Alcohol Inks Introduction Tutorial


Alcohol Inks crafting
    Hi friends this is an introduction to crafting with alcohol inks. One of the beauties of alcohol inks is their use not just on paper but on myriad surfaces and hence their appeal to different types of crafters such as the polymer clay artist, jewelry maker, recycling crafter and even the professional artist!
What are alcohol Inks?
Some properties of Alcohol inks
  • Translucent
  • Fast drying
  • Permanent
  • Concentrated – hence the use of felt and alcohol inks to maximize their potential
  • Ideal for use on nonporous surfaces

The most popular alcohol inks are the ones popularized by Tim Holtz and marketed by Ranger
What to consider buying to play with alcohol Inks
·      Packs of 3 – for crafters starting with alcohol inks it makes sense to buy the packs which contain 3 color combinations. They are more economic and there are several color combinations you can choose
Alcohol Inks 
·      Individual Bottle Packs – once you get the hang of using alcohol inks you may want to play with more colors and Ranger has a huge variety of colors in individual bottle packs
Alcohol Inks 
·      Metal fixatives – these come in gold and silver metallic colors and are opaque unlike the proper alcohol inks. Adding them to your alcohol ink projects gives a beautiful grandeur to your projects
Alcohol Inks metal fixatives
You can actually apply alcohol inks directly to a surface but these are very concentrated inks and using a piece of felt to apply these fast drying inks will help you get the maximum use from these inks
Also many fun techniques require alcohol inks + blending solution to be applied to the piece of felt before applying to a surface
Alcohol Inks felt 
You can buy Ranger’s Felt refill packs [the size of these felt pieces fits perfectly to the applicator tool] or cut up your own felt pieces from a felt roll you may be having. The quality of felt you use is important as if it frays a lot you will be left with lots of fibers on your project!
NOTE: felt is not the same as foam. Foam cannot be used to apply or blend alcohol inks
An Applicator is a wooden block with a Velcro to which you can fasten pieces of felt
Alcohol Inks applicator
It’s similar to the Distress ink blending applicator you may already be having. The only difference is that instead of sponge/foam you need to attack a piece of felt for alcohol ink crafts
Why do you need an applicator?
An applicator is not absolutely essential for alcohol ink crafts! Like many crafty tools it just makes your crafting easier and more fun! Since alcohol inks stain, it’s neater and easier to use your felt pieces mounted on the applicator rather than using felt with your hands directly!
Alcohol blending solution
Alcohol inks are extremely concentrated inks and they are also super fast drying. Because of both these properties using a blending solution can help you to explore the full potential of these beautiful inks.
Alcohol Inks blending solution
Alcohol blending solution can achieve 3 effects
·      Lighten Colors – if you like subtle colors adding more blending solution will help get the perfect color tone you desire
·      Blend Colors-because alcohol inks are fast drying it’s difficult to mix colors. Adding a drop or 2 of the blending solution can help achieve a beautiful blending of the colors! Will demonstrate the various fun techniques in a detailed post later.
·      Clear Colors from an area – suppose you want to remove inks completely or partially from an area a swipe with alcohol blending solution will achieve it.
Other Uses of the Blending Solution
Tim Holtz the creator of these products also says the blending solution is great to 
·      Remove glue residue from scissors etc
·      Remove ink stains
·      Use as a general clean up solution
Can you use normal alcohol instead of alcohol blending solution?
Yes you can but you need not get the perfect results you do with the Ranger’s alcohol blending solution created especially for crafting. Maybe use regular alcohol / spirit for cleaning purposes.
Working surface
Since alcohol inks are permanent inks and fast drying you need to protect your working surface from being stained with inks. 
Alcohol Inks 
You can either use a craft mat like the popular Ranger’s Craft sheet [ any ink stains can be cleaned with alcohol spirit swabs/ spirit or alcohol blending solution] or just cover your working area with thick plastic sheets [ which are bound to get stained]
Hand Protection
Alcohol Inks crafting
While working with alcohol inks if you use an applicator your hand staining is bound to be significantly less but still if you want to avoid ink smudges  altogether ,use a pair of gloves.
What surface can you use Alcohol Inks on?
Alcohol inks need to be applied to a nonporous surface
You won’t get the beautiful effects of alcohol inks on normal paper or cloth as they would just soak through!
Popular Surfaces for crafting with Alcohol Inks:
  • Metal
  • Aluminum foil sheets
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Glass
  • Shrink Plastic
  • Beads, pearls, rhinestones, crystals
  • Plastic
  • Acetate / transparency sheets
  • Glossy Cardstock
  • Polymer Clay
  • Some Stones
  • Resin - here are some of things I made at home with resin and alcohol Inks

