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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! If you don’t have alcohol inks of your own, you can create some using Sharpie markers, read on to find out how.

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 pretty much a foolproof craft because if you make a horrible mistake, just wipe it all away with paper towel before it dries and start over!

Have I got you interested? Good, let’s dive right in!

DIY Your Own Alcohol Inks!

Did you know Sharpie markers can be mixed into DIY alcohol inks?
Sharpies can be used to make 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. Place that tube in your glass jar and add a small amount of alcohol to draw out the ink. 

Eventually, the top portion of that tube is going to turn white. Once that happens, use your gloved hand to squeeze more pigment out of that tube and 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!). For more information, please visit Dream A Little Bigger for the original tutorial.

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 Switchplates

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, drop some alcohol ink down and move the plate around to create neat little patterns. Be sure to add more colors.

Once you've painted your switch plate, you can add an instant pop of color to any room!
A bit of ink and rubbing alcohol on a plain white switch plate makes for an instant pop of color!

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. The color will move around a bit more, but it will blend back in as the sealer dries. Allow the first coat to dry before applying a second.

Once you have sealed your switch plate, it's time to stick it on the wall!
Once you have sealed the paint in on your switch plate, you can screw that puppy on the wall!

Be sure to check out more details at Instructables!

Ink Prints

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!

What is super cool about this craft is that all you need is a frame (with glass), a lighter, inks and alcohol, and some white cardstock.

Once you've inked your frame glass, set that baby on fire!
Once you’ve inked your frame glass and dropped the alcohol on, it’s time for some fire!

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" your glass, it's ready to go back onto the frame!
Once you’ve “fired” the glass, let it cool and then insert back into the frame!

Now all you need is some white cardstock to back the fired glass and re-assemble that frame. Instant wall art!

I did two different sizes, but feel free to experiment how you see fit!
Two prints, two sizes, I think if I did this craft again, I’d choose some non-metallic colors — still a great print though!!

2 Ways For New Coasters

Drink coasters come in many different shapes and sizes, alcohol inks can also be used to help make them extra colorful!
Plain jane drink coasters can become beautiful with a little bit of ink!

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.

“Petrified” Resin

I have worked with alcohol inks and resin before, but this project is a little more involved, yet gorgeous as heck.

Begin by creating a clear base of resin in your coaster mold; just a thin layer will do. Allow that to cure fully according to the package instructions. Be sure to check and pop any bubbles that form too (either with a toothpick or you can use a heat gun if you have one).

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. Read more about this craft on the Resin Crafts Blog.

Galaxy Coasters

For this craft, in addition to 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.”

Check out the full tutorial at A Kailo Chic Life!

Washer Necklaces

Washers can make pretty necklaces!
Metal washers and alcohol inks can make you a pretty necklace!

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 once they are done, rather than just beading cord, throw them on a pretty jewelry chain or even use them on a bracelet. The possibilities are endless!

Inky Ornaments

If you have some clear glass ornaments that you want to jazz up with some ink, this crafting project from Stephanie Lynn is cool! I love the idea of using these glass ornaments for something other than going on the Christmas tree (but if that’s what you’d like, this craft will still work for you).

You can choose from a few different methods as well, to create a unique look that’s all you.

Sparkly Gems

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 and pretty little accent gems that could then be used 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.

Abstract Painting

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.

Glass Votives

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 start to feel a bit winded after awhile.

Swirly Tea Set

If you have a plain white tea set that you want to dress up, this is a perfect craft for you. This idea comes from Dans le Lakehouse, and I love the idea of just painting the saucers to dress things up. 

Once you have the pattern you like on your saucers, all you will need to seal it in is some acrylic sealer.

I would not recommend putting the paint on any surface that will hold food, however, but if you plan on using the saucers for cookies, you can paint the outside surface of the cups.

Rock Painting

Learn how to turn these rocks into even prettier statement pieces!
Simple pebbles can become beautiful art pieces with a little bit of alcohol ink!

Rock painting has developed somewhat of a following as of late. No doubt, you’ve heard of people leaving decorated rocks around and the finders of these rocks Instagramming them so that the artist can track the journey.

Well, alcohol inks can also be used to create some unique and beautiful painted rocks. Find out all about it at Rock Painting Guide!

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 beginners, and if you are prepared for a little bit of mess (preparing a work surface is a must) and wear gloves, you will have a fun time. Even if you don’t wear gloves, if you’re okay with having some ink marks on your hands for a few weeks after, it can still be fun!

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. You can always begin again so long as the ink doesn’t dry!

Let me know how your projects are going in the comments down below and share this post to social media and pin it to Pinterest to spread the inspiration!

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Next week, I will be delving into Halloween a little bit. It is early, but I wanted to share some ideas for DIY outdoor decorations so that you’ll all have time to craft them up before the main event. Be sure to check that out if you’re interested in getting the jump on some spooky decor!

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