OK, so if you’re cheap like me, you don’t like paying big prices for stuff like Heidi Swapp Color (Colour!) Shine, or Dylusions Sprays, or any other craft/mixed media spray inks.
Don’t get me wrong, those things are GREAT, and if I were overflowing with cash then I would buy them ALL! And there’s certainly some on my ‘to buy at some point’ list. But alas, I cannot have them all.
So here’s some ways to have spray ink for your craft and mixed media projects without spending loads.
First and foremost, you’re going to need some empty spray bottles. I bought the one in this picture from eBay, it was a few pound for six of them. You can also find them in Wilko, Superdrug, Boots, etc.,. Usually they’ll be in the ‘travel sized toiletries’ section.
Next, to make this gold ‘ink’, you need some gold acrylic paint. Mine is from hobbycraft, but go with the acrylic of your choice. Last, and this is the more difficult and expensive item to obtain, is some mica powder. The one I’m using here is ‘Gold Pearl Shine’.
For those who don’t know, mica powder is a (very) fine powder you mix with water in a spray bottle to create a sparkly, iridescent effect (there’s also a bajillion other uses but we won’t go into those). You may be questioning why make gold spray when the mica powder does that? Good question! I do use these a lot in crafting but as it says on the tin, they’re iridescent, so the effect is subtle. Pretty, but subtle. Sometimes you can only see the effect when you hold it up to sunlight. And that’s not what I want for this spray.
So, step one.
Very ungracefully squirt a bit of paint into the bottle. It will look a little bit like a gold turd and you will giggle.
Step two, add mica powder
Now, I can’t tell you exactly how much because I just eyeballed it. To give you some frame of reference that spray bottle is 30ml.
Step 3, add water
Again, can’t tell you how much exactly. About >>>that<<< much.
Step 4, shake it up, baby!
I shook that bottle VERY vigorously, yet it didn’t pick up all the acrylic paint. So I used something long and thin (a crochet needle in my case) to stir it and pick up the paint that had stuck to the bottom. And then I shook it again!
Step 5, test!
So this was my first result. As you can see it’s a little dark and the spray is quite thick. It’s also not that shiny. Not what we want. So I added some more water and some white acrylic paint, to lighten it up a little.
Better on the colour, but not consistency. So, I added even more water (only about 5-10ml at a time) and…
It’s shiny, it’s not too heavy, and it gets the job done. I now have gold spray ‘ink’. It does need a very good shaking each time I use it, but that’s the case with most brand sprays anyway.
Now onto some other options.
A few months ago I published a haul video from The Works. In it I got some of this ‘Ocaldo Drawing Ink’ for £2 a bottle, and a number of people have asked me about it: how good it is, what I do with it, etc.
The answer is, I spray it.
I mixed ink and water at a ratio of about 60:40, gave it a good shake (making sure the lid was FIRMLY on), and here are the results:
The picture on the left is just spraying at a distance of about 20cm, on the right is taking off the lid and using the pipe to drop splats of ink onto the paper. I could of course add some appropriately coloured mica powder to make it sparkly if I wanted to.
The other Ocaldo inks, the ‘Shellac’ drawing inks, are a little different. They’re far more viscous and as such need to be mixed with more water, the ratio I used was probably about 50:50. When they’ve been standing for a while the ink settles to the bottom so they need a very good shake before use (the other inks not so much, just a little shake!).
The Rose Gold ink looks a very orangey copper in the bottle, but does come out a colour a little closer to rose gold when sprayed on something.
Here are some examples of using these inks as sprays…
At the bottom I have used a mix of the pink (cerise) and the rose gold, and also done some ink ‘dropping’ straight out the bottle. The top notebook is a mix of the blue and the silver (and also some Distress Stain at the bottom but shhh we won’t talk about that).
So there we are! Some options for spray inks on a budget. I realise the mica powder may be pricey to buy at first but it’s well worth the investment as you can do so much with them, and they last FOREVER. If you really don’t want to buy any (understandable), then there is a gold Ocaldo ink, it just never seems to be in stock 😦
Thanks so much for reading. Let me know what you think and if you have any of your own budget mixed media solutions!
Grace ❤ @ms.paperlover