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!

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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!

How to Refill an Acrylic Paint Pen

Hi friends! I have really been enjoying my Posca fine tip paint pens and the other day I used up the white! I was about to reorder them but I decided that first I would try to refill them myself and it worked great! I also discovered that you can refill other brands as well. Learn how in today’s video!

I had a few viewers say that they were able to unscrew the bottom of the Posca pen if you unscrewed it in the opposite direction but mine would not budge. I think it might be the bullet tip versions that unscrew but since you know both ways to refill you will be fine no matter what kind of acrylic paint pen you have. 🙂

Supplies (Amazon affiliate links used)

Directions:

  1.  Mix acrylic paint with water until you have a paint the consistency of heavy cream. You could probably also use a fluid acrylic paint like Golden Flow paint without any additional water but I wanted to use the stuff I had.
  2. Open the pen. First try to unscrew the barrel from the top but if that doesn’t work you can pull out the nib with your fingers.
  3. Use a pipette to fill the pen either though the nib opening (like Posca) or directly in the barrel (like Ohuhu.)
  4. Replace the nib (or screw the pen back together, cap it and shake to make sure the paint is well mixed and test it. You may need to depress the nib (pump the pen) to start the ink flowing especially if your pen has been dry for a while.

Tip, don’t let the pen dry out, refill it as soon as you use it up to prevent paint drying in the nib and clogging. Pat yourself on the back because you just kept some junk out of the landfill and more cash in your pocket. Happy crafting!

DIY Inktense Palette & My First Facebook Live with Demo and Q&A

Hi friends! I tried out Facebook live yesterday and did a live demo of a watering can with flowers in a loose style. I painted it with Inktense blocks but you can use watercolors.

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I know not everyone is on Facebook (especially These days!) but it is much easier for me to see your questions during a live stream so I might pop in once a month and do a live Q&A kinda like the old “Ask a Crafter” videos I used to do so if you are interested in that be sure to like and follow by Frugal Crafter Community Facebook page. To make sure you don’t miss a live event click like, then follow and click see first. I plan on posting the replay on my blog here but if you want to interact live you will need to follow on Facebook.

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Here is the video from yesterday:

Here is a video showing how I made the palette:

I had a full set of inktense blocks and pencils as well as a small set of 12 that a sweet viewer had sent me years ago when I was unsure if I wanted to get the full set. I like them enough to buy the set of 72 but having doubles I felt silly investing in another duplicate product just because it was a different format. Plus I couldn’t even find the Inktense pan set to purchase. Honestly I use the pencils more than the blocks anyway so I figured I could sacrifice some of the blocks to go in the palette and as an extra bonus all of my loose blocks fit in my large Inkense block tin so less storage space!

So you are probably wondering how these differ from watercolors? Well, to be honest I prefer watercolors. I find Inktense to be vibrant but yet it’s chalky and I find this chalky quality more in the block than in the pencil although they are purportedly the same thing. The big attribute to inktense is that after you paint with it on paper (and it dries completely) it bonds permanently with the paper so you can layer over it without if reactivating. That’s a boon to mixed media artists who want to keep working on a project without disturbing the layers underneath. You can use watercolor over inktense as it won’t repel the media because it dries matte. My top recommendation for the inktense line will always be the pencils but knowing how you like to use media can help you choose the right thing for you. I hope you enjoyed this craft hack and live rebroadcast. If you would like to catch my next live endeavor I will be doing a guest live stream on the LAVA soap facebook page at 2pm ET today where I will show you how to make your own Acrylic pouring medium and we will do an acrylic pour. The stream will last about 15 minutes. I’m a bit nervous so wish me luck! Have a great day and til next time happy crafting!

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