Google+ House Revivals: Inking Wooden Bingo Balls {or: When You've Lost All Your Marbles}

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Inking Wooden Bingo Balls {or: When You've Lost All Your Marbles}

I recently realized I'd lost all my marbles -- actually, that's not entirely correct. You see my husband's mother passed away a couple of years ago and we inherited her lost marbles. So, really, my mother-in-law lost her marbles, and I never had them to begin with.

My husband grew up with a marble solitaire game that his parents picked up on a trip to Thailand in the late sixties or early seventies. When his mother passed away, he got the wooden game board, but the marbles were long gone.

After much unsuccessful searching for "special" marbles that were small enough to fit the game board, I had almost resigned myself to buying a bag of cat's eyes, when I remembered we had a stash of wooden bingo balls. I decided to try my hand at dyeing the wooden balls, using stamp pads.

I grabbed an assortment of colors and ink types, and rolled the balls around on the pads -- use gloves for this, or hold a paper towel, and use that to roll the balls around. Once you have them covered, let them sit for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess ink, using a paper towel.

The process is highly addictive! I used both dye inks and pigment inks. I thought they both performed well, and I'm curious to see how well the dye inked pieces hold their color. I also experimented with some metallic inks, and they worked very well.

I intentionally wiped enough of the ink off the pieces to show the bingo numbers, because I like that the pieces had another life before this, and leaving the markings tells a story and adds a layer of interest.

We have played quite a few games with the new game pieces, and I have not had any issues with ink coming off on my hands. I also haven't had one winning game. Does anyone know the winning secret to marble solitaire?

This technique will also work with wooden beads, for jewelry and crafts!  You might also try using your stamps on wood pieces. Experiment with inks and whatever wood pieces you have on hand -- you might even try some of the popular ink sprays available now.

To see how to make your own DIY ink spray, click here.

To read about another Vietnam era family treasure, click here.

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