How to Make Alcohol Inks
What Are Alcohol Inks?
Alcohol inks are an acid-free, highly-pigmented, and fast-drying medium that can be used on non-porous surfaces. Mixing colors can create a vibrant marbled effect and the possibilities are only be limited by what you are willing to try.
How to Make Your Own Alcohol Ink
- 91% Alcohol
- Sharpie permanent markers (all different colors)
- Small clear disposable plastic cups
- Needle nose pliers
- Rubber gloves (lots)
- Plastic spray bottles (I get mine at Walmart for 97 cents)
- A small funnel
- Parchment paper
- X-acto knife
- Paper towels
This is the x-acto knife I have and it works great. and very comfortable to hold.
- Lay down parchment paper to protect any surfaces. Then, pour 2 oz. of alcohol into each plastic disposable cup.
- In one empty spray bottle, put only alcohol for cleaning up your supplies.
- Next, you're going to take apart one sharpie with your needle nose pliers. Inside will be a spongy tube that holds all the ink. Make sure you have gloves on — this gets messy!
- Using your scissors, cut the sharpie guts in half. Then, using your x-acto knife, cut the plastic over the sponge and open it up. Also, don't forget to pull out the tip of the sharpie (also called the nib).
- Once you have all the guts out of the sharpie and cut open, drop the sharpie guts into the plastic cup with the 91% alcohol. Let them sit in the alcohol for at least 2-3 hrs. I left mine overnight.
- Once the sharpie guts have sat for a few hours, you will put gloves on and remove the sharpie guts from the plastic cup. Make sure you squeeze out any liquid left in the sponge into the cup.
- The last step is to pour your ink into the spray bottles you got from Walmart using your small funnel. Mark your bottles with the color and you are all set.
- Then repeat steps 3-7 for each sharpie you have or each different color you want to make. Also, make sure you clean your funnel, x-acto knife, scissors and needle nose pliers between each sharpie. You don't want to mix the colors. To clean the tools you use just spray the alcohol on them and wipe with a paper towel. Also, remember to change your gloves with each color.
Uses for Alcohol Inks
There are tons of uses for alcohol inks. I personally use mine for stainless steel tumblers, glass cups, and mason jars. I have seen them used for paintings, glass, jewelry, and coffee mugs. Basically, the sky is the limit. Give them a try and let me know how you like them.
How to Make Alcohol inks
Questions & Answers
Can you use Coptic markers,or any other brand, or do they have to be Sharpies? Also, my alcohol is 99%; is that okay to use, or does it have to be 91% exactly?
I am not sure about the markers, as I have only tried sharpies. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work. As for the alcohol, the 99% should work just the same. I used a 71% one time, and that worked too, it just took a lot longer to get the ink out and make the colors.
How do you seal the tumblers that you’ve used the alcohol ink on?
I use Alumilite Amazing clear cast (epoxy) once the alcohol has dried at least overnight.
I have made these and used them on ceramic tiles but they never dry. Even days later I still can wipe the ink off, any suggestions?
Maybe rough up the surface somehow? I am not sure. When I do my tumblers, I spray paint them with a matte spray paint. It dries pretty fast that way. Then I put epoxy over that.
Can I use alcohol ink on a yardstick?
I can't see why not. I have seen so many different uses for alcohol inks. I am curious to see if that works, so please keep me posted.