- Copic Various Ink Refills: B23, BG13, V15, YG13
- Copic Colorless Blender solution
- Tumbled 4" x 4" unglazed Bottichino tiles from home improvement store
- Sanding Block
Today I want to show you an easy way to make some custom-colored drink coasters using your Copic Various Ink refills. I love this random mix of colors look and I hope you will, too.
To begin, you will need 4" x 4" UNGLAZED tumbled marble tiles (commonly used for backsplashes in kitchens or bathrooms) from the home improvement store. They are typically sold in boxes of about 8. Using unglazed tiles will allow the Copic Various ink to seep into the tile, giving a permanent color and will also allow your tile to remain absorbent, for use as a drink coaster.
You should protect your hands with latex gloves and your work surface because the permanent Copic alcohol ink can ruin your table or carpet. Here, I'm using an absorbent pad of paper under my tile, over my Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet.
NOTE: You can experiment with colors and patterns on the back side of the tile first, to find what you like best. The back of the tile will be covered -- see the last paragraph below.
I tried two different methods of ink dropping -- above, I randomly placed my four different colors of inks. Just one drop will do it, and you don't have to squeeze the bottle of Various ink ... usually just tipping the bottle near the surface of the tile is enough to have a single drop of ink come out. Wait for the drop to spread, before going on to the next color, so you can see where to place your next drop. You can also see where the ink saturates the natural veining in the tiles, giving even more interesting pattern and texture to the coasters.
On the tile above, I tried a more specific pattern of drops in rows. Don't forget to cover the edges of your tile, too:
I experimented further, by dabbing Copic Colorless Blender solution onto the tile in random drops:
I used the alligator clip and pom-pom that came with my craft chalks. Alternately, you could use an office supply binder clip and cotton ball. Adding the Blender solution will move color out in a circular pattern and lighten the colors underneath. You could try this, if you happen to get too much color in a certain spot, or if you like the look of lighter spots on your tile. So you can see the difference the Blender solution makes, I've shown two tiles below (click on the photo for a larger view) -- I used the Blender solution on the tile on the left:
When I finished, I discovered a slight oily residue on the surface of my tiles -- hopefully you can see this on the right tile in the photo below:
So I lightly sanded the surface of the tile on the left and that removed the residue and gave a softer, more natural look back to the stone. I was also concerned the residue would eventually rub off on things and/or make the tiles less absorbent, so that was another reason to remove it.
Next, just to prove the color-fastness of the Copic Various reinker, I soaked the tiles in water:
And blotted them on paper towels:
As you can see by the still-white of the paper towel -- no bleeding of the Copic ink! This turned out to be a good step, too, because it removed the little bit of dust created by the sanding and left the tiles nice and smooth.
To finish off the tiles and to help protect furniture surfaces, I like to back my tiles with a piece of cork sheet, found at most craft stores -- just glue it on with an aggressive water-proof glue, such as E2000.