Not long ago, two of my crafty friends persuaded me to delve into the world of alcohol inks. Since I’m all for learning new mediums and techniques (and very easily persuaded when it comes to purchasing new craft supplies) I didn’t really hesitate. Before I knew it, I was standing in my craft room with a rainbow of colored inks, an air blower, and a few other supplies, ready to give it a try.
I’ll be very honest: at first, I found the process frustrating. As you guys probably know by now, I like a clean, bright and often white aesthetic, and these inks seemed to have a mind of their own! But since I had some spare time to just play with them and see where they took me, I persevered. A little blending solution here, a little isopropyl alcohol there…. to be honest there wasn’t a lot of method to the madness, but I did watch a few Youtube videos by alcohol ink artists as I crafted to get some tips.
Eventually I had a background that I really liked, and one that seemed card-worthy. I posted it on Instagram here, and ever since, I’ve been practicing and testing out new ways of moving the inks around. While I’m sure there are many techniques when it comes to alcohol ink painting, the one I’ve been having the most luck with is what I like to call the “press, pray, and pull” method. It’s highly complex (NOT!) and the process goes like this:
- Put a few random drops of alcohol ink on a panel of yupo paper (this is a synthetic paper used for alcohol ink art that allows the inks to move around, rather than being absorbed immediately as they would with regular paper)
- Squirt some blending solution and/or isopropyl alcohol on top
- Grab another panel of yupo paper and place it on top
- Press the two together
- Pray that something pretty is happening inside
- Pull them apart
The result might be absolutely gorgeous, or it may be entirely not what you’re looking for. In that case, all you need to do is add a bit more isopropyl alcohol, blending solution, or ink (one of those things, two, or all three) and repeat the process again. You can get an entirely different result each time, which is kinda fun if you’ve got time to experiment and play!
Since posting that card that featured my first alcohol ink background, I’ve been continuing to mix different colors and use the same “press, pray, pull” method. I’ve also been using an air blower to move the ink across the yupo paper in waves, and the background you see here on today’s card was made using a combo of the two. I started with the air blower, ink and blending solution, but the colors were too vibrant for my liking. I then decided to drizzle isopropyl alcohol over the piece and press another panel against it. By sliding that top panel off to the side instead of pulling the two pieces directly apart, I managed to get the swoopy effect you see in the photos.
With my rainbow background complete, I was feeling all sorts of retro rainbow vibes and decided the perfect sentiment to pair with it was the Essentials by Ellen Yasss word die. I die cut this a couple of times from white cardstock, then stacked the sentiments on top of each other, adhering them with liquid glue. To make a simple shaker, I used the Essentials by Ellen Essential Rectangles to create a thick frame, popped some acetate on the back, then lined the edges with foam tape. After filling the window with confetti, I peeled back the release paper on the foam tape and sealed it up with my rainbow background. The whole thing was mounted onto an A2 card base, and I placed the Yasss die cut about 1/3 of the way from the top.
Alrighty, now it’s over to you! I’d love to know, have you used alcohol inks on your cards? Do you have any interest in doing so? Have you never really considered them before? Tell me your thoughts!