Many times in my classes I've had students ask me, "What can you do with alcohol inks?" What CAN'T you do with alcohol inks? They are the ultimate customizing tool! Alcohol inks are formulated to color non-porous surfaces such as plastic and metal. Turn the ink bottle upside down on the felt applicator pad for 5-10 seconds (no need to squeeze); dot the pad with 1 -3 colors, keeping a little bit of space between each color. Place your object on a non-stick craft sheet to protect your surface. Now, pounce the applicator all over your transparency, metal or plastic embellishment, brad, button, bead; you get the idea! You can leave the color as is, or apply a squirt of blending solution to the pad and pounce that on top of the inks. It will loosen and blend the inks, softening the color. You can see a video of Tim Holtz demonstrating how to apply alcohol inks here.
Well, I like to see what rules I can break when it comes to art materials (and many other things in life, but that's a different post...), and I found that alcohol inks are great for dying Grungeboard! For this first sample, I used the lettuce and gold alcohol inks to cover the back of a plain transparency. The paper is from MDW, and I just added some Black Soot Distress Ink to give it that spooky feel and make that great texture stand out. For the skull, I applied gold and pitch black alcohol inks, just pouncing them on (note: blending solution does not work on Grungeboard). For the wings, I started with a base of rust and gold alcohol inks, applied Perfect Medium (it's like a glue pad that will adhere Perfect Pearls and Embossing Powder to paper or embellishments) and then Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder. It gives the Grungeboard a rusted metal look! Add a bit of cheesecloth and you've got a scary little Halloween embellishment!
Tim Holtz has some fabulous new masks, just perfect for the season! A mask is super simple to use - just apply to your paper, dab ink or paint over it, and remove! It's a stencil in reverse so it highlights patterns beautifully. For this card, I used a white paint dabber over the mask, and while the paint was still wet, poured on a little Shabby Shutter Distress Embossing Powder. REMOVE the mask, then heat the powder. Add a few letter stickers and you're done!
For the last sample, I combined all of the above techniques. First, I added black alcohol ink to a little acrylic house. Next, I added Perfect Medium to the other side, and covered it in Shabby Shutter Distress Embossing Powder. Be careful not to get the heat gun too close, or you'll end up with a wonky chimney like mine! I placed the barbed wire mask over the cooled powder (stick the ends to your craft sheet, because they won't stick to the powder) and applied Wild Plum alcohol ink over it. The grungeboard letter and keyhole were both colored with alcohol inks.
So, are you inspired? It's very easy to get carried away with alcohol inks! I've customized old embellishments, costume jewelry, even my ugly brass fireplace surround! The possibilities are endless!
Next time we'll take a closer look at Grungeboard. Until then, go break a few rules!