make your own alcohol inks
DIY, paper, tutorial

DIY Alcohol Ink! Make it yourself on the cheap and clean out that box of old markers!

Alcohol Ink can give gorgeous results. SO MANY beautiful possibilities!

And I wanted to try it. I wanted to try it on multiple mediums…including paper! I love to try new things, especially when they can be incorporated into my art!!

But the price of quality alcohol inks kept me from rushing out to get a bunch of colors (ok, kept me from putting a few sets in my amazon cart, ha ha).

So I did what I always do: I made it myself!

rainbow of DIY alcohol inks

It was so easy to do, helped me clear out my old dried out markers, and created some beautiful paper that I then used for a few Fall/Thanksgiving cards. I want to share my steps with you:

Supplies:

supplies for diy alcohol ink

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Travel bottles (2oz)
  • Scissors
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Old Markers
    • I used dried-out crayola and sharpies, but others will work, too
    • I used 2-3 markers of each color for each ounce of rubbing alcohol
  • Gloves (unless you enjoy stained hands!)
  • Newspaper or paper towels

Steps:

  1. Pour rubbing alcohol into the travel bottles until half-full. You want to leave room for the markers and the shaking. Pour rubbing alcohol into bottle to fill halfway
  2. Organize your markers by color. Use scissors to pull off the top and bottom of the old markers. These came off easier than I thought they would, but can still be a bit messy! Use pliers to pull out the felt part on the inside of the marker that is soaked in ink. I left some of them inside their plastic sheaths, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. Do this one color at a time (and wipe off your tools between colors!). pull apart markers
  3. Drop the marker pieces into the travel bottle with rubbing alcohol. I used 2-3 markers of each color into each bottle. Close the top of the bottle. drop marker pieces into bottle
  4. Swirl and shake the markers in the alcohol. You should see the ink becoming more and more pigmented.           shake marker in bottle
  5. Repeat with other colors.   repeat with other colors
  6. Let these sit at least overnight. Carefully remove the felt marker pieces from the bottles. Now your alcohol ink is ready to use!!

 

I’ll post my creations and tutorials using these beautiful inks in the coming days and weeks. I’m so excited about this!!

die cut leaves from alcohol inked paper
Sneak peek at one way I used the inks for some Thanksgiving Cards!

I hope you found this tutorial useful! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at laurascraftcloset@gmail.com. It was easier and took far less time than I had anticipated. Making these inks myself allowed me to get creative with my projects while learning the best techniques without worrying about “wasting” the inks. I can’t wait to share these with you, crafties! These inks go a long way, but when I run out, I’ll feel more confident considering the fancy colors from the name brands…unless I make my own again!

Happy Crafting!

 

 

DIY pumpkins made from sweaters
DIY, Fabric

DIY Fall Decor Pumpkins from Old Sweaters: Hello Gourd-geous!

I love decorating for fall and halloween, so it’s hard to keep myself from putting skeletons and jack-o-lanterns around the house before September. “But Laura! It’s still SUMMER!” I know, but we have so little time to enjoy the transistion from hot and humid to cold and dark.

So clearly I needed updated fall decor…that I could leave up beyond October 31st. Pumpkins are classic, and sweater material can make a room look and feel more cozy.

 


With just a needle, this is easy enough for my “non-crafty” friends, too!

Quick Steps for this Fall Decor:

  1. Raid your closet or take a quick trip to Goodwill. Any sweater (or thick tank top) will work.
an old tank top
I somehow got a hole in it, so it was downgraded to a sleep shirt. Now it’ll be a pumpkin!

2. Cut the bottom off (below any holes, ha ha!) with scissors. This will leave you with a “tube” as the original seams are closed on the sides, and it opens on the bottom and where you cut it (the top). It doesn’t need to be perfect, but attempt a straight line.

 

3. Turn your sweater tube inside-out. With 12″ of any color thread, knot the end and purse stitch about 1″ from the bottom with a thick needle. Mine happens to have a thick hem, so I’ll follow that to make it easier to keep it even. The thread won’t show as it’ll be on the inside of the goard, so don’t worry about matching colors. When you get all the way around, cinch the fabric together, and wrap your thread around the bunch tightly. Knot your thread to secure.

 

4. Flip your bag rightside-out, and fill with stuffing. I use Poly-fil or this recycled (and cheaper!) alternative, but you could also use the stuffing from an old pillow or stuffed animals that are no longer played with. Tip: You can toss the extra sweater pieces inside the pumpkin ball to save a bit of stuffing and ensure your pillow is soft yet sturdy.

5. Do the same purse stitch to close and cinch the top of the stuffed ball. Tie it around the stem and secure it with a knot.

