Alcohol Inks! If you have landed here then you are probably as intrigued as I am by the vibrant, intense and saturated colours of alcohol ink. I only discovered this medium recently and I’m a bit obsessed with it and DYING to try it out. So I have been scouring the galaxy… okay maybe just the internet and Pinterest to find inspiration for my upcoming projects.
Before jumping in, I wanted to get a bit of an overview of what types of projects I should try. There are a lot of things you can do with alcohol ink, and I will do my best to round them up for you here. I will link to some of my own projects, at a later date, so that you can see how it goes. And very possibly how NOT to do it 🙂 Well, let’s hope not! Here are some of the amazing things that I have discovered you can use alcohol ink for, hopefully you are as inspired as I am. Let’s jump right in!
Keep reading to see something new and similar that I have discovered that I think you will like
This is the most obvious way to utilize this product and this is ultimately what I hope to be able to achieve with alcohol ink. I have aspirations of big beautiful, vivacious pops of colour through out my home. Although I suspect that there will be a learning curve until I reach the level of excellence of these artists! Check out some of my favourites:
I first encountered Kristy’s beautiful art work on Instagram. She works out of Seattle and has been working with Alcohol Inks since 2016. In Kristy’s non-art life she works as a therapist. Check out this excellent interview with her, where she gives some insight into her artwork and tips on her process. This is what I eventually hope to accomplish! Although It may take me a while to get there 🙂 I’m particulary in love with her “Hustle and Flow” series, as pictured here.
The artist behind this site is Marissa Recker of Madison WI. Marissa is a mom and a wife and dog mom 🙂 Marissa also offers ecourses on her site, which you can access here. This is a great place to start if you have never picked up alcohol inks before, like yours truly. Thanks Marissa for sharing your knowledge as well as your art. I’m sure I will watch these a couple of times before I jump in. PS- When last I checked that beautiful circular piece below was not yet sold – it could be yours! 🙂
Jess Kirkman is creative mind and talent behind Manifest Jess. She is an award winning commercial designer and marketing director with a BFA from Syracuse. I really love her fluid style, and I ‘m particularly smitten with this watery blue piece below. You can check out Jess’s work on her website or Instagram account.
If you are a bit intimidated by the gorgeous artwork above, no worries. You don’t have to start there, save something for your aspirations. There are an unlimited number of ways that you can use alcohol ink. This next one is not a big stretch to go from painting to cards. Especially since a lot of the starter packs of yupo paper come in smaller card sized pieces.
Just recently I discovered a method of painting with acrylic paints that will give you a very similar result to alcohol inks. Click her to see what I mean
These beautiful cards were done by Niki Coursey of The Hedgehog Hollow. Best logo ever Niki!
Michelle Lupton is a master of the inked greeting card, and this is only one of her many examples. Check out her website for more inspiration.
Kelly of You and your big dreams, did this card below. I love how she used her off-cuts to get a different look. Kelly also does Youtube videos, which you can access on her site.
via: You and Your Big Dreams
Alcohol Inks work particularly well with non-porous materials, so there are a lot of different ways to use them on substrates such as:
and I’m sure there are more I haven’t found yet (but I’m still looking)
Check out the fabulous pattern that you can make on glass or ceramics using cellophane. It reminds me a bit of a Hawaiian pattern. I think this is so beautiful. And don’t tell anyone, but it’s crazy easy, seriously.
And since we are already taking about ceramic surfaces, that is a perfect segue into ceramic mugs like this one below
And these adorable little plates from Dans Le Lake Housevia: Dans le Lake House
You can also use clear glass. And because Christmas ornaments lend themselves well to this application Here are a couple of examples of inked ornaments for your tree!
I would love to have my whole Christmas Tree decked out in these gorgeous ornaments. But first I should probably just try one to start with, don’t you think?viaFibreArtsyvia Crafty Curmudgeon
How could you not use these amazing colours on something to bejewel yourself with? Like maybe a necklace:
via: Rena Klingenberg
These splattered gems by Sarah Janes craft blog can be made into pendants or fridge magnets.
I know what you are thinking, Dominos??? I said the same thing. Modern dominos are made to approximate the look and feel of ivory, which is why they are such a nice finish to work with. They make some pretty beautiful pieces that you can use as magnets, jewelry or any other use you can find for these little trinkets. If you think of any, go ahead and let me know in the comments below! I think this is one that I am definitely trying out!
