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Home » Alcohol Inks – I Love Them!

Alcohol Inks – I Love Them!

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Alcohol inks were a very welcome craft discovery.

A world of creativity

alcohol inks
This post does contain affiliate links – you can read my affiliate statement here.

Alcohol inks – oh my goodness – you know when something really sets you on fire and you don’t want to sleep?

Well that was it for me and it was all Mandy Shedden’s fault!

When I went to visit her fantastic little craft supplies store in Suffolk back in 2016, I was hooked.

Update in 2024 – Mandy’s store is no longer open.

The store, Keep On Crafting was an absolute Aladdin’s cave of art and craft goodies.

I seriously didn’t know which way to turn. Sadly it has closed but these inks are available online.

Ironically, the internet is probably the reason why these small craft shops are closing.

Crafters like me miss being able to browse these shops and discover new products.

However, the internet has given us more choice and lower prices.

The alcohol inks I bought were very expensive because the Tim Holtz brand is expensive.

Later, I did discover other brands selling who sets of inks for much less – more about that later.

I was particularly pleased to discover these inks because they are perfect for exploring creativity.

One of the first posts I wrote here was encouraging people to have a go at art regardless of age or ability.

Alcohol inks are a fantastic way for people who are ‘no good at art’ to explore their creativity without the fear of being ‘wrong’.

fun crafts

Alcohol inks create art practically by themselves!

The way they blend, bleed and bloom is amazing, they form beautiful abstract patterns.

And the results are very encouraging to people who are new to making art.

I only bought five colours just to see what I could do with them before I committed to buying the whole shop ;-).

Also, my husband was there so, well you know, my husband was there.

They don’t understand the need for having ALL the colours, they really don’t!

alcohol inks
The five colours I bought

You Can’t Go ‘Wrong’ With Alcohol Inks

The beauty of alcohol inks is that you can’t really do it ‘wrong’.

You can produce images in so many different ways and the effects can be quite random.

They work best on glossy paper because they need to run and blend, not soak in.

So I dug out some paper I had left over from my adventures into encaustic painting and let rip.

Even though I had no idea what I was doing – I had huge fun just playing around – which is what art is all about for me.

What you see below are my first couple of images. It’s totally addictive once you see what the inks will do.

alcohol inks

After my first couple of dabblings with the ink, I decided to try scribbling little designs over the top to see what would happen.

I did this late at night, in poor light, while babysitting and I had forgotten my glasses too!

However, you can clearly see the potential for doodling over the top of alcohol inks.

alcohol inks

Once you get the hang of how alcohol inks work, you can start to push boundaries.

What you can do with the inks depends entirely on you imagination and your willingness to experiment.

I was still in the very early stages of experimentation back then.

But I was keen to go further that just dropping alcohol inks onto glossy paper and watching what they do.

I tried floating them on water and then sliding glossy paper underneath.

The image below is the result of that experiment.

alcohol inks

There is huge potential here for creating backgrounds this way and doing further work with doodling on top.

You can see in the image above that the top half is more freeform, although I did manipulate the inks a bit.

The bottom half is where I really started to manipulate the inks with blending solution and various techniques to start getting an impression of poppies.

You can get a bit more adventurous with pushing ink around if you use blending solution.

I put mine in a water brush as shown below.

If you want to try using a waterbrush, you can get them here on Amazon.

And for a whole set of inexpensive alcohol inks – click here.

alcohol inks

Don’t be afraid to try these inks, they are huge fun and you don’t have to be ‘good’ at art.

We just need to get back to where we were at when we were five years old.

We need to do it for the fun of it, not to please anyone but ourselves.

If you want to get arty but are scared of doing it ‘wrong’, get some alcohol inks and start today!

If you liked this post, you may love this one too about making alcohol ink pendants.

And this one about making alcohol ink earrings.

This is an older post also about making alcohol ink pendants.

Thank you for reading and happy crafting!