Customer Use

Black Ink on Glossy Papers

With National Letterwriting Month in full swing, we are seeing a lot of black ink markers and pens being used for cards, envelopes, and postcards.
When picking out which marker you are going to use for your mail, it can seem like the only decision you need to make is the size and shape of the tip. Remember to also consider that the type of ink is important too! If your paper/envelope has a glossy finish to it, you may have issues with the ink smudging and smearing off. And what if it rains on your mail during its travels? Will the ink run when it gets wet?

Use these quick comparison charts for help picking the markers that will work best for you, particularly when using glossy papers!

NEWbestforsurfacecollage

 

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Meet the Markers

We gathered a group of black pens and markers we often use for writing here at Marker Supply that features a mix of ink types- pigment, dye, water, oil, acrylic, and alcohol-based pens. Then we did several tests with each to see how they held up on different types of envelopes.

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blackinks-normal(Find each of these markers at Marker Supply!)

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Plain White Envelopes

A lot of folks stick to plain white paper envelopes- and most black ink markers work great on them!

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Rain Test

See what happens to each ink when the plain white envelope meets water..

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While some of the inks smeared a little bit when rubbed over, they all stayed pretty intact. Dye-based markers (like the Marvy Le Pen and Pentel Sign Pen) have ink that is made to move with water (for blending effects, watercolor, etc.) Watch out using these types of pens if your paper is ever likely to come in contact with water as the color will bleed.

Bleed-Through Test

Keep in mind that oil-based (Marvy Decocolor, Sharpie Paint) and alcohol-based (Prismacolor, Kurecolor, Copic) markers, along with other permanent markers with a lot of ink (Sharpies), commonly bleed through papers- so write on your envelopes before putting the mail inside if using pens like these.

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Also, if they get hit with water, other types of ink can bleed though as well, potentially damaging the contents inside:
bleedthru-whitewet

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Specialty Paper/Glossy Envelopes

When addressing some snail mail recently, we ran into problems whenever we used fancier and make-them-yourself envelopes. The paper was smoother and shinier.. and our “go-to addressing markers” didn’t work well on that type of surface.

This example shows how inks worked differently on one of the trickier silver paper envelopes:

envelope-silver

Some of the marker ink repelled right off of the surface, and some barely left any color at all!
The good news is that after just a moment of drying, none of the inks smeared around.

Rain Test

“Rain or shine, the mail must go through!” What if it rains on your glossy envelope?

envelope-silverwet

envelope-smudge-silverwet

If you’ve used a dye-based marker (like the Pentel Sign Pen or Clean Color Real Brushes), your ink can totally disappear! We loved the Posca Paint Markers and the Sakura Permapaque Markers for these envelopes- and both of those marker ranges include a nice variety of colors too!
So keep in mind that some inks may look ok when dry, but won’t hold up well on a glossy surface if they meet rain or snow while on their way to their destination.

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Ink Dry-Times / Smudge Tests

Writing with some pens and markers can be frustrating if they are prone to smearing and smudging- which happens a lot more when working with smooth, glossy papers.

Take a look at how these different inks stand up to smudging after different drying times:

Lightweight Glossy Paper

Ink smudging immediately after writing:

smudge-glossypaper-immediate

Smudging after 10 seconds of lightly blowing on the ink:

smudge-glossypaper-10seconds

This definitely made a big difference with some of the pens! A lot of them still lost the dark black color that sits of top of the writing- common with glossy paper as it’s harder for the ink to soak into. Some others smeared in the areas the pen stopped writing each letter- where there was still a small dot of wet ink that needed a little longer to fully dry.

Ultra-Glossy Photo Paper

From photo-like postcards to regular photographs, this type of slippery surface can be tricky to mark on.

This is what the inks looked like on photo paper after being smeared immediately after writing:

smudge-photopaper-immediate

We were pretty impressed with the results! Most of the markers did much better on this type of glossy surface than the smooth shiny paper! Some of the thicker ink markers rubbed away, leaving only a “ghosting” behind.

