Dabbling in Ink

Finished Metal CuffsI have a lot of friends who have craft rooms filled with every paint, ink, paper product and ribbon you can think of, but have never even dabbled in jewelry making. They say it’s a little intimidating, to jump from paper crafting over to the beading world, because there are new tools and materials they’ve never worked with. I completely understand being overwhelmed by all the beading supplies; I have stood in the beading section of my local craft store for half an hour before walking off empty handed because I didn’t know where to start.

After saying all that, I am going to state my case for why all of you paper crafters out there need to start making jewelry, too. Jewelry is one of the only crafts that goes everywhere with you and shows everyone your personality and your artistry just by being worn. They don’t have to come to your home or page through your albums; they just notice your beautiful necklace or bracelet.

Metal Cuff Close-UpSo, this week I created bracelets that involve no beading and are kind of a crossover between the worlds of alternative art and jewelry making. I found these really great metal cuff bracelets that are clean starting points for a lot of different projects. I have several projects already in mind for future craft sessions, but today I started with a simple ink project that looks really modern.

All you need is the following:
• Metal cuff bracelets (they come in more than one size, pick the one you like best)
• Alcohol inks (there are many different colors and brands of these at any craft store – pick the colors you love and will use for other projects).
• Cotton pads or balls (I actually used craft pom-poms instead of cotton balls, you can use many household or craft items)

That’s it! Three supplies and you are done. Oh, and be prepared with a little heavy duty soap because your fingers will most likely be pink and blue by the time you are done!

Inking the Cotton BallStart with the metal cuff. Do a quick clean on the surface to make sure it is ready to be worked on. Next, add ink to the cotton ball in a random pattern. Mix the colors a little and just add until you have a cotton ball that looks like it’s been tie-dyed. Than just dab the ink onto the cuff. Make sure you change the direction of the cotton ball a little so the pattern doesn’t look too repetitive. Go back over any missed sections and cover all the metal. The great thing about alcohol ink is you can go back over it and it won’t get muddy, it will just change the pattern. Keep dabbing until you are happy with the color coverage. The ink will dry quickly and it will be permanent, it is such a simple and fun way to create a beautiful bracelet.

You can also use this technique on other metal items. I’ve used it on dog tags and bottle caps, too. If you are like me, you will have so much fun with this you will be looking for additional things to ink and will quickly have ink in every color.