How to Use Alcohol Ink on Glass
Decorating Glass With Alcohol Ink
Decorating glass with alcohol inks is easy and yields beautiful results. I've worked with them to decorate cards and wanted to try using them on glass. I saw this fun project on Pinterest, had the materials on hand, and made sure to try it. The process was pretty simple, and the results were stunning!
My mom, aunt, sister-in-law, and I get together for a girly day every other month. This was my project for April, and it was a big hit!
What is Alcohol Ink?
Alcohol inks are solid-based dyes that can be used on any nonporous surface. They works well on glassware, ceramics, metal, tin, plastic, and glossy paper. Wood or regular card stock paper won't work well because their surfaces are porous. The product comes in a bottle with a dropper type dispenser, which makes it easy to use. Do note that it dries very quickly, so you'll need to work quickly to create your design.
A few notes about using alcohol inks on glass:
- Before starting your project, clean the glass surface and remove any labels using a mild dishwashing detergent. Let it dry completely before beginning the DIY to get the cleanest look.
- Alcohol ink stains! The good news is that it wears off pretty quickly. You can wear rubber gloves to prevent this, but I find it difficult to grip the glass when doing so.
- Don't worry about mistakes. You can clean them up with regular rubbing alcohol from the drugstore.
- Do not use this on glassware that will touch food or beverages. It should only be used for decorative purposes.
- The combination of alcohol ink and compressed air creates a lot of fumes! Make sure you are in a well ventilated area when indoors or outside (when the weather is nice.
- Smooth glass containers work best for the spatter technique. If you want to use cut or embossed glass, it'd be best to look into other methods.
The Spatter Technique
Alcohol ink can be used in a variety of ways to achieve unique effects. For the spatter technique, you will need the following supplies:
- Canned compressed air with a straw
- Alcohol Ink
- Rubbing alcohol
That's all you need! Now let's begin decorating.
- Squeeze out a few drops of the ink onto the glass. Three drops usually cover a good area.
- Quickly spray the ink with compressed air to create a spatter pattern. It is very important to use the straw so you can aim the air exactly where you want it. You can experiment with the angles to get different results, and the colors will blend and create new colors as they run together.
- The ink dries very quickly, so it's not a bad idea to work with a friend! In the photo below, my aunt and sister-in-law are working together because it was very windy outside. One held the vase and dropped the ink, and the other sprayed the compressed air.
- When you're finished with the design, seal the glass with at least two coats of clear acrylic sealer. Spray thin coats so it doesn't run or drip on the project. Make sure to apply it in a well ventilated area. Depending on what finish you want, Rustoleum and Krylon offer sealants in matte, satin, and glossy finishes.
DIY Glass Project Ideas
Using alcohol ink on thrift store finds is a rewarding hobby, and this project is quick and inexpensive to make! I rescued these brandy snifters from a secondhand store for a whopping 10 cents each. Imagine all of the vases, pottery, and glassware you can buy at a great price to make these!
The dollar store also offers a great variety of glassware. When I checked, they had four votive styles, three vase designs, and clear dinner plates. Since alcohol ink should not be used on items you use to eat, you can decorate the back of the plate, seal it, and use it to display cakes or cookies.
Where Can You Buy Alcohol Ink?
Alcohol ink is readily available at most craft stores. If you don't feel like venturing outside, eBay and Amazon offers a wide variety of colors at good prices. After playing with them on glass for a few weeks, my daughter and I decided we needed more options and we ordered nine new colors from eBay to add to our collection. I prefer the , and my mom loves the bright, cheerful colors. fall, earthy tones
The colors used on these candleholders are: Lettuce, Wild Plum, and Stream. They are wonderful summer colors, but I can't wait to try gold, orange, and dark green! The bottles aren't very big, but they go a long way.
The Enchanted Gallery has a useful color chart that shows all of the colors available, unique color combinations, and the results of using alcohol ink on different items.
Using Alcohol Ink on Other Surfaces
Tim Holtz demonstrates the spatter technique on glossy paper. You can see this method below, which is what I used for this project. It also works well for metal surfaces!