Scratch Paper in Your Die Cutter? What!?!

*Disclaimer: This technique is not endorsed by any die cut machine, do this at your own risk. I am not responsible for your machine so use your common sense when trying this, or any other “off brand” technique.

Hi friends! Have you heard about the Foil Quill from We R Memory Keepers?  it is a heat up pen that lets you foil designs that you can create with your electronic die cutters by inserting it in the blade holder of whatever electronic cutter you have such as a Cricut, Brother Scan n Cut, Silhouette etc. I thought the effects were beautiful but I didn’t want to invest in an expensive tool that I probably wouldn’t use that often, not to mention the foil can be pricey too. Then I realized that I could get the same effect with a much cheaper supply….Scratch Art paper!

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Watch the video to lean how to use this with your electronic die cutter!

The set of scratch boards I had have gold, silver and rainbow designs. The upside is that you can make lots of die cut foiled (or rainbow) designs for little money.

The cons are that you are limited to black as your base color and silver, gold or rainbow (or whatever color your scratch board happens to be) as opposed to the hot foil quill that can use a variety of foil colors on a variety of cardstock. Another downside is you might need to clean the scratched off bits from your mat or maybe the rollers on your machine but it was not a big deal, just thought you should know. I hope you enjoyed this fun and frugal idea and til next time happy crafting!

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Don’t be Confused by Color! Try These Tips Instead!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share ways to make coloring with alcohol markers so much easier no matter what brand or mix of brands you have!

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I will be demonstrating my technique with my 120 color Ohuhu alcohol marker set. They are probably the most affordable brand of alcohol markers on the market so you do not need expensive pens for this to work. I reviewed the Ohuhu Markers in the past and was very impressed with them, especially when they swatched over to the new style, you can see a comparison here if you want more information. In today’s video, I am going to share a grouping technique that will work with any brand of alcohol marker tho.  The first 13 minutes of this video shows my swatch guide method. The remainder of the video is a coloring demo.

Supplies & Resources (affiliate links used)

Here’s what to do (as explained in the video)
1. Swatch out all of your markers noting the brand and color number on your swatch.

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2. Sort your markers in groups by their color and undertones. For instance, you would have pinks, pinkish reds, neutral reads, coral/orange reds, warm (orange) yellows, cool (green-leaning) yellows, yellow-greens, teals, blues, purples, cool grays, warm grays, neutrals etc.

*Sort them as specifically as you like. If you are new to coloring with alcohol markers keep groups smaller (less than 6 colors) but no more than 12. *If you have more than 12 break them into two groups that are more specific. Secure each group with a rubber band.

3. Swatch the colors on a strip of cardstock. *Always swatch on the paper you normally use for markers.

4. Punch a circle in the center of each swatch. *You can peek through the circle to help choose colors for projects or when shopping for new markers.

***Bring this swatch with you when you shop to avoid buying duplicate color and to make sure you are purchasing colors that will work with what you have. Update your swatch when you get new markers.

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Coloring tips:

  • Choose a light, medium and dark version of a color for blending. I like to work dark to light but if your paper doesn’t blend well prime an area with the lightest color first and then work dark to light.
  • If you have limited colors or you are not happy with your marker colors you can enhance with darker or lighter colored pencils.
  • A white pen is handy for bright highlights and shine.

One more thing!

The Ohuhu markers I mention above are a great value at about 50 cents a marker but I know many of you are looking for brush tip markers because they are softer and make blending large areas easier and I just saw that Consumer Crafts has their Studio 71 alcohol markers that feature a brush tip on one end and chisel on the other on sale this week! I have a review of that brand with swatched and blending recipes here if interested.

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Prices on the Studio 71 brush tip alcohol marker sets are good through April 1st while supplies last. You really can’t beat it for $1 per marker or less! I have the 48 pack and it is really comprehensive.

All my Ink Pad Refill Recipes!

Hi friends! Over the years I have posted many DIY stamping ink recipes and tips for reviving dry ink pads. I decided to put them all in one blog post/video so you can bookmark it and refer back to it if you end up running out of ink in the middle of a project and need to make some fast!

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Keep in mind the best practices for keeping your ink pads in good working order is to use the appropriate reinker so I make sure to have a reinker for any inkpad I rely on.  For those other inks that I am not married to I’m fine making my own ink. Sometimes a company doesn’t even offer a reinker or they discontinue a color and you can’t get one so this blog post can help you in those events too! Watch the video for a demo of all of these inks. You can find the written recipes below.

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Protect your workspace! I use these super cheap teflon mats than can be cut up to convenient sizes. You get 3 huge ones for $7. They are $25 each or more at the craft store!

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Reinking a dye based ink pad. I have to say that for dye ink pads that adult stampers use your best bet is to buy a commercially prepared reinker. Most dye based pads are similar and you can cross brands. I have used Stampin Up reinkers to ink of other brands pads with no issues. In fact many popular companies all have their inks made by the same company. I like juicy ink pads to I keep adding ink to my pad until it stops absorbing ink.

