Are you ready for another alcohol ink project? This is a very beautiful way to use alcohol ink on glass, and it’s soooooo easy, I almost don’t need to even write this post! But I’ll walk you through it just the same. 🙂
Alcohol Ink on Glass
The first time I tried out this technique, I didn’t actually have any cellophane on hand. But I wanted to try it out anyway, so I substituted a plastic produce bag instead.. I love the way that one turned out:
You don’t need much in the way of supplies to do this project. I have linked to some of the supplies below. The Pinata Exciter Pack are the same inks that I have used here, and for most of my alcohol ink projects. They go a long way! For glassware, I purchased all of mine at the Dollarama.
91% Isopropyl Alcohol
Here is a quick “how to overview” if you prefer a video click here.
There really isn’t anything difficult about this project. Basically you squeeze drops of alcohol ink on a piece of Saran Wrap.
and then wrap it around a bowl, or a mug
and then leave it overnight to dry
Once dry you remove the Saran Wrap and clean up any areas where you don’t want ink. That’s pretty much it 🙂 But since I have made a few of these, here are a few helpful hints for you
Measure out your piece of cellophane before you start adding your ink. Make sure that it will fully cover the piece that you are working with
It’s best to wear gloves when working with alcohol inks as they will stain your skin. If you don’t wear gloves you can get most of the staining out with alcohol and then soap and water. And as we have all just recently been giving a refresher in hand washing, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Wrinkles are your friend
For once wrinkles work in your favour! When you wrap your glassware up, you will want to have wrinkles in the wrapper. If you were to smooth it out entirely, you would not get much variation in the ink, and it might not give you the effect you are looking for. So if you are a perfectionist, don’t waste your time trying to get your cellophane all smoothed out as this will actually work against you!
Direction will change the pattern
Depending on which direction you wrap, will depend on how the design comes out. If you wrap around the bowl Like this one you will get a horizontal and leafy type pattern. If you wrap upward, Pulling the cellophane from the bottom and folding it over the top rim of the bowl, you will get more of a vertical and striated design, like the one below. The effect is similar with somewhat subtle differences. So it really just depends on what type of design you are going for. But if you are using dollar store mugs and bowls, go ahead and experiment a little!
The white space that you see on these bowls, is just a result of the way that the cellophane adhered to the glass. I did not leave any intentional white space when I applied the ink and wrapping. The white spaces are merely due to the drying patterns of the alcohol ink. As a matter of fact, I tried to ensure full ink coverage before leaving them to dry.
Don’t worry too much about getting ink on the bottom or inside of the piece. It cleans up pretty easily with alcohol. I would however caution you to be careful about the exterior when cleaning so as to not smudge your design. If you wish you can tape the bottom so the cleaning is minimal. Or you can always leave it as is.
I did most of these on glass, but I also did a few on plastic bowls. They had a much different look to the glassware. I preferred the way the glass came out. Also, the ink dried very quickly on the plastic, and only needed to sit for about 5-10 minutes, before removing the plastic wrap, I did leave one overnight and most of the ink peeled off with the cellophane. So if you are using plastic piece, then remove the wrapping sooner. On the bright side the plastic bowls I purchase were 4/$1.00, so not big deal if I screwed a few of them up:)
Protecting and Sealing
One important thing you need to know about alcohol inks, is that they fade if not treated. So, if you want to maintain the beauty of your pieces, then you will need to spray them with a few different sprays. If however, you are merely doing these for fun, then you are done!
Kamar Varnish – which is a fixative, so your inks don’t move when applying other finishes
UV-Resistant Clear Gloss – So they don’t fade, as alcohol ink will fade over time if not treated and exposed to sunlight
Triple Thick Clear Glaze – To give them that beautiful glossy finish
And that is all there is to this alcohol ink on glass project. It really is so easy it’s stupid! No reason why you can’t make some of these beautiful bowls, mugs or whatever you like. Go and create something beautiful 🙂
If you liked this post, here are another couple of alcohol ink posts that might interest you!
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Mark Peeling says
are these dishwater safe?
Mark Peeling says
are these dishwasher safe?
Hi Mark, These are not dishwasher safe without sealing. If you use the sprays that I recommended under the section labelled sealing and protecting, these would seal them and make them dishwasher safe. I did not seal mine, but am only using them as decor pieces, and not using them for food. You might also get by with a dishwasher safe mod podge, but I have not personally tried it, and I am not sure if it would smudge the inks. I’ll try and test it out and let you know. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
What is the 91% Isopropyl Alcohol used for during this process?
Hi Danielle, You really only need the isopropyl alcohol for cleaning up any areas that you have unwanted ink on your glassware. You will probably have some ink on the interior or bottom of the bowl or mug that you will want to clean up. I did this using 91% isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. If you want to see this on video here is the link to the youtube video. And have fun with these!
I love your ideas. I was looking at another site and at the end with the white spaces she used a gold pen. It made it look like stained glass. Do you know if we could do this with gel pens.? If not, any suggestion? Thanxxxx
That sounds like it would be a very pretty effect. You can totally do this! Sharpies work really well for this. I have not tried gel pens, but I have seen others use them.
Thanks for stopping by!
Claudia Wood says
How many coats of sealer did you use? I tried these and they turned out beautiful but they are rough on the outside.
Hi Claudia, I didn’t seal mine. Since I did them mostly for demonstration. But they are not rough on the outside. Were they rough before you applied the sealer? Might be too much ink?
The bowls were smooth to start so I think maybe too much ink? The insides turned out beautifully smooth. I will try again with less ink, Also, just fyi, I have since read somewhere else that these can be made dishwasher safe if you use dishwasher proof modge podge to seal them. I think I would just do the outsides in that case and use them for snack bowls. Thanks for the ideas! I love playing with my alcohol inks but am always looking for new things to try.
Hi, You said to that the bowls needed a few different sprays to seal. Did you mean each bowl needs to have a coating of each of the different sealing products or can you seal with one product with a couple of layers with one product of your choice?