And if you thought Dominos were off the wall. How about something that is actually off the wall. Like a switch plate cover
In keeping with the home decor theme, Kristi from Addicted 2 decorating used her skills to do an entire tile back splash with Ink. Impressive! I love the colour combination here. I was in a round of the One Room Challenge with Kristi and I remember being really intrigued by these tiles.
And just because nothing is ever complete until you’ve set fire to it!!!!
Yep, there is also fired alcohol ink. Well, it makes sense doesn’t it? After all it is flammable, so of course somebody was bound to set it on fire at some point… humans… 🙂
Source: It’s always AutumnSource: Sharon and Alex
Okay, I am completely inspired and now I am purchasing some supplies to start working. Here is what I am going to start out with:
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a small commission at NO ADDITIONAL cost to you. Click here for my full disclosure.
Ranger Inks Mariner-Indigo/Mermaid/Teakwood
Ranger Gold and SilverYupo Paper
And if you still need a bit more inspiration, here are some resources for you read, or just put on your coffee table:
I’m so glad that you stopped by and I hope you check out all of the talented artists and bloggers who are featured here. And now that you are totally ramped up and full of creative energy. Go forth and CREATE! And please share your results! I promise to do the same! I’m off to experiment!
As promised, here are my first few attempts at painting with alcohol inks. I don’t think they are too bad, and I’m kinda hooked. I’m going to keep plugging away and see where it goes. It’s a nice medium to work in. I’m going to try it on some other surfaces soon. If you want to see how I do with my experiments – follow me on Instagram! I will be posting my trials over there.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. You NEVER pay more. I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through one of my links. Click here for my full disclosure. Thanks for helping pay the blog bills. 🙂
Diane Livingston says
How was the writing on the one with gold done?
Was it stamped on?
If you click on the link below the photo, it will take you directly to the original post, and will give you all of the details.
Debbie Aston says
Why have you left out Josie Lewis. She is also a pioneer in alcohol ink art and “petri dish” bursts of color. She is also an awesome teacher, unafraid of failure. Please include her the next time around.
Jodi Weslow says
Hello – such great projects! I noticed you mentioned that alcohol inks can be used on plastic – do you think they would work on melamine plates?
You certainly can use melamine. Alcohol inks can be used on pretty much anything that is non-porous. Go and start experimenting 🙂
What did you paint on for your two projects at the bottom of the page?
It’s called “Yupo Paper” – it’s essentially a type of ‘plastic’ – its waterproof & tear proof. Tim Holtz has his own brand alongside his infamous alcohol inks that are synonymous with Joann’s Stores worldwide. But Bristol also makes “Yupo” or what is also known as “Vellum” Paper as well. Which is what she utilized for her first two trials in the photographs above!!
You left out the book on alcohol inks by Ashley Mahlberg, aka @inkreel on Instagram. It’s a beinner’s guide to alcohol inks, and this OG ink artist learned a few things! Great beginner’s book, and she’s a great artist.
Beautiful work…how do you seal the art?
Jana Thomas says
Those are all fine and dandy 22 pictures but none of them have instructions .
For instance…..what did you seal them with? Kamar? If so then didn’t Kamar dull the finish?
the links to the tutorials are underneath the photos. Where it says via … Click there to go to the original post.
Laurie Trumpet says
Wonderful article! You’ve identified some great projects!
Thanks Laurie. So many cool things you can do, I’m working on a few new projects that will be up on my YouTube channel soon!
Teri Smith says
Just found your blog by way of Pinterest. Yay! I have some alcohol inks, but have yet to use them. Feel somewhat intimidated? Perhaps. Actually, for sure. I like you first attempt, but I really like the second one the best. May I ask what you used to move the ink around, by way of a straw, hand pump blower, etc? I’m going to go visit the other blogs you were kind enough to include as well. I will be back to check out more of your blog posts though. Thanks for the information you’ve shared..
Hi Teri, I use a straw to move my inks around. If you are starting out, just buy yourself some yupo paper and start with that. Also, 97% isopropyl alcohol. more alcohol and less ink to start. Have fun!!!