Trying photo paper marking again, we smudged each ink after lightly blowing on it for 10 seconds:

smudge-photopaper-10seconds

Again, just those few extra seconds of drying really seemed to help the ink set. A few pens still had trouble fully absorbing into the shiny surface, as the top black color still rubbed away after drying.

Another test with photo paper- we sprayed on a little water and watched how each ink reacted:

smudge-photopaper-water

Some stayed intact but lost their black color on top when rubbed over, while also making a mess of black smear marks.
And others, like the Marvy Le Pen (which was one of the best, super fast-drying fine line pens for photo marking) instantly began to “melt” like the other dye-based inks (which are made to be movable with water), surrounding themselves with blue/purple color. Interesting to see the Zig Photo Signature, another of the best quick-drying pens to use on glossy photos, reacted to the water with an orange color, even though the black markings held up alright.

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So keep in mind as you decorate and address your mail that not all black inks are the same on various surfaces, and not all will hold up to certain conditions. Try some experiments first on a test envelope to see how your markers do!

 

 

Marker Supply’s Pen Pal Contest!

The new Marker Supply contest is here!  This time, EVERYONE who participates will get something in return. 🙂

With April being “National Letterwriting Month”, we’re all about celebrating handwritten letters and notes- so we couldn’t think of any better way to run this month’s contest but to have you send us some snail mail.

Physically putting a pen to paper and writing as a form of communication has almost become a lost art for most people. Since markers, pens, and pencils are our world here at Marker Supply, we want to see them in action.
Plus, the Marker Supply warehouse has recently expanded into a new space. We now will feature the “marker fan art corner”, a special section for showing off cool things our customers have created. This contest can be the perfect opportunity for you to help us start filling it up!

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HOW TO ENTER:

To be a part of our “Pen Pal Contest”, just send us something in the mail during the month of April.

It can be:
A letter or a note, about anything! Tell us about what kind or art you like to do, which supplies you like to use, what you think about our store, or ask us a question if you have one. It doesn’t even have to be about markers, you can talk about the weather or your summer vacation plans if you want to. 😉

Something written in your favorite form of calligraphy/lettering: If you are one of those folks who love to practice calligraphy or hand-lettering of any style- send us a note, one of your favorite quotes, or anything you like to write in your choice of fancy scripts.

A drawing or cartoon: Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words, and hand-drawn pictures can be just as special as a letter. So if drawing is your thing, just send us a doodle! A page from a coloring book works great too!

Send your snail mail to us here:
Marker Supply Pen Pal Contest
240 Great Circle Road, Suite 334
Nashville, TN 37228

Here’s one of the awesome pieces of “marker fan mail” we received last year:
zigmillenniumcartoonPOSt2

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THE PRIZES:

EVERYONE that sends us mail will get something in their mailbox back from Marker Supply that includes a special pack of pens and a coupon code!

There will also be a randomly-selected Grand Prize Winner that will win
a 74-piece boxed set of Sakura Gelly Roll pens!

GellyRollBIGSet-web

The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are one of our favorite pens for writing. With different varieties producing different effects, these unique pens let you letter with multiple colors, on light OR dark papers, and add special touches like glitter and metallic sheen. How do you choose which Gelly Roll you like the most? If you are the grand prize winner of this month’s contest, you won’t have to.. because you’ll get them all!

For every individual piece of mail that you send us, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize drawing. However, only one participation prize pen pack/coupon code will be sent out per person.

Grand prize winner will be selected from a random drawing of all letters received that were postmarked in April. All prizes will be sent out to the addresses used on the mail that was sent to us.  Feel free to contact us HERE with any questions. 

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Happy writing!! 🙂

National Letterwriting Month

April is here and so is “National Letterwriting Month”!!!

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The world we live in today has become more and more centered around technology and digital communication. Emails, texting, instant messaging, and social media are a common part of daily life, but can you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter? The instant relay of a message can be convenient for sure, but the personal touch of a physical letter can be a powerful thing.

