Tutorial - Alcohol Ink Paper

Today's tutorial comes to us from Donna of Designing Keepsakes. We saw a card she made using the alcohol ink technique, and it was so lovely we asked her to tell us how it's done.






Materials needed: Glossy Paper, scrap paper, Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Applicator with felt pads, two or more colors of Alcohol Inks, one Mixative Color and Blending Solution. The Mixative is optional, as you can make beautiful papers with just two colors.

You can use as many colors as you wish at once, but I normally use two colors and one mixative. The mixatives come in gold, silver, copper and pearl and need to be shaken good before use.


First lay your glossy paper placed on top of your scrap paper, then take your applicator tool with a felt pad on it and add about 10 drops of one color on one end of the pad and 10 drops of the other color on the other end and a two or three of drops of the mixative in the center of the pad. The amount of drops does not have to be exact. You can then squirt a small amount of Blending solution across the width of the pad if you wish to. This step is not necessary. It is completely up to your individual taste. It is something you have to play with to see what you like. Hint: Put the tops back on the inks right away as they will dry out if you leave them open for any length of time.


Then take your applicator tool and place in on your paper at one corner and begin to twist or twirl it to the right and then back to the left and continue this all across the paper. The colors will all blend together and if you do use a mixative a little bit of that will shine through in different spots around the paper.


If you think the colors are too bright or you are not happy with the results you can squirt some more blending solution either on the pad or right on the paper and begin the twisting action all over again. This will lighten up and blend the colors even more. Caution, if you squirt the solution directly on to the paper it will just spread the colors out and leave white spots, that's fine, just continue to twist and it will all blend together again. I usually end up going over it two or three times before I am happy with the look.


You do not have to stick with the twisting motion, you can experiment with different motions, such as stripes, side to side swirling , circles, or pouncing, each different motion gives a unique effect.




Put the paper aside and let it dry for about three minutes and you are finished and ready to make your card. If you are going to stamp directly onto this paper, but sure to use an ink that is designed for glossy paper and you may find that your stamping will take quite a while to dry. Sometimes I spray it with a fixative.


In this example I am using Purple Twilight, Stream and Silver Mixative.



Thanks so much, Donna, for showing us this beautiful technique. Everyone remember, if you see an interesting technique or if you have one you would like to share, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org. Also, you can find archives of our previous tutorials at the Cardmaking Resources page of the OWH website, and lots of great information in the Cardmaking Glossary.



Celeste  – (June 28, 2011 at 5:07 AM)  

great tutorial. thank you so much for sharing.

Tami B.  – (June 28, 2011 at 5:49 AM)  

I really like all the different effects.
Neat idea and nice tutorial.

Carol L  – (June 28, 2011 at 7:09 AM)  

Great job on this tutorial Donna! I've always admired the beautiful backgrounds you make, and now I know how to make them too! Your card is just stunning! WOW!!!

Julie  – (June 28, 2011 at 7:41 AM)  

I have always wanted to try playing with alcohol inks! Thanks, Donna!

Paula S.  – (June 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM)  

I bought supplies to try this a long time ago and never did. Thanks for the 'refresher course' on exactly how this is done.

Nancy Keller  – (June 29, 2011 at 6:17 AM)  

Thank you Donna!!! May I add this comment about the glossy paper? My friend and I dabbled with this technique earlier this spring and had so much fun with it!! For our "glossy paper" we used a package of photo paper that you can find at the dollar store... It is an off brand (not Kodak) meant for printing 4x6 glossy photos on your printer. I think that they come 12 in a package for a dollar... What a penny saver! They work great for this project!

Just A Pac Rat  – (June 29, 2011 at 8:17 AM)  

Great idea! TFS

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