Making your own spray ink


I just love serendipity – the intersection of seemingly marginally related things that give you a great idea. I don’t have too many dye ink sprays.  I have a load of Cosmic Shimmer mists, but only two plain ink ones (that I got free with an order from Art From The Heart sometime last year – a lovely surprise in my package of Stampotique big heads) and I had a hankering after some more but I just didn’t know what colours I wanted and I am so over the whole buy ’em all phase as my craft room bulges to capacity.

Then I made that post from yesterday about 10 things that changed scrapbooking, and a follow up on UKS about the things you bought but never used, either because they weren’t worth using or the trend went by so quickly they seemed out of date as soon as they had their moment (Artistic Wire anyone?)

THEN I saw a reply on the thread by my mate Debbie, who used to own ScrapMagic, a fab scrapbooking shop.

THEN I saw a link in the Techniques section to a make-your-own alcohol ink on YouTube. and after watching that (I have a load of alcohol ink and don’t really need more, nor would I extract the ink from two Sharpies – and I’ve never seen a cheap knock-off version like the Aussie one here in the UK) I clicked a few other links to watch other make-your-own-ink videos. Most of them, from the ones I watched, use stuff like rubbing alcohol or in one case BRAKE FLUID (which can’t be healthy) and seem to be alcohol ink-like but it did cause a collision of ideas in my head.

In my stash I had a couple of things – a pack of MM powdered dyes that I bought from Debbie in a sale (£3) and a handful of teeny tiny Muji spray bottles.  Surely there  was a solution there!

Of course there was! and easy peasy.  Fill the bottle with warm water, not too full, and dump in the powdered dye.  Stir it up with a toothpick.  And there you go.  Spray ink.

One tip – test your bottle first.  The last one, Hibiscus, wouldn’t spray – not because the sprayer was gunked up, because it was faulty.  I’ll grab another one and decant it.

What I like is that these bottle DON’T give you the overall fine mist.  I am forever taking out the sprayer and trying to get the blobs of ink by shaking it over the paper.  I LIKE that.  To me it’s a good thing. I expect one of the TH Mini Misters would give you a fine cover of ink with no blobs if that is your preference.

OK so the ink they use in the videos is plain old RIT dye, available in every drug store and supermarket I have ever been in when in the USA. Similar to Dylon.  They use a liquid version from a huge bottle.  I haven’t explored what might be available in the UK in smaller sizes, but I see no reason why you couldn’t mix the liquid, paste, or powdered dye with water and make your own array of inks that way.  I’ll def. have a look at my local Hobby Craft or the fabric store once my car is out of the shop and see.  And you can get bulk quantity misters for pretty cheap (mine are 12ml but you can get 12 75ml ones on Amazon for £6 and only fill them partially).  It occurred to me that buying 10s of packs of dye would be fairly expensive, but what a great idea for a UKS swap! Buy a dye, split it into tablespoon size bags, and swap – 10 colours for the price of one. That suits me down to the ground!

I also have 4 or 5 little bottles of Posh rainbow ink that  came in some QVC-USA kit 10+ years ago, also never used (I think it was designed to make backgrounds on glossy card for stamp projects.  No idea why I bought it cause I don’t like the look of the end product – very garish and cartoony.)  That would work as well, diluted with water to get  the shade I want, I think. Another experiment for another day…

So there you go – serendipity! And I used up a long neglected product in a way that will actually be useful for me NOW.



2 thoughts on “Making your own spray ink

  1. Thanks for these tips Maryanne. I was looking for a red dye spray recently and found every other colour but! Pearly ones and shimmery ones but not plain die! Would love to see what you do with the Posh rainbow inks. I have a set of these in the depths of my craft room somewhere, lost and forgotten. I’d love to bring them back to life!

  2. what a great idea. i use alcohol and dye ink refill bottles. and to give it a shimmer some perfect pearls

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