I was talking to a member of my art group online about spray inks and she said she made her own with paint and water or food color and water. I have never had any spray inks but the pieces she did were gorgeous, so I had to try it.

I went to my local discount store for food color and spray bottles. The only spray bottles they had were in the plant section so they are pretty big but, at $1.50 each, too good a deal to pass up. So I got several boxes of the four color (red, yellow, blue and green) food color since I knew I would be making a lot of spray ink. 9 spray bottles and 5 boxes of food color later, I headed home to see what I could make.

I have never had an art class and don’t own a color chart so I decided that a little high school science style experimentation was the best way to go. I filled all my bottles to the same point for consistency and I got some scraps of white paper and cut them into strips.

I counted the drops of food color I put into the water for each color, mixed it, wrote those numbers on one end of my paper strip and dipped the other end of my paper strip into my colored water. By doing this I was able to create my color recipes and see how each color saturated the water and mixed with the other colors.


Once I had a color I wanted to keep, I wrote the colors description and recipe on an address label and stuck it to the bottle. This made each color easily identifiable and refillable when I use up all this ink. Should take me a long while though at these amounts. 🙂


I saved all my strips so I have a custom color chart with recipes for all the colors I made today by taping them by color into my art notebook. I now have an example and recipe, not only for the colors I kept, but also for the ones I passed up along the way.


I kept playing with my food color and paper strips until I had decided on nine colors to fill all my bottles.


Then I played with them a little to see how they worked. I got an empty cardboard box with deep sides to use as a spray box so I wouldn’t have it everywhere and lined the box with book pages so I wouldn’t be wasting my over spray. What I learned is the inks have a sheer coverage, they blend into each other when wet but not once they are dry and, if you get your heat gun too close to a paper doily trying to rush the drying time, it will burn. 🙂


Now that I have sprays, I just need a plan of what I want to do with them. But that’s another post.

Happy Creating!

And that is what’s on

Mickie’s Mind