sarah, spelled correctly, tee hee), this is a great project and one that could be brought to elders, children, and jewelry making artists. I'm a bit confused about something yoou mentioned. You paint on the back - the flat side, right? But then you said to go to the back side to the felt.

      It's me, I know. I've bought these delicious little delicacies in the past just because I loved them. But I've never seen them with felt.

      So 1. could you further explain the "back side - not the bum)
      2. are there any coating of anything else, like black on them other than the inks?

      3. What did you mean by felt?

      Hope these weren't stupid questions.

      Also, what would you guess someone would pay for these beauties?

      Thanx for your help, I hope you respond :)
      Betsy

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    2. I hope these answer your questions. 1. I stamp on the flat side instead of the rounded side. 2. On the ones pictured in this post I don't have anything other than the inks and then a clear sealer on them. 3. The felt I use for stamping is acrylic felt can be picked up at any craft store (most Walmarts carry it too).

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  2. The alcohol ink applicator has replaceable felt pads

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    1. Yes, you can either buy the Ranger set and their felt squares or you can cut your out felt.

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    2. Yes!! Cut your own....so much cheaper.

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  3. Betsy Murphy - Sarah is saying to place your ink on the felt and then ( stamp) your gem to the colored felt to get your design! I had to re-read this too, but that's what she did with the felt! Love this idea Sarah, I have lots of gems from Dollar Tree! Thank you for sharing ��

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    1. I usually stamp on the back of the gem. It wobbles a bit, but they are flat enough that it works. If you stamp the gem to the felt, your fingers get full of ink. It would work, but you might want to wear gloves. :)

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  4. where can I purchase this alcohol ink; first time I've ever heard of it! Love your designs thx

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    1. You can find alcohol inks in the stamping section at major craft stores (like Michael's and JoAnn's) and on Amazon. There are two major brands--Ranger (by Tim Holtz) and Pinata (by Jacquard). The Ranger brands are more widely available and are sold in sets of three. I'd recommend the Dockside Picnic and Summit View sets for a new user.

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  5. How long does it take to dry between each step? I'd like to do this with my 6th grade Girl Scouts. We only meet for 90 minutes. I'm wondering if it would dry quick enough to finish in one meeting or if we'd need to spread it across several meetings.

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    1. The alcohol ink dries very fast. It should be dry to the touch in about 5 minutes. Spray sealer takes 10-15 minutes to dry, but I imagine mod podge would be easier with kids. Mod Podge would take AT LEAST a half an hour to dry if they paint on a thin coat. If you glue bails or magnets or pin backs on with E6000, that will take another 20+ minutes to dry. Maybe make them and paint on the mod podge at one meeting then come back to them dried at the next meeting and turn them into pins or necklaces or whatever.

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  6. I have made many of these. The only difference I did was after sealing I coated with white acrylic paint and then sealed again. That way the colors actually show up after the project is done, if it is not on a white back round the colors barely show up on any surface, so you might want to put a white coating on the back too.

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    1. Yes! That works great to show contrast. I did a project on the blog where I spray painted the backs with white paint. I've also used aluminum tape (the kind you can get at the hardware store) which works great too. Thanks for checking out the blog!

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  7. These are so pretty! I'd like to know what colors of alcohol inks you used for the ones pictured. I'm hopeless when it comes to choosing color combinations.

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    1. I'm not sure what all of the colors are. I'm fairly certain that the blue that's featured in most of them is "sailboat blue." The Ranger inks come in sets of 3, so you can always try those three colors together. Most of the time I'll pick a few colors and then end up adding more after the ink has started to dry and separate a bit. The ink wipes off of the gems pretty easily with rubbing alcohol, so if you don't like a color combo, you can always start over.

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  8. Not sure wha I am doing wrong but not getting the vibrant colors i see on the gems shown in the blog. I tried only stamping the back of the glass gems and you really can't see the colors come through. I tried stamping the front of the gems as well and get the same effect- the colors blend together and get a more monochromatic look. Help!

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    1. I just stamp on the backs. You have to pick your darkest colors you have and stamp until they seem saturated. They won't end up showing up quite as dark as the photos with the white backgrounds unless you put something to contrast on the back of the gems (I've tried white paint and aluminum tape on the blog). Good luck, just keep stamping until you like the way it looks!

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  9. I wonder if it would work to just apply the ink in drops and then blowing on it with a straw to create a starburst pattern?

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    1. Might be tough since the gems are only about an inch (and that's the bigger ones), but I'm always up for a new challenge, so I'll put drip/blown ink for the gems onto my to-try list. If you try it, let me know how it works.

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  10. What kind of sealer are you using?

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