Monday, December 16, 2013

Homemade Gifts: Alcohol Ink and Sharpie Art

Saw some examples of this kind of art project out on the internet and then I realized that we have a lot of white tile left over from the bathroom remodel, and we also have a lot of sharpies:

We thought of making them into coasters/trivets as a present the kids could send to their grandmothers.

The kids had a blast, but honestly, they needed lots more time experimenting. I liked just making psychedelic patterns from the alcohol inks we bought at the local craft store, but the kids wanted to draw pictures and write words. It was a mixed bag of success, other than fun. We definitely succeeded at fun.

Well, except when my older daughter's pony tail flopped forward and landed on her tile, where there was a ton of wet magenta and shellac. It took a long time to comb/wash out, but she's okay now.

The process is simple and outlined in many, many places on the internet. But the one part of it that isn't explained as well is the clear coating.

We ran a bunch of experiments.

We used three kinds of clear for the tiles: Enamel, Lacquer, and Shellac.

The best from my expermentation was the enamel. It dried nice and smooth, did not tend to re-activate the inks, and generally worked great.

The lacquer was an okay middle ground.

The shellac, though, was the most interesting. When I sprayed shellac on the tiles, the ink reacted, often running or blending in with nearby colors. It was like misting some of the alcohol/blending agent on the dried tiles. This had a really interesing effect the girl's liked and wanted to use.

In the end, I wound up clear coating in two steps: first with the shellac to create the intestesting effect, then applying a nice coat of enamel to seal it all in:

Next we added some felt feet and bundled them up to ship off to the grand parents.

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