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The 30 Letters in 30 Days Challenge

There are numerous organizations and blogs that celebrate this holiday by giving you “Letter-a-day” challenges, hosting things like “letterwriting to active military personnel” events, and more. The Postal Service even creates special stamps and sometimes kits for the occasion!

Last year we became aware of the #write_on campaign (sponsored by Sakura, the company that brings you great pens like Gelly Rolls and Microns) that challenges you to write a letter to someone every day of the month. We are so excited to participate and help to spread the idea that you should pick up some pens and markers and CREATE your messages on paper rather than using your phone or computer.

Taking the time to hand write a letter (or even to create a custom card or decorate an envelope) gives the recipient an extra sign that you care about them. And it sure is a good change from the usual mix of bills and junk mail that can often flood mailboxes.

All throughout the month of April, we encourage you to do some letterwriting. Whether it be a multiple page letter or a few sentences in a card, send a special person in your life something handwritten by you. It can brighten their day more than you could imagine! 🙂

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Send us your snail mail!

We LOVE getting “marker fan mail” here at Marker Supply!

See our blog post about this month’s contest HERE and find out how sending us something in the mail can enter you to win a giant set of Gelly Roll pens!

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Stay tuned this month for some writing/cardmaking product spotlights, special sales, and more!!

Check out www.markersupply.com to find some great tools to help you add even more special touches to your snail mail!

WHERE’S THE WHITE??

Here at the Marker Supply warehouse, one of the most common things people come looking for are opaque white ink pens for writing on paper.

Unfortunately, we always have to say that these types of pens are still practically non-existent.

The main reason?
The type of ink required to make a functional white ink pen has been very difficult to produce. It would need to be both thin enough to flow through a pen tip AND thick enough to stay a visible white once it’s marked onto paper.

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Pigments vs. Dyes

There’s a little illustration we’ve heard that can help explain a big difference between two types of ink- Pigments and Dyes:

water-water
First, take 2 glasses of water.

water-sugardirt
In one glass, pour in some sugar.
In the other glass, pour in some dirt.

Both begin to cloud the water as you stir them up.
But notice what happens after just a minute when they settle..

water-after
The sugar is still there, but has fully dissolved into the water
and everything returns to a totally liquid state.
The glass with the dirt still has solid particles everywhere
and a thick layer of mud has collected on the bottom.

 

Most pen inks are colored with dyes (like the water example with the sugar), which are either liquid, or in a solid form that quickly dissolves, and then can easily flow through the pen. However, this property can also cause the ink to either leak through the pen tip too quickly, and/or soak completely into porous surfaces like paper and become transparent- meaning that this type of white ink won’t be seen because the ink isn’t thick enough to keep its color visible on top of an absorbent surface.

What helps some colors to show up the best when making ink is to use pigment. Pigments (like the water example with the dirt) are dense, finely ground particles that stay solid as they add their color. They don’t dissolve into fluid, but are rather just suspended in it. To get a good, opaque white, you need a LOT of pigment. When you try and put too much into a pen however, it won’t flow through the tip like a normal ink without clogging or drying up.

(Fun Fact: The most common pigment used to create the color white is Titanium Dioxide.)

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Gel Ink

The marking pen world made a big step in the creation of white pens with the invention of Gel Ink. Originally marketed in 1984 by Japanese company Sakura, it finally allows a roller ball pen to use a white ink.

gellyrollwhitetip

(Fun Fact: As researchers worked to develop gel ink, they tried a wide variety of materials to get the consistency just right, including yams and egg whites!
For some more great history on the invention of Sakura’s Gelly Roll pens, read this interesting article:
https://www.gellyroll.com/history)

Gel ink is not quite the same as ordinary pen ink, as it is a lot thicker- causing issues like needing to move the pen more slowly as you write, and the marks taking longer to dry. Also, the roller ball tips still can occasionally clog. (If this happens, rolling the pen tip over a wet paper towel may help.) Despite their issues, we are still very happy to have them as an option for white ink!

whitegelpens-web

Find these white gel pens at Marker Supply:
Uni-ball Signo Gel Impact
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Medium Tip
Marvy Gel Reminisce

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White ink comparisons on black paper

Other than gel pens, you can also find good white marking tools for paper when you look into pencils, oil-pastels, even correction pens! There are also valve-action markers that use more of a “paint” than an “ink”. Although paint markers tend to show up better on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal, some have been known to work adequately for certain paper projects.

