Nov 3, 2011

Fun with Walnut Ink

Played around with ideas for hang tags.  I've been using some I'd cut and doctored up, but I'd hand-write JDConwell Folkart Dolls on them, which is okay, but sort of...hasty-looking.  

So yesterday's experiment was to make some with printed card stock, stamps, and walnut ink.  This is not a new concept, I know...any stroll through a "Hang Tags" search on Etsy will net you plenty of cool tags.  But I wanted to make my own, and I had these wonderful little vintage know how it goes.

Lots of experimentation with the walnut ink crystals.  Where has this stuff been all my life?  It doesn't smell, like coffee or tea.  It lasts pretty much forever once you mix it up.  In a spray bottle, it mists over a doll's clothing to age it with that light-and-shadow effect that old stuff gets when some of the fabric is exposed and some of it is protected...if that makes sense.  If you sprinkle a few grains of crystal over a wet surface, they dissolve to create "old spots" (as the husband calls them) on the paper or fabric that look really convincing. 

I played with various strengths and application methods (certain spray bottles are great, others are an unholy mess).  Of course, while the ink is water soluble and does wash off, there is still a little bit of staining, so my hands and nails might look better if I wear rubber gloves next time.  :~)

So far, at least for hang-tags, my favorite method is to sponge it on both sides, bake them dry, then iron them flat.  These are the ones I made yesterday.  Of course I'll tweak them a little here and there, but I like the primitive look of them.  I see Christmas gift tags in my future.  Ooh!  Maybe a little bunting that spells out Merry Christmas?  Yeah, I'm in trouble.


  1. Jan, these are great! Thanks for the post!

  2. They came out great! I would love to see some Christmas ones and a bunting too!

  3. Okay, now I want to go get some walnut ink and spray it on something! :) I love that old worn look. Maybe you should rub cinnamon and clove on them! Of course, if you did, you might be tempted to eat them. xo!

  4. Well, Pam, I bought enough that I can list it on Etsy now...planning to sell paperclay there too.

    But I save the cinnamon and clove for my hot tea, and I'm off to make some now! :~P

  5. Oh yeah, you're going to get in trouble...I know!
    I'm going through the same thing right now. I have so many papers scattered about, because the more I experiment the more the ideas flow! And yes, you'll start the bunting and banners! lets do it!!! make a mess together, though I'll have to get the walnut stain first!


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