DIY Dye Based Ink Recipe:

Directions: For children’s ink pads mix liquid watercolors to desired share and drip on ink pad.

For adult stampers ink pads  add 1 drop glycerin to every 2 drops liquid watercolor (mix to achieve the correct color) and apply to inkpad. If the inkpad stamps splotchy or seems to juicy leave uncovered for a few hours and do a test stamp. That will allow excess water in the watercolor to evaporate.

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DIY Embossing ink: Glycerin *Use in pace of embossing re-inker

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DIY Ink Refresher: Fill a 4oz spray bottle with water and 1 Tablespoon of glycerin, shake and spray on dried out dye ink pads.

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DIY chalk ink:

  • Drugstore Isopropyl Alcohol or distilled water (in a spray bottle)
  • Chalk pastels

Directions: Spray some rubbing alcohol (or distilled water) on a teflon mat and scribble the select colors of pastel chalks to match the inkpad you wish to reink. You will make a cream consistency slurry or ink. Use your chalk inkpad to sop up the ink. Easy peasy and with 64 colors in the $10 chalk set you probably won’t have to mix colors!

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DIY Ink Pads:

  • For Dye inks you need Cut and Dry Felt (more expensive on Amazon)
  • For pigment or chalk inks you need Cut and Dry Foam (more expensive on Amazon)
  • A shallow container such as clamshell packaging. *I used 2 lids that Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamp come in and hinged them together with washi tape:)

Directions: Cut the felt to size and ink up with the appropriate ink!

*This is great for making custom rainbow and ombre inks. For a disposable option you can add reinkers to a baby wipe.

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DIY Pigment ink:

  • Gouache paint (opaque watercolor)
  • Glycerin
  • A palette knife or spatula for mixing

Directions: Take a pea-blueberry size dab of gouache and add 5 drops of glycerin, mix well with a palette knife and apply to dry pigment ink pad. If the ink feels too thick spritz with distilled water or drugstore alcohol.

*For metallic ink use metallic gouache or Pearl Ex (see below)

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Pearl-Ex Ink pads:

Directions: Add ½ teaspoon of pigment powder to the ink pad. Drop on 10 drops of glycerin on top. Spread out with an old gift card. If it feels to dry spritz with alcohol.

*This will also work for old Mica Magic Ink pads, this is great on black paper!

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Staz-On Ink refresher (alcohol ink pads)

Directions: Apply to dry or sticky stazon pad. I use about 15 drops and let sit an hour before using. If your inkpad is used up you will get a faint impression but if it is just dried out this will reconstitute the ink. I alternate using Staz-On Reinker and Denatured alcohol because if you get too much reinker on the pad it feels sticky. *You can also use denatured alcohol to revive dried up alcohol pens. Do not spray apply denatured alcohol!

I hope you found this compilation of recipients useful! I had a couple of people ask me about DIY hybrid reinkers and honestly I couldn’t tell you because I don’t use hybrid ink pads. I have nothing against them, I just already had lots of pigment and dye inks by the time they became popular. They are fast drying and fade resistant, I reckon you could use gouache and equal parts glycerin and distilled water (or drugstore rubbing alcohol) to reink them as you want a thinner pigment ink essentially but as I mentioned before if you really rely on an ink pad (especially a color you stamp outlines with and them color with wet mediums) I would get a reinker but if you are just going to trash it when it runs out then give the homemade version a try. I also got asked about Distress Oxide Inks and I actually bought the full set of reinkers and pads for the first 24 colors because the pads can be used up quick and I use it like paint direct from the pad. For those if I had to guess I’d mix liquid watercolor and white gouache. I have a faux distress oxide look tutorial here if you care to try and not buy:)

Don’t forget to use Lava soap to clean up your hands afterward! Happy crafting!

DIY Wax Seals! Let’s Get Fancy!

Hi friends! Today we are going to get wicked fancy in our crafting my making beautiful wax envelope seals!

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Keep in mind these are best for hand delivered cards or if you are sending it in the mail use a padded mailer.

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: LINDSAY and receive 15% off your retail order of $10 or more of peg stamps, peg stamp sets, and unmounted stamps! Coupon expires a week from this video publication. Continue to receive great deals by becoming a PegStamp VIP here. As a PegStamp VIP you’ll get a weekly deal via email plus links to fabulous tutorials by me, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and other designers

Supplies:

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Directions:
*Before beginning generously coat your peg stamp with clear embossing ink (Versamark.) If you wish to add any inclusions like string or pressed flowers place them on your envelope before beginning. Kids should have help for a parent with this craft. I had several people ask me if the heat will damage a red rubber stamps and no it will not, the process of making rubber stamps is much hotter. Clear or vinyl stamps may be damaged so use caution with those but rubber is fine.

Sealing wax or crayon method:
Use a lighter to melt sealing wax or a crayon color of your choice over your envelope where you wish to have your seal. While the wax it hot press the peg stamp in the wax and let cool with the peg stamp in place. Remove.

