day 1 …. vellum and alcohol ink

September 12, 2011 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment

So if you read my post yesterday then you already know that today’s post is  day 1 in a series of posts this week about 2 totally awesome products ..alcohol inks and vellum…that I’ve been playing with for the last 2 weeks!!! And for those of you who didn’t read my post yesterday…today’s post is day 1 in a series of posts this week about 2 totally awesome products …alcohol inks and vellum…that I’ve been playing with for the last 2 weeks. LOL.

Since I’ll be posting projects showcasing these 2 awesome products all week and this is only day numero uno I thought we’d start out this series nice and slow and begin with the basics…so today boys and girls I’ll be sharing some info and tips about vellum and alcohol inks.

Let’s start with the alcohol inks…first of all….LOVE them! They are totally amazing! Every time I take them out for a project I end up playing with them for ages….just so much you can do with them. If your not familiar with alcohol inks…here’s the basic scoop on them straight from the manufacturers website.

And now here’s some things the website doesn’t tell you…1st of all the colors are just awesome…I don’t have all 48 colors…yet…but I’m working on it!! They also don’t tell you how economical they are…those little bottles go a long long long way. It also doesn’t tell you how stinkin addicting they are….seriously you can make some seriously awesome stuff with them…just check out youtube  for some great tutorials including some by Tim Holtz.  One of the things the website does tell you is a little odd…the website says they “create a colorful polished stone effect” …not sure about that statement…nothing I made ever resembled polished stone and I’ve used them on lots of things…metal, glass, transparencies, plastic and of course vellum. They are super simple to use…once you know the basics of course…

. . . . . . . .first… alcohol ink has a short “open” time…which means it dries pretty quickly ..usually within 4 to 7 seconds…it sounds like a riduculously short time but it’s plenty of time to work with the ink

. . . . . . . . you can buy an applicator to apply alcohol inks but you can actually make your own for less…the store bought applicator is basically just a wooden handle with a piece of velcro on the bottom to which you adhere pieces of felt…you can use a block of wood or something similar to create your applicator and you can purchase a piece of felt for .25 …way cheaper than the packaged applicator refills.

. . . . . . . . another product you can buy to use with alcohol inks…alcohol blending solution…this solution is used to dilute, blend and lighten alcohol inks…it also cleans alcohol inks from non-porous surfaces …but instead of buying the more expensive solution at the craft store you can simply buy rubbing alcohol at the drug store for way less…it works exactly the same way as the blending solution. Best thing about rubbing alcohol…it works as an eraser to remove any unwanted ink so if you make a mistake or don’t like the results…simply wipe down the work surface with rubbing alcohol and start over.

. . . . . . . . when working with alcohol inks it is really recommended you work on non-porous work surfaces because the inks can and definitely will stain many porous surfaces…my choice of work surface…my glass table top… one more reason to love my easy to clean work surface! Also if you prefer not to have stained fingers and finger nails you might want to consider wearing rubber gloves.

Now that we’ve covered a little bit about alcohol inks let’s talk vellum. Vellum as some of you may already know is a plastic-like paper…it’s actually made with plasticized cotton (or at least that’s what wikipedia says). “Clear” vellum is actually translucent and has a greyish white hue but vellum is available in a ton of colors and patterns and in different weights (heavier weight vellum is often referred to as parchment)…..

Like alcohol inks there are tons and tons of things you can do with vellum and it’s pretty easy to work with if you know a few basics…

. . . . . . . . first of all…vellum is translucent, not transparent..which means if you layer it over another paper the colors will not be true colors…in the image below you can see how varied the vellum looks when you switch up the colors it is layered over…finding the right combination is just matter of trial and error.

. . . . . . . . .another little bit of info you need to know when working with vellum…although vellum is a durable paper…because of it’s consistency, if you crease it, it will leave a bright white mark where it was creased …so when working with vellum you want to be careful when handling it

. . . . . . . .because vellum is translucent, you can’t just use any adhesive because the adhesive will show through…although you can find many adhesives made for vellum I find the best adhesive to use is spray adhesive…hands down the best choice…all that is needed is a light spray and you can get a great bond and you won’t see the adhesive

Now that you’ve learned some basics about alcohol inks and vellum…now it’s time to learn some basics about working with the two together….

. . . . . . even though vellum is plastic like…it isn’t truly a non-porous surface..so when you use the inks on vellum they don’t “bleed” or “spread” like they do on glossy surfaces. Because alcohol inks don’t bleed on vellum like they do on glossy surfaces it enables you to have more control over the ink.

. . . . . . .vellum like most papers will buckle or warp if it gets too wet…especially thinner weight vellum. So when using alcohol inks on vellum you need to use some care not to over-saturate the vellum.

. . . . . . .even though vellum is somewhat porous…you can still use rubbing alcohol to remove any unwanted ink without leaving residual color.

. . . . . . because vellum is translucent you can get different looks on a project simply by flipping the vellum over after applying inks…if you want a softer look, apply inks and then flip the vellum over so the ink side is facing down…if you prefer the colors to be stronger and more vibrant, apply the inks and leave the vellum ink side up.

I’m sure there is lots more info and a lot more tips I could share but I think that pretty much covers all the important stuff. Tomorrow I’ll post a project showing you how to put some of these tips to good use. Stay tuned…

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Blame it on my inspiration jar… day 2 – vellum and alcohol inks

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