Are you looking for something creative to do, that’s different? Good – because that’s what I have for you today! With just a few supplies, you can create your own alcohol ink tree baubles. While these look incredibly easy, there is a bit of a learning curve. Basically, because you’re decorating a curved item! Let’s have a look, and you’ll understand what I mean.
ALCOHOL INK TREE BAUBLES
Start with some purchased plain glass or plastic balls/spheres/baubles – whatever you want to call them. I chose the white ones, because I wanted the ink to stand out. Some people do like to use the clear ones, and either use white paint to colour the inside, or leave them clear. Choose the alcohol ink colours that you want to use – maybe to match with your Christmas tree decorations. These also make awesome gifts, or craft fair items to sell – so get creative with your colours!
As you can see above, I did 3 different colour combinations! Green & gold; Blue and silver; and Red and gold.
SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED
First, you’ll need the ornaments. I bought mine on sale at Michael’s; they were a BOGO sale. Second, you’ll need a selection of alcohol ink colours. I chose Ranger Crimson, Denim, Botanical, Lettuce, and Gold and Silver mixatives. You’ll also need some alcohol blending solution or 99% isopropyl alcohol, nitrile gloves, and paper cups (optional). Below is a photo of the ornaments I purchased from Michael’s – because I know you’ll want to know!
I also bought a box of large ones, with a shimmer to the white background. I can’t wait to play with those – I’ll be sure to share how they look!
HERE’S THE HOW-TO
Okay – so the one of the hard parts is holding onto the ornament while you’re adding the ink and blending solution! You can do that by simply holding onto the decorative cap in one hand, and apply the inks with the other hand. Or if you don’t want the ink all the way to the top, you can cut an ‘x’ into the bottom of a paper cup, and gently insert the cap end of the ornament. Then you hold onto the paper cup while adding the ink, and you can just leave it in place and put the cup down, for the ink to dry. I tried both ways; I held the red one, and used the paper cup method with the other 2. The drawback to holding the ornament is that you want to make sure it’s dry enough to sit on the paper cup to cure, without the cup rim leaving a mark.
Start with one colour, and add a few drops, Next, add the blending solution (or 99% isopropyl alcohol) on top of the ink, and turn the ornament as the ink moves. Continue to do this, adding the second colour, more blending solution, and then more of the first colour, until you’re happy with how it looks. To help move and blend the ink, you can use an air tool. I just chose my air puffer – the kind you use to clean camera lenses. Or you could use canned air, or an airbrush tool, if you have one.
CLOSE UP LOOK
Remember – beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I find that as you’re working, they start out looking like a hot mess. Don’t give up! Keep adding, blending and turning until you’re happy. Feel free to use a small brush for blending, if you prefer. This is your project – have fun 🙂 Here’s a close up look at each of the 3 ornaments I’ve finished.
This one is made with Botanical, Lettuce and Gold ink.
Denim and silver are used on this ornament. It kind of reminds me of a view of the world, taken from space!
I think this is my favourite; Crimson and gold.
HAVE FUN & MAKE YOUR OWN ALCOHOL INK TREE BAUBLES
Ornaments, baubles, spheres – whatever you call them, just have fun making them! Make them for yourself; give them as gifts, or sell them at your next craft fair. If they’re only going to be used at Christmas as tree ornaments, you probably don’t HAVE to seal them. However, remember that alcohol inks are not light-fast, meaning that the colour will fade over time; more quickly if exposed to direct light. To seal the ink, first spray 3 light layers of Krylon Kamar Varnish (with about 30 minutes between layers). This seals the ink in place. Next, spray 3 times with Krylon UV Protector spray (again, at least 30 minutes between sprays). This should do the trick. If you want to go one more step, you can always do a final coat with Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze. I found the Krylon sprays at my local Opus Art Supplies store. You might also find them at Blick Art supplies, Home Depot, or a paint store. Mine haven’t been sealed yet; it’s way too windy outside, and you want a well ventilated area for spraying!
I hope you liked seeing my ornaments! Thanks for spending some time with me today; I hope you’re inspired to get crafty, yourself.
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