January 21, 2018

Tattoo Ink

After a big fight against minuscule miniature pieces flying around in my living room, I finally managed to put all together and create the tattoo ink bottles for my ongoing tattoo shop project. This took longer than expected but I think the result is not too bad. Here are the step by step images and the final product:

I started off with some paper lollipop sticks. These are pretty easy to work with, but you need to be careful to have clean cuts because the paper is actually rolled. Another guess is, that these might not be very resistant to liquids, so be careful when coloring them. I did not really have any issue using water based colors though.

Next step was to cut the sticks down to 8mm pieces and to sand one corner of each piece with medium sanding paper, to bring the corners down to 7mm approximately. The sanded side will be the upper side of the ink bottles.

To color the pieces, I attached some tiny nails to a piece of wood (wooden bbq stick) and then attached the non-sanded bottom sides of the pieces to these nails. I chose some colors inspired from a tattoo ink color range for this, but any color will do actually.

While the "bottles" were drying, I created some shapes out of black polymer clay. These will later help to create the black caps of the bottles. 4 shapes are needed in total: (they will be cut down in the next step, but for the oven I put bigger pieces, due to practical reasons) a thicker but shorter roll (the lowest part of the cap), a thinner but longer roll, small thin cones to form the body of the cap and very tiny )1-2mm thin cones to create the tip of the cap.

Once the polymer clay was hardened in the oven, I cut the first thicker roll into very thin plates (each half a mm). The thinner roll was cut in larger pieces of 1,5mm. I trimmed the bigger cones to a same size of approx 3 mm and finally the little cones to less than a mm. On the left center of the picture you can see how these pieces came together, one after the other to form the cap.

Once the caps were ready, I glued them with superglue on top of the different bottles. I printed and cut some brand labels and glued them to the bottles. Superglue won't work here, the best is tacky glue to ensure that you can still move the labels a bit to bring them in the right position on the bottle. After hours of cutting and gluing, here is the end result:

I really like how the colors came all together, the bottles look better than I thought they would - yes, I'm happy!

Another thing that made me really happy is, that my copy of the Dollhouse Miniatures arrived. What a great issue, I feel so lucky that my project has been featured in it next to all the great artists and all the great projects. When I see what other artists did create, I quickly remember though how much I still have to learn... So here is the article I, hope you enjoy.

P.S.: The rug, the pillow, the pictures on the wall and the little table lamp were actually all created by myself, but I think something got mixed up in the article. Let me know if you would like to see a tutorial for any of these...

Have a wonderful start into the week!



  1. WOW! Both the ink bottles and the article are FAB U LOUS! Congratulations on what looks to be a very comprehensive article in Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine and for your terrific little tutorial. LOVE it All! :D

  2. The ink bottles turned out great, you should be very happy with them. And congratulations on the article. What a wonderful beach house you created. I love the little floating crate shelves on the wall. :)

  3. Ingenious engineering and execution! The ink bottles look splendid, and thanks for the how-to. And congratulations on the magazine feature; it's a nice showcase for your wonderful build.

  4. Wow! The ink bottles are fantastic! Congrats on the article, it's well deserved.

  5. The ink bottles are great! thank you for the tutorial. Congratulations on the article of your wonderful beach house. It is gorgeous, so well deserved.

  6. Love your ink bottles! And that's so cool about the article! Congrats!

  7. Hi Susi! I can imagine how these tiny bottles must have flown through the room during the making process, hehehehe :D! But I must say that I love your tiny ink bottles, they're fabulous work. Thank you so much for sharing how you made them.
    Congratulations on being published of an extensive article in Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine. You can be very proud, dear Susi!!
    Kind regards, Ilona

  8. Qué bonito trabajas, Susi! ♥

  9. Those ink bottles are AMAZING. ! And congratulations on the magazine feature! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind words. I appreciate you.