I’m super excited to share my Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) Level 2 Final Challenge projects with you! I am still in awe of how wonderful this program has been and how much I’ve learned! This is a long post but I hope you’ll love the projects as much as I loved creating them!
Here is the Challenge I was given:
- Select any 3 components from the classes in Level 1 or Level 2; explain the components I’ve chosen
- Make 4 masculine cards for the following occasions:
- Love/Thinking of you
- Create an altered item/upcycled project
- Post a detailed step-by-step phot tutorial and/or YouTube video
- Complete the project within one month
I was also told they would “welcome a new technique or other way to step up the challenge” – which I tried to do and will explain below. 😊
The three class components I selected for this Challenge were:
- In the Mood For Color – For each card, I chose colors appropriate for the mood of each card occasion/theme.
- Let it Shine – Each card has something that makes it shine!
- My own mash-up of Beyond Basic Backgrounds and Magical Marker Techniques – In Beyond Basic Backgrounds, Lydia Evans discusses using foil without a laminator and in Magical Marker Techniques, Sara Naumann showed us how to use alcohol markers on vellum and how spritzing the ink with alcohol could achieve different results. I was so inspired by these two classes that I decided to create my own take on them by using Altenew alcohol ink refills and foil on 3 of the cards I made. The fourth card uses the alcohol ink refills but no foil – but don’t worry, I didn’t forget the shine. 😊 Of course, you’ll see the alcohol ink refills and alcohol markers in my Altered/Upcycled project as well.
I’m not the first to do this technique but I was so inspired by these classes that I decided to use it as a way to step up the challenge!
Of course, since the cards are all masculine cards, I also took some great ideas from the For The Guys class as well.
Creating the Alcohol Ink Backgrounds for all the Cards
I used Altenew Alcohol Ink Refills for all my cards and for my Altered/Upcycled project. I also used 91% rubbing alcohol and I moved the ink around by blowing through a straw. You’ll want to make sure you do this technique in a well-ventilated room to keep the fumes to a minimum. I know that there are special additives that you can use with alcohol inks – and special devices that can be used to move the ink around, but I really wanted to keep this simple so that anyone could play around and make the backgrounds with minimal supplies.
I used heat transfer foil on 3 of the 4 cards (the kind of foil you typically use with a laminator and toner ink). I don’t know if other types of foil will work, but you can certainly try it!
The alcohol ink and foiling process took a bit of practice – if you wait too long to apply the foil, the ink dries and the foil won’t stick – but if you don’t wait long enough, the ink gets all over the back of the foil and doesn’t stick either. I tried my hardest to time the process to see if there was a sweet spot and, for me, it was about 1 ½ – 2 ½ minutes, depending on how much ink I had used. The best results came when I looked at the sheet at an angle and could see just a few puddles of “stickiness”. I know – not an exact science. But if you play with it even just a couple times, you’ll figure out what works best for you, I promise!
Some tips I learned: (1) If you get alcohol ink all over the back of your foil you can simply clean it off with an alcohol prep pad or by spritzing it with alcohol and wiping it clean. It may stain the back side of the foil but it is still perfectly usable and you don’t have to worry that you wasted a piece of foil. (2) This same clean up method works on your desk surface too (guess how I know?), and (3) After you create your panel you will want to let your panels dry for several hours or overnight. I let mine dry overnight and I still had some ink transfer to my fingers when putting together the cards, but it was minimal.
Here are a few pictures of the backgrounds in-process so you can get an idea of how this technique works:
I hope you’ll try this technique! It’s an easy, fun, messy, and very affordable way to make gorgeous backgrounds!
Now for a detailed look at each of the cards I made using these backgrounds:
Card 1: Masculine Anniversary Card
Red symbolizes love and passion – the perfect moods for an anniversary card!
For this card I created a panel using Altenew alcohol ink refills in Ruby Red and Velvet. In testing out the inks, I made two panels, one on acetate and one on Yupo paper. I liked the one on Yupo for this card the best because it kept the color vibrant whereas the acetate version was lighter and softer. I’m not entirely sure if this was a result of the “paper” or because of the amount of ink I used, but since I got a similar result on the other color combinations, I’m thinking it was at least in part influenced by the “paper”.
I used gold transfer foil to add the gold marbling on the alcohol ink panel and that gold on the red is absolutely divine and…maybe a little sexy – which is perfect for an anniversary!
Card 1 Process Photos:
Card 2: Masculine Birthday Card
Altered or Upcycled Project: Succulent Planter