Monday, February 10, 2014

Alcohol Ink Glass Gems


Always looking for a new way to use alcohol inks, I decided to try them out on glass gems.  You know, the kind you buy at craft stores to fill up jars and vases (or as point markers in board games).  I have amassed quite a collection of glass gems for crafting and game playing.  I pick them up when they go on sale at Michael's or when Dollar Tree starts selling new varieties.  I think the large clear gems I have below are from Dollar Tree, though I'm not sure. They are sold most places that sell craft supplies.


I picked out some gems that were relatively flaw free and set up my workspace with my craft mat . Using my DIY applicator, I dripped ink onto both ends with two different mixes of colors.  I found that this method worked well and allowed me to try different combinations and layers on each gem without having to reload my applicator multiple times.  The bolder colors seemed to show up the best through the gem, and smaller patterns of colors seemed to look the most impressive.  Just keep stamping until you get colors that look nice. The colors will become more defined the longer you stamp them. If you don't like how one turns out, just wipe it off with a bit of rubbing alcohol and start over.


I found that I really liked using my gold and silver alcohol ink on these gems. They were such fun and went so quickly that I made a nice pile of gems.  I let them dry for a bit (doesn't take long) before flipping them over.


When I took the photos below, I was really pleased with how they turned out, but I noticed they were leaving some marks on the white cardstock I had them sitting on for the photo.


So I flipped them back over and applied a thin layer of mod podge to seal them up. (You could also use an acrylic sealer, but it's 5 degrees out and there's a foot of snow on the ground--so not really spray paint weather here.)


When they dried, I glued some flat bails onto the back of a few with some E6000 glue.


Then I strung them up with suede cording. I picked some of the darkest colored gems to make into necklaces since they looked the brightest and would show the bale through the design the least.  The next time I make these, I may play around with putting a layer of foil or paper behind the design to make it pop and keep the bale from showing through.  Even with being able to see the bales through these gems, I think they turned out pretty cool, and I can't wait to wear them.


Update: I made some magnets with my leftover small gems.

26 comments:

  1. Love these!! Thanks for the tutorial. I had done something similar but with sharpies. I like your finished product better :-)

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    1. I have yet to try sharpies with alcohol to create the alcohol ink effect....I'll definitely post a tutorial if I ever do. Thanks for visiting the blog!

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  2. These are gorgeous, what a wonderfully creative idea. My friend found this link on Pinterest. Thanks for the inspiration 😊

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    1. Thank you so much! I have a ton of fun making them!

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  3. Replies
    1. Alcohol Inks are an alcohol based dye ink that comes in small bottles and can be dripped or stamped (with a felt applicator) onto smooth nonporous surfaces (glass, plastic, painted wood, glossy cardstock, metal, etc...). The two most common producers are Ranger and Jacquard. I have only ever used the Ranger brand Alcohol Inks. They can be picked up at Michael's or Jo-ann's in the stamping section.

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    2. I made my own alcohol inks with sharpie cartridges diluted in a small bottle of alcohol. They work well, but still cost a fair amount... I used 3 packs if 8 sharpie colors (just didn't use the black or brown) and they came out really intense. I am just beginning to experiment and bought some gems after seeing your blog. Maybe i will take the time to try it tomorrow! (Btw I go the Ranger starter kit, but haven't tried that one yet).

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  4. Posted This Tutorial On My Blog!!
    http://www.ashleysartsandcraftsblog.com/2015/06/new-tutorial-alcohol-inks-gems.html

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    1. Thanks! I hope you have fun trying it out!

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  5. Hi Sarah Jane, thanks for the tutorial. I know it was awhile ago, but I was wondering what you used to make them look black on the edges? I keep trying but mine don't look as good as yours. :( Also,d do you have any experience with TH crackle paints? Because I'm struggling with that too. :) Thanks!

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    1. They don't look quite as dark in real life as they do in the photos, but choosing the most vivid colors of ink to work with helps. I also tried backing some of the gems that turned out lighter with some aluminum foil. It worked out fairly well.

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  6. Found this on Pinterest. I am going to have to try it; these would make fabulous cabochons for my beadwork! Also, just a minor caveat, when you mention using E6000 it's always a good idea to remind people to use the minimum amount needed and work with it in a well-ventilated space. It's a very effective glue, but it's also toxic. (This is one of my rant topics, since I've seen it misused and not enough people read labels!)

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  7. They are so much fun! I hope yours turn out great. It's always a good reminder about the glue.

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  8. My first attempt at these didn't get me the texture look that you have can you tell me what the technique for getting the circles etc. Mine are pretty but not quite like yours I will get more beads today and try again just thought I would see if I would be able to pick your brain.

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    1. Use dark/saturated colors and keep stamping. They will look watercolor-y at first, then the more you stamp, the darker the colors will look and the more separated (circle-y) the ink will become. Some color combos will work better than others. And you can totally layer different colors over the top if your first set of colors isn't working.

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  9. How do you apply the sealer ? Does it work on glass and is it clear and glossy? does it leave any texture or its smooth? I have been searching everywhere for the best sealer for glass, but still with doubts. Your gems are great! Thank you

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    1. I have used Mod Podge with a foam brush. It left a little texture on the back, but very minimal. I have also used some spray sealer that doesn't leave any texture as long as you spray a couple very thin coats on it.

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    2. And I have used both glossy and matte. Since only the back of the gem needs to be sealed, they both work well.

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  10. How many layers of colors did you have to put on? I have tried about 4 layers, and you can still hardly see the color.

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    1. It depends on the colors, but I usually don't have to use a lot of different colors, I just have to stamp the same colors (usually 2 or 3 colors) several times. Sometimes that means 5-6 stampings and sometimes that means 10-12 stampingss. It can also help a bit to let the colors dry for a bit (like less than a minute so they're not completely set) between layers.

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  11. I just want to thank you for your generosity in sharing this with us. God bless you!

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  12. This is really cool, one of the best gem tutorials I have seen, and I have looked at A TON.
    Thanks for posting it, and the links to the supplies. Following your blog now.

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