Friday, December 16, 2011

Tutorial: Alcohol Ink Ornaments

The Glittered Santa Ornaments inspired me to play around with some round clear glass bulbs that I’ve had in the stash for much too long.  I started out trying to replicate mercury glass and ended up with some really special, colorful, beautiful, glittery ornaments!  Truly, these were one big experiment, but once I got the technique down, they are super easy.

The Tutorial:
1.     Using a felt ink blending tool, pounce a blend of Silver Mixative, Mushroom, and Blending Solution Alcohol Inks onto a clean, clear glass bulb, covering the bulb completely.  The ratio is approximately 5 silver: 2 mushroom: 3 blending solution.
TIP:  Recognize this handy-dandy ornament stand?  
It's the little gizmo that keeps your pizza from sticking to the lid of the box!

2.     You can apply the colored alcohol inks either from the bottom or the top.  The tutorial photos show it applied from the bottom, but after experimenting, I actually prefer applying them from the top.  Remove the metal hanger cap to apply from the top. 

Select your color scheme for your ornament (1-3 colors) and starting with the lightest color, apply 1-3 drops at a time at intervals around the bottom center or top opening.  I say 1-3 drops because you want to apply enough ink so that it will run most of the way down the ornament, sometimes maybe all the way down the ornament.

3.     Let each color dry slightly before applying the next.  With each color, alter the application intervals, have fun, and experiment! 

4.     The silver base application will sort of “peel” off and blend with each color addition, don’t worry, this is part of the charm!

5.     If desired, add more silver on top of the colors and repeat the color applications again at half as many drops / intervals.

6.   Once you are satisfied with the color application, let dry overnight.
7.     Remove metal hanger cap and add approximately 1 tablespoon Future liquid floor polish to the inside of the bulb.  (Don’t worry about measuring, this isn’t an exact science, I just want to give you an idea of how much you’ll need.)  Swish the floor polish around until the entire inside is coated.  Drain excess.
Update!  From SC Johnson Wax website:
The Future Floor Polish product - acrylic floor finish for no-wax & regular floors - was renamed under the Pledge® brand in November of 2007. It is now Pledge® Premium Floor Finish with Future® Shine. It is still the same great Future formula, just with a new name. It still provides that durable, long lasting shine. 
Thought you'd want to know this if you're looking for Future floor polish!  Apparently, I've had my bottle for quite some time!
8.     Add silver glitter to the inside of the bulb.  Plug the opening with your finger and shake gently.  Keep adding glitter until the inside of the bulb has good, even coverage in glitter.  The glitter acts as a mirror and brings your AI colors to life!

Here’s a couple more ideas to inspire you to play:
·         Use painters’ tape to mask off certain areas and create patterns:

·         Sprinkle glitter on the outside of the bulb too.  Just add it while the AI is still wet and the glitter will pick up some of the AI color and stick really well.

Here are three of my finished ornaments.  The colors on the left ornament were applied from the bottom, the colors on middle and right ornaments were applied from the top.

This one’s my FAVORITE!!
The color scheme on this one is Red Pepper, Oregano, and Aqua.

It will be hard to give away, but I will, because I know it’s going to a good home.  J

It’s so hard to photograph glass and glitter well!  These are ten times prettier in real life!
I had a blast playing with color schemes and altering how I applied the color layers.  In fact, the only thing that stopped me was that I ran out of bulbs!  I think I’ll be hitting the after Christmas sales to stock up on some more for next year.

Like I said, these go really quick and are super fun to make (addicting, actually).  So if you still have some co-workers, teachers, or other folks on your shopping list, you can whip up a bunch of these beauties with just a pinch of time and moo-lah.

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  1. Wow, nice's a must try. Thanks so much.

    Ps do you know if you can glitter inside of plastic bulbs too?

    Please email to deepabyss100 at hotmail dot com

    Thanks so much.

  2. These are stunning!!! Will definitely be giving them a try. Thanks for the idea.

  3. These are fabulous - are you able to buy Futura floor polish in America? I am thinking it is the same as Johnson's Klear which we used to buy in the UK but no longer can and now to do these will need to get something else.
    Thanks for the tute and the inspiration - so beautiful.


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