Alcohol Ink + Resin 
I used green and yellow Alcohol Inks to make this marbled background on metallic card stock
Alcohol Inks background 
Stamped various stamps using versamark and gold and white embossing powder
Alcohol Inks card
 Cut the inked and heat embossed card into scallopped squares and mounted it on a brick embossed card stock and layered the whole thing atop a paper with silver and gold designs.
Alcohol Inks and heat embossing
Added a stamped- heat embossed and water colored butterfly to tone down the vibrant background !
Alcohol Inks + heat embossing
A fascinating aspect of an Alcohol Ink project is how different it looks from different angles depending on how light falls on it...my card looks yellow, bright green and even dark green from different aspects!
Alcohol Inks card 
Supplies : Dies : Sizzix Hero Arts Stamp - die butterfly, Couture Creations Scalloped Squares
Spellbinders brick embossing 
All Alcohol Inks Crafting Products shown available at Crafters Corner
Linking to BGC 72, 
Edited : I was lucky to win a gorgeous Ryn Stamp with this card at Mod Squad Challenge ,


  1. Stunning card, I've never used alcohol inks before, love your tutorial, thank you for sharing.

    Hugs, Lori m

  2. Thanks for the tutorial Sonia, I've never got my teeth into using alcohol inks, I bought one bottle about 10 years ago and have only recently opened it for the first time. I really must get some more and experiment

  3. Beautiful card Sonia and fascinating to read about alcohol inks - I might be tempted having seen your wonderful results!!


    Di xx

  4. A fabulous card - I love the knots of your butterfly - perfect for our Butterfly Challenge. A brilliant tutorial too.
    Kath x

  5. Beautiful card Sonia!! Thanks for all the information!! I have never tried alcohol inks but I think I might in the future, thanks to your inspiration :)
    Moxie Craftie

  6. Stunning card!! & a beautifully written tutorial!! I have never used alcohol inks, now will surely try it. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Fantastic result and love the design you have created. I like the knotted rope for the body of your butterfly. Thankyou for luttering by # 39. Hugs Mrs A.

  8. Oh, cool tutorial! Haven't used my alcohol inks in ages and I just love the outcome. I haven't thought of wearing gloves - that's a great idea. Your card is absolutely gorgeous!

  9. Very pretty card. I have alcohol inks but haven't used them much. I guess I've not really known how to use them. This was very informative

  10. Another beautiful Butterfly!!
    Thank you for joining my DL.ART Thankful Thursday Anything Goes OCTOBER Linky Challenge. Have a blessed day
    DIANA L.


  11. Gorgeous background. The metallic accents look beautiful
    Thank you for joining the DL.ART Thankful Thursday Anything Goes OCTOBER Linky Challenge.

  12. Stunning card Sonia. Awesome colors & thanks a lot for those instructions. I'm gonna get some of those alcohol inks for sure!! I love the way you die cut those cute lil panels for your card. Love it :)

  13. Fantastic tutorial and beautiful card, Sonia! XO

  14. These are so much fun!! Really stunning results!! I love your amazing card!! :)

  15. Like your tutorial on alcohol inks and you are very good with this media. The only thing I have used are the alcohol-based pens and just now starting with some watercoloring. My daughter gets into the mixed media and I know she will encourage me further.

  16. Another technique to try. This card is just plain beautiful. Love it! Ty for participating in the Mod Squad Challenge.

  17. Another stunning card and thank you for the tutorial, I bought some of these inks years ago and I think I used them once as I wasn't keen on the effect, this puts it all into a different perspective. thank you.

  18. Beautiful card and fantastic tutorial on these inks Sonia..Loz

  19. Such great details on this butterfly card! The color is amazing! Thanks for joining us over at DL ART! DT member DL.ART Carri~Abusybee
    My Blog!

  20. What a gorgeous card!! The colors look amazing!! Fabulous tutorial, too!! I need to use my Alcohol Inks more...you've inspired me!! Thanks so much for playing along at DL.ART!! Have a great day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts
    DL.ART DT Member

  21. Beautiful card and very useful tutorial.Thank you for that. I've learnt a lot.
    Thank you for playing with us at BGC!


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