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Almost Free Art Supplies: Spray Ink

January 20, 2010

Today I have a really cheap and simple tutorial for you. And it will make your art journal smell delicious!

I’ve been wanting some spray ink for a while, but that stuff is kind of expensive. And I’m a D.I.Y. kinda girl, so I started researching how to make my own. When I found this video I knew it would be perfect for my blog. And, of course, I did test it out for myself.

At Wal-Mart I found 2 ounce spray bottles in the travel supplies (you know, where you get those little bottles of shampoo to take on vacation) and got some generic Kool-Aide. The spray bottles were $1 each, and the drink mix was 12 cents! I already had food coloring at home. I made the Kool-Aide ones first. I dumped in the whole packet of drink mix and filled the bottle up with water, leaving enough air to be able to shake it up. I used cherry red, berry blue, and lemon. The red and the blue looked great, but the lemon didn’t show up.

I made my own headphones stencil and sprayed it with cherry ink. And I used blue ink with a polka dot stencil.

Then I made some spray ink with food coloring. This time I filled the bottles with water first, then added food coloring until it looked pretty dark. I also added blue food coloring to my lemon Kool-Aide bottle to make a nice green. Lastly, I decided to add some sparkle, since most of the spray ink I’ve seen is shimmery. I sprinkled in a bit of pearl powder from a soap-making kit I have. This pearl powder worked well. It gave the ink a nice shimmery look and doesn’t rub off the page. Unfortunately, the pearl powder had no label, so I can’t tell you exactly where to get it. Anyway, here is a test page of my results:

spray ink test page

Hopefully you can read my messy handwriting.

Here are all my bottles:

I made little coded labels for each one so I’ll remember what to refill them with. After this picture was taken, I added the pearl powder to some of them and went back and labeled those bottles with a “pearl” sticker. Anyway, this stuff is so awesome!

Of course, I haven’t been able to stop playing with these. I recently came across a small spiral bound sketchbook that I haven’t really used for anything and it became my new spray ink journal. I’ve been in the mood to collage lately, so I went through my collage supplies and pulled out a bunch of neat images. I ended up working on about 12 art journal pages that night. Do you want to see them? Well, not all of them are finished, but you can go to my flickr and see them in progress. Here are a few:

spray ink through a stencil, paint, origami paper, and part of a pocket calendar

I made the checkered design on the right by layering two stencils.

I sprayed the stars on the page using a stencil, then I lightly gessoed over them. And this image is from a credit card offer I got in the mail. Use your junk mail.

Well, that’s all for now. These pages still need work, so I’ll re-post them when I’m finished. I hope you all go out and make your own spray ink and have fun playing in your journal.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 11:25 pm

    Interesting…but is there any concern about acid content with kool aid or food coloring? I don’t know anything about what they do to paper, long term…

    • January 20, 2010 11:37 pm

      I’m not too concerned with making my stuff acid free. I think most art journalists, myself included, just want to make art for here and now.

  2. April 1, 2011 11:14 pm

    I did my own version a few years ago using an Easter egg dye kit. Cool stuff!


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