Hot glue method:
Squeeze a blob of hot glue on your project and press in the stamp and let cool as before. Remove stamp when cool.

Embossing powder method:
There is a few ways you can do this. If you have a melting pot you can pour melted embossing powder on the envelope and stamp into it. You can also smear some embossing in on your envelope and melt layers of embossing powder to create a molten area of embossing powder to stamp in. The most reliable way I have found is to mix the embossing powder into a dab of hot glue and then reheat it with my heat tool and then stamp as we did with the hot glue method. This is also a great way to color plain hot glue!

Clay method:
Condition clay and roll into a ball. Flatten into a disk on your work surface and press a pigment inked stamp into it. Let the clay dry or bake it according to clay directions if using polymer clay. Glue seal to card.

I hope these ideas spark some creativity in you! Remember to hand deliver these gems or mail in a padded envelop to prevent them from getting damaged or harming postal machinery. Til next time happy crafting!

Frugal Foiling with Mod Podge!

Hi friends! I heard about a new product called a “foil transfer gel” and I was interested in trying it…until I saw the price AND it turned out that you needed a laminator to make it work so I decided before forking over $9 for a tiny jar of that I’d see if I could use what I have to make it work! Watch this short video to learn how!

Supplies (affiliate links might be used)

There are two different ways to foil with mod-podge.
The first way is to paint or stencil a design on your surface and place the foil in the wet glue and let dry completely before removing the sheet.

The other way is to paint or stencil the design and let the mod podge dry completely and then run it through a laminator with the foil sheet on it in a folded piece of baking parchment. This give you a more solid foil design.

If you have any glues or gels that tend to be a bit tacky when dry they will work too. Have fun with this frugal idea! If you don’t have a laminator try an iron on the high/dry setting. For small areas you can use an embossing heat tool. Use what you have and make it work. Your creativity and wallet will thank you! Happy crafting!

DIY Watercolor Paint!

Hi friends! A few years ago I made some DIY metal watercolors and acrylics using dollar store pearl eye shadow. It was fun, worked great and was certainly frugal. I recently was sent some pigments from an online handmade watercolor company called Xanadu Art Studio and decided to make some legit handmade watercolors.

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This was a fun experiment. Watch the video so see my trials and tribulations and the final outcome!

If I have to be totally honest this is not a project I plan to repeat, it was fun and all but more time-consuming than my paint with eye shadow a few years ago and quite frankly I enjoy painting more than making paint and let’s face it there are many good paints out there already. I thought I’d try it since I had the supplies and it was fun but not something I am going to invest further in.Below I will list some references I mentioned in the video:

So would you try making your own watercolor paint? Let me know in the comments below! If you happened here today looking for Sketchbook Sunday I’m working on it but I haven’t made it down to my art desk yet, the video will be up on YouTube this evening and I’ll post it on my blog tomorrow (I intended to blog this last night but I zonked out before 10pm!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Acrylic Pouring Medium

Hi friends! I had a bunch of half full bottles cheap acrylic paint that I wanted to use up so I thought I’d give paint pouring a try.

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I didn’t want to invest in pricy pouring mediums and other fluids to make my paint flow so I made my own pouring medium using stuff I had around the house. Watch the video to see how!

Supplies (Affiliate links to Consumer Crafts (CC) and Amazon, Consumer Crafts has the best deals for today’s supplies)

  • White Glue CC, or Amazon
  • Cheap Acrylic Craft Paint: CC or Amazon 
  • Aerosol Hairspray
  • Gold Spray paint: CC or Amazon
  • A box or try to catch drips
  • A jar with lid for shaking up medium
  • Cans to rest your canvasses on
  • For your paint surface you can use stretched canvas, canvas panels or plywood

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Pouring medium recipe: Mix equal parts water and white glue in a jar and shake to mix.

Add the pouring medium to the paint. I like to add it to half empty bottles of paint but you can mix it in other cups if your bottles are full. You can dilute to craft paint with the medium up to 50% without affecting the binding of the paint to the canvas.

Directions:
1. Mix paint and medium at a 5o/50 ration and shake well.

2. Take color 1 and make a puddle, add other colors on that puddle and tip the canvas so the paint can cover and flow.

3. Spray on gold spray paint if desired. *You can drop alcohol on the gold spray paint to break it up if desired.

4. Spray surface with hairspray and tip the panel to keep movement going so it will form cells.

5. Let dry. Panels will dry overnight but stretched canvasses can take several days to dry.

Method #2 (Dirty Pour)

1. Add colors (with medium added) to a cup but do not mix.

2. Place canvas on cup and flip the whole thing over.

3. Lift off the cup and let the paint go!

4. Spray with hairspray (to make bubbles and cells) and gold spray paint if desired.

5. Let dry.

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Now, there are much more fancy ways to do acrylic paint pouring and I encourage you to check them out if you really love this project. I wanted to play and use up some stuff I already had but that’s not to say it’s not worth jumping in and trying the store bought supplies for this craft. Have fun and til next time happy crafting!

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