Have a look at this comparison chart showing several white marking tools on plain black paper to see the ones that may work best for you! Find them all at MarkerSupply.com.

ALLWhiteInk-BlackPaper-post

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As experiments continue in the pen industry, white ink is getting closer and closer to becoming more common!

But as for now, which white pen/marker have you found works best for you??

Let us know and feel free to share your white marker artwork on our social media pages!
www.facebook.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply
Twitter @MarkerSupply

POSCA Art & New Sets!!

Some of our favorite and best-selling markers here at Marker Supply are the Uni Posca Paint Markers.

They are available in a variety of colors and tip styles- so you can always find just the right fit for each project you do!

blog-posca1

Poscas use water-based acrylic paint that marks on just about anything! Metal, wood, glass, plastic, chalkboards, stone, posters, canvas, fabrics, even things like surfboards!  The paint is opaque and can be applied over the top of other colors once dry. Marks will be permanent on porous surfaces like paper and wood. On hard surfaces like glass and chalkboards, the paint will be waterproof, but can be cleaned off with a standard household/glass cleaner. The paint in Posca markers is non-toxic, odorless, and Xylene-free,  so they can be enjoyed by kids too!

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POSCA ART AT PAPERWORLD / CREATIVEWORLD

GERMANY – JANUARY 2017

A few folks from the Marker Supply team attended the Paperworld & Creativeworld fairs in Frankfurt, Germany last month.

The Posca section had some incredible art on display!!

poscaart-artistmuralnovo

We LOVE this giant “Heroes” collage painting done with Posca markers by the talented artist Ernesto Novo.

 

poscaart-girlpainting

A live-action Posca painting being done by French artist Nadège Dauvergne.

 

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You can easily get lost looking at this incredible mandala-style painting made with colorful Poscas..

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NEW SETS!

We’ve recently added several new sets featuring the Posca markers- making it quick and easy to start or grow your collection!

POSCASETSmainnew

Find them HERE at MarkerSupply.com!

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We are impressed time and time again by all the different artists we see using the Posca markers.

Are you a fan of these versatile paint pens? What’s your favorite surface to use them on?

Let us know what you think and feel free to share your artwork- we LOVE to see your markers in action!

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www.twitter.com/MarkerSupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply

Coloring Cards by Between the Evergreens

Greeting cards are fun to give your friends & family for special occasions, or any time.. just because!

While attending RAW: Nashville’s Holiday Rawk Artist Showcase this week, we came across artist Elizabeth Lang & her company between the evergreens.

card-card

Elizabeth not only does wonderful watercolor paintings & artwork featuring various trees, but she also makes some really awesome greeting cards- that you can color yourself!

card-blank

Whether you want to be the one to color them OR if you’d rather give them as gifts for others to color, Marker Supply has some great markers to use with these cardstock cards.

We chose to color her “Sweetbay Magnolia” card with the Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers..

card-tip
card-brush

With the real bristle brush tip, it feels like you’re painting! The very tip of the brush gets in the tiniest of spaces, or you can angle the brush to color larger spots. Try using multiple colors- the ink is very easy to blend.

(Note: If you have a card made with watercolor paper, you can add a little water on top of the Clean Color’s dye-based ink and move it around- creating a watercolor look!)

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MORE MARKERS TO TRY FOR CARDS..

Our other marker recommendations for cards, depending on what tip you like to color with:

*Bullet/Round tipZig WriterSakura Gelly Roll Gel Pens

*Slanted/Chisel tipZig Fine & Chisel, Sakura Permapaque

*Rubber brush tipZig Brushables, Sakura KOI

*Colored pencils: Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Faber Castell Polychromos

*or browse through some more at www.markersupply.com!

