Tutorial: Alcohol Ink Crackled Metal Pendants

I am soooo excited to share this project with everyone!  If you recall, last week I shared a piece of metal that I embossed with a Texture Fade, colored with Alcohol Inks, and then coated with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint (see that post HERE).  If you remember, the effect was amazing looking but not very durable.  Wendy Vecchi reminded me that Distress Crackle Paint needs something with tooth to stick too.  Clearly the metal, even with Alcohol Ink applied wasn’t enough.  I needed to find something to put in between that would give it tooth but not interfere with the final effect.  I vowed to experiment until I found the right solution.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Well, I did it!  I found the right layering of product to make the Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  To show you what to do, I came up with a tutorial to make some fun and deceptively easy metal pendants you can make from plain sheets of metal.  I will warn you, there are a ton of photos here so be prepared to scroll a lot to get to the bottom.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

I do want to say that I got several suggestions to use Crackle Accents in place of the Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  Crackle Accents, along with Matte and Glossy Accents works really nicely on metal.  I have used Glossy Accents a ton on alcohol ink metal jewelry (you can see some pins that I made using it HERE).  The Crackle Accents, at least to me looks more glossy and has a slightly different crackle effect.  Yes, I could use it and it would look very cool, but it just wasn’t the same effect to me so I was determined to get the Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint to stick if at all possible.

Okay, so now, on with the tutorial. . . (by the way, if you click on any of the photos, a larger version will open in a new window in case you need a better look at the details).

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

First up, to make the metal pendants like mine, you will need some sheet metal.  I used copper sheeting.  You can also use aluminum from soda cans (check out examples of that here: http://tammytutterow.com/2010/10/tutorial-alcohol-ink-crackled-metal-pendants-part-2/).  I marked out the sized I wanted on my metal using s Sharpie marker and a ruler.  You will need an extra 1/4″ on each side of your shape for folding the edges, so for a 1″ square pendant you would cut a 1 1/2″ square piece.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Cut the metal pieces out using scissors.  Depending on your metal you may need heavy duty scissors.  I like the Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors for cutting metal.  They go right through it with no trouble.  Do be careful, the edges can be sharp so handle the pieces carefully.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Along each edge, make two score lines, one at 1/8″ and one at 1/4″.  I used my Tim Holtz Tonic Craft Pick tool to make mine.  It’s super fine point made it easy to make a nice crisp and thin score line right against my ruler’s edge.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Trim about half of the metal away in the space between the edge and the first score line on each side.  So you might wonder why?  If it isn’t trimmed, it will be too bulky when you make the next fold.  The original edge will lay right on the fold line and will make the second fold lumpy.  So why not just make the first fold line narrower?  At 1/8″ it is already pretty close to the edge and anything closer would be tricky to hold in place and score.  It is really easier to make a wider score line and then trim the excess.

After you trim the edges, cut away the corners along the fold lines (as shown above).

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

After cutting the corners, cut two opposite sides at an angle.  I will refer to the space between the edges and the last fold line as flaps.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Fold the top and bottom flaps at the first fold line (the one closest to the edge).  Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Fold the two side flaps at the first fold line (the one closest to the edge).  Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Fold the top and bottom flaps at the second fold line (the one closest to the center).  Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Fold the side flaps at the second fold line (the one closest to the center).  Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.

The folding gives you a nice smooth finished edge with no rough edges that would make a pendant unwearable.  The extra framing from the folds also gives the piece added stability and less likely to bend or twist, also making it much more wearable.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Sand any rough edges.  I prefer to use a black nail file for this type of sanding.  The black files are generally more heavy duty and made for acrylic nails.  They will stand up to filing all types of crafty surfaces like metal and wood.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Place your finished metal piece in a Texture Fades embossing folder and emboss.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

They look awesome at this step, but just wait until you add ink!

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Apply alcohol inks with the Alcohol Ink Applicator tool.  (For the Halloween themed examples I used Butterscotch, Sunset Orange, and Sunshine Yellow.)

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Use Rangers Jet Black Archival ink to apply black ink to the raised areas.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

And now for the secret ingredient. . . Matte Accents!  Brush on a thin but complete layer of Matte Accents over the surface.  I squeezed some out on my craft sheet and used a disposable foam brush to apply it.  The brushing will wipe away some of the black ink.  Archival ink removes alcohol ink so if you brush away the black ink you will have the original metal color exposed.  I happen to really like the randomness of it.  If you don’t, be careful to not brush with the foam brush, rather dab gently.

(If you can’t find Matte Accents, you could use Glossy Accents.  It works the same but the end result is just a shinier.)

