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.
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.