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Alcohol Inks and Four Ways to Use Them

Alcohol Inks and Four Ways to Use Them

Alcohol inks can colour most non porous surfaces with ease. You can use them to change the colour of metals, foils, acetate, glossy cardstock, plastics and more! Once you have these inks, you may find surfaces to alter you had not considered altering before.

The Basics

But how do you use these inks, I hear you ask? I have seen many people purchase them and then not know what to do next. If that sounds like you, it is time to break out the inks and see what they can do. As with many paper crafting techniques, it is easy to use alcohol inks once you know how.

Because they are so good at dyeing surfaces, there is a little caution that goes with these inks: make sure you have a mat to work on to protect your furniture, and do wear something old when using them in case you accidentally get colour on your clothes. The new colour could be permanent! Once you have these precautions in place, you can begin to have some fun.

Basic tools for using these inks include a wooden block with a handle, some Velcro and some pieces of felt cut to fit the stamping surface of your block. Adhere the Velcro to the wooden block and attach a piece of felt to it.

You will also need some blending solution. Choose one or more colours of alcohol inks and you are ready for the next step.

Using Your Alcohol Inks

When you are ready to add some colour to your cardstock or to another surface, place the item to be altered on your protective sheet. Turn the wooden block so the felt pad faces up toward you. Now squeeze a little ink on your felt. A few drops will go a long way! Add more colours if desired, and if you are using metallic inks just add a drop or two of this as it will go even further than the other kinds of ink.

Now just start stamping the colours on your project with the wooden block and handle, bumping, turning and twisting it till you get the colour laid down the way you like it. Once you have laid down enough colour, turn the wooden block back over and add a little blending solution to the pad. Stamp again and watch the ink colours blend together in amazing new patterns. Stop when you are happy with the result, if you can!

This method produces some amazing backgrounds for your scrapbooking layouts and handmade greeting cards. Try stamping over the finished background with permanent ink, such as Stazon.

Making Overlays

You can use alcohol inks with acetate. I often use an Over Head Projector (OHP) sheet to do this. Start as before, with your acetate on the protective mat. Ink up your wooden block tool and smoosh the ink onto the acetate, then add some blending solution to the felt and stamp on the acetate to break up and blend the colours even more. You can build up layers of colour with this method, and as the acetate is transparent you will have a finished result that allows the light through the layers. You can still stamp an image on top if you like, using permanent ink.

As an example of how else to use your alcohol inked acetate, I stamped out some butterflies and cut them out of the acetate. I folded them in the middle and adhered them to my card so that their wings looked as though they were fluttering.

Imagine making flowers from the coloured acetate and cutting out the petals to bend up from the centre. Consider using your paper punches to make some flower shapes if you would like to try this.

Inking Plastic

As you would probably imagine, alcohol inks also colour plastics very easily. If you have saved a plastic chocolate box, try inking the plastic from the inside or the outside, or both, for a nice effect.

Inking Foil

You can ink foil with alcohol inks. Adhere the foil to a firmer surface first (such as cardstock) so it will not tear when you work with it. Then go ahead and ink the foil as you desire with the same method as for paper, plastics or acetate. You can get some even more interesting effects if you scrunch the foil first.

Inking Bling

Did you know you can change the colour of your crystals, brads and alphas with alcohol inks? Use your applicator to gently bump colour onto the bling. Again you can use more than one colour. The dazzle of the bling will still be there after you have dyed it.

Alter the colour of plain metal brads with alcohol inks too.

There are many more surfaces just waiting for you to try altering with alcohol inks. I hope you will give this medium a try and that you like the results!