New Products · Techniques · Tutorial

Playing with Alcohol Inks

It’s FriYAY!!! As promised, I have a post for you about alcohol inks. I can’t promise you loads of tips, as it’s a very new product to me. What I can do is share with you what I have learned, and what amazing results even a novice can achieve!

Let’s start off with the supplies:


Of course you need inks. I purchased mine from Micheal’s in sets of three each, mainly because I couldn’t wait to order them online. Once I decided I was going to take this plunge, I was all in. The 2 bottles in the front are Mixatives, these are silver in gold. I also picked up the Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink applicators with felt pads (not the same as the foam Distress ink blending tools). I also added a paint brush that is dedicated to alcohol inks and a straw (this one is a hard plastic straw that is used with RTIC cups).  Not pictured, but as equally imporant as the inks, is Yupo paper. It’s a special slick paper that is almost like plastic. It allows the ink to move on the paper. Some people use glossy paper, but I have only tried Yupo Paper. In the back is a bottle of Blending Solution. I also recommend rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl. You also need to work on a protected surface. You can use a craft mat. I used garbage bags for my first attempt. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area as well.

There are so many different techniques to use with alcohol inks. I highly recommend checking out Jennifer McGuire’s site, as well as YouTube and Instagram. I haven’t even tried them all.

I started out with using the felt applicator and adding stripes to the Yupo paper. This was  a technique Jennifer shared recently.

I apologize but I am not sure exactly what colors I used. I wasn’t planning on writing a post so I was careful about writing it down. I’m pretty sure the first 2 are Cranberry and gold mixative, the third Cranberry, Gold and Lettuce, and the last two Watermelon, Lettuce and Gold. But, the green could also be Citrus.

This method involves adding drops of the ink to the felt pads, adding some blending solution, and then pulling it across the paper. I like the bottom two the best, with some white space. But I kept messing up the lines when I went back to “fix,” them.

Next are a couple where I used the applicator to “pounce,” the color on.

The colors are similar to above, and adding the colors to the applicator is the same. The difference is that you pounce, or press the applicator down, then pick it back up straight. Or you can press and twist a little. I also like this better with the white space, it looks almost floral.

I think the most popular method is the next one. This is adding drops on ink to the paper, adding blending solution, and blowing or moving the ink.

I really stuggled with this method. In fact, the last three panels are ones that I went back and re-worked, with alcohol. I added too much color and didn’t really let it move around. But, I have some ideas to use next time.

The purple color is Plum, the blue is Sailboat Blue and the blue-green is Stream. I used silver mixative on the last three, and gold mixative on the first three.

I have a couple of examples of one more technique I tried. This method was using the paint brush.

For the first panel, I added plum, Sailboat Blue and Stream onto the panel, along with silver mixative. Then I dipped my paint brush into blending solution and ran it through the color, mixing them and creating the lines. On the rainbow panel I used Watermelon, Butterscotch, Citrus, Lettuce, Stream, Sailboat Blue and Plum, along with gold mixative. I did the same thing with the paint brush. I really love these panels. The colors are so vibrant, and running the brush through the colors is almost like giving it texture.

Once I started making panels, it was difficult to stop! They come together so quickly, and the next thing you know your reaching for more Yupo paper and it’s all gone! I was going for vibrant colors, but I’ve seen some pretty light panels others have made. You could also make a pretty cool galaxy sky. There are so many possibilities. My only issue is having to cut the panels up! I’ve had these panels for I think 3 weeks now, and I struggled to make cards with them. I did use one of the panels I wasn’t that fond of for a MFT Challenge the week before, and this past week I finally cut up that rainbow panel. It broke my heart! But, there is no point in keeping them sitting on my desk… And I’m starting to get some ideas for them. I can see a mermaid card with the green panel.

As I play around with these some more, I’ll share them with you. I have some ideas for more panels, and would like to try making some lighter colored panels. Please, feel free to share your adventures with alcohol ink!  I would love to hear about your favorite techniques!

Thanks for stopping by!






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