(Note: Use caution if you like to do your coloring with alcohol-based (like Prismacolor or Copic) or other permanent ink markers (like Sharpies)- the marks will likely bleed through to the other side of cardstock papers!)

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card-tree

For more information on the art by ELang and between the evergreens greeting cards, check out:

*Her WEBSITE

*Her ETSY STORE

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And as always, feel free to share photos of your colored greeting cards on our social media!
@MarkerSupply #MarkerSupply

Gift Boxes, Bags, and Tags

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us, and all kinds of presents will be in need of packaging. But it’s not just for this time of year- try grabbing those markers ANY time you give a present to someone and turn plain ‘ol boxes, bags, and tags into unique works of art that help your gifts look extra special. 🙂

Some marker recommendations and projects that we tried this year at Markerland:

Ink Marbling

A super easy (and pretty fun) way to create one-of-a-kind marbling designs on paper surfaces is with Zig Kurecolor Refill Ink and shaving cream!

Just make a tray of foam shaving cream. Drop some ink here and there around the foam. Then swirl the drops around however you like!

kurecolorstep1

Then take your bag, tag, card, etc. (the thicker the better, to help it from curling up with the wet foam) and press the surface into the swirls. Pull it back up and scrape off the foam.

kurecolorstep2

You’ll be left with one-of-a-kind marbled art!

marblingitems

Try it on craft bags, paper tags, cardboard ornaments, or handmade cards!

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Custom Ziploc Goody Bags

Take some simple Ziploc bags, doodle them up, and fill them with treats!

giftideas-treatbags

Oil-based paint markers work best on these smooth, slippery surfaces, and will hold up when the bag wrinkles as it’s used.

Try the: Marvy Decocolor, Zig Painty, Pebeo 4Artist

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Re-Decorated Gift Boxes

Thrift stores usually have a ton of gift boxes- they just may not be the designs you want. Dollar stores have lots of them for great prices, but they are often only plain white or a single color. If you want to add a little more decoration, there are plenty of good, opaque markers that can cover the old box completely- letting you make your own custom designs for the occasion!
customgiftbox

Some markers we used for our boxes:
Marvy Easy Chalkboard Marker
Marvy Decocolor Acrylic
Sharpie Poster Paint
Posca Paint Markers

If you find an unfinished wooden box, see our Image Transfer Blog HERE to find out a fun way to customize it!

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Personalized Storage Boxes

Sometimes boxes can BE the gifts themselves!!

shopkinsboxeswithpaintymarkers
We love this gift idea from Jennifer, for her daughter & friends’ Shopkins toys!

Again we found that using oil-based markers (like the Zig Painty markers used here) gave great permanent results on smooth surfaces like plastic.

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Have you made custom gift boxes, bags, or tags using markers?

Let us know how your project turned out!

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Instagram #MarkerSupply

And check out www.markersupply.com for PLENTY more markers and pens you can use to help your gifts stand out!

 

Featured Artist: @SignJay

We’re wrapping up chalk markers and chalkboard month at Marker Supply with another featured artist!!

Aside from party boards (as featured in our blog about LA Sign Design), and the countless chalk marker projects you can do at home (some of which highlighted in our last blog), another big area that you may notice the art of chalkboard signs is in stores and restaurants! Windows, displays, grocery departments, event posters, menus, and more can have such a nice appeal to customers after they’ve been decorated with chalk markers!!

chalk markers

We Markerland folks are always very impressed by the talented people behind those signs, and we are excited to feature a chalkboard sign artist who is very active in doing store display and event poster chalkboards!

post7signsSome amazing work done by Rachel- a.k.a. @SignJay

Rachel Humiston is from Richmond, VA and has been doing professional chalkboard signs since 2008.

“I got a job as a sign artist at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t have any experience- I actually had just graduated with a math degree, but I wanted to do well so I threw all my energy into practicing and improving. I didn’t know at the time I would make a career of it, but it is a practical kind of art form and in retrospect- that fits my personality perfectly!

