As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been experimenting with some more cost effective alternatives in the crafting/scrapping/art journaling area and I want to share some of those with you.
1. Alcohol Inks and Spray Inks.
They are easily and cheaply made with every day ingredients. They may not be of the highest ingredients, but they work for what I need them for!
The first one I want to show you is the cool aid spray! Yep, cool aid is notorious for not coming out once spilled, so that’s just what we need.
Get yourself an empty small spray bottle either from the dollar store or from Target (Pharmacy department.) Get the Cool Aid powder of your choice and dollar store rubbing alcohol.
Place the cool aid powder in the bottle, fill it up almost to the top with rubbing alcohol. Shake to dissolve and that’s it!
Of course you can add more or less powder, depending on how intense you want the color. I used orange cool aid in this example and I needed the whole package to get just a hue of orange. Since that is what I was aiming for, it’s fine. Other colors are more intense, so start with about 1 tsp and work your way up if you need to!
The other option is the RIT dye alcohol inks. Basically the same as above, but you use the RIT dye, either powdered or liquid. Here you will need a lot less dye, as they are quite intense!
And of course, food coloring, egg dye and re-inkers can be used too!
And then there is the Gelato way! Faber Castell has these cool little gelatos, that also make lovely sprays! I basically cut an 1/8 inch off the gelato stick, and dropped it into the spray bottle. Then I filled it up with half water and half rubbing alcohol and let it sit for a bit. This gives the gelato bit time to dissolve. Then shake, shake, shake and you have a vibrant ink spray!
Incidentally you can also use the gelatos to color modeling paste. Just shave a little off, spritz with some water, make a paste and then add to the modeling paste. More on the gelatos a little later in the post.
You can also easily make your own acrylic color mist by adding some acrylic paint (the kind in the small tubes) to rubbing alcohol in a mister bottle. I got a cheap variety pack at Walmart for $6 and they work just fine. Depending on how deep a shade you want, start with a little paint, and add until you reach the shade you like. Shake vigorously to dissolve the paint.
2. Mod Podge.
Love the stuff, but after a while it can get quite expensive. So for years now I’ve used Elmer's School Glue. I buy it by the gallon and make up the Mod Podge recipe as I need it in a mason jar. Just add half water, half Elmer's glue, replace the lid, shake it up and you’re ready to go. If you need it thicker, use less water! My preferred rate of dilution is 3/4 Glue, 1/4 water.
3. Faber Castell Gelatos.
Love those little things! However, they run fairly expensive. There is however a seller on Amazon that sells the “kid’s” version and calls them gel sticks. And wouldn’t you know it, they are the EXACT SAME as the Artist’s Gelatos. I mean identical!
Here’s the link to the regular gelatos: 12 Ct Gel Sticks With Brush
Here’s the link to the metallic gelatos. Faber Castell Metallic Gel Sticks
Again these are marketed towards kids and are listed in “toys and games” but they are identical to the gelatos!
If you need some ideas of what to do with the gelatos, look here.
4. Homemade Shimmer Mist.
Here’s something else that’s so easily made at home: Shimmer mists! There are lots of recipes for this all over the internet, but here’s the one I like to use.
I bought one of those Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments variety packs about 10 years ago and they are still going strong! I tend to only use them in the shimmer mists now, so a little goes a long way!
I usually make two kinds of mists. The one that is much like the kind you buy in the store, which just has a hint of color and is really just meant to add some glimmer to everything. And then I also make the one which is a regularly saturated spray ink that I add some glimmer to as well. Both work for different applications!
For the glimmer mists that are pretty much the same that are available in the stores, like the rangers and tattered angels mists, you will need:
Travel sized spray bottle (dollar store or target again)
Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments of any color
Means of color (acrylic paint, re-inker ink, food color, RIT dye, alcohol ink you made above, water color etc.)
Mod Podge/School Glue
Fill the spray bottle about 3/4 of the way with water, add about 1 tsp worth of school glue/mod podge. Add a little color (or a lot if you want it a little more saturated) and then add Pearl-Ex powder. The amount is up to you, but I find that about the equivalent of 1/8 tsp is plenty.
Shake well to mix and dissolve everything.
And that’s it!
Now, remember to shake up the glimmer mist well before every use. The Pearl Ex pigments like to settle on the bottom of the bottle. If you find that you have difficulty shaking the stuff lose from the bottom, add a small marble or a very small, smooth (and clean) rock to your spray bottle. It will help with the shaking up of things!
Yes, the Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments are a bit of an investment initially, but considering that the ready made Shimmer mists usually run $7-$9 per bottle and you’re going to be able to make probably something like 60 + spray bottles worth of glimmer mist from the one 12-pack of Pearl Ex, it’s really not much of an investment and a huge savings!
So, that’s it for today. I hope you found some of these tips useful!