How To Make Alcohol Ink: Walnut Style

Recipe for permanent walnut alcohol ink

My How To Make Alcohol Ink tutorial is popular. However, many of you wanted to learn how to make a permanent alcohol ink.  Honestly, I am not a scrapbooker so it took some research into various alcohol inks to find a good formula.  While this recipe for walnut colored permanent alcohol ink is not quite as concentrated as commercial alcohol ink it gives a nice finish and is another option to age paper. Now when I say permanent alcohol ink I want to clarify.  This walnut alcohol ink can stain a dark brown.  It stuck to wood, paper, fabric, soft … Read more…

Two Ways To Age Paper (Coffee & Tea)

Aged Paper from Coffee and Tea

I wanted a variety of aged papers to cover books for my Thanksgiving Mantel.  Not having any walnut ink on hand, but having plenty of old coffee grounds (One needs to appear slightly perky at work after blogging all night) I thought why not give it a try. It just grew there and I tried tea as well.  Enter the tutorial on aging paper with coffee and tea: Supplies Got Paper? Got Coffee or Tea? Got Water? You are good to go. Coffee Steps Mix some old coffee grounds in a shallow pan with hot water.  Put the paper in … Read more…

Faux Cast Iron Finish

The final finish has a lot of texture and is matte in nature like real cast iron.

I developed this paint technique to create a cast iron finish on a HID-E-OUS brass lamp we had in our living room.  My husband and I have a lovely cast iron legged side table and a shared like of Restoration Hardware.  Also a shared like of not spending that type of money.  I tried to find a good tutorial to fake a cast iron finish but gave up and started playing with paint.  After multiple attempts, hauling the side table around to compare, and scraping off bad finishes I found a way to paint a faux cast iron finish.   … Read more…

Old Fashioned Paper Bag Book Covers

DIY book covers from paper bags with a modern twist.

Creating your own paper bag book covers is as simple as this 4 step how to. Of course, I am way past my school years and my kids aren’t quite to the ‘back to school’ point, but the back to school fever got me thinking I needed a decorating refresh before I start putting up Halloween items. I used the basic paper bag book cover and then embellished it. The tape based embellishments work perfectly to reinforce the covers for students and decorate the covers for me. Supplies (Not Shown, because I think we all know what a ruler looks … Read more…

Gold Foil, The Right Way to Gold Leaf Fabric

Fabric with washable gold foil or leaf added

There are plenty of metallic fabric paints on the market, and while they excel at adding shimmer they don’t have that rich metallic leaf look that is so popular on various commercial t-shirts.  It took a little bit of research but I finally figured out how they get gold leaf on fabric and keep it washable.  Allow me to introduce you to Gold Foiling Fabric. Supplies Fabric -This fabric had been ombre dyed using this tutorial Transfer Adhesive* (Full disclosure about this affiliate link: I wasn’t thrilled with the Martha Stewart Transfer Glue I used here.  I might try a … Read more…