The first piece I ever did was a 24 x 41 inch display for roasted red pepper and tomato soup and some crackers at Trader Joe’s. I still remember sitting on the floor drawing and re-writing the layout trying to make all of the information fit. It took days but thankfully I had a very patient boss who had faith and I got the hang of it. Eight years later we are still a team and I’m very grateful!”

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RACHEL’S RECENT WORKS

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“I actually finished the largest piece I have done to date just this week! It was a series of different size frames covering an area of approximately 11 x 12 feet for an event called Creative Marketplace where local artists and makers come together to connect and share their wares with the community. I’ve done a couple murals that were physically larger but this was the largest typography design thus far.”

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 SOME CHALKBOARD ART TIPS FROM RACHEL

“The projects I take on usually require a lot of information in a relatively small space, so the toughest part of the process is finding creative solutions to dividing up the text so it is both easy to read and also beautiful.
Once I have a good design, the rest is pure fun!”

post2lotsinto

Getting started:
“I typically start by looking at my source materials- packaging, logos, etc. and visualize some ideas in my head first. Then I will do 2 or 3 very loose thumbnail sketches, to make sure I have enough room for all of my elements, and select the best layout. The sketches are comically simple because I’ve found that fine-tuning is best done on the actual board. I’ll then do the sketch on the board and move things around as necessary- this way I can see the design to scale. The exception is when you work menus- you need mathematical precision, so those sketches are much more in-depth.”

Correcting mistakes:
“If it’s a small mistake, I can correct it when I add the background color, outlines, and shadows by simply drawing over it. If it is something that needs to be completely changed, I use 91% isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. That sounds technical but it’s just the stuff you find in first aid kits. You can buy it just about anywhere- it’s inexpensive and works well. “

Working on chalkboards vs. glass:
“Chalkboards have some grit to them that helps to slow down the marker and gives more control. The smoothness of glass means the marker moves fast and loose. It also affects how I hold the pen- on chalkboards I rest my arm and wrist on the board for stability, but with glass the marker is the only thing that can touch. The surface I prefer working on is chalk boards, but if I’m working on glass I will lean towards script fonts- as their flow is more conducive to the surface.”

Spacing tips:
“Draw rectangles around the rounded letters like “O” or “D”- it makes it easier to compare the corners to see if they are even. Invest in a clear drafting ruler that is divided into grid- it will change your life!”

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CHALK MARKERS : RACHEL’S PICKS
(and some suggestions from us!)

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“I am a huge Woodcraft marker devotee- the opacity, vibrancy, and ease with which you can do multiple coats cannot be beat! They are incredibly versatile and can be used on so many surfaces. I use a ton of Gardenia, a lovely warm white. I use the chisel tip and the Big & Broad size in equal measure.
The Woodcraft markers are actually quite permanent even without sealing them. I have interior signs that have been up for 8 years under fluorescent lighting and they have not faded, chipped, or cracked!

post4woodcraft

More recently I’ve expanded to the Uni Poscas in the 1, 3 and 5m sizes because they are perfect for crisping up the edges of the letters, great for outlining, and they work great over or under the Woodcraft markers.”

If you are looking to do some art for a store, restaurant, etc., we have what you need at Marker Supply! Try these special sets that might help you get started:


chalk markersZig Posterman Starter Sets come in 3 different sizes and each feature Zig Posterman markers in a variety of colors and tip sizes for you to try, as well as a great chalkboard cleaning tool- the Scrubs do-it-all wipes!

foodmenusets
Perfect little starter packs of the Zig Woodcraft Markers, the Food Menu Sets feature colors specifically picked to match a different food group theme!

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Thanks again to Rachel for sharing your work and advice with us!
Check out Rachel’s Instagram to see more of her amazing chalk marker art!!

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**ALL CHALK ART PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG ARE COPYRIGHT TO RACHEL HUMISTON and we are thankful for her letting us use them to show off her talent! 🙂

Have any chalk marker artwork that you’d like to share? Tag us #MarkerSupply – we’d love to see!!!

