Saturday, 27 November 2010

Alcohol Inks

Anita has come up with an answer to Jilly's Question:

"Could you give me some advice on how to achieve a beautiful effect with alcohol inks please. Everyone that I see looks lovely and mine just looks a mess lol"   Jilly

Anita's Answer:
"Before you use your inks make sure that the room you are using is well ventilated as they have a fairly strong smell.

If you have never played with alcohol inks before you are in for a fun experience, you will need a few different colours (they come in a huge variety!!), protective covering for your work area and you need a non porous surface to try them out on. Examples of suitable surfaces are acetate, aluminium foil, glossy card (even though photographic paper is glossy, I have to say I haven’t had any luck playing with it), glass, mirrors, dominoes, shrink plastic and metal. They can all  be used and will provide a stunning variety of different results.

You will also need something to apply the inks with. You can easily buy alcohol ink applicators in good craft shops. Or alternatively you could always have a go at making your own. You will need a piece of wood (an old rubber stamp block is perfect) or an acrylic block, and some self adhesive Velcro. Stick the rough sided Velcro to your block and then you need to cut small rectangles of felt and press them onto the Velcro.

A little ink goes a long way, you will be surprised! Just place the nozzle of the ink bottle into the felt, and give a small quick spurt. You can use different colours at the same time, but use just one squirt of each colour, and in different areas of the felt. Don’t make the mistake of spurting them on top of each other or instead of having a collection of beautiful colours you will end up with a muddy looking mess!

Then you are ready to ink away! You can try dabbing, dragging, swiping, stippling,twisting…..just experiment! Also it can be quite effective to literally just ‘plop’ little droplets of ink onto your chosen surface and ‘tip and trickle’ with them.

Another thing to try is to pop a few drops of blending solution onto the felt pad and dab all over your inked area , this will blend the colours together and give them a softer edged look.

Alcohol inks are a wonderful way of creating beautiful decorative projects and altering once bland objects into desirable items, why not try dressing up an old mirror, tins and plastic storage pots, make domino jewellery or maybe dab some inks over an old glass container and pop a candle inside to create a subtle glow lamp for a candle. You could colour co-ordinate your items to fit in with your house d├ęcor.

There is no right or wrong way to do this you know, you can experiment and play and see what effects you like best. Don’t expect or try to create the perfect effect straight away, each time will be unique and unrepeatable….enjoy the process. Have fun!"            ANITA

Alcohol inks are made by Ranger Inks Tim Holtz® Adirondack®

You can purchase alcohol inks from Jill at Cardinal Colours and also from Vanessa at Paper Maze.

The nylon crochet ribbon on this layout (by Anita) was coloured with alcohol inks to make it fit in with the colours of the papers and other embellishments.

In this layout Lynn used alcohol inks to colour the silver miri card circle and the acetate flower. The layout was designed bu Vanessa of Paper Maze and was a crop class kit a few years ago.

Lynn's letters were covered in foil tape and dabbed with alcohol inks.

Linda added foil tape and alcohol ink to this card circle.

If you have any layouts using alcohol ink that you would like to share, please email us a picture or comment with a link to your blog and we will add them to this post. 


  1. Lots of lovely inspiration there :)

  2. Thanks. I won't give up then but have another try. The effects always look lovely like oil on water but mine just look like splodges.

  3. Thanks to Jilly for the question, and thanks to Anita for the answer. I have used these inks a few time, but it has encouraged me to have another go.

  4. Thanks Anita for such a comprehensive answer, hope this helps Jilly.



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