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Last Updated on June 19, 2021 by Katherine
Alcohol inks are a fantastic medium for crafting projects. This week on the blog, I wanted to share eleven fresh ways that you can use alcohol inks to create something beautiful.
I had some leftover metallic colors (click here to purchase the same from Amazon) from a previous spat of resin crafting that I did, and I wanted to revisit them because they are gorgeous colors, and I loved working with them! You can also make your own alcohol inks using Sharpie markers if you’d rather not buy them.
One of my favorite things about alcohol inks is how easy it is to create a beautiful watercolor look using them and some rubbing alcohol. It’s a foolproof craft because if you make a horrible mistake, just wipe it all away with a paper towel before it dries and start over!
Have I got you interested? Good, let’s dive right in!
DIY Your Own Alcohol Inks!
Yep, you read that right, and you can create your own inks if you have some Sharpie markers that you don’t mind destroying for this slightly messy project!
What You Will Need:
- Chisel tip Sharpie Markers
- Isopropyl Alcohol (at least 91%)
- Applicator Bottles (to store your ink in)
- Glass jars (mason jars will work for this)
- Craft knife
- Disposable gloves
As I always begin, I prep the working area. I like to use cardboard or a plastic painting drop cloth when working with paints or inks. Throwing on your gloves, you’ll want to crack open the plastic exterior of your marker so you can get the ink tube that’s inside.
Once you have the ink tube, you’ll take your craft knife and slice it open. Add the tube to your jar and then add a bit of alcohol.
Eventually, the top portion of that tube is going to turn white. Then you can use your gloves and squeeze more pigment into the jar. Add more alcohol in to create around one ounce of liquid.
Pour your liquid carefully into your applicator bottle (or if you have precision tip bottles, you can likely draw the fluid through the applicator top–like an eyedropper!).
Now that you have either your store-bought inks or homemade, let’s see what you can make with them!
Also, be sure to snag a copy of my crafting workbook to help you keep track of your project. As a thank you for signing up for my email community below, I’ll give you access to a free pdf printable! Details below:
Artsy Light Switch Plates
Check out DIY Switch Plate Covers at Instructibles Living for the original inspiration for this craft.
If you want to add a personal touch to your light switch plates or electrical outlets, this craft is for you. I would recommend buying new plates for this so that you can switch back to the original ones when you move and take your fancy ones with you.
Working on your prepped surface, take your new switch plates (make sure you get them in a light or white color) and begin by coating the surface with rubbing alcohol so that it’s completely wet. Working quickly, add some drops of your ink and move the plate around to create neat little patterns. Be sure to add more colors.
You can also use a drinking straw to blow around the paint and create some cool patterns. Allow your project to dry overnight and then spray them with an acrylic sealer. You’ll see the colors swirl a bit more as the sealer goes on, but they’ll settle down as it dries. Allow the first coat to dry before applying a second.
This craft calls for playing with a bit of fire, but as soon as I read the post on It’s Always Autumn, I knew I just had to include it in this post!
All you need is a frame (with glass), lighter, inks, alcohol, and some white cardstock.
All you do is drop the inks onto the glass, add in the alcohol to create some neat swirly patterns, and then light that puppy on fire. As the alcohol burns, it creates some cool designs.
Once you’ve “fired” the glass, let it cool and then insert back into the frame!
Add your cardstock behind it to finish. Instant wall art!
2 Ways For New Coasters
Coasters are a quick way to add a bit of personality to your coffee table, and I found two very cool ways to incorporate alcohol inks into designing your very own new coasters. One is using resin, and the other is using ceramic tiles.
Check out Petrified Rainbow Resin Coasters With Alcohol Ink DIY to learn more.
Begin by creating a thin and clear layer of resin in your coaster mold. Allow that to cure fully according to the package instructions. Use a toothpick or heat gun to pop any bubbles that form.
Next, you’ll mix and pour resin to fill the cavity molds, add in your alcohol inks by dropping them into a “bulls-eye” pattern. If you have white ink, use it sparingly, but I think even without it, you can get a beautiful design. The clear layer helps prevent those inks from puddling at the top.
For this craft, besides your inks, ceramic tile, and gloves, you will need painter’s tape and a gold paint pen. The tape will help you create a beautiful blocked look, and the gold paint pen will allow you to create some pretty little “stars.”
You can read more about Galaxy Color Blocked Marble Coasters at A Kailo Chic Life.
I love how simple and decorative this project is. All you need are some washers, some alcohol ink, and a stamping pad. Check out Sarah Jane’s Craft Blog for the full tutorial and a trick to create your own stamp pad with velcro and wood.
You can also get a bit more creative with your painted washers and use them in a necklace or bracelet project. The possibilities are endless!
If you have some clear glass ornaments that you want to jazz up with some ink, this crafting project from Stephanie Lynn is cool! You don’t need to create these for Christmas either, they can be used for simple decor pieces too!
For this project, you will need some clear, flat-backed gems. You can find these practically anywhere, most crafting stores, or even your local dollar store.
You can create some beautiful little accent gems that you can use in your next jewelry project or as a cool accent in some home decor project as well. Check out the full tutorial at Color Made Happy.
You can paint alcohol inks on canvas, but you need to prep that canvas, otherwise the inks will just soak right into the cotton and not move and create the cool patterns you want.
Learn more about prepping a canvas and painting with alcohol from Debra Lyn on YouTube.
You can also work from a product called Yupo paper, which is perfect for working with these inks.
This project is quite similar to the glass ornament one above. Compressed air can help create a beautiful look as you move the inks around on the glass. Check out the full scoop at Bitz & Giggles.
Using gravity to move the ink around too can also work if you don’t have access to compressed air. You can also use a drinking straw, though you might feel a bit winded after a while.
Swirly Tea Set
This project is perfect to dress up a plain white tea set. Learn How to Use Alcohol Inks On Ceramics from Dans Le Lakehouse!
Ultimately, this project will dress up that white tea set with a swirl of color.
I don’t recommend using the ink on the inside of the cups as alcohol inks and most sealers aren’t food safe. However, you can use these to decorate the outside of your cups!
Simple pebbles can become beautiful art pieces with a bit of alcohol ink!
Rock painting has developed somewhat of a following as of late on Instagram. Check out #rockpainting to see all the pretty ideas!
Many people use craft paints on their rocks, but you can definitely use alcohol inks for this project too!
Final Thoughts on Alcohol Inks
Alcohol ink crafts are delightfully colorful and awesome, and I hope these ideas have inspired you to go out there and create your own beautiful projects. These projects are all suitable for beginner. Prepping your work area and wearing gloves will help keep the mess at bay!
Experiment with different methods until you create something you are happy with, and if you make a mistake, no problem, wipe that off with some rubbing alcohol and paper towel.
Share this post to your favorite social media platform and let me know your favorite project to use alcohol inks with. Also pin this to Pinterest to refer to later!
Until next time, stay crafty, my friends!!