 

Chalkboard Home Decor Projects

We’ve seen how chalk marker art can be great at parties and special events (with our last blog featuring LA Sign Design), and you’ve likely seen chalk markers used on windows/displays/menus at stores and restaurants (stay tuned for our next blog featuring another great chalk artist!), but there is also PLENTY to be done with chalk paint & markers at home!

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CHALKBOARD FURNITURE/CABINETS
You don’t always have to go BIG with the chalkboard theme in your house by covering an entire wall or door. (We’ve even seen refrigerators turned chalkboard!) Try just transforming a piece of furniture & other smaller household surfaces with chalkboard paint, like the Brush-On or Spray-On paints from Krylon!

chalkproject-desk
Chalk desks are an awesome way to cut down on paper notes, to-do lists, etc. (and you are less likely to lose important info if it’s written right on the desktop!) They are also a fun addition to a kid’s playroom! (Water-based chalk markers are safe for kids to use!) Using chalk markers instead of regular chalk keeps these projects free of dust and smudging!

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Keep helpful information handy when you turn the inside of your cabinet doors into a chalkboard notepad!

One of our new products from Krylon also pairs very well with chalk markers. Chalky Finish” paints are like chalk markers in a spray paint form- great for doing larger pieces that would be tough to do with just a marker tip. Also, since it’s a spray paint, it allows a nice, even coverage of color on curves, edges, and all those tricky little places.

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After you are done using the “Chalky Finish” paint to go over the entire object, use chalk markers to draw on some details!
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CHALKBOARD PICTURE FRAMES
Grab some inexpensive photo frames at yard sales, thrift stores, etc. and paint the glass with chalkboard paint. (Or you can also use Strathmore’s Black Chalk Paper– an item we love from our sister company Paper & Ink Arts.)

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Any frame can quickly become a fun way for displaying your own artwork and quotes, and makes a fun gift idea too!

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Make some signs for different areas of your house, or just use them as a canvas for some chalkboard style wall art!

DISHES
The Pebeo Porcelaine Chalkboard Paint is specially made for use on dishes and other heat-stable bases such as glass, ceramic, porcelain, etc. Once baked on, it is dishwasher safe! Create a re-writable chalkboard surface to give your dishes some unique designs and keep track of multiple drink containers that would otherwise look alike!

chalkproject-dishes
Hint: Use Pebeo or permanent, oil-based markers to draw on the sections of art/words that you want to always be there.
Then use erasable chalk markers for the temporary parts.

CHALK LABELS
Whether permanent or temporary, labels are a handy way to remember what’s what! Chalkboard labels have a great look in whatever area they are used in! Try the Marvy Easy Chalkboard Marker to turn things like paper, wood, cardboard, or terra cotta pots into a smooth black chalkboard surface! (This marker is also great for making chalkboard-style cards & gift tags!)

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DO YOU HAVE CHALKBOARD / CHALK MARKER ART IN YOUR HOME?
Show us your projects & decor on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!!
@MarkerSupply #MarkerSupply

 

Featured Artist: LA Sign Design

We are very excited about Marker Supply’s newest featured artist – Lacey at LA Sign Design!

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“My main passion is to keep the art of handwriting and cursive alive in the most creative ways possible.
I love technology but nothing beats handmade, in my opinion.
” –Lacey @ LA Sign Design

Lacey is the owner/artist behind her business, LA Sign Design, that creates a number of incredible chalk marker art projects- from store advertisements, to event posters, to menus, to our highlight of this blog: PARTY BOARDS!!

Handmade boards done with chalk markers are becoming more & more popular at birthdays, weddings, and other special events as a fun and unique way to decorate and display information to the guests!

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We asked Lacey some questions about her work as a chalkboard artist, specifically in the area of doing boards for special occasions:

How long have you been making chalk art boards for parties?
Professionally, since 2012, but I have loved to doodle since I could hold a crayon.