 

6. Cut 3 pieces of contrasting yarn. Wrap each tight around the stuffed ball and knot it at the top. This will give you the six sections of a pumpkin.

 

7. I used felt for the pumpkin “stem” and leaves so my decor could double as a pillow, but you could alternately grab a stick from your backyard and fake leaves from unused fake flowers and hot glue that into the center.

 

8. Hot glue the stem inside the cinched top and the leaves on the top of the pumpkin surrounding the stem.

 

And the pumpkin is done! It was easy, right? After making the first one, I thought about other pumpkins I wanted to make! My home might turn into a pumpkin patch soon.

DIY pumpkins made from sweaters

Is there an old sweater you are keeping around, not because you enjoy wearing it or it’s particularly flattering, but because you like the pattern or design? I hope this tutorial gives you inspiration to make a little home decor!

Follow my blog in order to keep getting great craft ideas! Happy Crafting!

Framed puppy prints with Calligraphy name and supplies
DIY, paper

DIY Pet Paw Print Personalized Wall Art: Easy as Ink, Stamp,Write, and Frame!

Personalized home decor is the best. And it’s even better when it highlights one of your family members.

For an office recently-turned guest room, my partner’s parent’s house had a wall that needed some personalization. Since his mom has 3 adorable dogs who are definitely part of the family, I thought it would be great to decorate the space with their paw prints.

Framed puppy prints with Calligraphy name and supplies

This DIY turned out to be easier than I originally thought! It looks modern and chic, and with just a few supplies, it was a lot of fun to create.

Supplies:

  • Clipboard for a firm surface below your dogs paw to stamp against
  • Pet treats
  • Baby wipes or wet paper towel to clean their paws
  • Picture frames. These can be dollar store frames, ones you already own, super-fancy ones, or you can just have amazon ship it to your door; any that work with your home decor will work with this project. They should be big enough for your pets paw print to fit. Since these are smaller dogs, I chose to not only use the mat, but also to write their names inside the mat.

Instructions with Photo-cuteness:

1. Gather your supplies. Clamp your cardstock paper onto the clipboard, grab your ink pad, treats, and baby wipes, and bring your pup outside. I recommend doing this outside so you don’t get ink on your carpet, floors, walls, etc. When working with animals, you’ll want to have all of your supplies nearby so that it’s a quick stamp onto the paper.

our first puppy subject
Our first puppy subject: Jazzy.

I also brought extra paper with me in case the first prints smudged or didn’t stamp completely.

2. Pick your pets paw and guide it to the ink pad. Press it gently into the ink pad multiple times. Check to ensure each paw pad is thoroughly inked.

You know your dog and how well they sit for brushing, treats, etc. If you make this a pleasant experience for them, they’ll give you a good paw print.

3. Quickly grab your clipboard with paper and press the inked paw onto the paper. If it looks good, use a baby wipe to clean your pets paw. Don’t forget to give more treats!

If you have more than one pet, I would recommend having only one outside with you at a time. The other dogs kept getting between the inked paw and the paper! They love attention, don’t they, ha ha! Make sure to mark which paw print belongs to who. I used post-it notes, but a pen mark in an inconspicuous corner will also work.

Remember the paw prints don’t need to be perfect. If it looks like a paw print, it will look adorable in the frame.

puppy high-five to get paw print
A fun but inefficient way to get a good print of your dog’s paw. Read the tutorial for an easier way!

4. Once everyone is clean and given treats, any paw prints on the driveway are cleaned (water-soluble ink!), and once you bring your papers and ink pads inside, it’s time to write your pet’s name on the sheet!

  • If not, there is a way to fake it for this quick project. Stampin Write markers are perfect for this, as you can get a thin line AND the thick line that give calligraphy that gorgeous look.
  • I practiced writing out each name on regular lined paper using a pencil. Writing in cursive isn’t something most of us do very often, so it took me a few times trying to get the spacing right. After you’ve written it in pencil, go over it with your brush pens. Practice until you are comfortable.

For beautiful lettering using your brush markers, go light on upstrokes and heavier on downstrokes.

5. Lastly, frame your new paw print creation!

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for checking out this tutorial! It’s super-easy to do, and it’s always fun playing with the dogs.

Not only do these works of art look good on the wall, but I think they are also a great way to keep our pets in our hearts, now and long after they pass. If you need pet sympathy cards, please check out my Etsy shop. There are currently card sets for dog owners and card sets for cat owners.

Where do you think you’ll hang your pets paw print? Let me know in the comments below! Will you paint the frame to match your home? If you have any questions, feel free to email me at laurascraftcloset@gmail.com! I love hearing from my crafty readers.

Happy Crafting!