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Customizing Color With Copic Markers

Why do we use certain colors when we create? Well, usually it's because we feel comfortable with them or because they coordinate with our current wardrobe. Sometimes it may be because we want to break out of our safe zone.

In any case, the art of finding the perfect color can be as easy as looking at a color card, but rarely do the fates make anything that simple. So, what's a beader to do when she can't find the perfect color? ... Make it!

As fate would have it, I work for a publishing company that just happens to publish a card-making magazine and paper-crafting books. Our hottest new book Copic Coloring Guide tells you all you need to know. This may sound like an ad, but I promise you it is not. Believe me when I say, beaders will LOVE these markers. Crafters, artisans and even fashionistas (with no artistic talent whatsoever) will all LOVE these markers. OK, back to my story. Recently, our company held a Copic marker beginner class for us, and it was so much fun! Because we're talking about incorporating paper techniques into our beading, I'm going to share with you the tricks and tips I've learned about these markers, which are ideal to color paper, metal or glass beads. ... but a little more about the markers first.

Copic markers use a low-odor, alcohol-based ink that is acid-free when dry. Because they are alcohol-based versus water-based, you can layer and blend colors on paper without harming the paper surface. The ink is permanent and waterproof, and the markers are refillable. Copic markers come in 346 colors, plus a colorless blender. You can even create your own unique colors by purchasing empty markers.

Here is a photo list of surfaces that I have colored or dyed with my markers and/or refills.

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Sterling plated clasp -- Markers definitely work best. I got a lot of detail with the brush tip of my sketch marker. Plastic pearls -- Refill diluted in Colorless Blender
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Glass pearls -- Refills Brass end caps -- Marker
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Ribbon -- Wide marker Cotton yarn -- Either, depending on amount
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Glass -- Marker Wood -- Either, depending on amount. Markers will give a darker color than dyeing with a refill diluted with Colorless Blender.
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Metal beads -- Markers Crystals -- Either, depending on amount
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Silk flowers -- Either, depending on amount

If you plan on "dyeing" pearls or a large amount of fabric, invest in the refills, a large bottle of Colorless Blender, and use your markers for smaller jobs and touch-ups. Otherwise, simply color the inside of a plastic cup or bowl with your marker, drip some colorless blender on the inks, swirl to mix and add your beads. It's almost like dyeing eggs at Easter! Don't like the way it turned out? Wash it off with rubbing alcohol. Or if you only need to correct a little spot, use your colorless blender marker, which lends itself to changing jewelry pieces with the seasons or maybe the outfit!

While you're having fun exploring these amazing markers, remember to always try a test area first.