What objects do you use for your actual boards?
Mainly old wood-framed pictures I up-cycle into chalkboards. I purchase the picture frames from the local Savers or Goodwill, thrift sales, & auctions. I also cut sanded plywood in custom sizes for a variety of different projects.

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Are there surfaces that are easier or more difficult to draw on than others?
Since most my work is freehand, learning to write straight & evenly spaced on an already mounted chalkboard or surface is probably the most difficult to master. I create artwork on glass as well-this can be slippery & really test ones hand steadiness.

How big are your average-size boards and how long do they take to finish?
My mini chalkboards are popular as 8 x 10 inch picture frames. I’ve also created wedding programs that are 4 x 4 foot & photo-op standees that are 7 feet tall! Most signage only requires 1-2 hours of work (Prep, design, sketches, art, touch-ups, seal coat) but is determined more by the amount of writing & special designs required.

What do you use on top of a finished board to seal & protect it?
To really make a board last I offer my clients the option to seal coat with either a Matte or Gloss finish Mod Podge. Sealing is a great idea to preserve the ink from fading and really makes the writing stand out against the black chalkboard.

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BIRTHDAY BOARDS

Birthday chalkboards are stand-out party decor for kids AND adults of any age! Not only are they fun for the party itself, but they can remain treasured keepsakes to remember the event well into the future! Fill them with information from life at the present moment, and then you can always have a look back to your “time capsule sign!”

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We LOVE these colorful and customized kids birthday signs by LA Sign Design!!
(and congrats on the recent Blue-Ribbon-Win!)

You can also make chalkboard signs for different areas & activities at your party-
facepainting chalkcraft-busyboard

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WEDDING BOARDS

An elegant way to decorate for a couple’s big day!!

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Even simply using just white ink on a black chalkboard can still make beautiful pieces to introduce the wedding party, display the menu options, or have as backdrops for photos!

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“Wedding signage is becoming a fast trend and the markers seriously make all the difference on the big day. Brides are always so relieved to learn my “chalk” is actually water-proof & smudge-proof unlike regular chalk. I always have the option of Chalk Ink markers which are no-mess and dust-free in case they need the signage to be temporary. Doing the wedding program on a large chalkboard or refinished door is becoming super popular and cost effective compared to printing programs.” -Lacey @ LA Sign Design

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colorwheelLacey’s favorite marker picks:colorwheel

*Zig Posterman Medium and Big & Broad
*Uni Posca Fine, Medium, and Broad
*Sharpie Poster Paint Fine and Medium

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Sharpie Poster Paint (water-based) is the best marker I’ve found for white, red, and yellow colors. The pigment lasts and covers well over black surfaces. I like using Posterman and Sharpie markers so my chalkboard artwork is already smudge-proof & water-proof but not chemical-proof (ink can be removed with Windex). Postermans also work great on glass indoors & outdoors. Chalk ink (ex. Posterman Wet-Wipe) markers work perfect for a surface that needs to be reused or edited easily. The liquid chalk can be wiped clean with water and best part is no chalk dust!

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Lacey’s advice to those interested in chalk marker art:

“Make mistakes, fix them, & create some more!
My skills continue to develop over time with practice, studying new techniques, & faith in my freehand ability.

 If you are not as sure about your freehand skills, but really want to create a chalkboard sign, use this neat trick:
1. Find a quote, picture, or design online [or create one in Word] and print it off to fit your chalkboard.
2. Use a No.2 Pencil & cover the backside of this printed off picture with pencil.
3. Tape the paper to the chalkboard.
4. Use pencil to now trace pressing firmly over the quote & transfer the pencil from the backside to the board.
5. Remove paper & reveal a light outline of exactly where you need to color!”

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Thanks so much to Lacey for all of the insights into her chalkboard world! Keep up the good work!!

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To contact Lacey or see more of her artwork, check out her webpage HERE!
She also occasionally has giveaways for FREE mini chalkboards! Fun!!

©  ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED TO LA SIGN DESIGN.
Marker Supply appreciates her letting us use them in the blog!!