How To Dye Paper Using Alcohol Ink
I personally love to dye paper. Its almost like creating mini pieces of abstract art. The method I use its nearly impossible to predict the exact outcome of the paper, which makes the process so exciting. Sometimes you will achieve a beautiful marble effect, others you will create interesting splotches and dots. each page is just as beautiful and unique as the next.
Get started by gathering all your supplies.
* A large rectangular plastic container- The one I use is only for dying my paper. Make sure it is large enough to fully contain most sizes of paper you will be using.
*Alcohol Ink- Have a few complimenting colors ready to go. Darker hues work best. Use store bought or "homemade alcohol ink" Check out this way of making your own Homemade Alcohol Inks
*Paper- Choosing which papers to use is important because not all paper is going to hold the dye well. Porous papers like watercolor paper, and other artist paper works best. Papers with a glossy finish will not work. I also find that ledger and receipt paper (carbonless) works very well. Experiment with different kinds of paper like sheet music, book pages ect.
*Spray water bottle- necessary for wetting paper before going into solution.
*Rubber or latex gloves- Alcohol ink is extremally hard to get off your hands and can also irritate the skin.
*Glitter or mica- Totally optional
Begin by prepping the area you plan to dye your paper. Again, alcohol ink can be messy and hard to remove. Lay a drop cloth or plastic underneath the plastic container. Have something to place the dyed paper after it comes out of the solution. Also have a place in mind you can lay the papers out to dry.
Add water to the plastic container. No more than 2/3 full. Choose your first color or colors. I do not suggest using more than 2 colors at once otherwise the color mix too much and are underwhelming. Begin with the lightest of all the colors you plan on using for the batch. Add several drops to the water.
Spray both sides of the sheet of paper with water. I find that this helps the ink adhere to the paper. Take one side and lay it flat directly on top of the solution. Pull up from one side of the paper and flip. Set aside on cookie sheet or something similar. I lay the papers one right top the next. If they bleed onto one another it adds interest
Repeat process with next sheet of paper. Add more drops of ink as necessary. If you would like to use glitter but only on a few select pages, save for end because the glitter will pollute the soultion. Do not go overboard with the glitter, add a little at a time (less is more) Experiment with things like dropping ink on top of paper already in the water, not wetting the paper first, spraying paper after, ect. make the process your own. Try using things like liquid watercolor, gilding paint or gold flakes, or distress oxides.
Lay the papers flat to dry or allow them to wrinkle, letting the inky water puddle on part of the paper. The puddles leave a very interesting effect when they dry. I find it best to dye my papers mid day, and allow them to dry outside in the heat of the sun. Be sure to secure paper if there is a breeze.
Have fun experimenting!!!
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