Monday, August 18, 2008

Domino Questions...Drilling A Hole, Sealing & More!

I've been getting several questions on various aspects of working with dominoes so I thought I would take today to answer a few of them.

Drilling a Hole in a Domino

The question I've been getting the most is how do I drill a hole in a domino? I personally use a dremel type power tool. I've heard other people use small hand drills and the like but I don't have one and I like getting things done quickly. As far as drilling into the domino, it's pretty easy once you practice on one or two.

First, you'll need a few items -

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Dremel or similar Rotary Type Tool (I have a cheap knock off of a dremel and it works fine!)
Drill Bit
ATG or other similar Adhesive
Wood Block (that can be drilled into)

As far as your drill bit goes you're going to want to make sure it is the proper size for the finished size hole you desire. I'm sure there are many different types of bits and all but I just look for one that is about the right size and hope it works - LOL!! (dh just shutters when I go into a hardware store - he never knows what I'm going to come out with!!) You also need to make sure it fits your power tool (from what I understand - now - is that there are lots of different sizes)....I never thought about that but I got lucky and they have all fit so far!

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I'm going to try something new here...a video to actually demonstrate how I drill the hole. I know it's not the best but I don't have a tri-pod (yet!) or anyone to tape me so my camera is piled on my domino tin and an old book then propped up with an um rubber stamp so the angle is correct - LOL!!! I have already informed my son that I NEED a tripod for my b-day ;)

Anyway, here you go ~

How I drill a hole in a domino ~

Sealing Dominoes -

Many people have asked about this as well. When I'm working with Alcohol Inks on Dominoes I like to use Glossy Accents or Stickles Glitter Glue to seal them. This also works if you are stamping with Archival Inks as well.

To seal I first apply a very thin layer of Glossy Accents, Sepia Accents, Matte Accents or Stickles with my finger and let it dry. This is actually what protects the Alcohol Inks from bleeding when you apply the thicker layer of GA (if desired). Once that initial layer has dried you can either leave it as it is or add a top coat of Glossy Accents to add additional gloss and dimension (as on the Time Flies Key Chain).


If you used Stickles for your initial layer you can leave it as is (which is what I did on the flower magnet) or add a layer of Glossy Accents.


Someone had mentioned trying to use Crackle Accents on a domino. I'm not sure how it turned out for her but normally Crackle Accents don't work very well on a slick, glossy surface such as a plastic domino. The Crackle Accents needs something to grab hold/soak into when it's drying such as paper, chipboard, etc. to get a good crackle going. All of the other 3 accents will work on Dominoes.

Backs of Pendants -

How I finish off the back of a pendant or charm depends on what I am going to be using it for.

If it's for a necklace I like to keep the back & front themes similar since it's usually the focal point of the piece. I will either use a corresponding stamped or collage image or word. I have from time to time just stamped a generic background image over the dots just to add interest if I don't have a themed image to match the front. If I'm using a background stamp I like flourishes, text, swirls, etc. You will need to keep in mind if you do use a background stamp that it is in proportion with the domino you are using it on. For example you wouldn't want to use a harlequin stamp if one diamond of the harlequin takes up the entire would just look like an unidentifiable blob of ink.

When it comes to charms it's usually a free-for-all...It's fun to mix things up a bit. I like to mix stamped and collage images on the fronts/backs of dominoes. Just do whatever you like and have fun! By doing so it adds interest and a small element of surprise.

Adirondack Pigment Pen & Alcohol Resist

I was asked if the Adirondack Pigment Pens would work in place of the Archival Ink for the technique - Alcohol Resist. I know that these products have different types of ink but I had never tried it so I wanted to test it out for myself before I answered. I gave it a shot this weekend and it does not work. Adirondack Pigment Pens will not produce any results when you're trying to remove Adirondack Alcohol Inks from a slick surface.

Additional Info -

I was asked to pass on any other info I might have about pitfalls or problems when working with dominoes. So here you go ~

*Be sure that your dominoes are clean before you begin. This applies to anytime you may be working with a glossy, non-porous surface. If there is any oils or other contaminates on your surface you may have trouble getting a good impression when stamping or trouble with complete coverage when using Alcohol Inks or other mediums. Just wiping with a damp cloth or cleaning with a stamp cleaning solution works well. Let dry completely before continuing.

*Use the correct inks for your project! Remember dye inks will NOT dry on glossy non-porous surfaces! This includes Distress Inks, pads and re-inkers. I know so many people love the colors but it just will not work.

You will need to use inks formulated for this type of surface such as Archival Inks or Adirondack Pigment Inks by Ranger. There are other solvent & hybrid inks on the market that will work but you will need to read the label to be sure.

*When stamping, a gentle touch will do! If you are a heavy handed stamper you might want to practice a bit before you start on dominoes. It is very easy to smear an image by simply pressing too hard. The stamp will skid right off the surface of the domino and you'll be left with a mess. Just kiss the stamp to the domino with a light hand and you'll be fine.

*Prevent your domino from slipping when stamping by applying a strip of adhesive to your craft sheet. It will hold everything in place and you won't have to worry about the domino getting moved around before stamping. This is especially true when stamping on more than one domino at once as with the Rose card or ATC.

*Add key rings BEFORE you apply your top coat. It is far better to have to fix a scratch in alcohol ink than it is to try to repair Glossy Accents! You can simply dab on a bit more AI where needed but it's virtually impossible to cosmetically fix GA once it has been marred. You will always see the lines between the two coats.

Well, that's all I can think of for now but if I remember anything else I will be sure to post it when I do.

Tomorrow and probably the rest of this week I will continue working with dominoes incorporating them into bracelets, making charms, a mini accordion book and more!

Hope to see you there :)


  1. Oh Thank You! What great information. I'm glad you did the "tips and tricks" part too... I would have put the key ring in AFTER putting on the GA... LOL

  2. I was able to get some 'cracking' with Crackle Accents, but in every case (I stopped doing it at 3), it changed the color of the AI...

  3. Wow, How clever, These look amazing , Thank you so much for describing how this is achieved. Jaqi

  4. Wow, love your dominos! I haven't tried that yet, but am always up for new projects!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!