Let’s Get Messy! DIY Inks and Sprays.


My art journal pages have included a lot of shimmer sprays and spray “inks” lately.  I don’t know if I’ve shared how I make them, so I thought I would.

When I first started making the sprays I used my watercolor paints.  I use distilled water and added some of the watercolor paint from the tubes of colors I have.  As we all know, I have a lot of watercolor paints.  The inexpensive brands worked for me.  I used small spray bottles and filled the bottle about half way with water, then added the color from the tube.  I used as much color as needed to make the spray as dark as I wanted it.   This worked well, and the watercolors came in a set with a variety of colors already mixed.  Easy way to make spray “inks”.

I also used Rit Dye in the liquid form from Walmart.  This worked pretty well too, and is easy to get anywhere.

I made some with rubbing alcohol too.  They are supposed to be like alcohol inks.  I used 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol from Dollar Tree.  These have worked for me but, again, I have nothing to compare them to.

As we all know I am all about the sparkle.  After I made the original sprays, I wanted some shimmer in them.  I used my cakes of eye shadows, crushed them to make them a powder and added them to the sprays.  This also worked but I have found the sprayer clogs often, which I find incredibly frustrating.  Later I found the powdered eye shadows at Dollar Tree and used them.  These don’t seem to muck up the sprayer as much, but there is still some clogging and frustration.

Then I discovered a tutorial from Lindsay the Frugal Crafter-who is a genius, in my opinion.  In it she mentions you need to swirl the bottles that contain the eye shadow so you don’t get the particles stuck up in the mechanism of the sprayer.

I have been shaking the snot out of the spray bottles…Lindsay also mentioned liquid watercolors.  I was not even aware these were available until I saw her tutorial.  So I ordered the three colors needed for mixing:  magenta, yellow and turquoise.  Blicks also had a magenta glitter watercolor hugely discounted and I thought, why not?  Maybe I can get the same effect with that as I can with the eye shadows, without the clogging.  (There are metallic watercolors too, which I think I’ll buy and add to the mixes, rather than adding the eye shadows…)  They have been sitting in my cupboard for months and I thought I’d try them today.

 liquid watercolors

Okay, the colors are lovely, they blend together well and I can mix pretty much any color I want.  They work well in the sprayers when there is no eye shadow in them.

No matter which method I used; the watercolor paint from tubes, the liquid watercolors, and the Rit Dye, they all clogged up a bit when I added the  eye shadow.  Maybe it’s my bottles and tops which are causing the problem, but when it’s just straight color and water-without the added eye shadow-they spray fine.

With the liquid watercolors: I would mix the colors together first, then add distilled water.  I found I was a bit to liberal with the water and it gave me a pale color.  I couldn’t really add more color because the spray bottle was full.  I had to pour half into another bottle and add more color to both.   The good news is by adding different mixes to each, I had two different colors when I was finished.  (If you want pale colors, I started with three quarters of the spray bottle filled with water then added color on top of that.)  I did not add any of the magenta with glitter in it as I was worried it, too, would clog up the works.

Since I have no shimmer inks, I have nothing to compare with the ones I made.  I can tell you I am pleased with the colors and it took little effort to make them.

This entry was posted in Daily Art, DIY, Frugal Ideas, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter, Make Your Own Supplies, Product Reviews, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Let’s Get Messy! DIY Inks and Sprays.

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