Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sharpie Pen Polished Stone Technique - Tutorial

One of my favorite background techniques for domino art is the polished stone effect and for me the easiest way to do this is with Sharpie pens.  Sharpie Pens are alcohol based inks in a pen form.  They are readily available at most office supply stores and mega marts, come in a great range of colors and are fun to work with.

The above stamp image is by Stamp Francisco Rubber Stamps, 
Eau de Toilette 106-1084 from their Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Line

Supply List for this Project
Domino (or other plastic game tile of choice)
Sharpie Pens (In colors that will blend well together)
91% rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle (91% works the best for this process)
White Felt pads
Dauber tool or wood block with Velcro on it
Black Staz-On Ink
Rubber Stamp
Black Chisel tip Sharpie Pen
Domino shaped template
Sealer of your choice
Heat Gun (optional)


Step 1 – Select the image you want to stamp on your domino or game tile. I do this by creating a template on paper and cutting out the right sized opening.  I use the template to help me find what part of a rubber stamp image I want to use for my project. 

For this project I selected a portion of a perfume label. (The stamp image is by Stamp Francisco Rubber Stamps, Eau de Toilette 106-1084 from their Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Line)

Step 2 - Start with a solid game tile or domino that has been wiped with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad.  (This gives you a residue free surface to begin your artwork)

Step 3 - Scribble with two or three colorful Sharpie pens on the blank side of the tile ( I find it best to use colors that will blend together well to keep from getting a muddy or brownish finished color when you’re done)
This is one of my favorite color combinations to use.

Step 4 - Spritz some 91% rubbing alcohol onto the tile and lightly daub or swirl the colors with the aid of a white felt pad.  I like to use this wooden tool by Tim Holtz but you can make your own with a wood block and by attaching the stiff side of Velcro to it so the felt has something to stick to.

Remember - The more you daub or mix the less definition there will be between colors.

Play around with coloring options by trying the following till you get a background you like:
•    Continue to spritz the tile with alcohol and daub with the felt pad
•    Instead of spritzing the domino, lightly spritz the felt pad and tap it on the inked tile
•    Apply more sharpie color to the tile and use the alcohol and felt pad to work it in
•    Use the shiny side of an old unusable CD as a palette and scribble sharpie color on it, then spritz your felt pad with alcohol, swirl the pad in the color on the palette and daub it on your game tile
•    Mix and match any of the above procedures
•    If you don’t like your background – spray it with alcohol, wipe it clean and start again.

Step 5 - Let your background dry, it takes about a minute to air dry or you can heat set it with a heat gun. 

Step 6 – Stamp your image using Staz-On ink or another suitable ink for this type of project.  I prefer to leave my rubber stamp face-up on the work surface, ink the stamp and then press my game tile into the stamp. This gives me more control in stamping the correct portion of the image where I want it and it helps me to get a cleaner final image.
Just remember not to wiggle the game tile and to press straight down, 
apply pressure and lift the tile straight back up when you are done.


Step 7 - Let the ink dry which will take several minutes by air or you can speed it up with a heat tool

Step  8 - Edge the sides of the game piece with leafing pen or sharpie pen if you want a black or colored edge.  I like the look of black edging and find that a sharpie pen with the chisel tip works great for this.

Step 9 – Seal your work.  My pick is to daub on two light coats of Mod Podge Matte with a cosmetics sponge.  There are all kinds of sealers on the market and it is up to you to use what you like best. Some other options are spray sealers, and liquid lacquers and brush on finishes. 

IMPORTANT – Alcohol ink has to be sealed when you are finished to set it.  For Jewelry - if you do not seal it and any alcohol product come in contact with it the ink will run and your piece and clothing may be damaged!  Even once sealed I suggest you keep alcohol away from your pieces to be on the safe side.  Example: Spray your perfume on you before you put your game tile pendant on for the day.

Step 10 - Attach a bead, tubular finding or glue on bail with E-6000 of industrial jewelry glue to the top of your tile if you want to create a pendant.

The finished pendant using stamp image by Stamp Francisco Rubber Stamps, 
Eau de Toilette 106-1084 from their Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Line

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)


  1. What an outstandingly gorgeous piece of ARTwork this turned out to be! Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us. *Hugs*

  2. Hey Alicia - thanks for letting me know you liked the tutorial. They are so much fun to make and I hope you have a blast creating some of your own.