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

If you have a design with a lot of grooves, be sure to use the brush to dab the Matte Accents into all of the nooks and crannies.  You will probably get a foamy effect from the brush.  That is okay, just continue to dab into the grooves.  You want complete coverage with the Matte Accents.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Once you have the piece covered, a few straight passes over the top should take care of most of the foamy bubbles.  If you miss some, don’t worry, they won’t show after you add the crackle layer.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Once the thin layer of Matte Accents is dry, it leaves a nice finish over the metal and seals it nicely.  (Note: Let the Matte (or Glossy) Accents dry thoroughly before moving on.  I let mine dry for at least one hour.) 

 If you like the look, you could stop there or. . .

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

You can add some crackle.  Brush a nice even layer of Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint over the piece.  I would estimate that my layer was about 1/16″ of an inch thick.  Make sure you cover the entire piece getting the crackle down into any grooves.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Once the crackle is dry, you will get a really nice crackle and crazing effect.  What is really cool about it is that the surface is fairly smooth, not jagged and flaky.  I handled my test piece a ton, rubbed my fingers over it, even bent the metal and it stayed put, NO FLAKE!  Even though the crackle is the top layer, it is almost as if it has sunk in like it is the middle layer.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

In case you wondered, the back looks nice and tidy too.  (The cat, by the way is from the Halloween Night Texture Fade.)

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Now to share a few examples done with different Texture Fades.  This web is from the Webs Texture Fade.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

This Skeleton is from the Poison Texture Fade.  The interesting thing about this one is that the design is sunk into the metal.  I usually emboss so that the design is raised.  Since this one is sunken I couldn’t rub the ink on the surface like I did on the other pieces.  Instead, I dripped some Slate alcohol ink into the recesses and let it set until it dried.  It ran a bit and reacted with the other color already applied.  It gave it a really cool and creepy effect.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

You can see here that the surface is fairly smooth, no big chunks or flakes sticking up.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

This raven is from the Halloween Night Texture Fade.  It looks so rough but again, is actually fairly smooth.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

This piece uses the Rays Texture Fade.  It uses the same three colors as the Halloween pieces.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

On this piece I used the Retro Circles Texture Fade and then added a Sprocket Gear and Game Spinner.  The colors are Stream, Sail Boat Blue, and Cloudy Blue.

tammytutterow crackled metal pendants

Finally, this piece used the Sheet Music Texture Fade along with the same combinations of blues as the circles piece.  I added an Adornments charm that I added just a bit of alcohol ink too (the same color combination from the Halloween pieces).  I also added a pearl Bauble on the jump ring.

To create a hole for the jump ring, I used a small diameter metal jewelry punch.  You could also use the small hole punch in a Crop-a-Dile tool.

Whew!  I feel like I wrote a hole book here!  If you made it to the end congratulations!  I am sure your mouse scroll finger is tired!  I hope that you will give this technique a try.  It is so stunning in person, these pictures just do not do it justice!

tammy tutterow

tammytutterow | crackled metal pendants

Feel free to pin me!

Comments

  1. says

    Wow, Tammy, these are just fabulous!!! You make the technique look so easy, and I can’t wait to give it a shot! I realized, reading this, that I hardly ever use Matte Accent, but I have a feeling I’m going to use up my bottle very quickly now. :-)

  2. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! Hmm…I’m wondering if Staz-on will work, since I still haven’t picked up the Ranger Archival black ink pad. I am glad you showed the step-by-step on the folding the edges, too…that was hanging me up. THANK YOU for writing this!!! (P.S. I happen to LOVE lots of pics in a tutorial like this!)

  3. says

    COOL!!!! What a fabulous idea, and so many different things you can do with this fantastic project. Metal is sooooo much fun in the Texture Fades, so simple and easy!
    TFS!
    Linda

  4. says

    Wow this is just amazing Tammy. I just love all the wonderful tips you shared. I also Love that Wendy Vecchi and thought you would know her. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful ideas.
    So much inspiration.

  5. says

    I need to try this out right now, going to head up to my craft room and then I can make a vid showing what I made, will mention your blog of course!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!!
    ~Lily Jackson

  6. says

    I am AMAZED – what a fabulous technique – I looked at these on one of the Yahoo groups and wondered “How did she do that???” thanks for sharing – I have some diet coke cans that need to be cut up… Can’t wait to try!!!

  7. says

    This is such a great idea!! I love them! I will have to give this a try, it looks like fun! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I found it on Pinterest, and find it absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to try!

  9. hey jude says

    Thanks for such a great creative and complete tutorial, Tammy!!! Loved how you made the edges so neat and clean (and easy to do)….your finishes are spot on; and the results are beautiful. Can’t wait to give this technique a try really soon.

  10. Debbie Emmons says

    Hi Tammy,

    I sure enjoy your blog. I buy the copper sheeting in a roll and have had great success with cutting it and the aluminum from pop cans with the steel ruled dies and it does not leave a sharp edge.